Staff morale ran low in the year 2002-2003, when the School Authorities , split the over-crowded Staff Room, moving us Junior College Lecturers, to a dingy Class Room nearby. Something had to be done to help us settle down happily in what was to be the new Staff Room. Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of myself in this saree and that’s was when I thought of decorating the entire room with my favourite flowers-SUNFLOWERS!

So, during FREE PERIODS, my students helped me tape five or six used Thermocol Chart Sheets together! Covering them with bright, yellow chart paper, we stuck on wavy green borders and made stylish corners with Sunflowers and green leaves. Soon, we had three, large DISPLAY BOARDS adorning the walls of the new Staff Room!

While clearing out old stuff, the Art Teacher discarded several water colour paintings done by past students! We stuck them on the DISPLAY BOARDS and watched the place take on a decidedly brighter ambience!

Barely-used curtains in cream and gold, from my home, became Table Cloths for the six Teachers’ Tables, and the relaxed atmosphere in the Staff Room was now clearly discernable!

The blackboard in our “Classroom-turned- Staff Room” became like a Face book Timeline that belonged to EVERYONE! Birthday and Wedding Anniversary greetings, prayer requests for sick colleagues, a daily Thought For The Day, and popular recipes from our one-dish parties became the NORM!

In less than a month, there was a new-found sense of “BELONGING!” The once shabby Classroom became “SUNFLOWER HALL” and I got to be known as THE SUNFLOWER LADY!
Barbara Ann John
English Lecturer
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Dated: 5th April 2015

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