Best Practices - Progressive School, Progressive Teacher.
Early childhood years are indeed the most significant and crucial years of education. Perhaps by providing good nourishment and guidance during these early years (3-5 years) most of the social evils can be eradicated. Hence, the responsibility of a Montessori teacher is the most important not only in a child’s life but also shaping healthy and responsible humans for a better tomorrow.
The seeds of the bond between a teacher and a student are sown on the first day of a child’s schooling. It is indeed a day full of excitement and enthusiasm, curiosity and expectations, dreams and desires and a day full of positivity as well as anxiousness. The teacher, the student and the parent have their own anxiety and expectations. As a Montessori teacher, each year, this day is the most significant day of my life and the experience marks a special place in my memory bank. I plan numerous ice breaking activities like rhymes, stories, colouring, clay, puzzles, music, slides and fun games. Each child responds to the activities in an individual manner subject to the interest of each child. My goal is to make these kids enjoy mastering their skills and help them reach the epitome of their talents.
My journey as a Montessori teacher has helped me evolve as a more compassionate and a better person year after year. Each day, I learn and grow with my little children. The innocence, curiosity, positivity of my kids has always energised me. The child responds and grows best in a stimulating supportive friendly and safe environment. We need to understand and respect the individuality and creativity of a child. It may surprise one but it is true that behind each scribbling by a child, there is an interesting story to be understood or explored. Once after a free hand drawing session in my class, I asked the students to explain their drawings. To my surprise a four-year-old child explained his drawing of a national flag and palace kind of thing as ‘ye meri India mein mera mahal hai. ’This gave me an insight into his creativity and ability to express so explicitly.
To quote another incident, once while we were having a picture story book reading time, one child was talking to his father, imagining himself to be the character of the story, his friends as other elements of the story and he went on endlessly weaving a story. I was a silent listener but that day I learnt that he is an excellent story teller and has the ability to give words to his imagination.
The above mentioned examples are some instances of make believe reading and writing--stepping stone to foster linguistic skills. Such independent expressions are to be encouraged and supported for their all-round development. We, as teachers, have to facilitate their learning by arousing their interest, keeping in mind the individual differences and developmental needs of each child. We don’t have to teach them to write numbers and letters, rather, we have to make them understand the numbers and letters and prepare them for primary education. We have to foster their thinking and life skills.
It is indeed God’s blessing to be a Montessori teacher and be instrumental in nurturing God’s most wonderful creation – a child. I extend my thanks to the tiny tots for making my journey so motivating and enriching. It would not have been possible without the guidance provided by our respected Principal Madam, Mrs. Asha Prabhakar, who not only acts as a guiding star but also a pillar of strength in the time of crisis when we loose confidence. I am also grateful to my colleagues for their unconditional support and affection. Last but not the least I thank the parent fraternity for their cooperation as and when needed by the school.
I have been into this noble profession of imparting education since 1997. My journey at Bal Bharati Public School, Noida started in the year 2004 as TGT Computer Science. I have spent 12 years of my career in this esteemed institution trying to keep abreast with technological advancements and trying to imbibe in the students a keen to desire to embrace technology. It is my endeavor to empower them to harness the best in the field of Information Technology.
As a person with technological inclination, I think teachers should use technology as a tool in the classroom proceedings to enhance students’ learning ability. It will have a significant positive impact on the student’s achievements in all subject areas, across all levels of school, and in regular classrooms as well as those for special-needs students. Technology makes instructions more student-centered, encourages cooperative learning, and stimulates increased teacher/student interaction.
As my subject is practical oriented, emphasis is laid on acquiring the practical skills and laboratory activities. I ensure that during my theory classes, I equip my students with all the necessary information about the software we will be working on in the computer lab. For this, I demonstrate the topic, its need and relevance. Instead of using the traditional “chalk and talk” method of teaching, I prefer to use the Multimedia Interactive Learning Process where I demonstrate the concepts through the smart board and facilitate entire class discussion. As a teacher my role isn’t limited to curriculum based teaching but it’s my social responsibility to make my students ethically correct and digitally responsible. During the classroom discussions, I explain information security best practices and how to protect oneself and ones information from social engineering tactics, identity theft, fraud, phishing, malware and hackers and how to protect oneself from becoming a victim of cybercrime and cyber bullying. I also tell my students about the different security softwares like Anti-Virus Software, Firewall, Specialized File Deletion Software & Encryption software and how they could use them to safeguard their systems at home.
It gives me immense pride when my students call me, and thank me through social networking sites. The sense of satisfaction cannot be measured when I learn that they have chosen my subject as their career and are doing exceptionally well. Today my students are placed in technological giants like Google, Amazon, IBM, Snapdeal and many more CMM 5 level companies. My heart fills with joy when my students call me and say, “Thank you for teaching the Object Oriented Programming concepts in joyful learning environment and because of you we are able to apply the logic and solve the problem without consulting any material.”
My purpose of teaching is not just to make my students IT literates but to add rationale thinking and make them self-sufficient. When there is a willingness to change, there is hope for progress in any field. I as a teacher always look forward for opportunities to learn new software, innovate and try new things to add to my pedagogical bag of tricks.
Technology can become the “wings” that will allow the educational world to fly farther and faster than ever before – if we will allow it. – Jenny Arledge
As a teacher my responsibility also lies in inculcating leadership qualities which is very much required for an IT Professional. For this, I divide my class into manageable groups. Each student is given a topic he/she is best at and is asked to teach the rest of the students in his/her group, this activity allows the students to plan and organize their topic. Also, they are able to monitor their own work and I provide them consistent feedback upon their progress. Through this kind of peer learning, I was successful in developing the habit of team work, boosting the confidence of the students and developing cooperative learning which enhances the value of student-student interaction.
When I think back of the person who has influenced my life in a positive way and has always propelled me not only to become a good Teacher but also helped me in administering so many things and prepared me in taking initiatives which is required for smooth functioning of a School, the name that comes to my mind is none other than my Philosopher, Guide and a Leader Ms. Asha Prabhakar, School Principal. I have always looked upon her as a source of inspiration. I am proud to be a part of such a loving Parivaar who not only provides clean, well-organized and safe learning environment but also strives to make the teaching faculty creative and well-equipped through in-service trainings.
My greatest reward is the satisfaction I get when I see their glowing eyes, while they do something new such as learning to read or effectively expressing their imaginations through a sketch with wavering pencil strokes. The teacher’s enthusiastic yet peaceful demeanor is reflected in the classroom. Children are great imitators. Their behavior is a reflection of the teacher’s conduct in Classrooms. I have also observed that due to my inclination towards music, the children of my class developed a natural orientation and liking towards jingles and prayers. They eagerly wait every day to sing the National Anthem.
Class Control is another important aspect of teaching especially when you are handling small children. I have experimented with the strategy of using story as an effective tool. Instead of asking them to be quietly seated, it is better to start with a story appropriate to their age group and having a moral. As children start listening, they become quiet and slowly get seated in their place. It only takes a minute to win over the kids and once you have succeeded, teaching becomes the best job in the world. Stories can be incorporated virtually into every areas of the curriculum.
With the little experience I have gathered working with these young children, I firmly believe that teachers are only facilitators. Rather than forcing the child to learn in a way which is desirable and suitable for us, we should create situations where the child can learn at his own pace., interpreting things in his own way. Once it so happened when I was interacting with a child during admission, where this little girl was given a picture of a flower to colour. A bowl full of mixed colour was lying on the table and the child was asked to pick up crayon from it. After 5mins or so seeing the child sitting quietly, I asked her why she was not colouring. She answered back that there was no red colour in the box. This incident shocked me. The child was taught that flower should be red only…her imagination, creativity was thwarted by us, the adults. Unknowingly we sometimes curb the spontaneity of the children for the sake of forced learning. We cease to become a facilitator.
Language does not always make much sense when we deal with these five-year-old kids. The everlasting bond with the teacher over a period of time helps the child to understand the gestures and facial expressions of their mentor. I smile when I am pleased, I make an angry face when they are naughty. Children can easily correlate with the expressions of the teacher.
The curriculum is a necessary raw material and warmth is the vital element for nurturing the growing saplings. I had a child in Mont 1 who was hyperactive and was not toilet trained as well. He was quite unaware of his belongings and could not follow even simple instructions. He used to run out of the class often. During day camp last year I remember I kept holding his hand all the while for safety. But after a year …with better understanding …regular interaction with the parent I did find out ways to engage him in the class in various ways., he is now totally toilet trained, understands instructions very well and with a little reminder he follows the class routine. This year during the day camp I was happy as he himself held my hand and said that ‘Mummy has asked me to be with you always’. He walks in a line now and takes additional responsibilities like distributing notebooks to fellow students, checking lines and discipline in the class.
So with the right attitude, abounding energy, patience and love, let’s help the children to sharpen their mental as well as physical abilities, guide them to discover their innate talents, arouse curiosity and broaden their horizon to flourish themselves as self-reliant members of the society.
I take this opportunity to thank our Principal Ms. Asha Prabhakar who entrusted me with this vital responsibility of nurturing the kids, making my journey as a Mont Teacher a joyful and fulfilling one with new avenues of learning.
THE FUNCTION OF EDUCATION IS TO TEACH ONE TO THINK INTENSIVELY AND TO THINK CRITICALLY… INTELLIGENCE PLUS CHARACTER–THAT IS THE GOAL OF TRUE EDUCATION.
Being a Social Science teacher, and all that it entails, was good for me, and I think was also good for my students. The challenges, successes, failures and disappointments, were wonderful markers in my journey towards becoming a dedicated professional. Each part was important, for collectively they provided a basis for learning and improving, which are cornerstones for any professional teacher.
Being a Social Science teacher, and all that it entails, was good for me, and I think was also good for my students. The challenges, successes, failures and disappointments, were wonderful markers in my journey towards becoming a dedicated professional. Each part was important, for collectively they provided a basis for learning and improving, which are cornerstones for any professional teacher.
For many years, in addition to teaching social studies courses such as history, civics, economics and geography at the middle and secondary level, I have reached some conclusions about what it takes to teach this diverse subject area effectively. Social studies is about understandings, not skills. Ostensibly, these understandings will lead one to become just, compassionate, honest, and perhaps even curious about not just questions of "what," but also questions of "how" and "why." For the social studies, it can be pure magic in the hands of committed teachers, in order to make my lessons effective, I try to understand in more than one way the content of what I plan to teach. After many years of reflection, I strongly feel that the very best social studies teachers have an insatiable appetite for their subject area. It requires rearranging what we know. For example, I may thoroughly understand the events, chronology, and causes of the revolt of 1857, and may also have independently read several books about the revolt but that does not mean that what I "know" is in a form that a typical 6th, 8th, or 10th grader can readily understand. I would need to look at the specific curriculum that is supposed to be implemented and integrated with what I know with the objective of what is intended to be learnt by my students.
As a member of this heroic profession, I would like to share some moments about the hilarious, sweet, droll and occasionally clueless things my student’s do or say………After a few uninspired moments, an exasperated student raised his hand and said, ’Iceland is made entirely out of ice, so if global warming makes it so hot, it’ll melt into the ocean and everyone will drown……Around half of the class collapsed in hysterical laughter at this point. An eleven year old, after looking at the globe with a puzzled expression, asked where the moon was…….A fifteen year old exclaimed, why don’t the people living on the side of the earth fall off…….
I was once doing an exercise in geography where I would pronounce the country/ ocean/water body and I came across Czeckoslovakia and I had no idea how to pronounce it. In my flustered confusion, I tried and said, ’C ZEK O SLO VAKIA……..I THINK, and without hesitation everyone repeated C ZEK O SLO VAKIA……..I THINK. I lost it, and to this day I am pretty sure, they still don’t know why.
Teaching Social Studies presents teachers with a unique set of challenges not always found in other disciplines. In some ways, good social studies teaching rests on the ability to tell stories well. I feel, I am never at a loss to show or tell students something new, different, or interesting about what they are learning. Students tend to see Social Studies in general, and History in particular, as the subject matter that has the least relevance to their current lives and their future needs. And while a certain degree of cultural literacy and understanding of the past is a worthy goal, I have to concede that my students have a point. Students may enter our rooms asking, "when am I ever going to need this information?" It becomes my moral responsibility to help them understand that the lessons from the past can help the society take better decisions for a promising future.
It is far easier to focus on teaching students when there is less content to worry about. To do so, it becomes imperative that I as a social science teacher prioritize content. As I sit down to plan my next unit, I generally start by asking two questions: "What do I want my students to remember about this unit in ten years?" and "How can my students use the information and skills outside classroom?" The answers to these two questions then guide me through the assessments and lessons that my students will experience.
My job as a teacher is to inspire my students about the various aspect of the world, to help them see the role that they can play in making society more equal and more just, to express their ideas powerfully, to see that social studies is about real people's lives and about their relationship with each other and with nature. Creating a lively, playful, experiential curriculum about things that matter is more fun for students, and for me as a teacher, too. By "experiential," I mean that we need to show students the world, not just tell them about it. I strongly feel that we need a curriculum of role plays, simulations, and demonstrations that can bring social dynamics alive in the classroom. Let me not forget that our students' lives are also a part of social studies. Let us bring those lives into the curriculum. Issues of race, class, culture, gender, language, and nationality all play out in the broader society, and also in students' day-to-day experiences. Social studies is not just about famous people and Big Events, it's about my students and the choices they face every day. Let us find ways to blend their stories into the curriculum.
Arguably, the most pressing issue facing mankind is climate change. Me, as a Social studies teacher may not feel comfortable talking about atmospheric parts per millions of carbon dioxide, but this is my issue as much as it "belongs" to science teachers. The causes of the climate crisis, its social impact, proposals for its mitigation, and ultimately how we can create a world of ecological sanity--these are all social issues which need to be addressed in the right perspective and bring out the activist sensibility in my students.
While I am no expert on this subject, but I firmly believe in entering the profession as a scholar, an historian, an activist, a curricular artist -- not as a subordinate to some "official" curriculum established far away from our classrooms by self-interested parties.
In the end I would like to thank our principal, Mrs. Asha Prabhakar for reposing trust in my capabilities and providing me with the opportunity to evolve professionally and as a person.
I believe teachers do not only make you excel but they make you want to come to school. I still remember the day I entered BBPS Noida and had my first interaction with Ms. Asha Prabhakar, HM at that time. and her words that we have to create personas and persons that can fit beautifully into a globalised scenario. The canvas of teaching and learning is beautified by the joint efforts of teacher and the taught. It was February and I had to join in April and those two months I simply wanted to start working in this school. Since April 2004 I have come a long way and it has been a great journey. Over the years I have learnt and always had an unflinching faith in instilling a strong set of values in the students which will see them through the rigours of life. I make sincere efforts to ignite the young minds to be thinkers, communicators and reflective individuals who will be open minded, caring, balanced and well integrated wholesome individuals.
Writer Mortmer Alder said, “There are no teachers, only different degrees of learners.”
My experience says students learn quicker when they are attracted to a lesson and I remember while teaching about the Nervous system to class X, I was discussing the importance of brain and body co ordination, doing more and more of problem solving, Quiz, Solving Rubrics, Cubes, Jigsaw Puzzles to make brain cell active, Cases of Nervous disorders are rising and how painful it is not only for the patient but also for the entire family. Rajan stepped out of the class with me and shared with tears in his eyes that his mother is in coma for many years. Even today it gives me immense satisfaction that I could help him develop a new perspective of looking at life, could urge him to think, value and respect life.
Being In-charge of the Health and Wellness club I try and make constant efforts to involve our young people in a more active role, in making informed decisions and allowing them to shoulder more responsibilities. I consider Organ Donation Awareness Campaign as most challenging and innovative task taken up by health ambassadors of BBPS, Noida. While making efforts to make students, Staff and Parents understand the importance of this biggest donation, I did not realize when I myself got so motivated that I pledged my organs with ORBO at AIIMS, New Delhi. Response of the parents and Senior School students was also over whelming. Our enthusiasm remains at an all-time high with a zeal to excel in every endeavor we undertake in our quest for excellence.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mentor, our principal Ms. Asha Prabhakar to whom I always look for inspiration and guidance. She is the one who made me learn to make more concerted efforts in order to reach higher standards and face all the challenges in the right perspective.
I am a new member of BBPS family. I joined BBPS in April 2015 as TGT Maths. I have over four years of experience teaching classes 6th to 10th. Everyone learns from one’s own experiences but very few get the privilege of learning from other people’s experience. Bal Bharati gives us that chance to learn by other people’s experiences in the form of TEACHER TRAINING WORKSHOPS. Here we come across latest practices and innovations in the field of education under the guidance of experts. Here we share experiences with other teachers. In this beautiful journey of being a teacher in progressive school, Bal Bharati, I am learning new things each day.
In my college days, I used to read a lot of poems, short stories and many times lengthy novels too. But as I got busy with my life, this hobby took a side corner. From last few months I have started reading again. Credit goes to Our Principal Ma’am, Ms. Asha Prabhakar. Ma’am encourages us to be a good reader, same as we all expect from our students. It is really a good example of practice what you preach.
“One plus one equals two.” This is everyone’s first impression of Maths, at least what I believed Maths was all about during my school days. All through elementary and middle school, Maths to me was numbers and symbols, theories and equations, and formulas. Maths meant maintaining 90%, spending time every night solving equations or algebraic expressions, and studying for long hours. Maths stood as only a class in school, a subject that was required to be taken.
But this was only true in old days schooling. Now, we teach and learn Maths in altogether new way, in a progressive way. Take example of Pythagoras theorem which we all studied in class X. One can see a sea change in how we learnt and how students learn it today. We at BBPS try to integrate traditional as well as modern ways of teaching. To be in sync with the advancement in the field of education, we constantly upgrade ourselves through regular teacher training programs conducted at our training center.
My approach towards teaching or learning Maths has been “think out-of-the box.” Always try a different approach. In our school times, the concept of “Maths lab” was unheard of. But now, it’s an integral part of every school’s infrastructure. All thanks to some out of the box thinking coupled with technological advancement in learning aids.
There is nothing better than working on a tricky puzzle and then solving it. Maths is a journey and there are always new things to discover and learn, and it will never stop to amaze you how beautifully it all fits together. Much of fun is in learning newer things, mastering newer methodologies, and solving newer puzzles.
Maths acts as a way of looking at the world, a way of confronting problems that are significant, and a way of thinking that most of people enjoy. And anyway, it is just fun: what other subjects are about solving puzzles?
Maths is not about reading pages ... it is about building concepts in your mind. It is important to learn about a topic at a time, make sure that you understand it, and then do plenty of exercises so you become an expert. If you skip past a single section, then rest of the section may not make sense. You might get confused, frustrated, and you will start to hate the subject. The remedy?
- Get back to wherever it made sense
- then move forward again,
- do plenty of practical training like solving questions
…and you will soon be……back on track.
Mathematics is your friend. If you meet it every day, it becomes your best friend. If you leave it for a time, it forgets you and you forget it. Using it is so very important! Answering any questions helps you organize the ideas in your mind.
Working neatly helps you think clearly and also gives good mental habits. Always have pride in your work, even if it may go into the trash later. Mathematics challenges one’s mind, and that is what makes it fun. You don’t need special type of tools, lakhs of rupees, or lots of people. You just need your mind.
So enjoy Maths and have fun!!!
As teachers, we are in constant pursuit of better ways to impart knowledge and spark the flame of curiosity in our students. This mission to improve our teaching practice drives our personal and professional growth. I have been a science teacher for a number of years and would like to identify some of the characteristics of high quality teaching and learning in the sciences.
“When you hear a police siren coming towards you, when you look in your rearview mirror, when you look through your glasses, when you see a rainbow, when you throw a ball – they are all represented and explained by Physics.”Teaching Physics has always been a challenging task for me and at the end of every class I look forward to gauging the understanding quotient in the students. Unlike the other subjects like Chemistry and Biology, Physics has somehow acquired a reputation of being the tougher subject, amongst the student community. I suppose one reason could be that Mathematics forms an integral part of the subject in the form of ‘numericals’ and ‘derivations of various laws’ which forms a daunting fifty percent of a question paper. Thus students who suffer from the number phobia stand at a disadvantage. The other reason that I can think of is, that it is highly conceptual and application based and therefore requires a great deal of attention and focus for better comprehension. Thus as teachers, we need to encourage active engagement and emphasize understanding of the content, rather than rote memorization of facts. Another thing that is ambiguous about the subject and hinders understanding is that it makes use of a few assumptions. For example while conducting a lesson on ray diagrams concerned with the formation of images by mirrors and lenses, the reflected and the refracted rays are assumed to meet at infinity where the image is formed. But parallel lines never meet – that’s what they learn in Maths! Also the concept of virtual images is left to imagination!
Experiments and Practicals must form an inseparable part of teaching science. Students never fail to feel amazed and thrilled to witness the sunny blue copper sulphate solution turn to envious green of iron sulphate inside the test tube. The warm test tube held in the hand further surprises them as they learn to distinguish between endothermic and exothermic reactions. Teachers need to provide an environment in which learners can acquire ideas, inquiry skills, and positive attitudes toward science.
Teachers must strive to find ways for students to relate science to the world outside of the classroom and to make connections to their own lives, to their interests, and to their futures. A little incident that I continue to share with friends and would like to share it with you too. Teaching class VI graders can be very rewarding sometimes. That’s the age when children are most impressionable and gullible and ready to absorb everything like sponges. The function of the kidneys and its importance in the human body had been elaborately explained to the students. The importance of drinking enough water to flush out the toxins from the kidneys and emptying the urinary bladder when required without postponing the activity was emphasized. I do notice that often children do not pay attention to these requirements. Just to hold their attention a little longer, I went on to explain to them at length, the medical process of dialysis which is carried out for patients with compromised kidneys or complete kidney failure. I was equipped to do so since I had gathered enough knowledge about it when my mother -in- law was undergoing the treatment. As I finished, their jaws fell and there was pin drop silence. The next moment was dramatic. Fifty percent of the students reached out for their water bottles and the other fifty percent wanted to visit the toilets. The lesson had been well understood I gathered, much to my amusement! Relating teaching to the outside world definitely makes an impact on the minds of children and makes teaching worthwhile! Learning becomes real and lifelong.
Linking scientific concepts and processes with prior learning in science and other disciplines is very useful. Students need to be made fully aware of what they know and what they don't know. This can often be accomplished by requiring students to summarize what they have learnt. Alternatively, the use of a "sample test" or a "pre-test" can be used to help students become more aware of what they know.
Effective management enables the teacher to focus on teaching and learning rather than on regulating bad behavior.
Fieldtrips to the outdooreducation centers make learning concrete, help learners relate to scientific concepts and therefore should be carried out frequently. Construction of models reinforces the concept further and makes learning exciting.
Over the years, I have realized that understanding of any subject has a lot to do with the aptitude of the student. Aptitude for a particular subject, which is an inherent quality helps to generate interest in the subject, enhance performance and later becomes the basis of his career choice and a successful career. Choice of subject should be subjective and should never be imposed upon the child by anybody. Parents and teachers often confuse this issue with guidance. Such a practice often leads to making the wrong career choice and frustration in the individual. Teachers have a huge responsibility on their shoulders in shaping the future of the child and the nation. I strive each day to carry out this responsibility with utmost sincerity. At the end I would like to thanks our Principal Ms. Asha Prabhakar for the constant support and valuable guidance.
‘Mathematics possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty ---- a beauty cold and austere, like that of Sculpture’ --- Bertrand Russel
It has been 15 years of Mathematics teaching, not only enjoying the beauty of the subject but also exploring innovative teaching methodologies. By teaching Mathematics from class VI- X, I had an opportunity to interact with different levels of minds. Students with genuine difficulties struggle with basic facts answer impulsively, struggle with mental calculations and have poor number sense.
From my experience of teaching Mathematics, I believe that creating interest about the topic should be the first task before introducing the same in the class. Once this goal is set, the process of teaching and learning would go smoothly. Introduction of a practical application of genuine interest should be done in the class at the beginning of a topic. In a country where nearly fifty percent children drop out of school during the elementary stage of education, Mathematics curricula cannot be grounded only on preparation for higher secondary and university education. One of the main goals of Mathematics education in schools is to develop logical thinking.
Homework plays an important part in learning. Homework, which leads students to practice past lessons or prepare future lessons, are more effective than those going over today's lesson. Students benefit from feedback.
With the implementation of Maths Lab concept, students can experience hands on activity for a better understanding of the concept. Through trying out new activities and working in different ways, then reflecting on the lesson and analysing how well students have learnt, we can develop the best methods for our students. In our Maths lab, we do display the best projects/models to motivate the other students to come up with innovative ideas for the same.
I believe that teaching and learning would be completed only if the students can apply their ideas and skills to different contexts and correlate the topic with daily life situation. We can work on problems within mathematics and use it as a tool to solve problems in various branches of Science and Technology. Mathematics can describe and it can also predict what might happen. I do my level best to create such inter-disciplinary curiosity in the minds of the students during my classroom teaching.
Apart from teaching it is necessary to establish a set of ground rules with students in the class room. Students need to know what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable in the classroom. It is our moral responsibility to educate the students about the basic discipline to be followed for a smooth functioning of any institution. We should aim for holistic development of the student.
Being the CCE Coordinator of the school for the last few years, working closely with many CBSE related activities, registration of students, mark uploading, evidence sending, etc gave me an opportunity to know the technicalities and working of CBSE system.
During this long association with my school, I was fortunate enough to explore many other areas other than teaching and got opportunities to attend many workshops conducted by intellectual people from disciplines which help me to equip myself with latest innovations in the field of education.
जीवन के इस मुकाम पर पहुँचकर जब मैं विचार करती हूँ कि गतवर्षों में मैंने क्या अर्जित किया तो अनायास ही बालभारती विद्यालय का एक चित्र मेरे मनमस्तिष्क में घूमने लगता है । इस विद्यालय से मेरा नाता लगभग सत्रह वर्ष पुराना है जब छठी व सातवीं कक्षा के छोटे-छोटे बच्चे मेरे आसपास होते थे । विद्यालय में मेरा पहला दिन – पाँचवी कक्षा के अबोध बालक , चंचल आँखों में केवल उल्लास और शिक्षिका के पास ही रहने की चाह लेकिन समय पंख लगाकर कब बीत गया, पता ही न चला और आज़ उसी कक्षा की एक प्यारी सी छात्रा अक्सर प्रातः मेरे साथ शिक्षिका के रुप में विद्यालय परिसर में प्रवेश करती है और उसका अभिवादन अन्य सभी छात्रों के प्रति मेरे प्यार व उत्साह को चारगुना कर देता है ।
आज़ के बच्चों को प्रत्येक कदम पर विभिन्न चुनौतियों का सामना करना पड़ता है । छात्रों को उनकी सभी शैतानियों , समस्याओं और शंकाओं का समाधान कराकर अपने लक्ष्य की प्राप्ति की ओर अग्रसर करने मे अभिभावकों के साथ-साथ शिक्षिका के रुप में मैं अपार हर्ष व संतोष का अनुभव करती हूँ ।थो़ड़े शान्त, थो़ड़े वाचाल और अनुशासन का पालन न करने वाले बच्चों को प्यार व आत्मीयता के साथ उनकी समस्या के समाधान करने और अनुशासन का महत्त्व समझाकर एक अच्छा विद्यार्थी बनाने का सतत प्रयास मुझे नवचेतना प्रदान करता है ।
यदि मैं स्वयं के बारे में विचार करूँ कि मैंने क्या सीखा तो अनगिनत स्मृतियाँ मेरे मानसपटल पर तैरने लगती हैं । सर्वप्रथम तो वार्षिकोत्सव का वह नाटक जिसके द्वारा मुझे अभिनय के सूक्ष्मबिंदुओं को समझने का अवसर मिला । आज़ भी जब यदा-कदा “ नाटक “ आम्रपाली ”की चर्चा की जाती है तो मैं प्रधानाचार्या महोदया का ही धन्यवाद करती हूँ कि उन्होनें मुझे यह अवसर दिया क्योंकि उन्हीं बिन्दुओं का प्रयोग कर के अन्य गतिविधियों में छात्रों का मार्गदर्शन करना सम्भव हो रहा है । विद्यालय में एक बार “ Inter Unit Bal Bharati Meet” का आयोजन किया गया । मुझे बाल भारती परिवार के सभी अतिथियों के खान-पान की व्यवस्था का दायित्व सोंपा गया । सभी छात्रों और शिक्षकों के लिए सुबह के नाश्ते से रात के भोजन तक का आयोजन करना और उनकी दैनिक आवश्यकताओं की पूर्ति करना मेरे लिए अत्यन्त सुखदायक था । न समय का ध्यान और न घर जाने की जल्दी । यह भी एक अपूर्व अनुभव था ।
कम्प्यूटर पर हिन्दी लिखना भी एक बड़ी चुनौती था लेकिन प्रधानाचार्या महोदया के प्रोत्साहन द्वारा मैं यह कार्य करने में सक्षम हो सकी हूँ। शुरु में कुछ भी लिखना अच्छा नहीं लगता था लेकिन आज सब कुछ सहज हो गया है । जीवन के कुछ अनुभव तो आज़ भी नया काम करने की प्रेरणा देते हैं । विद्यालय के छात्रों की पहली बोर्ड परीक्षा का परिणाम आने का दिन । छात्रों के साथ- साथ मेरे मन में भी घबराहट थी लेकिन विद्यालय में प्रवेश करते ही छात्रों के मुख की प्रसन्नता ओर आकर गले मिलना बिना शब्दों के सब कुछ स्पष्ट कर रहा था । यह सुखद अनुभूति आज़ भी मेरे मन के किसी कोने में सुरक्षित है । बच्चे मन के अत्यन्त पवित्र होते हैं । जुलाई मास की ही बात है - मैं सातवीं कक्षा में हिन्दी पढ़ाने के लिए जा रही थी कि अचानक किसी बच्चे के पैर से उलझकर मैं गिर पड़ी ।अस्पताल जाने पर पता चला कि एक घुटने की हड्डी टूट गई है । घुटने की हड्डी टूटना शारीरिक और मानसिक दोनों रुप से कष्टदायक था लेकिन ठीक होकर विद्यालय आने के बाद एक बच्ची के व्यवहार ने मेरा सारा कष्ट मानो समाप्त ही कर दिया । उस बच्ची का रो रोकर मिलना और बार – बार मेरी कुशलता पूछना मेरी संचित की गई अनमोल पूँजी है क्योंकि एक बच्चे का सच बोलना ओर मेरे पास अपनत्व की भावना से आना ही मेरे द्वारा दी गई वास्तविक शिक्षा है ।
हमारी संस्कृति संस्कृत पर ही आश्रित मानी गई है । संस्कृति के आदर्शों और नैतिक मूल्यों को व्यावहारिक जीवन में प्रयोग करने मे संस्कृत की प्रमुख भूमिका है । श्लोकों द्वारा जीवन के प्रारम्भिक वर्षों में ही बच्चे मूलमन्त्रों को जानने व समझने में सक्षम हो जाते हैं। संस्कृत कक्षा में बच्चों का उत्साह व भाषा में रुचि उनको देश के प्रति अपने कर्तव्यों का बोध भी कराने में समर्थ है क्योकि वेद और अन्य प्राचीन ग्रन्थ भी संस्कृत में ही लिखे हैं इसीलिए संस्कृत पढ़ने पढ़ाने में मुझे गर्व का अनुभव होता है । आजकल तो विदेशों में भी संस्कृत भाषा को विशेष महत्त्व दिया जा रहा है ।
अपने विचारों की श्रृंखला को बाधित करते हुए मैं ये भीबताना चाहती हूँ कि शिक्षिका का जीवनवटवृक्ष पर बने एक घोंसले के समान है जिस पर पक्षी के समान भिन्न – भिन्न स्वभाव के छात्र आकर बैठते हैं , अपने पंखो को फैलाकर उड़ना सीखते हैंज्ञान अर्जित करते हैं और नैतिक मूल्यों के साथ सुसंस्कृतहोकर निर्धारित लक्ष्य को प्राप्त करने में समर्थ हो जाते हैं ।
‘‘निज भाषा उन्नति करे , सब उन्नति को मूल।
बिन निज भाषा ज्ञान के , मिटै न हिय को शूल।।’’
बाल भारती पब्लिक स्कूल , नौएडा के साथ मेरा संबंध आज लगभग तेरह वर्ष पुराना हो गया है। 01 अप्रैल , 2003 मैंने टी. जी. टी. ( हिंदी ) शिक्षिका के रूप में कार्यभार संभाला। इस लंबे समय में मैंने बहुत-से खट्टे-मीठे अनुभव प्राप्त किए जो मैं आप सभी के साथ साझा करना चाहती हॅूं। हिंदी-भाषा-शिक्षिका के रूप में मेरा सदैव यही सद्प्रयास रहता है कि शिक्षण के दौरान मैं प्रत्येक छात्र के अनछुए भावनात्मक पहलुओं को झंकृत कर सकॅूं। चॅूंकि विद्यालय के अधिकतर छात्र हिंदी भाषा-भाषी क्षेत्रों से ही आते हैं , वे साहित्य के माध्यम से जीवन की अनमोल सीख सहज रूप से ग्रहण कर पाने में सक्षम होते हैं। अत: मेरी सदा से ही यह कोशिश रहती है कि साहित्य-शिक्षण के दौरान कक्षा में चित्रात्मक-दृश्य रच दिया जाए , जिससे छात्र गद्य एवं पद्य पाठों के विभिन्न पात्रों के साथ भावनात्मक रूप से जुड़ जाएं। ‘ पर्वत प्रदेश में पावस ‘ कविता उन्हें किसी पर्वतीय स्थान पर स्थानांतरित करके उन्हें वर्ष की नन्हीं-नन्हीं बूंदों से भिगो जाए और ‘ धूल ‘ तथा ‘कीचड़ का काव्य ‘ सरीखे नीरस गद्य पाठों में वे ‘धूल’ और ‘कीचड़’ जैसी हीन वस्तुओं का महात्म्य भी आत्मसात कर सकें और जीवन की वास्तविकता से सहज ही परिचित हो जाएं। कक्षागत चर्चा-परिचर्चा के दौरान छात्रों के साथ-साथ कितनी ही बातें मैं आज भी सीख रही हॅूं जिसे शब्दों में शायद ही पिरोया जा सके। हर दिन एक नया दिन होता है जो अपने साथ एक नया अनुभव लेकर आता है।
विद्यालय की रचनात्मक गतिविधियों और हिंदी-विभाग का एक विशेष संबंध है। विभिन्न प्रकार अंतर्सदनीय एवं अंतर्विद्यालयी गतिविधियॉं अपने साथ नित नए अनुभव लेकर आती हैं। इसके अतिरिक्त वार्षिकोत्सव पर एवं वार्षिक हिंदी-नाटक के रूप में दर्शाए जाने वाले विभिन्न नाटकों जैसे ‘आम्रपाली’ , ‘ताना-रीरी’ , ‘मीराबार्इ’ , ‘अभिज्ञान-शाकुंतलम्’ आदि के लिए विभिन्न प्रकार के कार्य करना सर्वथा ही एक रोमांचकारी अनुभव रहता है। मंच-सज्जा हेतु झोंपड़ी , दरवाजे , मदरसे आदि की दीवारें तैयार करना , दीये , फूल-माला , रस्सी , खिलौने आदि की खरीदारी करना तथा छात्रों के परिधान के लिए तलवार , बरछी , भाले आदि का इंतजाम करना - ये वे सभी कार्य हैं जिन्हें बड़ी बारीकियों से पूरा करके जब छात्रों को दर्शकों के सामने मंच पर उतारा जाता है तो ये नाटक उत्कृस्ट कलाकृति का नमूना सिद्ध होते हैं। अब तो ऐसा लगने लगा है कि प्रत्येक वर्ष होने वाले ये नाटक मेरे व्यक्तित्व का एक अटूट हिस्सा बन चुके हैं। इनकी चर्चा करते समय मैं अपना एक अनुभव आपके साथ साझा करना चाहती हॅूं - नाटक ‘अॅंधेर नगरी चौपट राजा’ में फॉंसी के दृश्य के लिए मोटी-सी रस्सी की आवश्कता थी। दुकान में खड़ी अपनी सहयोगी अध्यापिका के साथ मैं चर्चा कर रही थी कि फॉंसी के लिए पतली नहीं मोटी रस्सी चाहिए तो दुकानदार ने कहा ,’’ मैडम जी! मैं रस्सी नहीं बेचॅूंगा , आप तो अजीब-सी बातें कर रहीं हैं। बस , हमारी तो हॅंसी छूट गर्इ और असलियत जानने पर वह भी मुसकुराए बिना न रह सका। बस! मेरी यही ख्वाहिश है कि यह सिलसिला साल-दर-साल यॅूं ही चलता रहे।
पिछले वर्ष मुझे अवसर मिला रामकृष्ण-मिशन’ द्वारा चलाए गए ‘Awakened Citizen Programme’ हेतु प्रशिक्षण प्राप्त करने का , जो गत वर्ष सातवीं कक्षा में और इस वर्ष आठवीं कक्षा में करवाया जा रहा है। छात्रों के साथ निर्दिष्ट विषयों पर चर्चा-परिचर्चा करते हुए मैंने स्वयं भी यह महसूस किया है कि यदि एक बार ठान लिया जाए तो जीवन में कुछ भी असंभव नहीं है।
इस वर्ष मैंने एक नर्इ चुनौती को स्वीकारने का सद्प्रयास किया है - वह है BBAC , सोलन संयोजिका का। अभी तक पूर्व संयोजिका के साथ इस विषय पर चर्चा-परिचर्चा होती रहती थी और जब इस वर्ष मैंने अपना नाम सोलन-संयोजिका के रूप में देखा तो मन के किसी कोने में कहीं-न-कहीं एक अनजाना-सा डर था , परंतु जैसे-जैसे मैं इस कार्य को करती गर्इ तो महसूस हुआ कि यह सर्वथा ही एक रोमांचकारी चुनौती है। इसके लिए मैं धन्यवाद देती हूं - पूर्व सोलन-संयोजिका का , जो कदम-कदम पर मेरा मार्गदर्शन कर रही हैं।
अंत में मैं आभार प्रकट करना चाहॅूंगी प्रधानाचार्या महोदया श्रीमती आशा प्रभाकर जी का जिन्होंने सदैव ही मुझ पर अपना विश्वास बनाए रखा और नर्इ-नर्इ मंजिलों को पाने के अवसर प्रदान किए।
‘‘कभी महक की तरह गुलों से उड़ते हैं हम ,
कभी धुएं की तरह पर्वतों से उड़ते हैं हम ,
परों से नहीं हौसलों से उड़ते हैं हम ।
बाल भारती परिवार से जुड़े आज मुझे पंद्रह वर्ष बीत चुके हैं ऐसा लगता है मानो कल की ही बात हो । तब विद्यालय सातवीं कक्षा तक था , इस प्रकार बच्चों के अनुभवों के साथ-साथ मैंने भी बहुत कुछ सीखा । हिंदी विषय पढ़ाना सदा से ही मेरे लिए रुचिकर रहा है क्योंकि यह हमारी मातृभाषा है जिसे हम बोल तो सकते ही हैं साथ ही साथ महसूस भी कर सकते हैं जैसे माँ को यह बताने की आवश्यकता नहीं कि वह अपने बच्चों से कितना प्यार करती है उसी तरह यह बताने की आवश्यकता नहीं कि हम भी अपनी माँ यानि मातृभाषा से कितना प्रेम करते हैं अतः बच्चे भी इसे पढ़ना पसंद करते हैं और अल्प समय में ही आत्मसात करके अपना लेते हैं । जिस प्रकार अंधकार को दूर करने का साधन प्रकाश है उसी प्रकार व्यक्ति के सभी संशयों और भ्रमों को दूर करने का साधन शिक्षा है । इसी सिद्धांत को अपनाते हुए मैंने भी बच्चों की सोच को सकारात्मक बनाने का भरपूर प्रयास किया व हिंदी में उनकी रुचि को गंभीरता प्रदान की तथा बच्चों की इस सोच को बदला कि हिंदी आगे चलकर किसी काम नहीं आएगी बच्चों के मन में बसी इस सोच को जिसने उन्हें जकड़ रखा था तथा हिंदी पढ़ने , समझने व रुचि बढ़ाने में बाधा का कार्य कर रहा था मैंने बदलने का प्रयास किया व विषय से उनका भावात्मक रिश्ता जोड़ा क्योंकि हिंदी विषय शिक्षा की वह मूल शाखा है जिसके बिना वृक्ष फलों व फूलों से नहीं पल्लवित नहीं हो सकता ।
हमें अपनी महान संस्कृति व परंपराओं को नहीं भूलना चाहिए क्योंकि ये परंपराएँ ही हमें नैतिक बल प्रदान करती हैं और हमें जीवन के ऊँचे मूल्य अपनाने के लिए प्रेरित करती हैं , सादगी और उच्च विचार ही इसके मूल आधार हैं । कविताओं के माध्यम से वाचन-कौशल के महत्त्व का आभास विद्यार्थी को होता है , स्वरों का उतार-चढ़ाव , भावों की गहराई को समझने की परख पद्य के माध्यम से ही होती है । कविताओं , दोहों आदि को हिंदी भाषा के माध्यम से गाकर पढ़ाना बच्चों को आकर्षित तो करता ही है तथा साथ ही साथ विषय से गहरा रिश्ता भी जोड़ता है । हिंदी साहित्य को प्रकृति व समाज के साथ जोड़कर समझाना ही श्रेयस्कर रहता है तथा उन्हें पाठ के संदर्भ में समय-समय पर आवश्यकतानुसार मुहावरों व लोकोक्तियों के माध्यम से सिखाने से छात्र उत्साह व जोश से परिपूर्ण ही नहीं हो उठते बल्कि उनका अर्थ जानने के लिए भी बेचैन हो उठते हैं तथा उनका परिस्थिति के अनुसार प्रयोग भी करना चाहते हैं ।
साहित्य व रंगमंच का नाता तो बहुत पुराना है अतः नाटक को अभिनय के माध्यम से पढ़ाने से छात्र स्वयं को नाटक का पात्र व उससे जुड़ा हुआ महसूस करते हैं , उनकी अभिनय क्षमता का विकास होता है तथा उन्हें रंगमंच की संपूर्ण जानकारी भी मिलती है । इसी बात पर मुझे याद आते हैं नवीं कक्षा के मानस व मेहुल जो हिंदी में फॉरमेटिव गतिविधि देने में हिचकिचाहट महसूस कर रहे थे और पूरी कक्षा की गतिविधि संपन्न हो जाने पर भी गतिविधि देने को तैयार न थे । “ मैम सब बच्चे हमारा मज़ाक उड़ाएँगे , नहीं मैम ये हँसेगे , पहले आप इन सब से कह दो कि ये हँसे नहीं । ” बहुत समझाने पर वे गतिविधि देने को तैयार हो गए । मानस ने रामदेव का अभिनय किया व मेहुल ने लालू प्रसाद का । गतिविधि पूरी हो जाने पर मैंने उन्हें सभागार भेजा और कहा कि उमेश मैम से कहना कि हमें रजनी मैम ने भेजा है । थोड़ी ही देर के पश्चात् वे दोनों वापिस आ गए और प्रसन्नचित्त मुद्रा में कहने लगे मैम हमारा चुनाव वार्षिकोत्सव के नाटक के लिए हो गया है , उमेश मैम को हमारा अभिनय बहुत अच्छा लगा । जब तक वे विद्यार्थी स्कूल में रहे तब तक किसी न किसी नाटक में अभिनय करते हुए दिखते , वे मुझे देख कर हँस देते , उनकी वह हँसी शायद धन्यवाद कह रही थी ।
आज से दो वर्ष पूर्व मुझे रात के नौ बजे एक महिला का फोन आया , मेरे हैलो कहने पर वह बोली “ मैम मैं आयूषी खन्ना की मम्मी बोल रही हूँ , मुझे आप से कुछ मदद चाहिए । ” मैंने कहा “ ठीक है , बताइए कि क्या काम है ? ” वे कहने लगी कि “ कल आयूषी का मैत्री कॉलेज में नाटक के आधार पर दाखिला होना है और उसे बूढ़ी काकी का अभिनय करना है , आपने उसे एक बार स्कूल में सिखाया था और वह द्वितीय स्थान पर भी आई थी । आप मुझे उसका कथानक लिखवा दीजिए । ” जो मैंने लिखवा तथा समझा दिया । एक सप्ताह के पश्चात् उनका दोबारा फोन आया और वे कहने लगी “ मैम आपकी स्टूडेन्ट का मैत्री कॉलेज में दाखिला हो गया है आपको बहुत बहुत मुबारक व धन्यवाद ! ” मैंने कहा कि “ उसका अच्छे कॉलेज में दाखिला हो जाना ही मेरे लिए धन्यवाद के समान है ।”
जीवन में बहुत सी ऐसी बातें होती हैं जो बच्चों के साथ-साथ हमें भी बहुत कुछ सिखा देती हैं । हिंदी की टाइपिंग सीखने में मुझे कॉफी समय लग गया तथा उसकी गति बनाने में भी कक्षा में पढ़ाते समय जब मैंने नेत्रहीन छात्रा द्वारा कंप्यूटर में लिखी अशुद्धियों को ठीक करके उन्हें पुनः टाइप किया तो उस छात्रा ने पूछा , “ मैम ! आपको भी हिंदी टाइपिंग आती है और वह भी यही वाला फॉन्ट ! ” उसके चेहरे पर आई चमक मुझे बहुत कुछ कह गई , उस समय मुझे विद्यालय द्वारा सिखाई गई टाइपिंग पर गर्व की अनुभूति हुई कि विद्यालय ने मुझे इतने वर्षों में बहुत कुछ दिया है जिनमें से एक यह भी है । सभी को एक समान समझना ही शिक्षिका का कर्तव्य है । दक्षिण भारत से आए बच्चों के हिंदी में कम अंक आने पर उनका उत्साह बढ़ाना उनमें आत्मविश्वास की भावना का विकास करने से प्रगति की राह उनके लिए और भी आसान हो जाती है । बच्चों को कठिन शब्दों का उच्चारण उनके अर्थ के माध्यम से सिखाना तथा उन्हें श्यामपट्ट पर लिखना , हिंदी के पत्र-पत्रिकाओं को पढ़ने की प्रेरणा देना तथा यह समझाना कि हिंदी उनके करियर के रूप में किस प्रकार सहायक व उपयोगी सिद्ध हो सकती है । ग्यारहवीं कक्षा में वे हिंदी विषय क्यों लें ? इस विषय पर विस्तृत जानकारी देने से उसका चमत्कारी प्रभाव आज हम सभी देख ही सकते हैं ।
हिंदी एक भाषा है अतः भाषा को रटने के स्थान पर समझना तथा अपने शब्दों में लिखना ही उचित व सर्वश्रेष्ठ रहता है । कक्षा में चर्चित बिंदुओं के अतिरिक्त बिंदु भी जो पाठ से संबंधित है , ठीक हैं उन्हें रटने की नहीं , बल्कि सोचने , समझने व महसूस करने की आवश्यकता है । ये सभी बातें उन्हें हिंदी से जोड़ती हैं , उन्हें भाषा को महसूस करना सिखाती हैं , बोझ समझना नहीं ।
अंत में मैं यही कहना चाहूँगी कि मेरी प्रेरणा विद्यालय की प्रधानाचार्या श्रीमती आशा प्रभाकर के महान व्यक्तित्व को शब्दों में नहीं बाँधा जा सकता जिनके प्रयासों से ही आज विद्यालय सर्वश्रेष्ठ विद्यालयों की श्रेणी में गिना जाता है । उनके जीवन का एक –एक क्षण प्रेरणादायक है जिससे मैंने भी प्रेरणा ली तथा बहुमूल्य सिद्धांत ग्रहण किए उनके जीवन के आदर्श व सिद्धांत युवा पीढ़ी के लिए प्रेरणास्रोत रहेंगे ।
हँसें , मुस्कुराएँ , गाएँ ,
बाल भारती , नौएडा परिवार की सदस्या तथा विद्यालय में संस्कृत शिक्षिका के रूप में कार्य करते हुए चौदह वर्ष कब पंख लगाकर बीत गए , पता ही न चला । अध्यापन के क्षेत्र में नित्य नए-नए अनुभवों का सामना करना होता है । अतीत की ओर दृष्टि घुमाकर देखती हूँ तो पाती हूँ कि मैं भी इसका अपवाद नहीं हूँ । प्रतिदिन ही कुछ खट्टे तो कुछ मीठे अनुभवों से मेरा भी सामना होता है।
संस्कृत में कहा गया है -
"आचार्यः कस्मात् ? आचार्यः आचारं ग्राहयति ।"
अर्थात् किस कारण से 'आचार्य ' कहलाता है ? क्योंकि आचार्य आचार-विचार तथा सद्व्यवहार सिखाता है । मेरा मानना है कि किसी भी मनुष्य के लिए सवप्रथम अपेक्षित गुण है - नैतिक मूल्य । यदि नींव दृढ़ है तो उस पर बना भवन भी चिरस्थाई बन सकेगा अन्यथा आँधी-तूफ़ान-वर्षा के थपेड़े उसे थोड़े ही दिनों में धराशायी कर देंगे । इसी प्रकार , यदि बच्चे का छात्र-जीवन नैतिक संस्कार , परिश्रम , अनुशासन तथा संयम में व्यतीत हुआ है , यदि वह अपने माता-पिता, गुरुजनों तथा बुजुर्गों साथ विनम्र रहा है तो निश्चय ही उसका भावी जीवन सुखद व सुन्दर होगा । इसी तथ्य को ध्यान में रखते हुए मेरा सदैव यह प्रयत्न रहा है कि विनम्रता, श्रद्धा, संयम, अनुशासन, परिश्रम तथा जिज्ञासा आदि से सम्बद्ध विविध उदाहरण व कथा-प्रसंग सुनाकर छात्रों में इन सद्गुणों का बीज बोया जाए , ताकि कालान्तर में इन बीजों का जब प्रस्फुटन हो तो उसकी दीप्ति से छात्र का भावी जीवन आलोकित हो सके ।
एक संस्कृत शिक्षिका के रूप में मैं आए-दिन अनुभव करती हूँ कि छात्रों तथा उनके अभिभावकों के मन में एक डर समाया रहता है कि संस्कृत अत्यन्त कठिन तथा दुरुह भाषा है । अपना बचपन याद करती हूँ तो पाती हूँ कि मेरा अनुभव भी इससे भिन्न नहीं था । अतः प्रारम्भ से ही मेरा यह प्रयत्न रहा है कि शब्द-रूपों व धातु-रूपों को याद करने , उपपद-विभक्तियों को समझने के लिए क्यों न अपने छात्रों के लिए कुछ उपाय तथा विविध आकृतियों से जुड़ी पहचान बना दूँ , क्यों न व्यावहारिक जीवन में घटित तथ्यों को संस्कृत से जोड़कर उनके समक्ष प्रस्तुत करुँ ताकि वे खेल-खेल में आसानी से उन्हें याद कर सकें । आज भी जब आठ-दस वर्ष पूर्व पढ़कर गए छात्रों के साथ बातचीत का अवसर प्राप्त होता है और वे इन पहचानों के बारे में बताते हैं तो गौरवान्वित अनुभव करती हूँ ।
अपने शिष्यों के साथ भावनात्मक सम्बन्ध स्थापित करना एक शिक्षक का परम कर्तव्य है । इसके परिणाम भी निश्चित रूप से आश्चर्यजनक व सुखद होते हैं । यह बात बताते हुए मुझे अपार हर्ष होता है कि न केवल श्रेष्ठतम अंक लाने वाले छात्रों के साथ अपितु कक्षा में स्तरानुकूल अंक न ला पाने वाले , निराश , हतोत्साहित अथवा संकोची स्वभाव वाले छात्रों के साथ भी इसके सुखद परिणाम मैंने अनुभव किए हैं । उचित समय पर सही प्रोत्साहन , प्यार की एक थपकी तथा निरन्तर मार्गदर्शन पाकर छात्र अपने अथक परिश्रम व बुद्धि-बल के द्वारा न केवल विद्यालय की परीक्षाओं में बल्कि जीवन की बड़ी से बड़ी कसौटियों पर खरे उतरते हैं ।
विद्यालय में हिंदी नाट्य-विभाग की निर्देशिका के रूप में कार्य करते हुए मैंने एक और महत्त्वपूर्ण बात का अनुभव किया है कि कुछ शर्मीले व संकोची स्वभाव वाले छात्र कक्षा में रचनात्मक गतिविधियों के प्रस्तुतीकरण के समय ऐसा शानदार अभिनय करते हैं कि मुख से अनायास ही वाह-वाह निकल पड़ता है और फिर उनकी प्रतिभा को पहचानकर विद्यालय के वार्षिकोत्सव पर होने वाले हिंदी नाटक अथवा वार्षिक हिंदी नाटक में भाग लेने के लिए उन्हें प्रोत्साहित किया जाता है तब उनकी प्रतिभा और निखर जाती है ।
डॉ0 निशि निगम
( प्रशिक्षित स्नातक शिक्षिका - संस्कृत / हिंदी )
It was on 03 Nov, 1991, when I stepped out from my house to fetch vegetables with a bag hanging on my shoulder. I reached Sector-21 Main Gate and from a distance I saw a board which read ‘Site for BalBharati Public School, Noida’ with the address of the Camp office at G-3, Sector – 25, Noida. I turned back and reached the above address, rang the door bell, one gentleman opened the door and I stepped in. I enquired about the vacancy in the admin department. To my surprise that gentleman happened to be the Founder Principal (Mr P Ghosh) of the School and it was his residence.
My approach impressed him as I candidly revealed my lack of familiarity with the place as we had migrated from Kashmir, leaving everything behind and even a small salary meant a lot to me as a Kashmiri migrant . The Principal promised that he would talk to the higher authorities and would soon send a message on my address. Around 03.00 p.m the same day the watchman of the school handed over a small chit to me sent by the Principal which read ‘You can join from tomorrow’ (04 Nov 1991). I was thrilled but at the same time I was also confused as to how I shall manage, single handedly the office.
It was 04 Nov, 1991 I joined the school @ Rs.60/- per day and on the first day itself I saw a long queue of parents waiting for registration forms for admission to Montessori I & II. I was briefed and guided by the Principal and started my work. Everyday I used to work on books of accounts and maintained them methodically.
In the mean time, interviews were conducted for Admission to Mont I & II classes by the staff of BBPS, BrijVihar. They selected 180 students for Mont I & II classes and thereafter the Teachers, Aayahs and one Peon was appointed and I felt great relief, as I had the company here at Noida.
I remember those tough days, I have gone through with one old typewriter, managing the whole office, collection of fees, attending the parents, managing the meetings and other jobs. At the same time, I am thankful to the parents who showed a lot of patience and gave unstinted support. Our school was inaugurated on 20 Apr 1992 by the then Chairman, Noida Authority, with 04 sections in Mont I and 02 sections in Mont II with 06 teaching Staff Members one Admin and one Peon. I still remember saplings being planted by small children, who are now well placed in their careers. Years rolled by and the school grew from a small unit to one of the best institutions in Noida with excellent infrastructure and facilities. As of now the school is counted amongst the top 10 schools of Noida.
This unprecedented growth of the school could not have been possible without the nurturing hands of the Child Education Society, School Managing Committee and the Parent body. The student at Bal Bharati Public School, Noida are honed in all respects be it Academics, Sports, Cultural Activities, Leadership, Personality Development and much more.
This rewarding span of time saw changes in leadership at BBPS(Noida): after working with Cmde P I Oommen for 7 years and Cdr S Bhattacharjee for 09 years and presently working with Mrs Asha Prabhakar, it has been quite a journey replete with learning experiences. Uprightness, Integrity and Honour have always been so impressively personified by each one of our leaders. It is indeed a pleasure and privilege to be the chosen one to have been associated with the school since its inception. I have grown with the school as well and feel proud of being a member of the Bal Bharati Pariwar. I believe with a positive attititude one can see the bright side of life, become optimistic and expect the best to happen.
During the enriching journey of more than seventeen years as a teacher at Bal Bharati Public School, Noida, when I look back, I feel it is not the journey of a teacher but of a learner. Yes, each new day has taught me something new here and it is a marvelous feeling of discovering something new each day, innovating and trying to incorporate the learning into practice. For a lay person it might appear that in a teaching job boredom sets in very soon and one tends to stagnate as you are teaching the same syllabus over and over again, year after year. Nothing could be far from the truth for I lead not a mundane life but a vivacious life filled with experiences.
Yes, maybe the syllabus is the same but the technological advancement, changing scenario and fresh goals compel the teachers to challenge themselves beyond the confines of classroom teaching. The wonderful, vibrant lot of children change every passing year and each child is unique. Be it a naughty troublemaker in the class or a quiet docile back-bencher; an attention seeker constantly disturbing the classroom procedure or a Mr Know-it-all who loves interrupting the teacher every few minutes. Just as each child is unique so is the way of dealing with each one of them. I remember a cute little girl in my class about fifteen years back who was very good at academics and almost all co-curricular activities.- a bubbly, charming personality and very chirpy. Perhaps the only thing she couldn’t do well was to wear her necktie properly. One day I called her to my table and taught her how to knot her tie. She watched me very intently and simply asked one question, “Madam, is this how you tie your husband’s tie?” I was taken aback and slightly offended too at this question. Later on, I came to know that she came from a broken home and missed a father- figure in her life terribly. With this I learnt a lesson – each teacher must know the family background of her students to be able to interact with them properly – only then can she be a friend, philosopher and guide in the true sense of the word.
The changing scenario in the field of education requires the student to move out of the confines of the classroom and discover himself as well as his surroundings. Keeping this in mind, the Child Education Society has set up a unique in house sports activity centre at Solan Himachal Pradesh with infrastructure for adventure sports activities. Students from all Bal Bharati units are sent throughout the year (excepting winter months) by rotation to attend adventure activities. Being the Solan Activity Centre Coordinator of the school for the past four years, sending batches of students to the Centre, taking their feedback and interacting with them, I realized how important experiential learning is for the holistic development of Gone are the days when an academic topper was considered the best student of the class. With the advent of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation, the entire emphasis is on holistic development which involves excellence in sports, visual and performing arts and other co-curricular activities. Realizing the importance of such activities has given a spurt to intra and inter-school activities at various levels, which work wonders so far as the blossoming of the personality of a child are concerned. They provide a platform for each and every student to showcase his/ her latent talent in some or the other field. Teachers discover this talent, hone it, whet it and present it to the world, thus facilitating the student to boost his confidence and performance level.
It is rightly said that children are like clay – they can easily be moulded the way we desire. During the formative and vulnerable years of school life a teacher has immense influence on the behavior pattern of a child. A teacher can help the child blossom into a marvelous personality or absolutely kill the spirit. We can shape their destinies with our love, support, concern and guidance. One wrong stroke and the entire personality can be marred. So the role of a teacher is one of tremendous responsibility and it needs to be taken conscientiously and be performed with total dedication. Only then can we be called the nation builders in the true sense of the word.
”Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” -Bill Gates
I started my teaching career in 1994 at Dewan Public School, Meerut, thereafter, I joined Bal Bharati Public School, Noida in 1998. In these 20 years of my teaching career, I have evolved as a teacher and as a professional. With the passage of time, there came an remarkable improvement in my teaching methodology as well as organizational skills- Thanks to the in service Programmes. Today, I have learnt to understand my students better and better and with a sense of responsibility inculcated within me I try helping my students in all possible ways, be it academics or at personal front.
Being a P.G.T-Computer Science is a challenging task as this is an ever changing subject due to the fast technological changes taking place worldwide. In fact the best part of being a Computer Science teacher is that the learning never stops. Today’s generation is very intelligent and focused, and of course technology is in their blood. Hence the teaching-learning is not one sided but a mutual learning process, where there is so much to learn from my own students about the latest applications and useful websites as they remain more updated on the same.
In spite of receiving professional training at various levels, a teacher generally practices a personal technique for teaching and class control. I always try my level best to make my teaching more interactive and enjoyable for my students. As my subject is completely application oriented, I do make extensive usage of examples to illustrate and make the students understand the logic behind each program. I am always open to listening and understanding the viewpoint of my students. It gives me immense satisfaction, when I see my students discussing a given problem and coming out with a logical solution on their own. Since my subject is an application oriented subject, more emphasis is always upon regular practice and verification of the logic during practical classes.
In class XI many students opt for this subject with lots of inhibition and some of them find programming very challenging. To make them feel comfortable with the subject, I ask them not to fear the errors in the program, since through these errors the students shall learn the forbidden paths and move towards success. Our failures are equally important and we take each failure into our stride, because all failures in the past have become important result oriented methods. This practice has really worked well and the feedback from students and parents has been overwhelming.
In school, under the able guidance of our mentor Mrs. Asha Prabhakar, I have been able to expand my horizon as a teacher by involving students in Olympiads, Departmental Exhibition, Annual Newsletter-InfoMag and various Intra and Inter School events. My training and involvement in various administrative activities such as handling Internal and External examinations and Time table preparation have further given a boost to my professional growth.
I will always remain thankful to my mentor principals and students for making me what I am today-A good teacher and a sincere professional.
Today at this point of time, I feel blessed to be a teacher. I feel fortunate to have worked with such a good set of people in all the institutions that I have been attached with and learnt a lot during this journey. My stint in Bal Bharati Public School NOIDA has indeed been a great learning experience. In this institution, under the able guidance and support of our Principal, I have learnt a lot, be it a class room situation or an extra-curricular activity.
I started my career as PGT Chemistry in 1998.Things was not easy for me. Teaching adolescents was never an easy option.But because of my commitment towards my job, as each day passed , I grew into an experienced and a mature teacher. I love my profession from the core of my heart. To put it simply I taught and I learnt. As time went by, I also learnt to handle many tasks at one time. It developed a lot of confidence in me .Now I can easily handle events smoothly in my personal life too.
While dealing with young minds, I try to understand their psychology. Although in such a long duration of experience many things have changed. Attitude and aptitude of students have undergone a complete change. Obviously I too stood the test of time and recognized my skills accordingly to the needs and challenges of my profession. I also learnt how to make boring chapters interesting for student by relating them to day to day life .Sometimes by giving examples of small incidences of life or sometimes by giving interesting examples.
It’s a universal truth that we all need some sort of motivation. I always try to motivate my students. Sometimes by using simple methods, like treating each student differently since they are different individuals with varied personalities or sometimes by using stern words if needed. They may not realize these things when they are with us but definitely they mention these efforts when they come back to meet us as yester years’ students .It will truly be an achievement if even a single child changes due to my words or motivation given.Though monetarily we are already getting paid but Ifeel this is my real earning for life.
I want to confess that I never wanted to be a teacher; I wanted to become a doctor. But as the years went by I realized that nothing could have been better than this for me.
Memories and experiences of my teaching career are plenty. Some of them are deeply imprinted in my mind some are not. But when old students come and show their gratitude with their words and body language, it gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction. An old student came to meet me and informed about her admission in D.U. I felt a great surge of pride when she mentioned that my efforts made a great impact on her and she has emerged wiser.
This profession has given me multifaceted exposure to each and every aspect involved with teaching. Whatever my shortcomings are, my endeavors are always to overcome them. Life is a continuous learning process. Each day presents an opportunity for learning. I fervently pray for the unstinted support of my friends, family and students alike. Now I conclude with the following lines;
‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you were to live forever.’
Scripting personal thoughts summarizing one’s journey, beliefs or ideology as an educationist is a task that evokes memories. It makes one emotional, introspect and wonder whether the nearly two decades of tender association with the young brigade has been worthwhile or not. Are the students just new experiments which are entrusted with us to transform into miraculous marvels? A natural expectation from all concerned. Being a parent myself, I can relate to the sense of despair and helplessness in not able to recognize any noticeable signs of formidable behavior. As a teacher, I remind myself that I am no machine for reciting lessons but is a psychologist, observer and a mother who has the insight and knowledge with an unfailing patience.
Over the years, one observation which has strengthened my beliefs is the irrevocable trust by the parents and children when they gradually begin to ascertain and understand your motives and intent. Everyone talks about leaving a better planet for our children. Why doesn’t anyone try to leave better children for our planet? My mind is packed with memories of kids who have left an impact. Be it the boy who was labeled as one who was known to pilfer and displayed open defiance in not acknowledging his foibles. Or the boy who would not be honest about his misdemeanors. But all it needed was a gentle assurance that they were no demons and it was alright to submit their confessions with a promise that it would not happen again.
The happy / exciting/ mischievous / suppressed emotions- all these are variables of an expressive canvas that one witnesses in different classes each day. I have consciously endeavored to make time to understand who these students are-- not who they wish they were and certainly not who they are supposed to be. And all along, it has emerged that the children are not just adults in the making. These are people whose current needs , rights and experiences must be taken seriously. And the strongest constituent in all this is COMMUNICATION. Children love to talk, to share and sometimes shock and disturb the edifice on which all rationale thought is built. How does one deal with it? We have to be there, to involve ourselves, to intervene, to reject the undesirable in them but most importantly embrace the child with all the dilutions in his personality.
Every PTM unfolds into a day of intense drama, confessions, accusations and finally an arbitrary promise to resolve the on-going crisis. Why does this happen? Its kind of disturbing to realize that this happens not because of the students because it is natural and normal to falter, to commit errors and not give credence to any sane advice. My belief is that it is US--the adults who need to assume responsibility. Our greatest weakness has been in giving up. Somewhere along the unchartered course of life, we have lost the patience, the zeal and our perseverance to keep the COMMUNICATION channel open despite all odds.
These are our children. They will engage us in unpleasant disputes, traverse and drag us to unfamiliar and very often frightening zones, make incessant & unrealistic demands, compare us to anything they can to win an argument but then for all this and even more they will STILL COME TO US. Let them. It is their right and our duty to take them in. Children will always be receivers and these recipients do not owe us any weight of gratitude. But if they recognize and understand that any form of counseling (COMMUNICATION) in their roller-coaster ride is only a noble intention suffused with love, then they will sooner or later definitely imbibe it. And we ,the adults must not always be looking at impromptu confirmation of our well-meaning intent. It is important to remember that it takes time and a prolonged silence for any creation to take shape. It is only destruction which is noisy and chaotic.
“Technology is just a tool in terms of getting the kids working together. However for motivating them, the teacher is most important.”
I am proud to be a part of this esteemed organization BBPS, Noida with the motto “HANSO NAYATU NA PRAGYAAM” which means “Oh great doyen of knowledge, take us towards illumination”. I too, always imparted education to my students keeping in view the motto of the school and have grown with the institution under the able guidance and support of our Principal, Mrs. A Prabhakar.
In 1997, when I joined BBPS, Noida as the first IT teacher of the school, Information Technology was taught as a subject wherein students were made familiar to the basic softwares and their usage, but now over the years teaching of Computer Science has evolved into an application based learning. Whenever we have a group discussion where students are made aware of new concepts like e-learning, e-books, on-line banking etc. –the indispensible tools and students show keen interest and participate enthusiastically. These days IT is in fact the oxygen which keeps all the subjects alive and thriving.
Technology is the mode through which a child is interacting with the world. The tech-savvy newborns also prefer to grow up with the mouse in their hand. While teaching my students, application based softwares like alice, corel draw, photoshop and visual basic. I have watched with delight how many students effectively use 3D animation, image manipulation, photo editing, graphic designing, text designing, form designing etc through latest softwares and their application.
An ongoing effort to make the students aware of the latest technology and gizmos and at the same time preparing them to be conscientious citizens of tomorrow and care for the environment and our mother earth by teaching them the ways of e-waste disposal like disposing them at appropriate places from where it can be recycled.
Apart from teaching middle school, our Principal Mrs. A Prabhakar, has also bestowed responsibility of teaching Entrepreneurship to Class XI this year. Being a Post Graduate in Commerce, I have been given a pedestal by our Principal wherein I can help my students beyond the horizon of teaching IT. Teaching is done through general interaction with students. Each student has opted for his/her own area of interest which he/she aspires to take up as a career. Students understand and analyse the subject keeping in view their own enterprise.
I teach the students in the age group of 11 to 14 years, the age wherein energy needs to be channelised in the right direction. This is the age where they are jack of all trades but do not know which one to master. A teacher becomes a navigator here. Children are at crucial crossroads wherein they need to be shown the right directions so that they get to know their potential and interest.
Every child is a bank of knowledge gifted but recognizing his true potential is essential as their areas of interest are different. Children get the appropriate platform as per their interest to enhance their areas of skill and technical know- how.
Besides being a good teacher, it is also necessary to analyze students’ capabilities. I would like to share an incident of Karan Raina, who was a quiet and shy child. He was an average student but I knew that the child was good at Hands On, I was hesitant to take him for competitions believing that there might be objection from his home front. But after observing his excellent performance in computer practical work, I persuaded his parents to provide their consent for sending their child for various IT interschool competitions. And ‘Lo and Behold’ thereafter the child bloomed in his practical work and was a winner in all IT competitions. To see my students at the zenith is my biggest achievement. Today, Karan is pursuing B.Tech and also developing apps for android and windows.
Thus, I would conclude that learning is not restricted to classroom teaching, It is how one performs in the world around that matters. At the end of the day who has gained the maximum knowledge and is ready to face the challenges in life is the winner. Thus a progressive, ever evolving environment is a perfect blend to gift the next generation in this savvy era.
I’m not sure what I would have been, had I not been an English teacher. I get accused of being ‘forever a teacher’, every waking hour of the day. After having taught for roughly two decades (eleven of them in the said institution) if I now sit cushy and proclaim that ‘I have been there anddone that’- then I am being simply presumptuous. Having safely traversed the middle, senior and secondary sections and survived to tell the tale,I can now surmise that what makes my journey worthwhile isn’t just my teaching time in classes but a precious connect with the student fraternity that allows me access into their personal space. Behind the bragging and the bluster, often hides a terrified child, scared of failure and reprimand. However, just a gentle bit of prodding and motivation is enough to get all the defenses and guards come crumbling down to terra firma.
Each year at Bal Bharati has brought fresh challenges. Be it an overtly emotional child prone to tearful displays at the slightest pretext or an intense kid with anger issues, a student lacking focus thus unable to retain concepts, a hyperactive child with an axe to grind against the whole world or even a kid with zero ambition and drive. These are just a few shades to name some but a single strand that binds them together is the burning desire to make an impact, get recognition and impress all.
I can personally vouch for the fact that no matter how difficult the child is or how intense or angry or disinterested he might be in the class, there will come a day when his talent and ability will surface, thus bringing to fore the concept of Multiple Intelligences.It is definitely a daunting task to get the child to believe that the final word in potential and aptitude isn’t just decided by displaying exceptional prowess in a few preferred subjects.
At this juncture I’m reminded of a student (let’s call him Ravi), who wished to join the thriving Dramatics group of the school with the fervent hope that perhaps theatre might teach him a smattering of English. Coming from a Hindi speaking background, this was a Herculean task that he had embarked on. From the day of his audition, when he fumbled and stumbled through a two lined bit role, till the time he mouthed Shakespearean soliloquys with the panache and finesse of a Broadway artiste, Ravi’s transformation has been a joy to behold. I also have a compelling memory of Mona(name changed) who was the eternal wallflower- shy, shrinking and cringing at even a hint of attention being directed towards her. Disaster struck the day she mustered courage to speak in the school’s assembly where she forgot every word that she had memorized by heart. However, after months of prodding and badgering, she ascended the stage yet again but this time she was confidence personified and the school gained a speaker par excellence.
My role as a teacher is cut out very clearly as a facilitator for students’ learning rather than a dispenser of knowledge. For me a structured classroom environment where student interaction and free flowing communication without letting the class sink into utter chaos is of paramount importance. An occasional spurt in role playing, histrionics and poetry interspersed with a generous dollop of humour successfully invigorates the young learners who occasionally suffer from low attention span.
I would like to sign off by sharing this thought that to make a difference in a young life takes work. It takes courage, patience, persistence and strength to remain positive in the face of adversity. At the end of my career asa teacher, when I shall look back, it will be with a sense of achievement at a job done to the best of my ability andI believe that finally, it’s going to be all worth it!
TEACHERS : NOT ONLY TO INSTRUCT BUT ALSO TO INSPIRE THE STUDENTS
A teacher’s success is the result of a long and arduous journey, which for me has been like a rainbow, with light and bright colours – making me sober, somber, graceful, caring, patient and humane, all at one go.
As a teacher my career began at the age of 24, when in my first school I taught history and civics to classes IX & X as a very positive, happy, bubbly and confident young girl, I was sure of one thing – Teaching is not an easy task, It needs empathy and authority. Thus, to be a good teacher one must be sensitive to student’s problems, help them to ask questions, familiarize them with proper methods, show them how to analyze and discuss results/outcomes and most importantly – motivate, inspire students to drill hard wood–that is to pursue the subject in depth. With this belief in my mind, teaching Social Science, specially History was the biggest challenge because S.Sc in general and history in particular were considered as boring, monotonous and the ‘Sleeping Period’ by both –students and parents. So my first and foremost task was to break this staunch belief and motivate everyone to love the subject and consider it as important as the other subjects. So the journey began with will-power, love, empathy, compassion, devotion, guidance, direction and story-telling in the class. With passage of time, students actually were eager to know – what today from Walia Madam’s Pandora Box – a quiz – a puzzle – dates – map work – comic reading – story telling/ weaving, role play, a game, brain storming session or verbal globetrotting. Making effective use of new methods and technology and latest techniques like Smart Class Modules, presentation, PBL, research, competitions etc makes the class comes live with curiosity and excitement. The hunger to know and learn more increases and here my five W’s play a vital role. For every event the children should know – Who? When? Why? Where and What? Throwing hints and naming the source further entices them to the trap of teaching –learning with self-interest. Over the years, children have started showing keen interest in the subject and today Social Sciences is at par with Sciences and Maths & teaching History and Political Sciences has revitalized towards helping the students as bearer to acquire knowledge and skills in interactive environment. Creativity, aesthetics, critical perspectives enable students to draw relationships between past and present and to understand the changes taking place in the society. I firmly believe that a teacher has to generate that energy in herself to inspire and influence the life and character of her students and equip them with ideas, moral –social values and necessary life skills which will fit them to enter the stream of national life as worth citizen. Problem solving, dramatization, role play, reference to media, magazines and newspaper, picture/cartoon interpretation, critical analysis, open-ended discussions not only clear the concepts and builds understanding but help the children to explore their own potential and help a teacher to know them better and individually and thus it becomes easier to educate them on the need to recognize the gender equality in our democracy, to discard all cast exclusiveness and pride, untouchability and communal distinctions and antagonism and strengthen the dignity of the individual and the unity of Nation, as our Constitution proclaims. With love, understanding and positive approach and energies flowing across, it becomes easier to educate students to be the instruments to develop an integrated nation out of our diversities. They are made acquainted with the noble humanistic sentiments of our constitution and impressed with the passion to translate them into socio-political realities. They are prepared to be global citizens and good human beings. Live experience and case studies further help to go near to the students and one realizes – ‘students are people who have feelings and who don’t want to feel cornered. They want to learn but they also want to feel as it they have some control over themselves. Every student is different ; no two students react in the same way. We need to find out what motivates them and also to learn what motives them to misbehave and distract. If, we can meet them at this point and take away the negative motivation, we can go a long way towards a more effective class and it becomes easier to keep indiscipline and bunking under check. When the realization dawns on the students that the teacher actually cares and loves them and is genuinely concerned for their welfare they overcome their limitations and work on their strength. Sometimes children only help us to find solutions to their problem. Another beautiful experience has been of teaching the children with special needs ”differently abled” students and trust me, it is a worthwhile experience to make them a apart of one’s class and see their initiatives and involvement and how happy they feel when you acknowledge and appreciate their small gestures. Slow –steady – success is 100%, they are a bundle of innocence, potential, skills, love and joy and with little patience, attention, love and sensitivity to their individual needs, it can work wonders. The experience of teaching them creating their interest in the subject, involving them in the research, discussion and making them aware of the current affairs and presentation of answers, is not easy, but with love, care, persuasion and proper customized guidance it is not too difficulty also. The results make everyone proud of them and in fact the whole class is motivated and inspired. Peer support and guidance plays a magical role here. Similarly the different approach towards the under achievers – peer guidance/ help, counseling and ‘narrow band therapy’ – helps students to maintain their self-esteem and get very good results. One has to show full confidence on their unique abilities and train them with their pace, presentation and writing and learning precise answer. On the other hand the extra-ordinary students have to be dealt with a very different approach. Exploring and exploiting their abilities with HOTS, extra research, topic based questions, linking examples, news data, sources and being analytical, so as to encourage and inspire them to lead the debates and discussions in the class and guide and direct others for concrete learning. Motivating students to inspire the peer group is the best learning. Time management, practicing five years papers, peer-help, time-bound completion of tasks, makes the students well equipped for any situation. Pepping them up with positive, comforting and encouraging words, channelizing their energies/abilities in right directions and boosting their morals brings out the best in them. As a result many first generations learners have achieved remarkable results and this adds feathers to a teacher’s growth. In the past 15 years in BBPS, Noida I have observed that to inculcate moral, social values and life-skills in students, teacher herself has to be the role model and the smart-keen observers automatically follow. Today in the world of multiple intelligences and multi-tasking students are well equipped to face all challenges and teachers are able to play a vital role as a guide, philosopher, counselor, friend and confidant to students with full zeal and zing because of the adequate and perfect environment provided by the Bal Bharati Parivaar. The belief and confidence shown by the Head of the Institution has helped me grow & know my core competence in many areas and made me play different roles at one go very effectively, so much so that today I am able to handle the daunting task of teaching two diverse subjects, with equal competence. On one hand I talk about politics, current affairs, elections and role of NAMO and the very next period I find myself raking the graves of the dead like, Krishna Dev Raya and Akbar or talking about relevance of Mahabharata in today’s society. It is amazing how the transition sets in automatically and integration of subjects-digging the past, learning the present and dreaming the future- takes place effectively. I will conclude it with the famous quote of Sydney J. Harris “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”
Mrs. Neerja Bhatnagar, TGT (Chemistry)
I feel privileged and honored to be one of the teachers of Bal Bharati Parivaar and to share my experiences of my teaching journey on this platform. To start with, I would like to swim deep down in my memory lane to pick one of the most memorable experiences of one of the children of class VIII C of 2011-12 session.
My first move for an interaction with this class as a subject teacher gave me a glimpse of a child who was quiet, shy and had a fear of science subject. I could see a ray of hope as he responded to some of my questions in the interactive session. As the days passed by, a good rapport and bonding was developed with all the students and especially with the child who needed my care and attention, the most. My biggest concern was to bring him up on to a platform where he could stand with confidence and compete with other students sportingly. It was a challenge for me and my teaching skills as to what and how the things could be put up so that the child as well the whole class in totality could understand the concepts with fun and great interest and develop a sincere liking for the subject science. The child worked hard and passed with flying colours and I developed a sense of respect towards him which made him feel proud and confident for the next class. It was a win -win situation at both ends. This made me learn that every child can make it if he has a strong will and dedication along with continuous guidance. In this case, an approach that helped me was motivation, a balance of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.
I feel every child is an institution itself. They have great potentialities and energies which need to be channelized in right direction. One of the children of class VI of session 2012-13 had an interaction with me regarding the drills required for scoring high scores in solving objective questions in science for various exams. As the session gradually passed by, I could see his growth in terms of his grades, his confidence and a nag to learn more which reflected positively in his personality. It made me feel happy and contented. As an experienced teacher I have felt it is never the same formula that works with all the children, hence teaching is a continuous learning process which is always on a move and the more we teach, the more we learn.
Another thing that I try my best to practice is to look into the hearts of my children so that I can understand their feelings and their moods. This personal touch perhaps helps them to perceive their teacher as a friend and a guide. Many children of classes VI & VII of previous session informed me every day about their knowhow, the moment I stepped on to the top floor to proceed to the staff room. Their warm wishes with a smile reflected their effort to develop bonds with their teacher.
While dealing with classes especially IX and X, I make it a point to encourage them to understand that the journey of education is not just scoring marks, but it is more of a journey to develop both inter and intra personal skills along with values to face any challenge confidently and gracefully in their life.
Friends, throughout in my teaching career I have tried to keep in my mind that my goal as a teacher stands to render help to students to develop intrinsic motivation which will help them further to become lifelong learners. In last few years my learning in the field of theology and in counselling has definitely helped me at every step, to understand the need of my students which would help them to develop their vision to be a ‘Kaizen’.
In the end I whole heartedly thank this profession, the Head of this institution Mrs Asha Prabhakar for giving me opportunities/tasks to learn and grow more, as well my colleagues and my dear students for helping me to try to evolve as a caring, responsible, compassionate and a patient listener and a learner.
I know it is not just the wisdom or knowledge but also many heartfelt experiences imparted by all of them in this journey of my ‘teaching and learning’ that will stay with me throughout my life.
(The names of the students are not disclosed in order to maintain the privacy.)
I would like to start by sharing my belief that, education is a reflection of this society and society determines what we need to be educated with. In a society like ours anything and everything that follows a norm or which is so called “normal” is easily acceptable. But a deviation from the norm makes us uncomfortable and unacceptable.
Special Education and Counselling are also seen as one such deviation with which our society is still coming to terms with a mere mention of a special educator or a counselor unnerves us and builds up resistance. I was not left untouched by these two factors in the school. Thanks to Aamir Khan for popular using the term ‘Dyslexia’. I would like to share that I too got labeled as “Dyslexic Ma’am” which sometimes amused me.
The challenges of being a Special Educator were probably not foreseen, but I decided to work through it. The resistance had to be broken and here is one such inter casting case for all of your to read.
Dev was diagnosed with Autism. He was non verbal, made no eye contact, did not respond to his name when called and had high sensory need. Communication was difficult as he was not expressive, due to this it was difficult to understand what he wanted to say to gauge and whether he was understanding what I was asking him to do. Initially he would resist coming to my room as he knew his movements would be restricted and he would be made to do some activity. He would roll over the floor, throw tantrums, struggle to open the door and run out of the room at the first opportunity he would get. Nothing seemed to impress him or cater to his interest there was nothing that could sustain his attention. I would initially observe him and just let him be himself slowly and slowly he stopped feeling intimidated by an alien intruder i.e. me.
Gradually as the sessions progressed I observed that he had fascination for objects whose texture was soft and loved to squeeze anything soft to calm down his sensory excitability. Books and arbitrary objects were not helping me to teach him simple concepts. Keeping his sensory need in mind I made use of materials that were soft and could be squeezed. I used clay of different colours to teach him colours. Stress ball was used as a reinforcer/reward that he would anticipate after completing a task. This was a major breakthrough and beginning of our teacher-student relationship. The resistance and apprehensions turned into smiles, hugs and willingness to spend time in the resource centre.
The acceptability which came between me and Dev permeated into the classroom too. I did not have any interaction with the students of his class about his problem but I noticed that students who initially used to remain aloof and didn’t interact with Dev due to his erratic behavior were now taking initiative to look after him, help him do his work and guide his behavior. Thus my presence and the bond with Dev seeped in acceptance and empathy within his classmates, which I think is an important life skill imparted, that shall remain with them throughout their lives.
The walls of resistance towards Dev further lowered when his teacher started sharing some strategies apart from the ones suggested by me that had helped her to accommodate Dev in the classroom and vice versa.
Though I was working only with Dev and modifying strategies to teach him but in a way my approach and my attitude towards children with special needs catered to other functionaries too. Today my interaction with students is not limited only as “Dyslexic Ma’am” but as one with whom they can share and express their thoughts freely.
I conclude with a quote by Plutarch, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” Hence, don’t rush up the process of teaching the child but give the mind its own pace to enlighten. Each child is unique, they are not born with learning disability but are specially abled and it is upto the teacher to identify and hone a child’s potential and capacity. As we create ripples when we throw a pebble in a pond we can conjure up the thought process, bring out the genius present within each of the children by being sensitive and understanding.
Today, when I look back at this journey of mine as a teacher for 11 years, each batch of students that I have taught was different in one way or the other. I still remember that when I stood on the other side of the table for the first time, all I thought I had to do was to teach them the debits and credits. But with time, my students made me realize that I had a much bigger and a major role to play; that of being a friend, a philosopher, a guide and a confidant; different roles to play at different times. It is only with the help of these students that we teachers are able to play each one of these roles to the best of our capabilities & every year we evolve as better human beings.
Before joining Bal Bharati Public School, Noida, that was 4 years ago, I already had 7 years of experience in teaching. Thus, when I took up this job, I was confident of my abilities as a teacher and a mentor to my students. I was confident that I would be able to do a good job, and maybe devise more methods and techniques of solving questions. Teaching the students of class XI and XII has not been very easy. If you just go on lecturing, then they tend to loose interest after the initial 10 minutes. So, I had to think of ways and means of keeping them involved and mentally present in the class for 40 minutes and making sure that they ask for more towards the end of 40 minutes. Well!! That was a big challenge. I have never spoon fed my students. I have always worked with my students on strengthening their concepts. Then I give them time in the class itself to do the questions on their own without any assistance. More than 50% of the students make mistakes in the first attempt but they all try and that is what is most important. After they have spent enough time with the question, then I give them the correct solution. As a result they do not repeat the same mistakes and are in a better position to handle similar questions on their own.
Another method I encourage is maintaining a debrief note after attempting questions and noting down what were the problem areas. Over the year a student practices about 100 questions for each chapter. It is impossible to revise all that before the exam. So what my students do is, when they come across a particularly tricky or important point in a question, they note it down in a separate diary. This diary is what they revise the day before the exam, thus effectively revising all the important questions they've done.
The technique that worked really well with the students of class XII was that whenever we finish a chapter in class, we do all the relevant questions from that chapter from the Board Question Papers of the last 5 years. We all have learnt through our experiences & that is how children too learn. This instills in the students a sense of accomplishment. They also feel confident that if they can solve CBSE questions of the past 5 years, they can handle their board exams as well.
However, never did I expect that I too would end up learning something that I have always been scared of. Bal Bharati Public School, Noida and the Art of Multitasking are practically synonyms. The teachers and students here specialize in the subject. Prior to my years at Bal Bharati Public School, Noida, I had never believed in multi tasking. I used to believe in doing one thing at a time. However, with the ever increasing pressure of academics and finishing the syllabus on time, and the wide range of extracurricular activities that this school offers, there is no choice but to learn how to multitask. Personally I never thought I was a person who could multitask. But here I am, taking care of multiple activities at the same time and ensuring that each one is done with utmost devotion and to best of my abilities. Thus the credit for teaching me to multitask goes to Mrs. Asha Prabhakar , Principal and the senior teachers who took me under their wing. The students at BBPS, Noida too, learn to multitask and manage their time, which is a very important lesson to survive in today's ultra competitive and fast paced world. Bal Bharti Public School, Noida has taught me a lot, and has broadened my horizons. I look forward to giving back to this institution which has played a pivotal role in my growth.
My journey as a teacher began at the age of 24. Today at 52, I can sit beside a milestone and smile at the path I undertook. Deep contentment fills my soul that I have been privileged to share my life with children- my students.
A teacher-student variable is way beyond text books and curriculum. I multitask, but more importantly I am engaged in multi-role play. Winning the trust, providing a sense of security, being the confidant, solving issues that have far reaching emotional dimensions, are but a few aspects , that are an intrinsic part of my role as a teacher. I never forget that I stand to learn from these large hearted little kiddos. Here’s how….
In the league of Best Practices in Progressive Schools, B.B.P.S. NOIDA,provides an opportunity for differently- abled students to be part of main stream education. Being the class teacher of one such little boy, is an experience, I hold dear to this day. Aged 7 years, Atharv lived in a shell, his very own private little place. I noticed that while I engaged the class in a ‘listen- to- learn’ activity, he would never look at me. In fact he would be scribbling. If questioned, he would more often than naught ignore me. And yet, when it came to the note book, he would be the first to submit his work- error free work!!
Then one day, I found him beside my desk. Tears filled his eyes but didn’t spill over. I held his hand and very softly asked him what the matter was. “I’m feeling sad,” he said. The reason was his partner, Manav , had shouted at him for having taken his Hindi notebook home. I called Manav and was ready to reprimand him but found myself looking into another pair of tear filled eyes. “Yesterday my mother slapped me for being careless and losing my Hindi book,” said Manav. Before I could say anything, Atharv put his hand on his partner’s cheek and asked, “Are you paining?” ( his exact words)
Nothing can explain the moment of ‘pure gentleness’. The entire class was aware that Atharv had put aside his hurt and reached out to soothe his partner.
It must be understood that the foundation of behavior patterns go hand in hand with the environment a child spends his time in… his family and his school. Atharv and Manav provided me a ‘live’ lesson. Every time there was a fall out among students, I would initiate a class interactive session, wherein the students learnt to express themselves, were willing to understand the other point of view, chose to be fair and most importantly became thinking and feeling individuals.
As their teacher and guide, I revel in the transformation of dissent into compatibility. I believe that consciously choosing gentleness over anger is a life skill. It will ensure a well rounded personality and flexibility in ones attitude will endure the winds of time. My students are generous souls and I feel honoured to lend direction to their minds and channelize their energies towards positive action.
(*The names of the students have been changed to protect their privacy.)
‘NEVER BE TOO BIG TO ASK QUESTIONS AND NEVER KNOW TOO MUCH TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW’
This is what I practice and this is what I convey to my students. At the outset I acknowledge that I am proud to be part of the BalBharatifraternity teaching the royal subject Economics in Noida.
Reflecting on my past I can say that when I joined as a teacher, at first I thought it would be a cake walk to handle the eleventhies and the sophomores. Believe me handling this group of rambunctious students was not easy. Each had to be handled delicately and with care.
The school gave me the privilege of teaching economics in the three streams - Science , Commerce and humanities. Frankly speaking it is a journey of discovering my own self which has enchanted me with the variations in the attitude of the students of the three streams. Accordingly I too am learning a new lesson on a daily basis. I have learnt that students of the humanities section are BIG at heart and are to be dealt with compassion. Commerce students are an INTELLIGENT lot with lazy bones who have to be dealt with sternly and the science students are very HARDWORKING but moving on the age old - one track way of working only on PCM (Physics , Chemistry, Mathematics) who have to be goaded constantly to give equal importance if not more to economics.
Whew! This journey has actually been exasperating but definitely giving me a lot of self contentment and motivated me to grow not only as a person but inspired to upgrade my teaching methodology as per the needs of the students and updation in the subject content itself!
I have always had a soft corner for the weak students . I have always understood that students who are burdened with learning difficulties frequently experience school as THE environment in which their deficit rather than their strengths are displayed. This thought process needs to be reversed. Students need to understand that initial test scores are not always the perfect barometers of learning and knowledge. Here I have exerted myself in motivating especially these students to first believe intheir capabilities that they are also capable of becoming the toppers.When students completely surrender themselves to the belief that they are the best and the teacher teaching them is the best only then they do extremely well. My experience has shown that even the so called average students have become toppers with hard work.
Initially teaching economics, more than that sitting in an economics class was very cumbersome. Then I strategized that till I don’t make the economics classes conversational for the students by throwing opinion based questions on them and cracking economics related jokes they won’t find it interesting. In Class XII this has had a great impact as most of the students and their parents have confessed to finding economics classes very interesting. These confessions have given me immense pride and have been highly motivating for me to take real interest in making the students learn. In class XI having regular discussion of economics related news and debating on them ,has allowed students togather knowledge. Another innovative method I have adopted is taking a pair of students and appointing one as teacher and the other as student and then they explain to each other the topics. This has increased their retainment of topics tremendously. Apart from this, having practice classes on all working Saturdays wherein theyare given lots of opportunities to clear their doubts, has helped a lot. For weak students I have held 5 to 6 improvement tests before board exams. This definitely left studentsbreathless but results have always improved. Many of our students have taken admission in top Delhi University colleges and then proceeded with post-graduation in Delhi School of Economics. Latest example is VishwasManchanda of 2009-10 batch. Thus bringing name and fame to the almamater.
Here I would like to make a true confession. The best part of my tiring and stressful day is when I teach. It is the most blissful time where I forget all my problems . Here I find students listening in rapt attention and admiration as if in daze. I have gained so much of respect and love from this profession that it is enough for one lifetime. Therefore I promise to continue to instill in my students the love and passion for economics which will make them the ‘Chanakyas’ of our country.