Guruvani: Mumbai school principal shares her challenges
This forum provides school principals/ teachers a chance to share their views and insights on a wide range of subjects with students.Updated: Dec 09, 2019 15:41 IST
Sangeeta Thacker, Principal, Greenlawns High School, Warden Road
What is the biggest professional challenge that you face in your role as a principal?
Education aims to bring about all-round, holistic development of the child. But in today’s day and age, this might not happen all the time. This is because there is tough competition in all fields of education. Many children are scoring nearly cent percent marks at the Class 10 level; there is a deadline to complete the syllabus, leaving less scope to bring about larger changes in the teaching-learning methodologies; students often tend to memorise the subject matter; children are addicted to social media and electronic gadgets as parents are unable to say ‘no’ to their wards; and behavioural issues in class demotivate teachers from adopting novel teaching methods. As a result of all the above, the biggest professional challenge is to instil ethical values, empathy, concern, kindness, and tolerance in children who are growing up in deteriorating and degenerating social and emotional surroundings. These core human values are losing their importance.
Once a teacher, always a teacher. Do you agree?
Completely. A teacher is that catalyst of the society who shoulders the responsibility of moulding a child’s life, who is the future of the country. A teacher will always be in the ‘teacher’ mode even after he/she retires or takes up another position. Guiding, imparting knowledge, correcting the faults of children or simply giving information on life skills — a teacher remains a teacher for life.
Success has become an obsession with people of all ages nowadays. Your comments.
People, both young and old, are obsessed with success, which is so evident from the fact that we read about success stories in the newspapers daily. Young entrepreneurs, sportspersons, scientists, school toppers, students cracking entrance exams, inventors; the list is endless. These achievers stare at us from the newspapers and television channels. Parents are obsessed with their children scoring nearly cent percent marks and often compare them with other children in their class or neighbourhood. But in this process, what is the price people pay? Lack of sound sleep, poor health, frequent nervous breakdowns, and indifferent social behaviour are often the result of all this pressure.
What emphasis do you put on teacher training?
Effective teacher coaching and skill development are incredibly necessary. Teacher coaching should be endless so that it helps lecturers stay up to date with the newest developments in teaching methodologies; develop new competencies that successively helps improve matter tutored to students and lead pupils towards success. Without creating awareness, and training educators with the right tools, it will be tough to guide students in the right direction.
What, in your view, is Gen Next’s biggest strength? Which are the key areas of improvement?
Students are very intelligent, skilful, capable, and can be multi-taskers. They are curious, proficient at absorbing information and adapting to the latest technology. They can carry on lengthy conversations with people and are willing to learn new things. However, they may tend to forget basic values and ignore disciplinary rules laid down by institutions. They need to be guided and reminded of the same, which will enable them to be successful achievers in the fields of their choice.skilful
How can the elderly contribute to a student’s growth?
Elders at home or in the neighbourhood help impart knowledge down the generations using their own experiences, stories, and help inculcate values and build character. Sharing experiences about their hard work and dedication could be strong motivating factors for children to incorporate in their own lives.
What according to you is the role of media in education?
Media is omnipresent. It has brought information to our fingertips. Social media has its advantages and disadvantages. But if used judiciously, it can bring a world of information to children and improve teaching-learning methodologies. Students can learn from across the globe in real-time and knowledge can be disseminated far and wide. Media has proved to be a far greater source of information than textbooks. It has enabled children to learn by doing. The role of media is ever expanding and will continue to do so in the field of education.