Teacher Reaches Engages Nurtures Directs Ignites Nourishes Grooms
In this competitive era of marks and grades, the demand and supply groove, do you think we are forgetting the most important aspect of education? The value system! Yes, this is the need of the hour.
Trending now? Happened earlier? Or proposed for future?
It is for the Junior School, the Pre-Primary and Primary level, that I address this issue of ‘VALUE EDUCATION’ today. I firmly believe and so do we all, that it is the ethics that keep the society intact. This guild has people who feel secure and have acquired appropriate attitude. This issue should trend at all times. If we lose sight of morals, we have lost the target while educating children in schools.
In this competitive era of marks and grades, the demand and supply groove, do you think we are forgetting the most important aspect of education? The value system! Yes, this is the need of the hour. If not trending now, it will be the utmost concern in the coming times and has been even centuries ago when the kings sent the princes to the ashrams to procure the skills and values to become suitable heirs to the throne and be capable of taking care of the public and pronounce unbiased judgments in the courts.
This should be a concern in our times too. It is an awakening call, to steer education into the runway for students to takeoff for their smooth flight to the future.
The needs of students, upgradation of educators and demand of present and future jobs have to be synchronized. This starts at the Pre-primary level when we start preparing the children for the big world. Stories chosen and books read out to them or read by them should not be directed to make a point blatantly but in a subtle manner. For example, stories from the Panchatantra which have moral messages could be extended for enactment in the form of an activity which demands application, analysis, reasoning and critical thinking before arriving at a decision.
This can have an extension where students can then discuss why it was the correct or the incorrect decision or how it could have been modified in a better way. By this approach, we allow the children to think, support them in their efforts and escort them by facilitating the process of imbibing values.
Students do need knowledge which is the dynamo for education. But being programmed as a robot is not worthwhile. What is required is, love and care given by parents and teachers which enable the student to lead an emotionally healthy life and take the right decisions at the right time. A good decision maker will always be a contented person and will bring happiness around him. A happy educator can do this by using various child-centred strategies. Do we really buy this thought that ‘Moral Science’ sermons help the children? I am sure we disagree as participation always works better than theory.
Through generations, stories have played an important role in passing on of cultures, values, etc. The lives of famous individuals, kings, sportspersons, people from ordinary walks of life, episodes from ones own life, instances narrated by the children become live wire value modules. But we need to spend time on this! They have to be equipped to influence the society positively in partnership with parents, technology, storytelling, theatre show presentations, etc. The impact, thus, will be gentle but lifelong.
We as educators have the liability to prepare ‘citizens’ who will be the pride of the country. For that it is not important to fight a war at the border but to tenderly, intelligently groom young children to be compassionate and have good demeanor, tolerance and belief in universal brotherhood.
In the kind of mixed classrooms that we have nowadays, where we treasure children from all sorts of backgrounds, it becomes imperative that the curriculum designing needs to offer the best package to the children for them to become socially, intellectually and traditionally compatible as India is a land of rich and varied cultures and has a vast range of economic layering. I call it a ‘range’ and not a ‘divide’. It is for us as educators that we bridge the fissures by sewing the loose ends so that children have a smooth sailing into the future.
Everyday incidents dealt with by the teachers and administrators become role model examples for the children to appreciate what could be discarded and what to imbibe in a variety of situations. This pattern of observing and practicing in the classroom and home environments becomes a habit for them.
Inclusive education is no more just a term but a strategy to get ‘all’ involved in all, the engagement being of the right kind. The interaction here needs to be monitored by the administrators and teachers. The gifted students need to have a plan and so do the students who are struggling to cope or are barely attaining an average score. In the process of doing justice to our subject (be it English, Math, Science or any other) are we neglecting or not noticing the fact that at times the high achievers in the school are psychologically overpowering the ones who are just about coping to reach the grade level? This results in bullying and peer pressure is built, unknowingly on the student who is not scoring well. Some values are needed to address this aspect, too.
Have we acknowledged the fact that the self-esteem of the under achievers or the average children has to be taken into account? Otherwise, they may grow up to be worthless citizens causing unrest in society as is prevalent in the current scenario.
The seed is sown in the junior school and much before that in the homes. When the child enters school, he has certain preset notions. This is the reason why we need to have parents as partners in school. They are equal stake holders and the connect amongst the Teacher-Learner- Parent is always important.
Celebrations in the school in the form of assemblies, talk shows, presentations by guest speakers, parent volunteers should include festivals from across religions and across the world as the child is an important part society. He is a global citizen as the world is shrinking and coming closer as the boundaries are becoming hazy with technology, pacts between countries, exchange programmes, etc.
Formal and informal programmes in the classrooms and school to address issues like bullying, cooperation and compassion do drive the point home. Responsible roles given to children in school instil leadership qualities. Reward programme encourages children and negative remarks should be avoided as they put off the child. Our aim is not to hinder the child’s progress but to get him into the main stream in the most amicable manner.
Gautam Buddha said – The past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for you to live, and that is the present moment.
Let us today inculcate education with values, like a solute and solvent to form a mixture and in the process, formulate a HUMANE BEING, and not just a human being.
The life skills learnt at a young age get embedded. This should include a spirit of inquiry, desired relationships through collaborative ties, sensitising the children about the burning topics affecting our lives for example environment related issues, following rules within the school and society, donating unused material to the deprived, recycling discarded material, visit to a blind school or interaction with differently abled children. As part of community service, in the form of hands-on activity, it will leave a long lasting impact on these young minds. This will be for the betterment of society and grooming of the child to become a suitable global resident.
We cannot negate the aspect of health and hygiene which too goes a long way in redefining the moral training we are imparting to the children. Yoga does wonders to the human body and soul by keeping a fine balance and produces a healthy workforce. Meditation, too, done differently for children, gives them immense peace, relaxation and happiness.
The new generation needs to grow as they are full of exuberance. It is our task to redirect this powerhouse to generate energy in the right direction so that it reaches the pinnacle comprising a combination of a thinker, a skilled worker and a person of utmost integrity.
Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam remarked –If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.
Likewise, Mahatama Gandhi said, ‘By education, I mean an all-round drawing of the best in child and man in body, mind and spirit.’
So all the best to my fellow teachers for the future lies in your hands.
Ms Geeta Gujral, has been a part of the prestigious DPS family since 1992. She started her journey from DPS East of Kailash (Junior branch of DPS R.K.Puram) and is now the Supervisor at the Junior branch of DPS International, Saket, New Delhi. She is a good orator and her skills range from curriculum designing, lesson planning to activity based teaching.
She has conducted live satellite programmes and training sessions for teachers at various Delhi Public Schools.
She had participated in ‘Continuing Professional Development Story Competition’ organised by British Council and made it to the top five winners at the all India level. British Council sponsored her to attend the Third International English Language Teacher Educator Conference at Hyderabad. Trinity College London had organised a ‘Lesson Planning Competition’ for the delegates. Geeta’s lesson plan was selected by their Teacher Development Panel and was ranked among first twenty.
She was awarded the Second prize for her presentation at the ‘Best Teaching Practices Conference’ organized by NIIT