Sunaina Sambyal, principal, KLM International School, Pathankot Sharing her views, the principal says that nowadays, most of the students spend most of their time on social media and smartphones. She believes that for teachers, the toughest challenge is to make them overcome new forms of addictions such as social media and smartphone addiction. Her three inspiring words for her students are: Believe, learn and accept.
In these politically volatile times, should students be insulated from political upheavals? How do you educate them about the changing scenario?
Politics is something that itself is very dramatic and unstable. According to my perspective, we as teachers should keep our children connected with the evolutions happening in society as they are the ones who are going to deal with them in the coming future. But at the same time, we should emphasize finding or developing solutions rather than promoting the ideology of getting involved in protests or riots, which is just a waste of time and finances. Also, they should be taught about all the possible catastrophic ramifications of these upheavals. Keeping children connected with the political changes will not only keep them updated with their surroundings but will also help improve their rational thinking and will eventually foster them to become philanthropists.
How do you motivate children to be “ green citizens”?
A teacher can inspire students to be green citizens by various means. First of all, students should be asked to use organic products in day-to-day life. The habit of eating more vegetables and fewer factory meals helps reduce greenhouse gases overall. They should also be encouraged to reduce the use of chemicals and taught to dispose of waste properly. Green campaigns should be organised from time to time to motivate the students. The habit of walking or cycling within the school radius should be inculcated in the students. They should be asked to switch from plastic to glass bottles.
Pedagogy is changing with leaps and bounds every year. How do you keep pace with it?
I believe that we teachers are jugglers who have to make the best of every situation. Ultimately, change in curriculum needs change in practice, not only for teachers but for all with any direct or indirect responsibility for curriculum enhancement. For teachers, opportunities are essential to learning in ways that strengthen capabilities required for practices that are consistent with the new curriculum. If a new curriculum promotes children and young people to be more adapting, then the same should apply to those who teach them. This could be witnessed amid the Covid crisis when the teachers shifted to a new method of teaching.
How do you inspire/motivate, students to take up sports as it is a vital part of school?
Sports play an important role in students’ lives and, teachers play a big role in motivating them. Children should be told more about sports as a career option. They should even be told how impactful physical exercise is to their health and well-being. They should maintain a balance between physical fitness and their studies. They should even be taught the value of teamwork and positive behaviour through sports programmes.
Where do you see your students and school in ten years from now?
My school will be the topmost and leading educational hub in the region. It will produce great and renowned future citizens who will be the real campaigners of the school directly or indirectly. Our school will be one of the topmost institutes and will use the latest technological aspects. It will cover all aspects of teaching and learning pedagogies and give more emphasis to vocational courses. It will provide a cordial, congenial, and homely atmosphere on campus and focus more on pupils’ interests. It will cover all aspects to develop a better understanding among teachers and students.
What is the toughest challenge in your profession?
Nowadays, most of the students are spending their maximum time on social media and smartphones. In the teaching profession, the toughest challenge is to make them overcome new forms of addictions like social media and smartphone addiction.
To stop them from indulging in these activities, we should encourage them to practice exercises that develop their creativity. Moreover, we should come up with strict rules to put a stop to excessive social media and internet use.
Would you encourage your children to choose teaching as a profession?
According to me, teaching isn’t a job suited to everyone. One should think long and hard before choosing this profession because it involves a great deal of intellectual, emotional, and even physical labour and the responsibility of shaping the future of students. I would wholeheartedly encourage my children if they opt for this profession and are willing to enlighten the future of children and become torch-bearers of society.
Are you still in touch with your teachers?
The one good thing about Facebook is that it has allowed me to reconnect with my old teachers. I am still in touch with two of my favorite teachers, who are a great source of inspiration for me and fill me with positivity always.
What are your three inspiring words for your students?
Three inspiring words for students are: Believe in yourself, Learn from your mistakes, and Accept challenges in life.
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