Kesar Patel is the Principal at Maa Anandmayee Memorial School, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. Here, she talks about the importance of journaling, working smart and the power of articulation.
Principal Patel is an educationist with over 20 years of experience. A versatile writer and storyteller herself, she is a founder principal. Vivacious and voracious speaker, Principal Patel leads by example and motivates one and all. She is also a published author. Her blog can be accessed at www.wonderfulteachertips.blogspot.com
Felicitated by National Award Winner-MHRD and Scholastic Teachers Day Honours among many other awards, Principal Patel is a passionate individual who can talk at length about the ‘Dynamics of School Management and Education’.
Following is an excerpt from the interview Wonderpublish recently conducted with Principal Kesar Patel:
Q. 1: How does a teacher evolve into an educationist?
Ans: When I started my journey as a teacher, I was delivering what was expected of me. Gradually, I realised that the Indian students lack a lot as far as reading skills are concerned. The potential and love for reading are extremely underdeveloped. The fluency for reading is not there, neither in English nor in other regional languages. And I realised that the children who are very fluent readers score better in academics. Reading develops everything, from creativity to thinking power to speaking skills to writing skills. Also, it gives them confidence because they have the knowledge whenever or wherever they are required to. So wherever I go I work on the development of reading habits amongst teachers as well as students.
And yes, definitely, there is a difference between an educationist and a teacher. You simply evolve with time and become an educationist.
Q. 2: How are you coping with this second wave of COVID?
Ans: Thankfully, we haven’t had any cases amongst the staff members. Everyone is staying indoors and working rigorously online. We have had a revolution in terms of technical training in our school. We also have an ATL Lab in our school through that the ATL in charge took up many a lot of training sessions, and practically I can see the revolution in the teachers. They have involved newer teaching methods like collages, videos with the help of tools like Adobe and all. At the same time, they are getting faster and more comfortable in using these mediums and tools.
Yes, initially, our students faced a little problem in making their own videos. As part of ATL activities, students have to upload a lot of videos. Earlier they were too hesitant to make their videos. So when the teachers were trained thoroughly in how short videos can be made and edited with minimal effort, the students picked up as well.
Q. 3: You are a published author. When did you start writing and what is it that you write about?
Ans: Earlier, we used to write lesson plans. And those plans were very lengthy, full of explanations and we had to write by hand. During that time, I used to take printouts and stick my lesson plans in a register because I didn’t want to write by hand. So, in a way, what instigated me towards writing was that the better the lesson plan the more explanation I wrote about why I am including what I am including.
So our Principal, Ms Chatterjee used to rate lesson plans and give them stars based on their quality. So those stars were the motivation for me to write more. I started pouring my heart into my lesson plans. From there she put me into the school magazine. Once I got into the editorial team, I was writing not only for myself but editing others’ work as well. So that’s how I became a writer.
Speaking of my writing, I am more of a blogger. I have written some aptitude books and biographical pieces on the personalities recommended by Nagpur University. But my real creativity comes out in my blogs or when I write on social media.
Q. 4: As a trainer and a motivational speaker how do you gauge potential in your subjects?
Ans: I never underestimate people. I always overestimate them. And when I overestimate them I don’t allow it to come to my mind that this person doesn’t have this capability. I encourage everyone to get things done. And they get it done. I raise the bar by telling my teachers how excellent they are. I provide all the help that is available. That’s how I motivate people.
Q. 5: What do you mean by the Dynamics of School Management and Education?
Ans: For me, the dynamic of school management is managing teachers in a way that I see good results in our children. I see my students blooming, doing well, coming up, exploring, speaking, writing, making mistakes and learning from their mistakes.
Management of teachers is when they realise your vision, place their trust in you and in what you tell them to do. Developing trust is very important amongst the staff members and that’s the crux of management.
Q. 9: Lastly, what message would you give to young parents?
Ans: Everyone is aiming to give the best education to their children. The development of social skills at an early age is also very important which is lagging nowadays because young parents are living in nuclear families. So if you are doing a video call, please connect your kids to their grandparents and other relatives and friends so that they develop the required social skills. Because most of the children do not learn how to communicate at early stages, they become hesitant at the latter stages as well and can’t communicate with their bosses or colleagues.
Pull out your kids from conservative zones. Don’t pass on your biases to your kids. And stay away from your mobile phones and other screens so the kids can develop the same habits. This is the most important habit that you as a young parent can develop for the betterment of your children.
Connect with Principal Kesar Patel on LinkedIn