Exams or not, holidays or not, academic pressure plagues children and parents alike. It’s as if their entire life depended on it. Or does it? Why do we lay such stress on academic excellence? What happens to that section of the population who are not proficient enough? After all, it’s common knowledge that there can be only one topper? Then why are we all running a race without giving any thought as to why or how? Why is our inherent herd mentality which was meant to be a survival skill driving us to doom?
“Life is a journey, not a destination”
In a world where everyone’s in a race either with themselves or in competition with others, how many amongst us ever stop to wonder about the destination. We keep running, passing on the baton to our kids. If we all could just pause for a moment and reflect on our journey, where we are headed to and whether the means justify the end, and taking it a little further – if the end was worth it all, we would find solutions to so many of life’s puzzles.
What are we teaching our children – both by words as well as from our actions? What are we after? While there is no doubt that monetary stability is one of the key factors to achieve success in life, is that all that matters? While each financial benchmark achieved is only a step to aim for the next, of what use is all this power, position and financial success without the heart and mind that stops to smell the flowers along the way; running blindly towards quenching an unquenchable thirst – the ever eluding elixir of life called HAPPINESS.
There was a time--not very long ago--when most parents in India wanted their children to pursue either of the two professions: engineering or medicine.
Consider some of the impressions prevailing about other professions at the time: teaching was a noble profession, but paid poorly; banking was a steady job, but required extensive travel; business was an attractive option, but was too risky. And so on…
The children themselves may not have been keen on the two professions but were wary of offending their parents. In addition, they had to deal with peer pressure, family pressure and family pride. If you were ‘good’ at studies, you became an engineer or a doctor, period.
Eventually, most of those who followed their parents’ advice were happy with the career choices their families made on their behalf--but there were also a good many who were not.
The latter set of people continued to pursue the profession sans the requisite passion. Some of them gathered enough courage to make a switch to the vocation they were passionate about, and a few of them still hope to pursue their passion, in spite of doing well in their current profession.
To be fair to the parents--who always want the best for their children--back in the day, the opportunities were rather limited. It was the advent of computers that spawned a whole range of new opportunities. And suddenly, one found, one was spoilt for choices, and selecting the right profession suddenly became tougher than ever before.
Can passion alone decide what career option your child is going to pursue? How important is it to identify your kid’s passion and how can you help them nurture it as best as you can?
As parents, we need to:
- Be free of prejudice: Be prepared to accept what your child has decided to do. All professions are equally important and fulfill a certain role in society.
- Trust the gut feeling: Parents know about their children best. Has your child shown an artistic temperament, a head for numbers, or a flair for the languages?
- Respect child’s judgement: Don’t be alarmed by or be sceptical about the choice your child makes. Your only worry should be to provide support to nurture that passion.
- Support the passion: Being passionate about what they do brings out the best in children and being able to do it with full parental support is like the icing on the cake.
- Accept setbacks: Don’t let the fear of failure deter you or your child from pursuing the passion. Early setbacks are common, even desirable, for eventual success.
Finally, take time off to identify what interests your child as it may not become apparent straightaway. It may even change several times in the initial stages as your child weighs her options. Be patient, and discuss the topic often, but stand by your child’s decision.
Passion kindles imagination, which in turn unleashes the creativity in your child. As Albert Einstein said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
- VANITHA K
1) Why did you choose teaching as a career?
Ans. Everyone remembers one’s great teacher. Perhaps one of mine inspired me to work as a teacher and showed me the joy of a particular subject and made the lessons fun. Hence, when an opportunity knocked my way to work with children and make a difference in their lives, I jumped at the chance. Teaching is fun and there are plenty of opportunities for me to be more creative in conveying information to the children. I have been given a chance to inspire students as I was inspired by my teacher. Teaching is a wonderful way to pass our knowledge and passion; hence I chose teaching as my career.
2) Why/how did you come across/join MLZS?
Ans. I was undergoing training and also working in the Montessori school and was eagerly waiting for a chance to join any CBSE or ICSE school. One day an attractive advertisement caught my eye about the new and upcoming school in Kasavanahalli which was Samsidh MLZS (CBSE School). I eagerly attended the interview and was selected for the senior KG. Pre - primary teacher’s post. I was very impressed by the vision of the Management and the words of the Principal which gave me courage to take admission for my children too in this school.
3) What do you like about MLZS?
Ans. Samsidh MLZS is the best school and comfortable place to work with right from the Management, the Principal to the teachers and the children. The teachers undergo various training sessions every year which provides us immense opportunities to learn new things every year and gives confidence to work peacefully. Our school believes in following a different approach to teach students. Samsidh MLZS never forces students to study just for getting excellent grades, but motivates them to understand the values and concepts through activity based methodology. Our school is unique because we are free to discuss our problems and wants to the higher authorities. Samsidh MLZS follows values and teaches the same to the children along with providing discipline to them.
4) What are the changes that you have brought into a child?
Ans. The changes that I have brought in children are:
-I make my concept come alive by making it as interactive and engaging as possible.
-I enjoy every teaching moment to the fullest and to have fun with the children.
-To make them feel special, safe and secure when they are in the classroom.
-Being positive influence in their lives,
-Bringing positive energy in the classroom every single day.
-Teaching them the values in every activity.
-Keeping my head steady and teach happily for the love of education.
There is a saying “with great power, comes great responsibility”.
5) Why is MLZS better than the other schools?
Ans. Samsidh MLZS is a one of its kind organization to work and is a child friendly school. Modern technology is used along with the teaching by the teacher. Our Management, the Principal and all the staff members are very cooperative and supportive. Every day of work is filled with zeal and inspiration and this has taught me how to make my passion more creative and fruitful inside and outside the classroom and the school.
6) What are the achievements in your teaching career?
Ans. I believe that my greatest achievement as a teacher is to have become a wholesome person – a person who teaches and is able to be appreciated, to be listened to and is valuable to the students who gain so much by learning. Being a skilled teacher helps me to contribute my knowledge in a given task very effectively and crestively. I learnt a lot through teaching, gained satisfaction by satisfying the students and parents. I have gained respect in my school through dedication and the quality of work.
7) How long do you wish to work for this school?
Ans. I consider MLZS as my second home. I wish to work as long as I continue to bring some progress and changes in this school.
8) What do you think is the role of a teacher in MLZS?
Ans. MLZS teacher understands very well that teaching involves wearing multiple hats to ensure that the school runs smoothly and all the students receive a very high quality of education. We integrate critical thought, emotion and moral values with factual data to broaden the learning experience and make it more relevant to everyday life situations.
9) If you need to describe the school in one word, what would it be?
Ans. Creating 21 st century leaders.
10) Out of the six values of the school, which value is the closest to your heart?
Ans. The value of Integrity is closest to my heart.
It is very important that at a young age, children are oriented towards practical knowledge rather than relying completely over their bookish knowledge. Practical knowledge helps in contributing to the holistic development of a child. Here are some benefits of practical knowledge for kids:
Develops a thorough understanding of the subject
Practical experiments help one develop a thorough understanding of the subject. Theoretical matter will help the kids know about a concept but the actual learning comes from practical knowledge.
Kids might be able to understand a concept much better if demonstrated practically to them. When they visualize something happening, they can understand the intricate how to’s of the subject.
Practical knowledge requires practice
Theory is all about reading a given set of materials and understanding what the materials want to convey. Whereas to gain practical knowledge, you need to explore various options and see what works the best.
Unlike just reading theory and mugging up things, to get practical knowledge, you need to practice repeatedly and inculcate the habit of letting them go deep to the root to understand the concept holistically.
Knowledge is retained in the child’s brain
We tend to retain visual memory for longer than we retain our hearing memory. Similarly, something that the kids experience practically will always have a profound effect on them over what they read or have been taught in the class lectures.
Knowledge gained through practical experiments is retained in the body for a longer time as the kids have understood the concept and know how exactly something is working. Also, kids tend to get bored while the regular lectures or while reading the concepts in a textbook. Instead, the practical experiments are interesting to them and they are able to retain that set of information for a longer period in their brain.
Easy to relate to the practical knowledge and easy to understand
For kids, it is always easier if you show them how something happens rather than explaining the process to them. Children are always curious and tend to ask many questions on how things work. If we show the practical implementation of things to them, they can easily obtain the answers for their questions and satisfy their curiosity.
One of the most important learnings from practical experiments is that, children can explain a specific process in their own words when needed. Theoretical information requires them to learn and write answers in a specific way without knowing what it means whereas visualizing it practically can help them develop their own sense of ease while describing it.
Cultivates the habit of teamwork
Practical experiments promote group work. Since practical experiments cannot be performed by an individual child, he or she might seek the help of his/her teammates and therefore build a bond with them. Team work is always an enriching experience for children as it teaches them to socialize with other kids and work in a team.
Practical knowledge is associated with a sense of outdoor activity for the kids and hence, it not only interests them but also helps them gain deeper knowledge indirectly.
Music has the power to transform us. Whether it be the thrashing of guitars, the celebratory horns of mirachi or the gentle humming of a loved one, all people are familiar with music in some form. Even the pitter-patter of falling rain is considered music by some. And perhaps, it is the endless, intricate ways in which, Ms. Sujata Dash, music teacher at Mount Litera Zee School, finds her way into the lives of her students and has continued to influence them through music.
For her ceaseless efforts in instilling the essence of music, since the last five years, we asked Ms. Sujata Dash, what she had to say about Mount Litera Zee School, HSR Extension:-
1. Why did you choose teaching as a career?
Ans: I chose teaching as a career because it is the platform through which I can implement my ideas and thoughts among the children. It provides me an opportunity to work with people and make a difference in their lives. We, as teachers, have the power to inspire and motivate children to become what they love to become.
2. Why/How did you come across/join MLZS?
Ans: My journey with MLZS started on 4th July 2011. I remember walking into the campus listening to the melodious and spirited rendition of the "National Anthem" at the morning assembly. The spirit of the song evoked a sense of responsibility in me and has been motivating me ever since.
3. What do you like about MLZS?
Ans: MLZS is one of the best CBSE Schools in Bangalore. This school provides all kinds of activities like Sports, Yoga, Music, Art & Craft, Dance etc. The academic curriculum is taught very creatively here. The classrooms are very interesting with teacher-driven facilitations, audio-visuals and activities catering to all kinds of learners, which help children comprehend the subjects/topics. Teachers, here, are very friendly and co-operative. I am extremely proud to be a part of this Samsidh MLZS family, which has played a vital role in sculpting me as a 21st century teacher.
4. What are the changes that you have brought into a child?
Ans: Being a music teacher at this Institution, I help impart the knowledge of Hindustani vocal music and have taught various genres of songs to all classes. I am aware that music helps students relax their mind and improve their memory power and become invigorated so that they can tackle any work. I’m glad that I play a role in this process.
5. Why is MLZS better than the other schools?
Ans: Samsidh MLZS is better than other schools because we offer a comprehensive and holistic education to students. The students are not judged merely on the grades that they score in various subjects. The academic and co-curricular activities are designed in such a way that children develop life-skills and learn how to collaborate, communicate and co-operate to work as a team. The value system, which they inculcate within the school, is second to none. The friendly atmosphere of the school, the camaraderie among the staff, allows me to a member of this big family.
6. What are the achievements in your teaching career?
Ans: The school has provided me with ample opportunities to hone my skills in teaching music formally, by allowing me to attend various external workshops like SUBLIME, TFAI etc. These workshops have empowered me to improve my style in teaching music. Also, I also had the chance of becoming an External Examiner of Gandharv University, for Classical examinations.
7. How long do you wish to work for this school?
Ans: I wish to be an integral part of this family forever. I cannot envisage myself going anywhere else. Who likes leaving home?
8. What do you think is the role of a teacher in MLZS?
Ans: We are the facilitators and mentors, rather than teachers. The adage of a teacher being the “Friend, Philosopher and Guide” holds true for each and every teacher at Samsidh MLZS.
9. If you need to describe MLZS in one word, what would it be?
10. Out of the six values of the School, which value is the closest to your heart?
She concluded in the words of Robert Frost - “I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep,” and wishes the best for the school and the students to reach their true potential. We thank Ms. Sujata Dash for her relentless endeavours in creating a magical world for her students through music.
To be able to use one's imagination to entertain others is a great skill to master -- our parents and grandparents used bedtime stories to great effect in our childhood.
Storytelling is an art: it educates, it entertains, and it enthralls. It encourages us to be creative. It can even lull us into a good night's sleep. It helped preserve different cultures and traditions across the world before the printed word was invented.
The word 'story' can attain a slightly negative connotation with such English-language phrases as ‘cook up a story’ (invent a story or alibi), or ‘spin a yarn’ (tell a long, far- fetched story). Were you aware that ‘old wives tale’ is a widely held traditional belief that is now thought to be unscientific or incorrect, while ‘a tall tale’ is a hard to believe story?
Those who always tell a ‘cock and bull story’(an obviously untrue story) to their parents, teachers or classmates will find it difficult to convince them they are actually telling the truth and are likely be dismissed with a shake of the head and a “Don’t trust him/her, we are sure it's the ‘same old story’(a bad situation that has happened many times before)”
A story can make us warm and fuzzy inside like a success story, a heartwarming story, a bedtime story or a rags-to-riches story.
Moreover, a good story can fire up our imagination and everybody loves a good story! Therefore, being able to tell a story well can keep your audience spellbound; it is an art worth mastering.
In recent times, the practice of storytelling at home and in schools has declined due to the popularity of video games and social media networks. However, scientists and educators recommend that, this tradition should be made a part of family time and school curriculum.
Storytelling helps students in many ways:
- Level-playing field: Every child is gifted, but in a different way. Storytelling gives an alternative to children who are unable to cope with traditional learning methods.
- Job opportunities: The ability to express our ideas and vision clearly and imaginatively is a key to be a part of the 21st century workforce.
- Networking: The power of oral expression can help students create effective networks -- the lifeline of modern living.
Teachers, on the other hand, can benefit from:
- Increased reach: They can reach out to every student in the class and keep them interested for longer periods of time.
- Less stress: By introducing an element of fun, teachers can communicate with students with less effort.
- Renewed creativity: Educators can broaden their own horizons by effective and creative use of storytelling.
Finally, storytelling is an effective method of communication that has been in existence for thousands of years. In case you are interested, here is a link to some interesting variations of the word story/tale/yarn at http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/story)