Principal-Director Manju Rana
Seth Anandram Jaipuria School
Birthday: 1 January
Place of Birth: Delhi
The best thing about being a Teacher?
As teachers we can’t be satisfied with our previous achievements no matter how appreciable they are. The best thing about being a teacher is that you are learning and redefining education all the time. Exploring new ways in which children learn always helps you evolve as a better mentor for your learners. A Teacher can stimulate, direct and accelerate interaction within the classroom. The students see her as an approachable and valuable person.
How did you feel on the first day being a School Principal/ Leader?
When I became principal of Anandram Jaipuria School, I was not new to the premises as I was part of this institution as vice principal. But I very well remember that my day started with the realisation of a lot of responsibility and standing up to the expectations of the management, of the teacher, student and parent fraternity – because the principal is a problem solver, a visionary, to whom everyone turns in time of crisis. The profile of a Principal involves planning the curriculum, monitoring instruction, building budgets, developing schedules, running meetings, maintaining safety, enforcing regulations, and negotiating the relationship between the school and the society at large. It has been a long journey of trials and tribulations, experiences, learnings and achievements and I am still looking forward to learning more.
The best thing about being a Teacher-Leader
It is a challenge for educators to stay afloat during a tidal wave of reforms and their compliance, demands and expectations. Day in and day out, teachers touch the lives of their students academically and emotionally leaving an everlasting imprint on their minds and hearts. The most important and effective Teacher- Leader is the one who motivates students and nurtures their desire to learn in a safe, healthy and supportive environment which develops compassion and mutual respect. An efficient Teacher-Leader encourages the students to accept responsibility for their own learning and accommodates the diverse learning needs of all students without having a teacher centric approach. She should be able to create an environment where students’ work is valued, appreciated and used as a learning tool.
What are the traits of an effective Principal?
First and foremost trait of an effective Principal is to have a ‘transformational vision’ for the school and to be a leader by action. A Principal should be well aware of the curriculum, systems, framework; she should understand accountability requirement, foster collaboration, be empathetic and have a democratic approach. A true Principal will always try to empower people around and develop an effective school plan. She will not only create a community of leaders but also enhance community and parental involvement in the school.
Please describe the role you feel parents should play in the operation of the school.
I strongly feel that satisfaction of all stakeholders in any institution is always very important yet challenging. Parents indeed play a vital role in ensuring that the school continues to be successful. They also play a crucial role by being members of the working committee, wherein they also get a chance to put forward their views, expectations and also their feedback, if any. Parents can work with the Principal, staff and Board of management in many constructive ways to build effective co-operation between home and school. Parents can also act as resource persons for the benefit of children.
When you visit a classroom, what are the first things you look for as signs that the classroom is an effective learning place?
Though my observation would vary from one classroom to another (depending on a primary or a senior secondary class) the most important thing that I appreciate is the classroom where the teacher is able to create a learning environment in which students are active participants as individuals or members of collaborative groups; also the one who displays effective and efficient classroom management -promoting comfort, discipline and appropriate student behaviour.
What is your vision of Special Education?
For me, Special Education is the creation of an appropriate environment catering to the needs of an individual child. This allows the children to achieve their utmost potential to learn and to safely expand their range of experiences. It means a total communicative approach to the teaching and learning of language for children with learning difficulties.
What is your view on QCT (Quality Circle Time)?
QCT aims at enhancing selfesteem, self-discipline and positive relationship with a better understanding among peers and also between a learner and a teacher. It can involve the whole class sitting in a circle exploring issues relating to personal, social, moral and health education affecting the whole learning community. The circle meetings aim to encourage participation, development of self-discipline, negotiation, assertive communication and democratic group process along with skills of speaking, listening and concentrating.
What is your view on CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation)?
CCE addresses assessment that is continuous, in order to identify growth and development in the learning of students and comprehensive in order to identify both the scholastic and co-scholastic domains. It is child centric and it provides diagnostic feedback to both the teacher and student.
What is your view on the e-learning platform?
Technology comes naturally to students of today. They understand, enjoy and utilise it better than adults. These days, students associate with digital platforms very well. Today, 21st century learners seek a ‘knowledge absorbing society’ rather than a ‘knowledge gathering society’.
How can you make ‘Inclusion’ a reality?
An educationally inclusive school is one in which teaching and learning, achievements, attitudes and wellbeing of every young person matters. ‘Growing together’ should be the motto of an inclusive school where teachers understand and appreciate the uniqueness of every child. Early identification of a right kind of school can make ‘Inclusion’ a reality. An efficient and effective multidisciplinary team along with adequate facilities can offer new opportunities to pupils who may have experienced previous difficulties. Inclusion focuses on equity and fairness and on the inclusion of all students regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability or other disadvantage.
The most touching things that school children have done for you?
My journey in the arena of education has been a long one starting as a teacher to a viceprincipal to a principal and a director. There have been many occasions on which children have made me feel special in their own way. I remember when some primary kids collected my photographs from the school site and presented a beautiful collage on my birthday. On another occasion, I remember a soul stirring speech of gratification given by a student of an outgoing batch at a citation ceremony.
Your favourite Book?
Autobiography of A Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda