A tribute to Mrs Kapoor my Hindi teacher

A tribute to Mrs Kapoor my Hindi teacher

The other day I was meeting a good teacher friend of mine, after almost a year to discuss a few points on our new venture eShikshaChaupal a free online community for teachers which got launched in June this year. During discussion we just digressed a bit and she started off with the same old cliched statement,”Today’s students are different! They don’t know how to behave in school. They are rude and disrespectful. Worst is they love to give back answers to whatever you say to them.” Well that’s where I interrupted her and said, “This is the story of every generation, what’s new in this.”

I remember, in my middle school I had these three teachers who were nearing their retirement but left a deep impact on my formative years. Well! They were different not for what they taught but what left a mark on me was how they taught in the class.Their was something different about their teaching styles… I would love to describe it like the fragrance of Musk deer, which with time going by is having more stronger impact on my thinking. Somewhere they subtly ingrained the values of how to lead a positive life with their teaching styles.

Today when I reflect on what was different about them, I realize that they just followed one principle- they did not accuse us of being impatient and aggressive or being snobbish, but they beautifully took the onus on themselves bcoz we were learning from them. They believed that they were under students constant vigil and so they had to behave themselves… They truly believed that ‘values can’t be taught but had to be caught‘… Their objective was to create an environment where we as students could catch them…

My father had got posted to Delhi in mid session and was adamant that we two sisters went to particular convent school only. So he made us sit at home for more than a month before the Principal of that school allowed us to take admission test. Like all families there’s a black sheep & in our family its me. My younger sister scores were brilliant ,so Principal was super happy to have her in, well for everyone the cause of worry was me… even the Principal was a little skeptical in taking me in, but as luck would have it, I did exceptionally well in Maths (well much beyond my own expectations, I would be honest about that, I suppose that was the last time ever I did so well in any Maths paper thereafter). Probably those numbers in Maths blinded the Principal with umpteen happiness as if she had found a Kohinoor heera and she completely ignored the super low marks in the language papers. She just said with a smile,”I suppose languages can be worked upon in the coming years thus I will admit both the girls in the school.”

One month after admission, came the half yearly exams. I did well in all subjects, well thats what I thought!

Then came Hindi paper results, every one was scared bcoz we were told only few kids had passed in Hindi.  I was confident that I had failed, and went slowly over with a grim face to take my Hindi Paper from Mrs Kapoor, while handing over my paper, she slowly uttered, “Thank God, you have at least made some progress in one month, there is some hope from you that you will improve in future. Well you have got one more marks than the last month- 27/100. Next time I hope you will cross the 40 mark”. That walk from her desk to my chair was one of the longest moments in my life… It was a weird feeling.. I was feeling sad, bcoz I had flunked in Hindi again within a month, but then I was feeling hopeful because she had motivated me to work towards improving the future. It was definitely an uphill task for me but with her constant guidance in the classroom she made sure I was able to imbibe the beautiful value of not getting disheartened from my failures but pick up the loose ends of life and move on to reach the goal in the mind…

Well that’s the objective of the teacher, to make the students learn these values of life through academics. If a teacher is able to do that, then student will not rebel but will respect all his life.

Wishing you all a very happy teachers day! 🙂

Pedagogic Tips

Dear All,

Keeping in mind users requirements we are starting with a series of post on various pedagogic approaches that are in practice around the world.For example: Concept mapping, Mind mapping, Value based learning, Inquiry Based Learning to name a few. The post will be released every Friday in the Chaupal Buzz and we look forward to your participation and feedback on the same.

Structure of the post will be loosely based around:

a) What is the concept all about?

b) Why do we need to follow it in everyday classroom teaching?

c) How can we use it in our lesson planning or teaching methodology to improve the classroom experience of the student?

d) Some exercises or puzzles to solve around the same.

Since its not easy to answer these questions in one post therefore, we intend to focus on  one topic a month.We look forward to your active participation and responses. You can type your comments in Hindi and English in the community.

It might not be possible for you to login everyday and the post might get lost in deluge of other posts being posted by users therefore request you to  mark the post as ‘favorite’ for your future read and be able to keep a track of the same.

We encourage you too contribute on your ideas about various pedagogic approaches you have been using and their benefits. While posting on this topic please use the #PedagogicApproaches, as a new feature will be enabled very soon where the # posts with maximum activities will be showing the most on the side bar.

Look forward to an interesting journey aboard eShikshaChaupal with all of you!

With Best Wishes

Team eShikshaChaupal

Why I feel smart classes are not that smart?

Why I feel smart classes are not that smart?

Smart classes are a norm now and there is nothing left to boast about them either. They came in the early years of the last decade and are still making inroads into the 1.5 million schools operating in India.

I am glad, I was out of school by then when they struck, as I am not in favor of them invading the blackboards.  Reason being simple.

Why are they called smart classes in the first place- just because they are run on computer and have every content on digital media… So how does it make them smart.. Aren’t they the new version  of idiot box , this time installed in classroom.

They completely kill the objective of teaching the kid… b’coz its one side interaction… earlier it as just the teacher yapping away all the information she had, now its the so called smart board that does the yapping of the content…. 

They are worse than the teachers b’coz here the content which is playing does your part of thinking too by placing the questions and then giving the answers… 

  1. If the video which is playing for three to five mins explains the concept then why does the teacher need 40 mins for the class…
  2.   Secondly, if video ends up asking all the questions which the teacher is supposed to ask during that 40 mins class then why is she needed in the class itself…
  3. Lastly, the answers which are to be given by the students to the questions that are asked by the teacher or in the video, have to be given by the video or the content in the smart class then,

 I think then we can completely abolish schools and just keep the exams for the children to come and clear the various levels of learning… 

 I think then we can completely abolish schools and just keep the exams for the children to come and clear the various levels of learning…(well that too can happen.. and I suppose will eventually happen, with the augment of technology in every sphere of our lives, will write about this idea in another blog ) but until it happens, we need to find a way where we can use smart classes and teachers in a symbiotic role… smart classes should not make us dumb but help the student understand the concept with the visual aid available to them.

  • A smart content should provoke questions in the mind of the student and not blurt out information directly. 
  • It should be an aid to the teacher and not make the teacher student classroom interaction redundant. 

If we do not resolve the problem highlighted then I suppose our goal of developing Higher Order Thinking Skills or following any modern pedagogic method which talks about developing HOTS will fail miserably in achieving its goal.


Originally posted in http://explearningvianature.blogspot.in/2017/07/why-i-feel-smart-classes-are-not-that.html by Surekha Waldia

ESD Interview Series; DPS Gomti Nagar Ext Branch, Lucknow

ESD Interview Series; DPS Gomti Nagar Ext Branch, Lucknow

Interview – Ms Manisha Anthwal, Principal Delhi Public School, Gomti Nagar Ext. Lucknow

Questions & Answers:

  1. My first question to you what steps are you undertaking in your school to develop these basic skills. Example: Language is a basic skill. We are not delivering it. Most of the Students in middle school don’t know how to write proper statements, punctuations like period or comma are missing & Teachers accept their work… How do you ensure this does not happen in your school? Since you also have this rule that you cannot hold any child till grade 5. What checks have you created as a school head to ensure children don’t keep moving up without learning these basic skills?

Developing all the basic skills is not just a pen and paper activity. One needs to keep in mind that for child’s overall development we need to ensure his interest is maintained so that he can concentrate on the various activities happening in classroom and learning objectives are achieved.

Every activity planned for classroom goes through concrete thinking so that teachers are clear as to what they want to achieve at the end of the class. Plus the element of fun and competition is also retained while developing the activities.

A simple story writing/ creative writing session is converted into an activity called Spin a Yarn. Children give out words and try to evolve a story around the words every student has contributed. In this way new vocabulary is developed and their creative thinking and communication skills are developed together. We have various competitions both inter class & house where students get to hone their skills on both creative and communication skills. These activities start from the early years itself to develop the confidence in the child.

School calendar showcases the creative work of the children which again encourages students to give in their best.

To ensure that all these activities do not get lost, one activity per week is integrated to the F.A so that students as well as teachers learn the application of these activities and also get monitored & evaluated in the process.

  1. Secondly, how are you developing attitudes & values among students in your school? Are you sure you are developing connect between above mentioned four things- Knowledge- Skills- Attitudes – Values. Values can be developed only when you believe in what you are learning. Is that happening in your school? Illustrate with example?

Technology has brought in change at an unprecedented rate and this has led to rapid cultural change. But what remain with us always are skills and values we have learned as kids. Therefore at School we need to continue building and developing those skills and values among children so that they  can keep pace with the cultural change happening in their surroundings and still remain rooted to their value system. The best way is to connect the students with the community. We believe in integrating school lessons with community drives where students involve in various aspects of community like creating awareness with street plays on tree plantations followed with gifting of saplings to the community to remind them of the continuity required  changing our attitudes to solve any problem plaguing us. Another important aspect about education is learning to value the heritage which we have inherited from the previous generations. To inculcate this value we aligned with ASI, Lucknow to make our student learn to respect the historical monuments in Lucknow. A day project was developed where students went to Residency and were trained by ASI officials on Heritage Management which involves selling tickets to attending visitors and keeping the monument clean. Next academic session we are exploring the possibility of adopting a Monument where children of class 8 & 9 will be managing the site and looking after its cleanliness for a full year. Thus giving them the chance to understand the process of valuing what we have inherited.

Another such program which we have created to develop the skills among students when under crisis is Disaster Management Camp which is an overnight camping activity where all students and teachers stay in the camps which are pitched in School campus and children are trained by experts on various activities they should follow if they are ever stuck in this kind of situation. The activities involve evacuation drill, fly fox, and crawl out from a building and other social activities to make the camp a fun filled place beyond learning how to manage in a crisis.

  1. What steps  you are taking in the direction towards developing knowledge, skills, attitudes & values in a student in the right proportion without making schooling just a set of another non exciting activities which don’t relate with each other and end up burdening the teachers & students likewise.

We have introduced Buddy Programs where senior students are sent to the class rooms for junior classes. This helps the senior kids to clear their concepts and builds in confidence in them. We are planning to extend this buddy program to the neighbouring slum children. The kids from slum areas will come to school and senior students will be paired with them to teach.

This helps students to learn the importance of sharing and giving it back to the society. We are starting various clubs in the school in the current academic session which will be focusing on various social initiatives and will be involving all school children.

  1. If you are the monitoring agency and you have the target of reaching ESD by 2030, your school is the total population you have to make compliant to ESD by 2030, what are the challenges you will be facing to implement ESD in true sense. You have fifteen years with you; illustrate the steps you would take in to get the best results in this transition phase. We are looking at what will be your starting point. What & where will you make a change so that everything falls in line accordingly?

For any work/ project to culminate we need to make sure we have followed the a few cardinal steps:

  1. Planning is very important tool and resource well planned is work half done.
  2. Integration of Activities with the curriculum.
  3. Monitoring to check how we are reaching in the achieving the goals in hand.

Life skill training is already happening in our school, because the objective of education is to lead a life with good values. Education is all about preparing for a diversified life. To give an example, we have introduced animation classes into the curriculum so that children can get a view into the various professional arenas they can make careers in and live with the values they learned in school all through their adult life. In the end it all boils down to one point- “Only a person who has had a happy childhood can add value to the Society.”

This article was first published on http://elna.co.in/esd-interview-series-dps-gomti-nagar-ext-lucknow/