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A Good Teacher is a Good Student

Ms. Ratna Deshpande has many years of teaching experience and she is currently the Principal of Jnana Sweekar School, Bengaluru.

1.What/who inspired you to take up teaching as a profession?

Teaching is a noble profession and my passion too. Therefore, I have taken this profession on my own interest. I have been inspired by my father, school teachers and the professors in my college to take up teaching as a profession.

2.How important is it, in today’s generation, to develop a positive temperament in children?

It is very important to develop positive temperament in children in today’s generation as the ‘single child’ and ‘nuclear family’ concept coming to existence where in there is no guidance from the elderly people. I feel that they are over nourished with all the possible comforts even before they ask for it. So there is no urge for achieving something great in life. In fact, it is leading more towards psychological and emotional problems. Due to technological development children have been exposed to a lot of negative aspects or antisocial aspects which occurs in the society. Hence it is very important to develop a positive temperament in children through moral education or importing suitable values while teaching different subjects in schools.

3.What do you think are the important factors for the professional growth of a teacher?

The important factors for the professional growth of a teacher are –

i.A very good teacher is a very good student. A good teacher has to be motivated and confident all the time to motivate the students. Therefore, the teacher has to update his/her knowledge to suit the present curriculum and to teach the students effectively.

ii.The teacher has to understand each and every child and see that he/she is not affecting the emotional, social or cultural aspects of the children.

iii.The teacher has to follow the modern methods of teaching with effective time management and teaching aids.

iv.The teacher has to be devoted/dedicated and committed towards his/her teaching profession with utmost involvement towards the growth of the child.

4.How have the learning methodologies changed in children today, from how it was 10 years ago?

10 years ago, children followed the traditional methods of teaching and learning process. Now-a-days, children are exposed to activity based methods, online educational programme, Technologically Aided Learning (TAL), Computer Aided Learning (CAL) and audio-visual aids, etc. Today, teacher is only a facilitator.

5.What are the most important life skills, apart from academics, that the children need to be taught in schools today?

Apart from academics, moral, social and ethical values, concern towards schoolmates, friends and the elderly are to be taught in schools. I feel it is also very essential to teach important life skills like swimming, dance, music, arts and craft, cooking, gardening, and vocational courses.

6.Do you believe that advent of technology in classrooms have increased the absorption of concepts in children? Kindly elaborate.

Yes, advent of technology in classrooms has increased the absorption of concepts in children in different fields of education.

For example, if a teacher wants to explain about waterfalls, rivers, oceans, mountains and forests, the teacher has to take a lot of pain in preparing the concepts related to the topics, write or draw, which takes a lot of time and energy. Instead, when the children are taken to the smart class and the concepts are explained with the help of visual aids, less time is taken to explain the concepts and the children understand the concepts in a better way in a short period of time. It becomes self-explanatory for the children. This method is suitable for all the subjects.

In total, advancement of technology in classrooms have increased the concept of understanding better.

‘Out of the box thinking’ and ‘world beyond imagination’ is what the child can experience through advancement of technology. They bring the clear understanding to the student about the unimaginable things. For example, solar system, galaxy, life in sea and oceans, volcanoes, etc.

7.In this era where books, apart from textbooks, are hardly read, how do you think can non-academic reading habits be inculcated in children?

Children have to be motivated to use public/school libraries effectively. Students can also be guided to have their own class library. They have to be encouraged to read the daily newspapers, magazines, novels, etc. and test their general knowledge once in a week by conducting quiz programmes and by introducing some awards for the best reader/writer.

8.Are school-based health centres required in Indian schools? Why or why not?

School based health centres are required in Indin schools as students will get awareness about the importance of vaccinations, and also because most of the schools are located in rural ares. Parents are poor. They are not able to spend or look after or they don’t have sufficient medical knowledge in rural areas.

In cities, both the parents are employed. Most of the parents do not get time to interact the children. Parents have become career oriented. They are not having time to see that whether the child has taken breakfast, lunch or dinner on time or not. In most of the cases, the children are looked after by the servant maids or by the baby care or creche situated near their residence. Therefore, it is very essential to have school based health centres and nutrition centres/ mid-day meal programmes in schools. It has become necessary and a need of the hour to set up school based health and nutrition centres to fulfill the meaning of ‘sound mind in a sound body’ for the growth of healthy children. For the service provided by the health care cantre, reasonable fees may be collected from parents.


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