I am a passionate Neural Educator, Finland Researcher, Winner of NATION BUILDER AWARDS 2021, and Teacher Appreciation Award facilitated by Education Minister VarshaTai Gaikwad. I had participate in TTF 2019 and 2020 as Chairperson of the Committee. (Teacher Task Force conducted by Teacher Help Teachers)
Why and when did you decide that you want to be a teacher?
I am a passionate learner. At the age of forty-six, I am still learning to explore newly occurring issues/topics further. In the process of learning, what I realize is Teaching is nothing but co-learning. Learning passion formed me into a teacher. I always think about how I raise the self-esteem of a child while teaching and learning.
Were there any difficulties in selecting the field ‘Teacher’ in the beginning?
New teachers face various challenges, especially during the first few years. My challenges started when it seemed like an unsupportive environment. With new ideas to explore in classrooms confrontations with the issue of curricular freedom and lack of resources. I am an English Language Teacher. I found that students lack an environment where they can communicate in the English language. They were more exposed to reading/writing skills. They have less exposure to listening and speaking skills. I started working on Oracy Skills with the inclusion of inquiry-based learning. I introduced different pre and post-activities in daily learning. These activities built up the interaction within students. Students started taking the initiative to discover answers, to find evidence to support or disprove their talks. I was able to develop their critical thinking awareness, self-directed learning. It gave students the confidence to ask questions and come to conclusions about their own experiences. For students, these were different from ‘sit-and-get’ teaching and learning compared to a new approach of flexibility and their powerful engagement in the learning process.
What is the most memorable moment of your life while working in the field of teaching?
In Covid 2019 I have been part of the Finland Research Group. My Research paper on “Creativity Awareness- Misunderstanding of Children’s PLAYFUL Nature as Play (activity) and the objects they imaginatively use to re-make the world as ‘Toys’’ June 2020 was published by CCC Finland. I was also part of the Editorial Team of the Research Book “Creativity in New Normal”
Now involved in the “Online English Drama Club” with our School students Grade 5 – 8 to develop their English Language skills.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Pandemic Year 2019 has affected educational systems worldwide. All physical activities had been stopped. Thanks to the digital era we all were still connected on digital devices. I had started online communication skills sessions for Teachers who teach English as a second language. Throughout the whole academic year, I could enrich their teaching skills with online zoom sessions.
Another alternative opportunity I created for students who were eager and able to learn, could not find their way past closed school doors. I start Online Library Activities for rural children once a week.
I think both will surely have a positive impact in fostering their resilient learnings.
What do you think needs to be changed for teachers and students in society?
I am looking forward to hybrid learning. Teachers need to upscale their work and provide the best quality education to the learners in person. Students are thriving as they will take advantage of the benefits of a hybrid learning environment. On a local and global level, the excitement of accessibility to students and teachers is seen to discuss their views on certain topics. Students perform better in school when they are engaged using live video conferencing platform features like polls and quizzes, interactive virtual games, and a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning. The new engagement gave teachers more insights into students than they’ve had before. Teachers easily recognize when a student is struggling in class in the process of these activities.
The most important changes I could see were the growth of their better engagement and communication. Students gain confidence in speaking English with other students and other teachers.
What advice would you give to those who want to become teachers?
I am happy NEP 2020 has shifted its focus from grades to the skill development of students. I have worked for emotional development in classrooms. The students must be aware of their emotions and their impact on learning. Mindfulness involves better learning. The new aspiring teachers ought to explore their creativity. With practice, teachers embrace the opportunities to improve their skills. Keeping things in perspective they should involve the power of collaboration with other teachers. It will strengthen their reserves and increase their knowledge. Drawing from the wealth of knowledge and experience of colleagues helps them to grow and to succeed. The last call will be “Be excited, but not naive.” Best wishes to all aspiring Teachers.