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Cultivating Emotional Intelligence Through Self-Awareness

Supriya Patel, Principal, D.R. Amin Memorial School, Vadodara

Supriya Patel is the Principal of D.R. Amin Memorial School Vadodara, Gujarat. She has a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics, a PG Diploma in Computer Applications and a B.Ed. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in English.

Supriya has been in the field of education for 30 years. She started out as a teacher at Shaishav School, worked in Baroda High School and St. Kabir School as a Math teacher. Subsequently, she joined Utkarsh Vidyalaya (which was later rechristened as D.R. Amin Memorial School), where she was a team leader in the primary section. She has been heading the school as a principal since 2018.

Supriya has joined all the schools she has worked with, in their early years of establishment, and has been instrumental in their growth and progress.

  1. In this era of Artificial Intelligence, how do you think classroom and classroom teaching is changing?

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to evolve, its impact on education is undeniable. By revolutionising traditional classroom teaching, AI offers personalised learning experiences tailored to each student's unique needs, strengths and weaknesses. Its immersive technologies, such as VR and AR, enhance engagement and transform abstract concepts into tangible experiences. Automated administrative tasks free up educators' time, allowing them to focus more on student interactions and effective teaching practices.

Moreover, the data-driven approach that AI provides enables teachers to gain valuable insights into student performance, facilitating data-informed decision-making and optimisation of teaching methods.

2. Is technology a factor that brings people together or divides people? Why/Why not?

The dual nature of technology has become increasingly apparent, especially in today's interconnected world. On one hand, it facilitates global connectivity, collaboration, innovation, and access to information, often fuelling social movements and advocacy. On the other hand, it has contributed to the widening of digital divides, amplifies polarisation, privacy and security concerns, and an overreliance on technology that can hinder interpersonal relationships. Ultimately, the impact of technology on society hinges on how we use it, demanding a thoughtful and balanced approach that harnesses its benefits while mitigating its potential downsides.

3. Talking about teacher wellness, what do you think 'teacher wellness' is, and what contributes to teacher wellness?

  1. The comprehensive wellness of teachers is a multifaceted concept that requires a holistic approach. To ensure the mental, physical and professional well-being of educators, schools must focus on creating an environment that promote a culture of support, provide adequate resources and recognition, and encourage open communication channels. Here are some key points to consider:

  2. Mental Health Support: Schools should prioritise mental health services for teachers, including access to counselling, stress management programs and mindfulness workshops.

  3. Work-Life Balance: Ensuring a healthy work-life balance for teachers is crucial for preventing burnout. This includes providing reasonable workloads, encouraging breaks and respecting personal time.

  4. Professional Development: Providing opportunities for continuous learning and professional growth can enhance teacher satisfaction and motivation.

4. It is increasingly becoming difficult to identify competent teachers. What according to you are benchmarks to recognise a good teacher?

The qualities of a good teacher encompass a multifaceted spectrum that balances content expertise and pedagogical prowess with empathy, adaptability and commitment to professional growth. Teachers' passion for teaching, deep subject knowledge, clear communication skills and classroom management abilities serve as the foundation of their craft. Their adaptability allows them to differentiate instruction, harnessing the potential of each student. A student-cantered approach fosters personalised learning, empowering students and promoting their well-being. Timely and constructive feedback, backed by effective assessment practices, allows teachers to pinpoint areas for growth and celebrate successes. In conclusion, identifying a good teacher involves looking at a combination of personal attributes, professional skills and measurable outcomes.

5. Psychologists say that we are in a society where we are reactive while we should be responsive. How should teachers become more responsive than reactive?

The difference between responding and reacting can be profound in the classroom, as teachers have a significant influence on their students' learning experiences. By becoming more responsive, teachers can model patience, empathy and thoughtful behaviour, setting the stage for a positive and productive learning environment. Some strategies for developing responsiveness include - cultivating emotional intelligence through self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy and social skills. Implementing active listening by giving students full attention, showing genuine interest and avoiding interruptions. Practising mindfulness to stay calm and focused, reduces the likelihood of impulsive responses.

6. How important is it for the principal to be a classroom teacher?

The benefits of active teaching experience for principals are vast and multi-layered. From improved credibility and decision-making to enhanced support and school community, each aspect works in tandem to create a harmonious, effective and supportive educational environment. By stepping into the classroom, principals not only gain a deeper understanding of students’ needs and challenges, but also stay connected with current educational developments. They can model and reinforce the importance of continuous learning and improvement for both teachers and students, fostering a culture of excellence and mutual respect.

7. Your message for the teaching community/teachers...

To our esteemed educators,

Each day, your dedication shapes the future. Take a moment to revel in the impact you make, celebrating even the smallest successes that accumulate into remarkable achievements over time. Embrace the journey of lifelong learning, staying curious and open to new teaching strategies and technologies that empower both you and your students to thrive in an ever-evolving educational landscape.

Create classrooms where every student feels valued, respected and included, fostering an environment of diversity, empathy and collaboration. Remember to prioritise your own well-being, setting boundaries and seeking support when needed, as a healthy teacher is better equipped to inspire and support their students.

Forge strong connections with your students, their families and colleagues, building a community of trust and collaboration where everyone's voice is heard and valued. Encourage creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving, using innovative methods to make learning engaging and relevant.

As advocates for your profession, engage in conversations about educational policy and practice, ensuring that you and your colleagues receive the resources, support and recognition you deserve. Regularly reflect on your teaching practises, seeking feedback to grow and evolve as an educator.

Above all, never lose sight of the joy that comes with teaching. Celebrate moments of discovery, the breakthroughs and connections made with your students, letting your passion for teaching shine through. Together, we shape minds and hearts, creating a brighter future for all students.

Thank you for your unwavering commitment to education and for making a lasting difference in the world.


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