While examinations are a tough time for students, the post-examination period is stressful for teachers, who have tight deadlines for the assessment of answer papers. Considering the amount of work that teachers will end up putting through the summer holidays for assessment of college and university exams, colleges are encouraging staff members to involve themselves in yoga and other exercises that could shake away some of their stress. Colleges feel that the programmes will help them come back for the next academic year with renewed vigour.
G N Khalsa College, Matunga, has appointed an agency to conduct yoga sessions for the teaching and non-teaching staff during the summer holidays. “We conducted the sessions for the first time last year, and our staff was very happy with the results. This year, the number of registrations is already higher than last time,” said Kiran Mangaokar, principal.
Teachers have often also tried to introduce small breathing exercises for students in class as a manner if relaxation between classes. “Teachers have told us how this exercise has helped them focus their energy in work as well as life, and we are happy to make this a yearly feature,” he added
“We have a wellness centre in our college, which caters to the staff as well as students through the year. For teachers, we have yoga and other therapeutic special sessions after exams end, so that they are more relaxed,” said Ashok Wadia, principal of Jai Hind College, Churchgate. He added that this wellness centre has been functional at his college for some years now, and even the non-teaching staff has special sessions there through the year.
In some cases, teachers have invited motivational speakers to the institute to hold group sessions with the teaching and non-teaching staff. “At some point we all feel demotivated and unhappy, so a pep talk is all it takes to recharge oneself,” said Pramita Naik, an economics professor.
While yoga can be rejuvenating, colleges are also ensuring that teachers involve themselves in activities other than academic. At R A Podar College in Matunga, the management conducts a Knowledge Exchange Program for their teachers where the teachers choose a topic, not academic per se, and hold a presentation for other teachers on the same topic. “Someone chose to explain the GST Bill in one of the sessions, while another chose to explain demonetization. Last year we also held a session to train teachers about personal investment plans for their benefit,” said Sobhana Vasudevan, principal. She added that this presentation session is held on an inter-departmental basis, and all teachers participate in the activity wholeheartedly.