Sunday, October 2, 2016

Finland Phenomenon - A Necessity of Edworld

Finnish schools have received a lot of attention these days. What is the element of greatness in it, which makes it the No. 1. Why are the educationists looking at it with tremendous
curiosity.                                              #Age of admission

In Finland, a child is eligible for a school only when he enters the age of 7. When we talk about any eligibility in India to get admission in a school, we find nothing as fixed norms, we find a number of practices concerned with it. Some schools take 4+ children in their Montessori section. Others are ready to take any child between 2.5-3.5. 
What my experience says, the child until he/she reaches the age of 5, is not prepared physically or psychologically to face the challenges outside the home or in the absence of parents. He/She is not able to build relationships with others out of her family. They need emotional support whenever they are in need of it. But I don’t think schools are capable of doing that. A teacher can play a mother, but can’t be a mother. There is a great difference. 

I have observed that the children of 6 years age are the most creative, energetic, full of charm, ready to learn, ready to connect, ready to initiate and ready to compete. They are actually walking through the realm of their time. Their mindfulness is at their extremes. Hence, I believe that 6 to 7 years is the perfect time to enter a school.
I have experienced some students who joined school at 6 or 7 they start and finish very fast all those tasks which took 3 years to finish for those who joined earlier. The reason behind it is that  all his senses have grown up to react and respond in a better way. His fingers and eyes have developed to recognize and learn to coordinate. His memory has developed enough to keep the records of things and behaviors, he comes in contact with the school. They have built a strong foundation. If children can achieve all what is expected from them at 7 then why there is a need to have school before it. 

The children who join so early really miss a very beautiful part of his childhood. They are deprived of the first school (Home) and the first teacher (Mother). The time is full of love and affection. Everywhere they find a gentle touch of love. Children become more skilled in those things which are given time and they love to do. At home, they learn to adapt to the new environment gradually, when they visit their relatives or the neighbors, these visits are either accompanied by their parents or are of very short periods. Gradually they learn to recognize and adapt to the new hands. In those 3-4 years they build some eating habits, learn to follow the instructions, and understand the culture of  the surroundings; learn to differentiate a little bit between harmful and safe.  Their innocence, the real wealth, remains conserved till they enter the school.

When a child enters the school before 5-7, then he/she spends a number of hours crying to get rid of the school and those unknown people. After 15 or 20 days they leave the hope, admit their defeat and starts building a negative belief system that they have to go against their desires. But they learn to manipulate or excuse fulfilling those unsatisfied desires.  Steadily, they become clever enough to deceive their parents and teachers. The behavior patterns developed in that early age, remains for the years. They are settled pathetically there and undoubtedly it may be the worst beginning; we can’t say now,’ Good beginning is half done’. 

The modern RESEARCH has shown that the children's brains are wired for learning from birth. But, the age before 7 is too early for them to enter the Factory model of schooling that is actually designed to train future workers to foster dependence, conformity and obedience and not creativity, self direction, collaboration, problem solving, love of learning. We have learned things in schools, but we have practiced those skills in our free time outside of the school and enjoyed it, it mattered a lot. We should start giving importance to the world of kids before schooling, assuming it's a foundation for the next 15 or more years of schooling. Hence it must be strong enough to bear the pressures of education methods and high stakes testing approaches that ignore their wisdom.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Every day, each and every moment of interaction with students brings a lot to learn in a classroom. In my 17 years long teaching career, I have realized that whatever I am blessed with today is due to questions asked, doubts shared by my students  and trust they had on me. My students are never away from me whether they are in their professional spheres or enjoying with their family. We feel connected all the time with each other.

If we talk about the level of satisfaction we find, no other  profession equally satisfying. We feel quite satisfied when there is a gain sometimes it is  quantitative other times it is qualitative. No profession is in a position to give much as compared to teaching.

Every student is unique in his talents. The world we have today is due to following some of the uniqueness of nature. Some people  had been successful in unfolding the idiosyncrasy of nature, so accelerated the process of evolution. They had been successful to open the gift packs presented by God. The role of a teacher becomes very valuable as having plenty of gift packs in his class, hence those must be handled with care. Great teachers are always ready  to put their efforts to solve those riddles given in the form of students.

Some of the gift packs opened by great teachers have illuminated  the world with a light of their unique talent. But plenty of packs remained unopened because of not having adept artisans.

When a teacher behaves like a student before his students then he would know that every student wants to learn deep down, but demands to have beautiful hands like a potter. Only then he can allow you to give them a shape. When a teacher concentrates on his students then only he finds that his students are also concentrating on his instructions. A resourceful teacher is able to meet the demands of every student in his class. He is able to stimulate and  draw out the bundle of questions from their brains hence set them at ease. He always tries to keep the desires of their students alive. His efforts fuels the fire of  young minds.

The children are curious by nature. They want to make sense out of things. They have a built-in desire to learn about the things around him. Children know instinctively their methods of learning. A good teacher always trusts their knowledge about themselves. If he doesn't do that then he might  miss the chance to correct them in case their belief is wrong.

Students learn more by asking questions rather than not by answering. They should be encouraged to ask whenever there is a learning time.

Einstein wrote," It is very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of  seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion." The moment a teacher makes  students afraid, he puts hindrances in the path of learning.

Students actually behave like an echo wall, it depends on a teacher whether he is producing music or noise. Their reflection is the reflection of teachers who are teaching them.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Googlogy - Like All Other Sciences

The information technologies have their origin in the scientific community. Yet, paradoxically the field of education has benefited least from what these new technologies have brought. The world of education is undergoing absolute transformation, however a number of educationists have treated the information technology with skepticism. But, the technology  will continue expanding its limits for sure.
Google has revolutionized the world of education in a way that it has become inevitable for it, whether we talk of 'Google Search' or Google 'Apps'.Toppingly, it's been effective in student's engagement but still some people say it brings diversion from the main course. It's been affecting the retaining power of the brain Amazingly, as I feel it's all about the stimulation around and the neural-connections, still a number of educationists are under stress because of the increasing use of Google by the students all over the world. 
Google is becoming inevitable for education. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Google is going to be taken in as a regular subject even in primary schools and not so late but in the near future. We might be having an exam of 'Google' like other sciences. We might be having  books (e-book) on Google, which will contain all the magics of 'Google'. The day we will start to have Google as a subject, then only its ill effects could be removed. 

It is like, it was 
in the early nineties, people used to talk about the use of computer and its ill effects, the same happened with the introduction of mobile phones and smart phones. But now we are having information technology as a subject even in k-5 schools. Google has been a part of IT revolution and it has played the role of catalyst in expanding the horizons of IT. It is also playing a leading and important role to determine the way IT will go in future.

We have realized that Google has occupied our brain, hence we can't avoid it, rather we should learn and be skilled to use it in a better way. In my schooling days a number of times I would wish to have a magic wand to help me in my studies. The teacher would never miss a chance to remind us, "there is no magic wand to help you in your studies hence you need to work hard". The  students are using 'Google' as a magic wand nowadays.

Everybody is using google as his loyal servant. I am unable to imagine a world without Google.The things which become an integral part of our life, sooner or later also become a subject to be studied and researched. So I am talking about 'Googlogy'. 

If my supposition is right then the teachers first need to be a student of this Google class only then they will be able to take it's benefits.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Treasure, Remained Unopened Always

Very first day of school is full of charms and affinity for a kid. Earlier, 'The School' had been envisaged in a beautiful way by his parents or near and dear ones. He has a different kind of curiosity to go and find what is very good for him in that arena. People around him  have made it a matter of prodigy. Everybody talks about school when very short time is left to start schooling. Sometime it makes him fearful also. But he wants to go there and realize with his own senses, that, is the school really made for him?

He wants to learn and grow with his innate capacities which are different from others like a thumbprint or the texture of pupil in one's eyes or we can call it his DNA Print. He really wants his teacher to recognize it and water it sincerely, to have some good fruits of unprecedented  taste. But the majority of kids are unblessed for not being recognized. That makes a big loss to the society. Who knows, how many Eintstiens would have been there if they had been taken care of.

Their anguish becomes their chum till the moment an angel, in disguise of 'Teacher' comes in and distinguished him among all other friends of his. At the moment, his suppressed aspirations open their eyes and gradually start running with the honest efforts of that 'Teacher', who wants him to struggle and feel challenged. Who is brave enough to let him fail, learn the lesson and boost him to have another go. The race starts late, but finally brings the fruits.

Thousands of kids, when are grown up and join the race of life, somewhere, sometimes, are kindled by their own conscious efforts and later illuminate the world. Thousands of kids grown up and faded with their capabilities unidentified. The world, we witness today, would have been more peppy, if this unrecognized treasure would have been opened. We can't revert the time, but correct the error made in the past. The beautiful world we witness today is the result of the endeavors of teachers of past and today's teachers will certainly be responsible for the beauty or crudity of the future. 

The 'Teacher' must have capabilities to identify the capabilities of their students. If they do not, still they should carry on their sincere efforts, in a hope that they will find it someday. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Becoming A Google Certified Teacher

In 1998, when I lost my ambition of joining the Indian Army I decided to work as a 'Teacher'. During my teaching time I came to know that 'Teaching' requires to follow a flow chart of complex category if you want to succeed in the classroom. One has to indulge himself completely in it. Gradually I realized that it was not just teaching, but learning day by day. I have an attribute to stimulate my students to have regular queries. This practice made me more innovative and creative and took me to the page 'Google For Education'. My topic for the  'Two Minutes Video' asked by GTA, was Motivation and Learning. I recorded a video on 'Motivation and Learning'.

There were a number of objective and descriptive questions to answer when I was in the process of applying for a GTA. But a long experience of classroom teaching and teacher training worked here to let the things go smoothly.

I had to read the mail from GTA several times to actually let it sink in that I had been selected to be a part of it. What an opportunity I had had!

What is a 'Google Teacher Academy' perhaps best to quote from the site. The GTA is a free professional development program designed to help the primary and secondary educators from the world get the most from innovative technologies. It is an intensive two day event in which participants get hands-on experience with Google tools specially designed for the world of education.

What a rich and inspiring experience it was!

52 star teachers throughout the world, committed to work for the children rigorously,  gathered there and shared their experiences while having tips to integrate technology into the classroom from the amazing leaders ChrisBetcherWendy GortonJimSillJayAtwoodJohn Bailey, and many more from GTA.

Suddenly, after GTA I realized that I had been dropped into the blooming world of educators. Every day I got to have rich experiences shared by more than 800 exceptional educators from different streams.

Last  14 months, every hour of my profession had an influence of GTA. It helped me to blend my classroom activities with technology, hence made my teaching more effective and long lasting. I realized the importance of technology in the classroom. After GTA I have been exploiting continuously the technological tools provided by Google to ameliorate the learning in the classroom. Later, I got an opportunity to present  in one of the summits organized by Edtech Team in American School of Bombay. It helped to enhance and update my technological skills. I had a connection with Saint Albans School students from my growing network. Presently working for Barnsley College, Yorkshire, UK. All is due to my branding as a Google Certified Teacher.

The repute of GTA could probably be scaled by the answer given by one of my American teacher friends NickCusumano, when I asked him that why he had come to Australia if GTA is happened to be in America every year. He replied that he had availed this chance after his four attempts in America so he did not want to miss that opportunity at any cost.

It's great to hear that India has its first GTA this year on 27, 28 November at Gugaon. Applications are open to avail this opportunity for the teachers of global teaching community. Very first time Google is having eleven Google Teacher Academies at different places. It is a great opportunity provided by 'Google' for teachers in leadership who strongly believe in 'CREATE-COLLABORATE-SHARE'.

The GTA gives you an opportunity to meet exceptional people from education world. After GTA you will be a part of the  Google Certified Teachers Group. Here you can find more details to understand the Google certification. Here you can have tips to make an awesome video for GTA.

So leaders! Cheer up and don't miss this great event. Apply now. If you're not a GCT yet, I'd love to see you all there and any Rockstar teachers you are working with. Here is the application info!

Due Sep. 30th!

GTA India Application

Combine your trip to GAFE INDIA SUMMIT, American School Bombay with a trip to the Google Teacher Academy!   

Register Here For Gafe India Summit Bombay

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Technology And Great Teachers Have Great Chemistry

Technology is not good or bad in its nature, but it can be used for good or bad. This is like atomic energy which can be used in a destructive or constructive way. If it is in creative hands, can produce a masterpiece. We should not talk about the noxious ways it can be used. In fact technology is a boon for a teacher who wants to give his best.
A teacher with clear goals of education, when equipped with technology is in a most worthy and responsible position. He/she has to explore and demonstrate the ways, a particular device can be used to achieve his/her goals.
If we talk of educational goals it can be defined as producing certain kinds of adults able to be a part of  a virtuous society. To achieve this goal technology offers  wheels with zero friction and provides a wide range of choices. But it may create a state of hesitancy for users. That moment teachers with apparent goals easily come out with right decisions, but teachers with hazy sight, may opt for incompatible tools.

We know very well that the lessons, presented with visuals are more effective and long lasting hence be chosen carefully as the wrong contents may take the students to a wrong track. So it becomes very necessary to think before choosing a tool, technique or contents of a particular cognitive exercise and then it must be comprehended on how that tool could be utilized in a better way. 
Research tells us that kids learn well by doing. Learning that engages and challenges the learner is called active learning with real output. Computer games can be used to create interest in learning among students. Computer games in the classroom have all its nature to produce cognitive stimulation. They are going to prove potentially a great power in education if the teacher is spry and lightheaded to be a part of it. 

Social networking sites e.g. Google+ and Facebook can prove to be the best tools to develop interpersonal skills among students. 'Communities on Google+ with Hangout', having more advance features presents a ground to organize events like debate, symposium, declamation and poetry. Google docs have all its potential to develop literary skills among students. But under the observation of a great teacher.
Finally, it is not the technology that is making children smarter. It is teacher and student that improve attainment. Technology and bad teachers have no impact on education at all but technology and great teachers have good chemistry.
But who is a great teacher teaching with technology:
One who always remembers the basic nature of technology, that is

  • Technology is not stable, but always changing.
  • Technology is not the lesson, but a medium to deliver it.
  • Technology is not the problem, but offers the solutions to some of the never ending problems.  
  • Technology can not be staved off, it had always remained an integrated part of your life and certainly will be.
  • Technology is not the answer, but capable to present a number of riddles to be answered so as to utilize the untouched areas of kid's brain.
technology and great teachers have great chemistry.