As she contorts her face in different expressions — from hate to love to greed — you would be forgiven for mistaking Rekha Jagasia for a Kathakali dancer at a spot examination. But all that Jagasia, the principal of Kamla High School, is doing is participating in a series of performative exercises at a teacher training session on emotional intelligence.
“These are the emotions we all have, all we do throughout the day is express ourselves,” said Rekha Vijayakar, one of the teacher trainers and the particular centre’s coordinator, to the group of 50-odd principals.
“Where emotion is required, you have to show your emotions.”
This is the second day of the five-day series of workshops at Guru Harkrishan School — one of the six centres in Mumbai — that the state government has organised under the banner of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) to train principals.
RMSA is the central government’s scheme for universalising secondary education.
“Emotional intelligence is all about managing your own and others emotions,” said Shakuntala Kilpady, director of the Khar Education Society, who was conducting that session.
“Control your decisions, take sincere decisions, be hopeful and bring out the best in the children.”
Principals have, so far, participated in sessions on emotional intelligence, the aims and objectives of the RMSA, communication skills and stress management. Upcoming sessions include free and compulsory education for children, school accreditation and understanding young children. Sessions are being conducted in Marathi and English across different venues in the city.
At a session on Monday principals split up into groups and worked through conflicts based on given situations. A specially designed worksheet during the emotional intelligence session asked them to rate themselves on a series of statements.
“How many of you scored more than 90?” asked Vijayakar, of the group, as a few hands went up. On a scale from ‘always’ to ‘never’, principals had to rate themselves on statements such as “I admit my mistakes to my students” and “I put myself in the place of slow understanding students and think”.
The trainers conducting the sessions have been trained at the Pune-based training institute Yashada.