Dear Fellow educators,
Warm welcome after a good break ! I hope you have rested , travelled , rejuvenated and relaxed despite the heat . Hope you are ready for another productive year.
During the orientation, it was very inspiring to hear few of you share the proud moments of your child's board results. Each of you spoke about the sense of pride, relief and accomplishment you had as a parent. It clearly came across as an important milestone in your child's life , hence your life. Others including myself recognise that feeling as we have been there , done it .......
We got our school 10th Board results. The entire nation is talking about Board results. News paper, television channels , other social media is buzzing with success stories, unbelievable scores , inspiring achievement of students who faced all adversities, some jokes on the over achieves who got 99.98% in 12 th grade and what not. Press calls up to find out if we have 100% results ( which is no more a big deal , with CCE and internal assessments playing a major role ) and the number of students who got the perfect score of 10 CGPA. We also see the flash image in newspaper, of a proud parent feeding a " Pedha" to their child who has " topped" the board.
I take a pause and ponder about it.
Did we not try to undo this whole system of obsession with marks ? Did we not create the CCE and spirit of assessment so there are many winners and toppers? Did we not say that one final exam can't judge or define a child's intelligence , capabilities and worth? How did we slip back to old , familiar descriptions and images?
How did we forget our new path to progressive education ?
Or, is it that despite all our efforts, we will not do away with those standards to measure success? we are perhaps in denial state and we go back to what is familiar to us. That of measuring individual students, institutions, school systems, States, tutors , educators on BOARD RESULTS?
Whatever the case may be, I want to turn our attention to few realities.
Just as we express pride and sense of achievement when our child scores well ( and an apology and subtle sense of embarrassment when the child hasn't scored well as per social norms ) let us consciously remember that is what every parent expects from their child, from their child's teacher and the school system. While we may give holistic development, learning with joy and other essentials of learning process, helping students achieve and give high performance in scores is an integral part of their journey ahead. We cannot wish away that goal. This goal has to go along with other goals of education.
Students need to learn, absorb concepts, apply to real world of every day life, synthesise their learning, create and innovate new ideas that can transform their lives and that of future, develop a positive self esteem , handle emotions, interact with others in socially acceptable ways, engage in socially useful , productive ways, develop values , sportsmanship, acquire appropriate skill sets including that of physical motor skills and more . While all this is going on, students also need to face assessment process, recall , recollect, reproduce and present in ways that meets the standards of national tests , prove that they have the ability to memorise, apply , write tests in given time , format and achieve scores that will prove they are cut above the rest. Our students live in more complex and competitive world ( than what we were used to as young adults ). So our responsibility is to help every child realise their potential , help develop tools to prove their capabilities and help compete with their own self and continuously improve their scores. This requires discipline for both the learners and the tutors. This requires a planned approach,
" monitored "learning process, regular feedback , remedial support when required, subtly prodding them out of their comfort zone and certain level of firmness. Love can be a inner lining of all these process.
We can't wish away the system. Schools systems can't ignore the larger system. School is a microcosm of the society - that is what we learn in our teacher education. Instead of joining or pushing our students for the rat race, we have to train our students to " beat" the system , by not quitting , exiting but by understanding, strategising and winning the system. We as educators have an important role - that of showing the goal that is larger, bigger and inspiring them to achieve and reach that goal post.
Teachers, we are working for a larger cause - not just a 9 to 5 job.
EDUCATION IS ......
SO THEY CREATE THEIR OWN FUTURE.
SO THEY CAN IMAGINE A WORLD.
SO THEY SURGE AHEAD TO MAXIMISE THEIR POTENTIAL .
TO INSPIRE ,
SO THEY SEE THE POSSIBILITIES.
SO THEY DREAM BIG AND FULFIL.
SO THEY CREATE A WORLD WORTH LIVING FOR ALL. .
With much love and best wishes for a great year ahead.
Dear Fellow educators,