Saturday, May 16, 2020

TIME TO CHANGE, PARENTS!!


The world woke up with the news of pandemic and Lockdown and the messages of STAY HOME STAY SAFE brought everything to a pause. I, as a mother of a 4-year-old daughter, was worried. Making her understand that “We cannot go out anymore”, not even to play with her friends, was the most difficult task. I managed to convince her. My little one had many things to ask about CORONA. I tried my best to answer all of her queries patiently. Managing my girl seemed next to impossible but actually, it wasn’t! Being a working mother, this was my chance to be with her and to tell her that she has a Supermom! She wanted to have a cake and I decided to try my hands at the bakery. I prepared the cake at home “WOW! YOU CAN BAKE A CAKE!” My sweetie pie couldn’t believe and I could see that pride in her eyes while she had her cake!! It felt heavenly!

Engaging her was a new task! I so missed her teachers! But her Supermom did not give up and started engaging her in activities like drawing, colouring, passing the parcel, dancing. Mamma and Papa started participating with her, they were her best partners and punishing them in games seemed so much fun! She loves doing things when her Mom and Dad are around. I re-lived my childhood! Watching Ramayana again, this time with her was a feast! Slowly, the offices also started with the concept of “Work from Home”. With no help at hand, things would be difficult at times but the smile on her face was a blessing.

Usually, watching TV, while having her breakfast, was a normal routine. But now, switching on the TV since morning was annoying. Both of us had offices too! We needed to divert her. Mayra is an early riser like her Dad. So, the breakfast place shifted from the dining table to the balcony where the birds were chirping. A few parrots made a daily visit to their friend and her practice of counting skills was in progress. She had started enjoying her breakfast time in her Balcony. Mom and Dad took turns to feed her in the balcony.

Mayra has been regularly ill in the past few months. She is allergic to preservatives used in food items like ketchup, ice creams, and soft drinks. Every time she would ask for them, we would give in, not realizing that not only these things were heavy on our pocket, but they would also make our Daughter ill for days and sometimes for months. We realized that lockdown has turned out to be magical, as now she is fit and fine. No running nose, no cough nothing, as she is away from her allergens. We have learned our lessons - We needed to change! She is fine with home-cooked food now.

Then the online classes happened! I saw the teachers putting in a lot of efforts, making first the parents and then the students understand the nitty-gritty of technology, struggling with poor network and low attention span of such young kids. I also had a wonderful experience while taking online classes with her. And I realized how difficult it is for a teacher to cope up with the struggles at both fronts. A working mother like me was the best example of coping at both fronts.

Thankfully my School understood this and allowed me to work remotely. So, I could take care of all the fronts very comfortably. Well planned classes, organized and scheduled meetings, feedbacks and review meetings happened daily. We learnt from each other and became more efficient. 

We usually blame others for our own mistakes. We call our children cranky and undisciplined. But it’s we, the parents who do not realize that children need our time. During this Lockdown, I learnt the greatest lesson, parents and schools are partners. As Parents, we too, need to take responsibility of the child. The child is not only the school’s responsibility. Today, Mayra is not demanding much. She’s happy watering her plants eagerly waiting for her 3 tomatoes to turn red, taking care of the Gifts her plants have given her and we are happy parents too!

Feeling Happy

NEELAM IKHE


Thursday, April 23, 2020

LOCKDOWN LEARNINGS.. We Shall Overcome!

March 24th 2020.

Today, the Government of India ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, as a preventive measure against the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in India. Initially it felt good. Staying at home, with family for such a long time. Difficult times, but we were together!  

March 31st 2020.

The Lockdown has changed the way traditional teaching is done. Schools are going Online. We too attended online training sessions - on How to conduct Online Classes and How to Use Technology for Online Classes.

April 4th 2020.

Our school decided to go online. Though I had been trained, taking online classes seemed a little scary idea. I had a lot of fears! Fear of Trying something new, Fear of Technology, Fear of Failure – of not being able to be as successful a teacher online as I am in class! All these fears kept me awake for nights.

April 10th 2020.

My son (who was observing me) felt the disturbance I was going through. He came to me and asked me what had happened. I couldn’t control the emotions and my fears burst out! He said, “Bas itni si bat! Don’t worry, I will teach you and you will be able to do it!” My child has grown so big, I couldn’t believe! He cheered me up and we began immediately.  First, we created my Skype ID. Then, he taught me how to add people in group. I took class with him to check if it works. I was a bit relieved!

April 13th 2020.

Conducted my first Online class!! Couldn’t believe it was so successful. My head praised me a lot. Thanks to my dear son, who pulled me out of my fears and made me confident! It seemed easy. The first successful class boosted up my morale. I began preparing for the next class, enthusiastically.

April 17th 2020.

The Lockdown extended and I was given the responsibility to teach Math. I tried hard Teaching Math Online but it all seemed so difficult. Never in my life I felt so weak as a teacher. Using technology to help students teach Math seemed impossible. Again, the fears cropped in and again, my son came in as the savior! He practiced with me so that I could be comfortable and confident.  Finally, after three hours of practice, I was!

April 20th 2020.

I conducted my first Online Math class with Grade IV. I had already shared the videos with my class, so, they were ready. I began my class and it went flawless!! The students’ response told me that I was successful. My fear of failure had gone! My class was observed and I was appreciated for my efforts and efficiency.

My little son, whom I used to teach when he was young, had grown so big to be my Teacher now. He was my “Tech-Guru” who introduced me to technology and removed all my fears, making me confident and efficient teacher, Once Again!

This Lockdown taught me that we fear in vain. Even our kids can teach us so much. Each situation teaches us to grow and all opportunities can be captured for our betterment. This too shall pass….and we shall overcome all our fears and this Pandemic too!

Karamjeet Kaur
PRT Science

Sunday, April 19, 2020

APPRECIATION


I met Hina last year while I was teaching in Delhi Government Girls school. She was always quiet and calm. She had no friends and never interacted with her teachers. Though she was a regular student, her academic performance did not seem to be up to the mark.  Whenever I saw this girl, somewhere in the corner of my heart, I could feel that there was something which was troubling her. I strongly felt this child had a lot of potential but there was something that was stopping her.

I wanted to know more about her. I talked to her classmates but whatever little they told me did not add much to what I already knew. One fine day, I conducted an activity in my classroom and urged all the girls to participate. They were asked to come and speak about their passion. Meanwhile, I sat on the same last bench she was sitting on. We had an eye contact for once. After a few minutes, I had a paper in my hand on which she had written some beautiful lines which I read and wrote a remark of appreciation with a smiley on the same paper. I could feel the smile on her face but somehow, she managed to hide it.

From that day onwards, we interacted through writing. She told me many things about herself. Slowly, I started figuring out the problem. The problem was that she had a brother who was good academically and was getting all the attention in the family. She was never appreciated for whatever she did and the worst part was that she was often compared with her brother.

I talked to her parents and discussed my concern with them. I requested them to praise her for whatever she did so that we could boost up her confidence. Also, I advised them to stop comparing as it affected her terribly. I am thankful to them that they understood and followed my suggestions.

The result was amazing!!! Hina was now a changed girl. Everybody noticed the changes in her. She spoke, she laughed and I must say she had a beautiful smile. She began participating in the competitions. She improved academically too. I still remember, she once wrote a poem for her teacher and best thing was she recited it too in front of the whole class which literally brought tears to everyone’s eyes. It was heartening to know that Hina’s parents understood the importance of appreciation. The moment they began appreciating, they could see a happy and much confident Hina.
So, it’s important to understand that every child is different. Everyone has some or the other talent. All we need to do is to have a keen observation. Here I am in this new school where we are constantly reminded to be observant. Not that we are not, but reminders from our heads and colleagues keep us on guard. We see great writers, excellent dancers, poised speakers, curious scientists, empathetic caregivers and most important confident learners in our children. We strongly believe that a child must be taught to follow his or her instincts and passion and that given the chance to follow their passion, all could be winners!! And most importantly, instead of comparing we should appreciate them.

I am fortunate enough to be at a place where we believe in promoting the all-round development of our students. We make every effort to make them confident and most importantly happy individuals. 

Being happy is the most important thing.

Appreciate your little ones. Help them follow their passion and be happy!
A little appreciation can make all the difference!!!

Best wishes!

Ms. Smriti Jha

English Teacher


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

ASK A LOGICAL QUESTION, SIS………………


The Power of Asking the Right Questions!

“Mumma! I am not going to talk to Bon now!” my daughter grumbled after a call with her cousin in Russia. 

“What happened, fought again?” I asked my routine question without even looking at her.

“Bon is younger to me, isn’t it?” 
“Yes, so?”  
“Still he said “Can’t you ask a logical question? How can he talk to me like this?”

Like this!! Means what? Though I heard her half-heartedly, continuing to write my mail, I could sense that something is wrong.  I dropped my work, held her closer and said, “Tell me the whole thing. I am unable to understand.” 

After the narration all I could make out was Bon, had asked Mia to play a guessing game- Twenty Questions, wherein he would think of an animal and she had to ask Twenty Questions (Too much for her!) to guess it and he would answer in a Yes or No. 

So??? I still couldn’t figure out the problem. But when she narrated the entire episode, I realised- She was asking questions for the sake of asking-without thinking!! This irritated the young boy, who was taught how to frame logical questions in the school, leading to the right guess and hence the comment! 

And then followed a conversation with my daughter which was an eye opener.  I realised she had no exposure as to why a question has to be logical and why in a game, someone has to be logical!!! 

I, being a teacher at heart couldn’t stop myself from getting into that “Teacher-Mode”. Though, it took me time but after a few examples, the logic of asking logical questions was clear to her. She had to be explained that everything connects. Was that difficult? 

This gave me the food for thought! No one teaches students to ask questions! Specially in school. Teachers ask questions and when they couldn’t find an answer, they themselves answer it. The students play this trick with teachers. They know that keeping mum for long, during a class of 40 minutes, will be the test of teachers’ patience and then s/he would answer on their behalf! Bingo! The job is done for them. No thinking done, again!

But here I am at a place where all this is done! My teachers teach my students how to ask LOGICAL Questions! And the curriculum supports my team with the right kind of methodology. We believe that when a teacher delivers her instructions clearly and is flexible and adaptable, the difference can be seen! 

We teach how to ask GOOD questions and also how each Logical Question may bring us closer to the answer. The students have to frame their own questions, though in the process, they do keep asking Questions for the sake of asking (Like Mia!) But when they ask right questions, they know what are they expected to learn. Thus, they take the ownership of their learning. 

The time, in asking questions, is - “invested” to find the answers. When the time is invested, they learn better and when they learn, they want to share the learning with all (like Bon, who had mastered the art of asking Logical Questions and wanted to showcase his learning with his siblings). 

They showcase their findings without hesitation and thus become the so called “Confident Children”, desired by all parents! Never realised that something we do on regular basis could bring such a drastic change in students! 

When Mia was explained as how each question whether it has a Yes or a No as an answer, is important and how asking a right or a logical question can lead her to a correct guess, she too got it and ……...that night Mia guessed 3 right answers, playing Twenty Questions with me, asking Logical Questions every time!! 


She had understood the Power of Asking Right Questions!


Best!
Swapna A. Aphale

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Oriental School

The Oriental School is distinguished by its unique approach and values towards learning and its commitment to provide quality education. The school campus is spread over a scenic 5 acre pristine floral landscape. The school has state of the art indoor and outdoor learning amenities, from manicured gardens to specially planned learning zones & international standard sports infrastructure. The school understands the fact that education is the development of the whole person-the mind, the body and the spirit, imparting holistic education to enhance the talents and unearth hidden skills. The Oriental School is a place where children will be happy while on campus and fulfilled once they leave, making schooling fun rather than a burden.
We encourage educating the mind, heart and soul, through innovative pedagogical approaches, thereby inculcating cherished values. Building leadership qualities and mentoring every child to lead a happy and successful life are the primary objectives of our institution. Welcome to the culture of, exciting learning through the carefully-crafted pedagogy within the four walls of this excellent institution!