top of page

Fostering A Positive School Culture


Nirmal TandonPrincipal, 

Shannen Kids School CBSE, 

Vadodara, Gujarat


Nirmal Tandon, Principal of Shannen Kids School CBSE, brings over 28 years of dedicated experience. With a profound commitment to education, she holds advanced degrees in Mathematics, Science and Physics education. Tandon's leadership is marked by a passion for fostering academic excellence and nurturing a supportive learning environment. Her expertise extends beyond curriculum delivery to encompass curriculum development, teacher mentoring and promoting holistic student development. Under her guidance, Shannen Kids School continues to excel in providing quality education grounded in innovation and student-centred learning approaches.

 

1. Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere, including schools and classrooms. According to you, is it an opportunity or a threat?


As a principal, I want to address some concerns about using AI in our school. One significant issue is that AI may hinder students' ability to brainstorm and engage deeply in their learning, as it often provides ready-made answers. This could reduce students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Additionally, the personal touch of teaching may be lost, impacting the teacher-student relationship. There are also risks, such as the potential misuse of student data and unequal access to AI technology, which could widen the educational gap. AI might replace certain jobs, creating insecurity among our staff. Furthermore, over-relying on AI could diminish valuable human interactions, which are crucial for a holistic learning experience. There are also ethical concerns regarding surveillance and bias in AI systems. While AI offers benefits, we must carefully address these challenges to ensure a fair, safe, and inclusive learning environment for all students and staff.


2. Is technology a factor which brings people together or divides people? 


I believe technology can both bring people together and divide them. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, technology was crucial in enabling remote learning, allowing students and teachers to stay connected and continue education despite school closures. This fostered a sense of community and ensured learning continuity. However, technology can also create divides. Not all students have equal access to devices or reliable internet, which can widen the gap between those who have these resources and those who don’t. Additionally, over-reliance on technology can reduce face-to-face interactions, leading to feelings of isolation and a loss of personal connections. In conclusion, while technology has the potential to unite us, we must ensure it is accessible to everyone and used in a balanced way to truly bring people together and enhance our community.


3. We do not know what kind of jobs will come in the future. How should a school prepare students for the jobs that are unknown?


As a principal, preparing students for future jobs that we can't predict is crucial. We should focus on teaching a wide range of subjects that develop essential skills. Alongside traditional subjects like math and science, emphasising on skill development in areas like critical thinking, problem-solving and communication is vital. Offering vocational courses can also provide practical skills that prepare students for specific industries. This approach ensures students are adaptable and equipped with a diverse set of abilities, ready to tackle whatever jobs emerge in the future. By fostering a strong foundation in both academic knowledge and practical skills, we can empower students to thrive in a rapidly changing world.


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


A good teacher should embody qualities that go beyond merely imparting knowledge. They should foster an environment where students feel safe to express themselves and participate actively. Empathy is essential; understanding students' backgrounds and challenges helps teachers connect better with their students. A good teacher also brings energy and creativity into their teaching, making learning enjoyable and stimulating curiosity. They should be patient, supportive and dedicated to nurturing students' growth, both academically and personally. These qualities not only create a positive learning environment but also contribute to students' overall development and success.


5. Is teacher a leader or a manager? How different or similar are these two?


A teacher acts as both a leader and a manager when they inspire students with a vision for learning while also organising classroom activities, planning lessons effectively and, ensuring a supportive environment for student growth and achievement. Balancing these roles allows teachers to guide and motivate students while maintaining a structured and engaging learning environment.


6. Talking about teacher wellness. What according to you is teacher wellness and what contributes to teacher wellness?


Teacher wellness is all about ensuring teachers feel physically, emotionally and mentally well. When teachers are supported and valued, it strengthens the relationship between teachers and students. This positive connection creates a better classroom environment where students feel safe, motivated and ready to learn. Factors like a balanced work-life, supportive colleagues and school leadership, ongoing professional development, physical and emotional health support, job satisfaction, and regular feedback contribute to teacher wellness. When teachers are well, they can nurture a positive learning atmosphere that benefits everyone in the classroom.


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


It can be beneficial for a principal to have experience as a classroom teacher. This firsthand experience provides valuable insights into the daily challenges and dynamics of teaching. It helps principals understand the needs of both teachers and students more deeply, which can inform decision-making and support strategies within the school. Additionally, having teaching experience can enhance the principal's ability to build strong relationships with students, teachers and parents, fostering a positive school culture.


Your message for teachers…

To all educators, your role in shaping students' futures is pivotal. Embrace technology to enrich learning while maintaining personal connections that strengthen student-teacher relationships. Find the balance between effectively managing your classroom and inspiring your students. Take care of yourself by achieving a healthy work-life balance and seeking support when needed. Remember, working smart and efficiently can lead to better outcomes than working harder alone. Your dedication and enthusiasm are essential in creating a positive and successful learning environment for all students.


Comments


bottom of page