Deeptha Vivekanand is a Storyteller and Reading Consultant at St. Kabir Public School, Chandigarh. She is a trained professional storyteller. While she began her career in Sales & Marketing, she was drawn to teaching and learning, which made her switch paths. She has since been working in the school education space for the last 12 years, telling and reading stories to children and training teachers on the art of storytelling. Recently, Deeptha has co-created an online teacher-training module for the CBSE titled 'Storytelling As Pedagogy'. Deeptha also performs at storytelling festivals both in India and abroad. Apart from storytelling, Deeptha enjoys quizzing, travelling, and countless cups of coffee.
Deeptha Vivekanand is the Winner of 'Qnow It All?' World Teachers' Quiz 2021.
1. Congratulations on winning the World Teachers' Quiz, second edition. You were one of the finalists last year. How do you feel after winning this year's edition?
Thrilled, quite naturally. I learnt from my goof-ups last year, trusted my instinct and gut, and took my chances. Thankfully, it all paid off. More than me, my son is excited.
2. Please share your journey so far, as a teacher. How did it all begin?
I never set out to become an educator. began my career in sales, but very quickly realised was not cut out for it. There was an opening in Corporate Learning & Development; took a chance and found that was drawn to it. I enjoyed researching and creating content; started reading up about learning theories and found it most fascinating. Along the way. also started to enjoy delivering training programmes. I could hold the attention of a class full of adult learners. got myself certified on Dale Carnegie's programmes, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and so on. It was at this time that stumbled upon storytelling as a teaching-learning methodology, and got very interested in it. The more read, the more I discovered and the more it drew me in. The creative possibilities were endless. I wanted to pursue this further, so took a leap of faith and quit my corporate career after about 6 years. spent a couple of years studying and understanding the art of stdytelling - both in terms of application and performance. My foray into the school education space began in 2009-10, in my role as a storyteller and educator. have stayed there since.
3. Why do you think events such as teachers' quiz, are important for teachers and educators?
Quizzing is a great stress buster. It has all the ingredients of a sport if you ask me. Taking part in quizzes helps educators draw the connection between what they teach from the textbook and the real world.
4. As an avid quizzer, how important do you think quizzing is, for both teachers and students?
I feel quizzing must be a regular feature in every school's calendar for teachers and students alike. When teachers become quizzers, they inspire their students. They get to lead by example. For students, watching their teachers quiz can be a great experience. They get to see their teacher on the hot seat a role reversal takes place! Moreover, quizzing is a fun way to assess student learning; it boosts confidence and morale, helps them build team skills, develops the ability to think critically and on their feet, and importantly, connect the dots to work out the answer.
5. How important is general knowledge for teachers, in today's scenario?
The teacher of today cannot afford to restrict herself or himself to their subject area alone. There is an increased focus on competency-based learning, 21" century skill-building, integrated/inter-disciplinary-learning and so on. Knowledge about the world is critical to make the subject more relevant to students. A teacher tho can create an interest in the subject by bringing in multiple facets of learning into the classroom - for example, a Math teacher who can draw connections to music, sports, literature, etc., is a teacher who is most sort after today. Quizzing is one powerful way to help a teacher see the interconnectedness of things.
6. Your message to teachers...
Teachers and doctors are the most important people on the planet! Both of them deal with the human being's growth and development. The doctor takes care of the physical aspect of a person while a teacher nurtures intellectual growth. In the last two years we have witnessed teachers across the world go through a huge transformation, so the message is already loud and clear: the future of education is going to be nothing like what we may have imagined. The learning landscape is changing everyday. The only things that will help us deal with this is we consistently acquire new skills and stay curious. And so, we as educators, must be inspired if we wish to inspire our students. I believe a teacher must be interesting if she wishes her students to be interested!
This article originally appeared in the TeacherTribe Magazine December 2021 edition.