Mallika Kaleem is a teacher from Nagpur with degrees in Master of Commerce, Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Education. She teaches toddlers in kindergarten and gives lessons in commerce and economics for college students. Mallika was a Delegate in the Model Parliament in Lok Sabha, Delhi 1990. She was also a part of the Regional Winning Team at Model Parliament, Vidhan Saudha, Bangalore. Mallika Kaleem is the winner of the 'Qnow it All? World Teachers' Quiz', 2020 edition.
What or who inspired you to become a teacher?
The Inspirational Kindergarten Teachers! Going down the memory lane, I remember having the cupboard doors as the blackboard, with an oversized, overstuffed purse dangling on the little shoulder, well equipped with all the tools (a big ruler, chalk, handkerchief as duster, toffees & candies) required by a teacher, wrapped up funnily in Maa’s Saree, calling out names of imaginary students from the attendance rolls, and occasionally praising heaps of compliments or giving a stern look at the erring ones.
Well, the teachers at the kindergarten school might have impressed the young mind, that led to the emulation from that early stage! Hence, the inspiration!
How did the quizzer in you emerge?
Emergence of the quizzer in me!?! Of course, the childhood games, (which till date simply amaze me to no end) to name a few – the quintessential ‘school free-periods’ game : ‘Name Place Animal Thing’, Scrabble, Hangman’s Knot, Word-Building, what’s the good word (which is very close to my heart), crossword puzzles, and many more, perhaps planted the quizzing seed and nurtured the sapling in me.
Come Summer vacations, and we used to go on a hunting spree. The hunt for exchange of story books, comics, children’s magazines, anything that we could lay our hands on. Comics like Indrajal series – Phantom, Mandrake, Uncle Pai’s Amar Chitra Katha, Pran’s Chacha Choudhary, Chandamama, Archies, Dennis the Menace, to name a few- perhaps the imaginative faculties used to get cultivated. I used to be fascinated by the vividly illustrated Walt Disney characters– Rapunzel, Cinderella, Bambi, Dumbo, Donald & Daisy Duck! Thus, the reading habit inculcated in the early years, might have improved the quizzing knowledge quotient.
3. How was your experience taking part in ‘Qnow it All? World Teachers' Quiz?’
It was absolutely an inspiring delight to be a part of ‘QNOW it ALL?’ World Teachers’ Quiz. How many such noble and novel activities can one find especially tailor-made for teachers! Reliving the memories of the chirpy school & good old college days, the thrills and chills of participating in various competitions. It is simply amazing to understand that close to 12,000 teachers came together on a platform, exclusively meant for them! What better way to celebrate them?
Moreover, this being the ‘First Ever’, one of its kind, quiz, not only participating, but the cherry on the cake was winning the title, which was all the more exalting.
A special mention for the team members of the TeacherTribe.world, Sridhar, Chandra, Roshan, Apoorva, Varsha and Rashmi and others at the backend for their courteous pleasantries.
4. Tell us more about your winning experience…
It gives me immense sense of pride being an Indian and representing the City of Oranges – Nagpur, bringing it to the world map!
Winning the hearts by letting the world know, that there is so much to learn and enjoy! Rightly placed question mark(?) – QNOW it ALL? Ask me and pat I shall reply – NO! NOT AT ALL! Whatever we all think we know, is just a speck.
Maybe it’s just the toddling step towards the quest for knowledge, is what I’ve come to learn, the journey of this quest is vast and immense, the quantum of the universe is unfathomable. The true inspiration comes from the World Teacher’s Quiz.
More than winning the title and its feeling of ecstasy, I feel I had my ‘WOW Moment’ when I could extract out an “Arre Waah” right from the Master Quizzer’s mouth- Pickbrain! Otherwise, everybody knows the trademark Giri-exclaims: Superb, Cracker of an Answer.
The crowning title surely is enthralling! Along with it is the responsibility of sharing the knowledge, but with a purpose and a message of enlightening the students of the coming generation. The teachers are looked upon as role models. Hence it becomes imperative to instill the humanely values of compassion and benevolence and to give back to the society.
5. According to you, are such engagement activities like quizzes and contests, important for teachers?
Yes, absolutely important. These engagement activities not only provide an outlet for relieving the worries & tensions and have some childlike fun but also goes on to chisel and improve the faculties of brains like recalling the static knowledge, assimilation of facts, agility, risk taking ability and above all experiencing the adrenalin rush.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Indeed! Isn’t this true, for the teacher too? Hence, the relevance of such activities.
Thank you, Rama Ranganathan madam, TCS iON and TeacherTribe for initiating this wonderful movement. You have definitely set a benchmark & raised the standards of quizzing.
6. How can teachers and educators benefit from such activities?
Evolving certain skills like focus of mind with calmness, attention with no tensions, time management, problem solving ability, playing in the true spirit of the game, are highly recommended for teachers for they are the ones who are in close proximity of the students & emit the vibes which get transmitted positively.
7. Your message to the fellow teachers, to encourage them to involve in such activities…
Take risks and celebrate mistakes! Don’t suppress the child in you, let it bloom and flower! Live life to the fullest!
I quote myself: “A happy teacher will make a happy student, a happy student will make a happy learner, happy learners will make a happy nation!