Namita Anand Gopalan, principal, Apeejay School, Nerul(HT PHOTO)
Namita Anand Gopalan, principal, Apeejay School, Nerul(HT PHOTO)

‘Teacher’s presence is beyond the class’

This forum provides school principals/ teachers a chance to share their views and insights on a wide range of subjects with students
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON AUG 21, 2019 12:27 AM IST

What is the biggest professional challenge that you face in your role as a principal?

The biggest challenge is satisfying all the stakeholders; be it the students, parents or the regulatory boards; providing a safe and secure environment for learning; and sensitising students to the society. Also, it is difficult to prepare a fine amalgamation of traditional values and progressive thinking that the students of the 21st century will accept.

A rise in the number of pupils, dealing with teachers that have varying levels of knowledge about content and pedagogy, keeping up with advanced technology and changing expectations of quality and performance, are a few other challenges I face as a principal of a school.

Once a teacher, always a teacher: Do you agree?

A teacher’s presence is beyond the classroom. The memories of a teacher remain imprinted in a child’s mind for life. A teacher is not tied into boundaries of subjects and is always accessible to students. A child will not do something because a teacher is watching; he will do it right because he has been taught to watch his actions.

Success has become an obsession with people of all ages nowadays. Your comments.

Obsession is said to be the fuel of success. Obsession gives you the grit to push on when the odds are completely stacked against you. However, success doesn’t come easily. You don’t just dedicate your time, you dedicate your life. You will risk your money, your reputation, your relationships, and even your health. How in the world will you bring yourself to do all this if you are not obsessed?

What emphasis you put on teacher’s training?

A teacher may have completed his or her training without learning new techniques. When this happens, the material becomes mundane and does not adequately incorporate new techniques and technology that may be available. Today, teacher education programmes offer teachers new ways to keep their classrooms and curriculum fresh, exciting, and highly educational. These programmes also provide access to new teaching styles and offer further certification.

What is your view in GenNext biggest strength? What are the key areas of improvement?

Millennials are exceptionally technological savvy. After all, many of them grew up with devices in their hands. They are innovative, have good networking skills, are resourceful, diverse and ambitious and believe in entrepreneurialism. They are a strong, free-thinking group. On the other hand, their weaknesses include a lack of commitment, devaluing face-to-face communication, and frequent job-hopping and impatience.

How can the elderly contribute to the student’s growth?

Young adults require emotional skills to succeed in life. These are attitudes, behaviours and strategies required to operate as a productive adult in an increasingly complex and technical world. Older adults have these skills and experiences in abundance.

Contrary to widespread beliefs that older populations consume resources that would otherwise go to youth, there is a growing reason to think that older people may be just the resource children need. However, generativity or intergenerational engagement will require institutional and cultural change.

What according to you is the role of media in education?

The use of media in the teaching-learning process could raise the students’ interest in the lesson and their responsibility to control their learning. Media provides information, spreads awareness and civic responsibility and helps children productively use their leisure time. They are in fact, non-formal agencies that have wide coverage of educational items in a systematic way.

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