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Approaching our Classrooms With Sensitivity and Kindness



Gunjan Srivastava,

Director Principal, 

The Orbis Schools, Pune.


Gunjan Srivastava is an educationist with over 25 years of experience. She began her career as a Mathematics and Science teacher. Today, she is the Director Principal at The Orbis Schools. She holds a steadfast belief in the empowerment and continuous evolution of teachers. She has undertaken numerous training programs and has been recognised as a Master Trainer with COE Pune. 


 

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


My journey into the world of teaching ignited during my senior secondary years and continued to flourish throughout my post-graduation. From conducting impromptu study sessions with classmates to tutoring neighborhood children and guiding my own younger sibling, I found myself immersed in the joy of sharing knowledge. These experiences weren't just about imparting information; they were moments of profound connection and fulfillment. It became clear to me that teaching was not merely a profession I was pursuing but a profound calling that resonated deep within me. 


2. As a principal, what are the tips you give your teachers at the beginning of an academic year? 


As each year unfolds, it's easy to fall into a sense of complacency. However, as educators, we must embody the spirit of perpetual learning, constantly seeking out new techniques to captivate and inspire our students. Despite our years of experience, we must recognize that each batch of students is inherently unique, devoid of any one-size-fits-all formula for success. It's through the journey alongside our students that we uncover the most effective paths forward. Let's approach our classrooms with sensitivity and kindness, refraining from comparing current students to those of previous years, especially when they happen to be siblings we've taught before. Embracing the power of new technologies in our teaching endeavors can further enrich the learning experience, opening up new realms of possibility and engagement. 


3. How do you mentally prepare yourself for the new academic year, as the Principal? 


It's often said that 'well-planned is half done,' and I wholeheartedly subscribe to this notion. At our school, we emphasize the importance of thorough 'unpacking' ahead of each new session, recognizing it as the cornerstone of our success. By setting clear deadlines, we afford ourselves ample time to explore emerging technologies and innovative value-addition programs that could enhance the upcoming academic year. Our exhaustive day-one readiness process not only ensures logistical preparedness but also primes me mentally for the exhilarating plunge into the deep waters of education once again, in search of the invaluable pearls of knowledge and growth. 


4. Parent involvement in a child’s schooling is becoming critical. As an experienced principal, what are your thoughts on this? 


We are aware that the parents play an indispensable role in nurturing their child’s growth and development. Parental engagement becomes critical when their child starts school. Celebrating everyday achievements and navigating through challenges, they serve as the steady anchors in their children's lives. Parents instill stability and assurance in the educational journey of their children as the foundation of a sense of security and well-being of a child is built upon their parents’ everlasting love, consoling presence, and emotional support. While academic content delivery is taken care by the teachers, to foster holistic development parental partnership is indispensable. 


5. How do you motivate teachers to be life-long learners? 


In order to foster the Gen Alpha generation, it is crucial for instructors to stay aware of the speed at which their students are learning at the school, we use a dynamic combination of customized training sessions, circle meetings, and regular feedback loops. These systems work as a constant reminder to our educators of the importance of welcoming change, letting go of antiquated habits, and enthusiastically partaking in ongoing education. We're dedicated to moving forward as a team to achieve the new objectives set. This collaborative atmosphere breathes excitement and camaraderie into our learning environment, turning education into a celebration instead of a burdensome chore. Our shared commitment to development guarantees that we all become lifelong learners. 


6. A principal’s job is a tough one! What do you do to keep yourself motivated and stay positive all the time? 


In my perspective, no job presents itself as easy; challenges abound in every endeavour. It is imperative that we develop a mindset that views criticism and challenges as a chance for personal development and that we should always work to improve our abilities. My goals are well-defined, my conscience is clear, and my motives are pure therefore there is no foothold for negativity. My work is my passion that drives me and keeps me determined from within. 


7. Your message for the teachers/teaching.


 Having the right core is paramount in teaching; it's more than just a job—it's about profoundly impacting lives. While errors in files and data can be rectified, the scope for mistakes in our profession is infinitesimal. Our ignorance or incompetence could potentially derail someone's future aspirations. This immense responsibility we bear as educators, compels us to continuously strive for excellence and uphold the trust placed in us by our students and their families.


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