By HT School, Oct 28, 2021 09:30
In the ongoing uncertain times, school students often find it hard to keep up with the constantly evolving socio-political as well as educational circumstances. However, teachers and parents must work hand in hand to help them deal with such challenges, guide them towards the right direction, encourage them to achieve their goals and ambitions and motivate them to become good citizens. In this interview, Sovanika Pal, Principal, Vidya Bharati School, Rohini, talks about the need to develop suitable teaching and learning processes to help students overcome the difficulties and encourage them to keep going forward.
‘In these politically volatile times, should students be insulated from political upheavals? How do you inform/educate them about the changing scenario?
With the increasing media exposure, insulating the students from political upheavals is neither possible nor wise.We, as a school, believe that it is essential for each and every child to be aware of the policies of the government as well as the political tenets in an age-appropriate manner. Current affairs are integrated with various subjects and discussion on current issues is part of our virtual class assemblies enabling our students to know impact and wider consequences on the life of a common man.
How do you motivate children to be ‘Green Citizens’?
As it is said that charity begins at home, the first step that we have taken to turn our children into ‘Green Citizens’ is through the introduction of waste-free meals which emphasize on reusable food and drink containers and many such other sustainable measures. The students are educated about their carbon footprint and ways to neutralise it by adopting the 5 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle.
Our PM Narendra Modi, in his annual Pariksha Pe Chracha speech, repeatedly motivated the students by saying that they shouldn’t just strive for high marks. Do you say the same to your students?
We at Vidya Bharati School (VBS) firmly believe in preparing our students for life by focusing on them acquiring the 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, team work besides being environmentally conscious and aware. This, in turn, will lay a strong foundation that will help them in accomplishing their personal and professional goals in this rapidly transforming digital society.
Pedagogy is changing by leaps and bounds every year. How do you keep pace with it?
To keep up with the changing times, teaching and learning process must evolve and transition as per the changing needs, and the teachers in Vidya Bharati are constantly upgraded through in-service trainings and symposium and the pedagogical framework works on the 5 essential E’s: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate which are executed through experiential project-based approaches.
How do you inspire/motivate students to take up sports as it is a vital part of school education these days?
Despite the current unpredictable oscillation of the pandemic, we have a Fun Fitness PE activity module which includes yoga, aerobics, rhythmic movements, jumping the line, hula hooping, scavenger hunts, which keep the students motivated due to the plethora of activities.
Where do you see your students/school 10 years from now?
The dictum of the school is “Gateway To The World” and with our consistent endeavours towards conformity, I foresee my students emerging as global citizens.
Your profession has many challenges. What, in your opinion, is the toughest?
There is an adverse attitude regarding teaching as a career option in our society. It’s at times considered a part-time job and not a vocation, which is disrespectful and demotivating. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to be a teacher and to remain one.
Would you inspire your own children to take up this profession?
As mentioned before, I aspire teaching to be admired as a profession. Henceforth I take pride in illustrating the magnanimity of my vocation to my 11- year-old daughter who venerates it proficiently while enacting as a teacher in her role plays at home and occasionally mentions that she will be a mathematics teacher when ahe grows up. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Are you still in touch with your teachers?
Yes, very much. Their mention itself fills me with reverence. I have always wanted to convey to my teacher, Ms Vimla Pandey, that it was she only who made me realise that I had a flair for teaching. I sincerely wish that she reads these words of mine which express my gratitude towards her for guiding me.
Three inspiring words for your students.
Aim, Act, Achieve