Suman Sharma, principal of Star Public School, Chandigarh, believes that student elections should be conducted to educate them about the changing political climate.
Suman Sharma, principal of Star Public School, Chandigarh, believes that student elections should be conducted to educate them about the changing political climate.

Guruvani: ‘Covid made us better at handling adversity’

Suman Sharma, principal of Star Public School, Chandigarh, talks about motivating students for taking up sports and more.
PUBLISHED ON FEB 09, 2021 06:48 PM IST

In these politically volatile times, should students be insulated from political upheavals? How do you educate them about the changing scenario?

Suman Sharma: These are truly politically volatile times, and students should definitely be insulated from its upheavals, to a certain extent. Only the positive aspects should be brought front of them, so that they know how to deal with the changing political scenario of the country in the coming years. After all, they are the future of this nation. So, the question should not be if they should be insulated from the political upheavals, but which aspect of politics they should be exposed to. More than teachers, parents of the students play a pivotal role. The best way to educate students about the changing political climate, is to conduct student elections so that they can understand their responsibilities as voters as well as leaders.

How do you motivate children to be ‘green citizens’?

Suman Sharma: The school takes up multiple activities to make students “green citizens”. Starting from primary classes, till they leave the school for higher education, they have the subject environmental studies, which is aimed at educating them about their responsibilities towards Mother Nature. Now, students might see this just as a subject, but the main purpose is to make sure that the idea of becoming green citizens and saving the environment is deep-rooted into their minds. Besides this, we conduct activities to promote the idea of protecting the environment. On Diwali, students are asked to make posters about celebrating green Diwali and to plant trees on World Earth Day. With global warming rising, it is more important than ever, to make students aware, as they are the future of this world.

Pedagogy is changing with leaps and bounds every year. How do you keep pace with it?

Suman Sharma: It is fun and difficult at the same time. When we started taking online classes after the Covid outbreak, we didn’t know how we will deal with it initially. It was very difficult to even get all the students together, let alone teaching with efficiency. The teachers picked up many new skills during these tough times. We didn’t know if teaching online will be equally beneficial to the students as teaching physically. But now, when I see my students confident about the concepts taught online, I can breathe a sigh of relief. It also makes us confident that we can evolve with the changing times.

How do you inspire/motivate students to take up sports as it is a vital part of school education these days?

Suman Sharma: Nowadays, most students are not involved in much physical activity, and the pandemic made it even worse. So, it is very important to inspire students to take up sports. A good way is to educate them about how physical activities will be beneficial to them. We can inspire them to opt for any sport in the school as an extra-curricular activity. We hold a sports meet, which definitely motivates the students to get better at sports. They can also be taught the benefits of sports, as it will not only help them get physically and mentally fit, but also teach them the value of teamwork.

Where do you see your students and the institution 10 years from now?

Suman Sharma: Ten years from now, I see my school in the list of top 10 schools of Chandigarh, and like every other teachers, I see my students successful in their careers and lives.

What is the toughest challenge in your profession?

Suman Sharma: The toughest challenge that a teacher faces is to understand every student individually as all of them have different learning abilities. Making sure every student grasps concepts equally is difficult.

Would you inspire your own children to take up this profession?

Suman Sharma: Yes, I will encourage my own children to take up this profession, as it is a rewarding journey. Seeing your students do well is always fulfilling and a big motivation to take up teaching as a career.

Are you still in touch with your teachers?

Suman Sharma: I am still in touch with my teachers. I discuss problems that I face while teaching with them and they always guide me. So, I am still a student learning from them. Interacting with them regularly always gives me a fresh perspective.

What are your three words to inspire your students?

Suman Sharma: My three words for students are-–It is possible.

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