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Dr. Reeta Sonawat writes on the need for inner transformation

In order to transform we first need to discover the need to transform.

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Transformation is basically changing in form or shape or appearance. This transformation takes place through a process of evolution in which something passes by degrees to a different stage. Transformation, when heard as a term it means ‘a marked change in form, nature, or appearance’. It is not a one day or one month process. It happens gradually over a period of time. It is a very necessary process to proceed in life.

Transformation is something that each and every person has to undergo for his personal, emotional, psychological well-being. The process of transformation is basically a process of changing. A change is essential not only for one person but for society as a whole. But for a society to change it should initially start at an individual level. As a person struggles to develop and further in life, he has to change in a variety of aspects on his personal level. All the transformations play a very important role not only in the holistic development of a single person but for the society as a whole. When these transformations start taking place on a personal level, they soon start showing changes to the whole society and in the larger picture are highly beneficial to the whole nation.

There are 3 D’s of transformation:

a)         Discover:

In order to transform we first need to discover the need to transform. Unless a need is identified, a change cannot occur. Thus the first and foremost step in transformation is to identify the need and also the area of transformation.

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b)         Direct:

After the need to transform is identified, the change needs to be directed. The area of transformation is zeroed on and then the necessary changes are done in that particular area to transform. Hence in this step, the identified need gets a direction and an individual starts working on the transformation.

c)         Development:

In order to become a better version of own self, individuals discover and direct their need to transform which in turn leads to development. Development is constant for human beings and in order to develop transformation is required.

Human beings are considered social animals. For them to survive they need a society that can give them their reason for existence. But if the society remains stagnant then the growth of its citizens is impossible and over a period of time, they perish. Also, development is a characteristic of a society that is in constant evolution. So, it makes a change or transformation in society imperative. In case when a society needs to change, the first and foremost change is required in its members. When there is a change at an individual level then only can a major revolution occur.

In today’s day and age, transformation is needed in myriad areas of life to succeed. These various areas could be patriotic, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, universal, and also cultural. Here we will look at four areas namely, patriotic, spiritual, emotional and intellectual transformation.

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Patriotism means love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it. A person who loves his country and is willing to sacrifice for it is called a ‘patriotic’. In the view of recent events in the country, we can say that there is a dire need for patriotic transformation. In these new waves of love for the country flying in the air, we need to transform on the patriotic level for the betterment of the nation.

In order to become Actively patriotic we need to:

Dare to

A- Appreciate the GREATNESS of India:

As a national to this country we need to know and must be proud of the history, culture and heritage of our country. There should be a willingness in all of us to be informed about our country, appreciate it and try our best to contribute to certain level for the betterment and progress of India.

C- be the Change:

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Change is essential and integral to development. But it is not just sufficient to say that change is needed, to see that change we ourselves have to be that change. Many of the Indians that have been the change and are making a global name for India are Indira Nooyi (CEO, Pepsico), Sunder Pichai (CEO, Google Inc.), etc.

T- Transform and transform:

In order to understand the need to transform we first need to transform. Unless we recognise the need and take an initiative to transform, we need to dare to question, dare to change, dare to act, dare to dream and most importantly we need to transform ourselves to transform others.

It is a belief that a person who does not belong to his nation cannot belong to any other place. To negate this, individuals need to transform patriotically. It does not necessarily mean going on the border and fighting for the nation. It means doing small deeds on the personal level that benefit the person and the society at a larger level.

Hence it is rightly said,

You must be the change you want to see in the world.

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-Mahatma Gandhi

B)         Intellectual Transformation:

Intellect is the capacity for rational thought, inference or discrimination. A person who uses his mind creatively may be called an intellectual. Experience plays a crucial role in the formation of intellect. Intellect is like the banks of a river. Intellect gives our thoughts a direction. Well-known intellects from India and around the globe are Rabindranath Tagore, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, etc.

All these individuals became great personalities due to their work in their respective fields but when we have a closer look we understand that this was possible as their intellect was highly developed which enabled them to think differently and also turn their thinking into realities. These people help us to understand that in order to succeed in life and prosper not only for own self but the others around us we need to intellectually transform.

In order to intellectually transform we need to be CLEAR:

C: Clarity In Thinking

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A person needs to be clear in what he is thinking. He cannot be confused and not have a defined thought for a long period of time. There are three levels of clarity in thinking namely, moral, role and goal.

L: Love What You Do, Do What You Love

Any act that is performed without heart in it always seems incomplete. So, to succeed in life and making it worth living we need to do what we love and love what we do. Individuals who have their heart and soul in what they are doing can strive and survive against all the odds and make their dreams come true.

E: Excellent Love

A team is basically a cooperative unit. When a person works alone, he takes a long time to achieve the same thing that can be achieved in a minimum time when a group of dedicated and goal-driven individuals work together for it. To progress it is essential to understand that together we can achieve much more.

A: Act In The Present

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All mortal beings do have a history attached to their name. But it is always a choice to exist in that past or to move ahead of it and embrace the innumerable possibilities of the future by working hard in the present. All better tomorrows become a today. So, to increase productivity an individual must act in the present.

R: Result Acceptance

Any done deed has a result of it. Each and every action committed by a person does have its equal and opposite reaction. To free one from the mental shackles of ‘what will happen’ a person should be ready to accept whatever result will come of his action. It is best to have a life motto like ‘Do your best and leave the rest!’

In order to succeed, a person first needs to change his way of thinking. As a person changes his intellect, he will influence others and gradually will transform the society as a whole.

So, it can be said that,

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

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― Albert Einstein

C)         Spiritual Transformation:

Spirituality cannot be defined as rather than being a term, it in actuality is a concept. Spirituality may refer to almost any kind of meaningful activity, especially a "search for the sacred." It may also refer to personal growth, blissful experience, or an encounter with one's own "inner dimension. It is something can be said to be concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul of a living being.

To transform spiritually we need to be AWAKE and understand this whole concept of spirituality.

A: Aim Of Life:

The ultimate aim of life is happiness. It can be achieved when we have a calm and peaceful mind. A mind consumed of riots of thoughts always can never be calm and peaceful and in turn, never allows a person to be happy. Some people in history thought that happiness could be achieved when individuals believe in something larger than themselves, believe that serving others is of greater value than to serve themselves.

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W: Work as worship:

Worship, when restricted to the walls of a religious place, loses its meaning. Worship is the extreme or supreme form of love. Hence, to survive in this lifetime we need to make our work our own worship.

A: Altar of concentration:

We need to concentrate in the here and now. As we strive to achieve happiness we need to free ourselves from the chains that bind us to past or future but concentrate on present.

K: Know yourself:

Nothing makes sense until we know our own selves. To be a better person we need to know ourselves, our strengths, weaknesses, our dreams, our aspirations etc. No person can help us until we attain this understanding of our being.

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E: Equipoise:

A balance has to be there in the life of a person. An excess of anything can only be harmful. Hence, equipoise is an essential concept and to be truly connected to the Superiority above a person should strive in his life to achieve this balance or equipoise.

Spirituality is a very important concept in India today. Here when we are fighting in the name of caste and religion, a concept like spirituality not only binds us to the Superior Being above but also relieves us of these binding shackles of religion and caste is of utmost importance. Spirituality thus, can be conceded to be there in the relationships that we share in a lifetime. It can be the willingness of a person to submit to the One he believes is above him and no force is required for him to do so.

Hence, it is said-

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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D)         Emotional Transformation:

The mind is the centre of all the activities that take place in humans. It is the place where thoughts are generated and emotions too. Thoughts and emotions are said to be interdependent. Thoughts lead to emotions and emotions lead to thought. Emotions are complex. Emotions when start dominating a person they cease his ability to think rationally and steer him into directions that may not necessarily lead to prosperity. Thus, to move ahead we need to be at PEACE emotionally.

P: Pause

Just like a pause button in the remote control we also need to have a pause button in our life to control it. More often than not we tend to react even before we gain a complete understanding of a situation thus ruining a situation further. Pause is thus, the crucial moment which determines how things will turn out. It is the form of patient listening. It is the moment we give our self to gain a perspective of a situation before drawing inferences. There are three steps of PAUSE that help us to check our perceptions and rethink our assumptions namely, stop, think and respond.

E: Educate Yourself

As human beings, we have to educate ourselves about our emotions. Generally, we tend to confuse facts and opinions with our emotions. We need to take the onus of our feelings. Also, it is imperative to understand that feelings are temporary. So, any decision taken in a spur of emotion may become a permanent reason for guilt or regret in future life.

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A: Anger

Anger is a very powerful emotion and a lot of people succumb to decisions in this emotion which they later regret. Anger is an emotion which holds a multiplication equation of expections and denial. We need to appreciate people and understand not the person but the situation is the one that has caused you to get angry. We have to appreciate people for what they are in spite of their shortcomings.

C: Care and compassion

Care and compassion are those feelings that can overcome any anger that you have. Anger becomes more prevalent an issue as the love in a relationship reduces. So, we need to be clear that love is never ‘because of’ but ‘in spite of’. 

E: Evolve

Evolution is the one thing that is constant to mortal life. To progress we need to evolve. And progress is distant till we learn to manage our emotions. So, we need to manage our emotions and at the same time let them develop. Let attachment blossom into love and finally reach the superlative level of devotion.

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Hence emotional transformation guarantees less impulsive decisions which in turn is a guarantee of fewer regrets.

So, emotions need to be known to transform as,

“In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it.”

Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

To conclude, it is essential to understand and believe that transformation is an inevitable process in today’s day and age. Human beings need to transform at various levels to develop a better life for self and society on local as well as global level. It would be very safe to say that ‘Transformation’ is the first crucial step to all the evolutions and innovations that can further mankind. A transformed individual is armed to face the society and world at large and take on the challenges of life and further his life and evolve himself as well as change the society at large.

Life is a moving, breathing thing. We have to be willing to constantly evolve. Perfection is constant transformation.

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Nia Peeples

Transformation surely is not an overnight process and will need constant and nonstop efforts. But the end results will be worth all the efforts and beneficial to all i.e. the person, the family and the society.

Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It's a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair.

– Rick Warren

About the Author:

Dr. Reeta Sonawat is Former Dean, Faculty of Home Science; Prof & Head, Department of Human Development, SNDT Women's University, Juhu Campus.

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Inspiration

Archana Surana to represent India at the CUMULUS Global Association

Archana Surana, Founder & Director of the ARCH College of Design & Business, has been elected to the 8th CUMULUS Executive Board (2022-2025).

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Archana Surana, Founder & Director of the ARCH College of Design & Business, has been elected to the 8th CUMULUS Executive Board (2022-2025).

CUMULUS is the leading global association of Art, Design Education & Research. It represents a dynamic ecosystem with 350+ member institutions in 60+ countries.

She said, “I was nominated for candidacy to the Board by the Presidential Candidate Lorenzo Imbesi, a Full Professor from the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. 356 universities from 66 countries voted & today I am part of the 11 diverse members of the Executive Board, led by Prof. Lorenzo Imbesi.” She represents India among the 11 countries on the Board.

Regarding the opportunities her representation would bring to Design Education in the country she said that through this dynamic forum and platform for knowledge exchange and best practices she would be able to bring in committed advocacy for the positive role of designers and creators.

“I am an ardent advocate of the essential and positive role that designers and the Creative Industries can play towards helping shape a sensitive, empathetic, and better world. I would be initiating cooperation and collaboration from industry bodies and fellow higher education institutions of design, architecture, and engineering from India towards this purpose and further strengthen the ‘Women in Design’ initiative of Cumulus, alongside building a mentorship model within the CUMULUS network.”

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About Archana:

Woman Entrepreneur & Educationist for the past 27 years in the modern fledgling state of Rajasthan in India she has succeeded in firmly establishing and strengthening the perceptions and awareness of Design and Design Education in the country.

She has worked closely with the community via social projects, design intervention projects, and mentorship programs, and has contributed to the larger mandate of design & creative entrepreneurship on many levels through industry collaboration and as a member of the National Committee on Design India (2021-22) of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Also, being a US State Department and Rotary Foundation Alumnus, a Vital Voices Lead Fellow, and a Fortune and Global Ambassadors Program Mentee, she is supporting and mentoring women from all walks of professional life through the Women’s Mentors Forum founded by her.

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This Young Woman From A Tribal Village Is Teaching The Children While Schools Are Closed

The only graduate of a Tamil Nadu village has volunteered to teach the children of the village while the pandemic persists

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Where the digital network failed these tribal children in the southern part of India, their own stood to support them. Sandhya volunteers in teaching the kids of her village, Chinnampathy in Tamil Nadu. She is a graduate of B.Com, she is the only person from her village to have graduated college. Sandhya told India Today, “If it rains, we can’t go to school. We only have one bus to our village and so after a certain age, people drop out of school.”

Having gone through struggles herself, Sandhya knows how important a teacher and school is for growing children. So she volunteered to teach the children by herself, so they don’t lag behind due to school closure. Sandhya said "When I was a child, I had no one to help me study. These children here have me to help them study."

One must ask the children from a remote rural or economically backward area, how it feels to not have the proper learning opportunities. The pandemic took more than the ability to roam about freely, it snatched away the ability to go to school for children on a global level. While it is easier for families with better income to support their child’s online learning, most rural and financially challenged families are struggling.

The Indian government did start many projects for such students, but even learning via a television channel or free online course needs some basic gadgets and network connection. Many remote villages, like the tribal village, Chinnampathy, can not find enough network strength to have their children sit in front of a television and learn via the education channels. 

On being asked how her classes are enduring she said, “The children come and ask me very freely all their doubt and they are not afraid of me. I see these children learning well and answering all the questions when I ask them.”

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Youth like Sandhya, who appreciate and signifies the work educators do and want to help the cause, are the future of the education sector!

 

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Gujarat Teacher Finds Television Sets For His Students During No-School

This teacher from Dahod, Gujarat got old television sets and had them repaired for his students to be able to learn during schools are closed

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The digital divide is affecting education all around the world, especially now when the pandemic makes it mandatory for children to stay home and learn online. Many projects by the Indian government have begun to help children from rural and economically challenged backgrounds to learn through television. But what if families can not afford a television set, should such children be left behind? No, Ravindra Prajapati, an assistant teacher from Dahod, was determined to not let his students suffer.

At Dablara Primary School in Fatepura taluka, Gujarat, students could not attend school due to lockdown and were unable to learn online since most families do not own television sets. Prajapati did not accept this and set out to find some TV sets for his students. He appealed to many Whatsapp groups expressing the condition of education and requesting donation of unused television sets, disc-antennas and receivers. 

Soon after his appeal to the general public, he received five TV sets and seven disc-antennas. He asked a television repairman in Sukhsar to repair those TV sets that didn’t work. These were set up at different locations and those who had televisions were provided with receivers and antennas to complete the set. Prajapati said, “At least five students and a maximum of 12 students now study at seven locations using these televisions. In two places where there were TVs but no antennas and receivers, we provided only antennas and receivers.”

The officials of the education ministry have been appreciating Prajapati for his noble attempt to begin bridging the digital gap. Dahod District Education Officer (DEO) Mayur Parekh said, “The effort is what can inspire other teachers as well. If others start making such changes, education will definitely start improving.”

 

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Source Credit: TOI

*The image used is for representation purpose only.

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Letter From This Karnataka Teacher Cheered Her Students During Lockdown

Geetha wrote letters to her students expressing how much she misses them also inquired about their health and academics

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The art of letter writing feels so real and personal by unfortunately it has fallen in the last couple of decades. Though Geetha K H had a different idea in mind, she wrote letters to her students to boost their morale. Having spent 10+ years in the same school, Geetha is one of the two teachers at the Government Primary School in Yalagudige village, Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka. The school has sixteen students from grades 1 to 5, who are stuck at home since the lockdown began in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

Only recently, the children lept with joy at the mail each of them received. A letter in their name by their beloved teacher, Geetha miss. She told Deccan Herald, “It’s been almost a year since I met my students. I had decided to surprise them with the letters when they are off the school and write individual letters to all my students checking their health and also congratulating them for being promoted to next grade.”

She also conveyed her wishes to their families, asked her students to follow covid practices and suggested using the gadgets only for academic purposes. She told them how much she misses them and how special they are to her. In the letters, she also dropped her number and instructed the children to call her if they needed any help, supervision in studies or just felt like talking.

In response, Geetha received 10 letters from her students, clearly, her happiness knew no bounds. Her efforts go beyond plain academia, being present for her students in a manner that uplifts their emotional well being is what every teacher wishes for. Geetha is getting much love on social media and Secondary Education Minister, Suresh Kumar also appreciated her. 

Educators like Geetha are the reason, students today are able to keep their emotional and mental stress in check in the current unprecedented times!

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Pune ZP School Educator Is Determined To Teach Instead Of The Adverse Conditions

This teacher found some ‘out of school’ children working in a nearby sugarcane field, she decided to not see a child go uneducated under her watch

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Rohini Lokhande has been a Zilla Parishad (ZP) school teacher at Nandor in Maharashtra for over three years. She brought the children of the nearby sugarcane field workers to the school soon after she began teaching at ZP. Even today when the world is facing a pandemic and the education field is suffering gravely, Lokhande is keeping strong and trying to keep the learning going for these children. 

When she initially joined the school she realised there were sugarcane fields nearby that had makeshift houses for the workers who would migrate there. The children of these workers would also work in the fields with their parents. Being a teacher, she could not imagine a child ‘out of school’ and not being able to study. She held surveys with help of her ZP school students and had these kids admitted to the school. They used education guarantee card to make sure there was no hindrance in the enrolling process due to lack of appropriate papers. 

The worker families would usually leave the area during monsoons, but some started staying back to ensure their children’s education. However, last year when the pandemic hit and the world went under lockdown so did the ZP school. Lokhande told TOI, “The lockdown meant that many of the students, who had enrolled at the school, could not be reached. Teachers were also put on Covid-19 duty and we had to teach regular classes online. Although, I did get help from volunteers to go and teach them whenever they can, it was not enough. Then I realised that most of the children were also made to work due to the severe money crunch faced by their families. All of this meant, education was the least of their priorities. That is when I thought of conducting the classes for the students at night.”

She approached a local volunteer, who is a postgraduate herself, to teach the night classes for these students. Lokhande paid this teacher out of her pocket and also made sure the children would have books and study material. The volunteer teacher would teach some 20 odd kids from 7-9 pm every night using workbooks in Marathi and Math books. She would also teach them about basic personal hygiene, cleanliness and discipline.

They procured some gadgets as well so the learning would not stop dead in the track if a lockdown is to happen again. She said, “From teachers in my school to people outside, I have found help everywhere. Even now, when I wanted mobile phones for the children of sugarcane cutters, a Kothrud-based housing society donated five phones. The 20 children can be divided into groups of four, to use one phone and study. People can do wonders.”

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*The image is for representation purpose only.

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A tribute to Dr. GK Swamy – the educator who changed children’s lives

We are deeply grieved to learn that Dr. GK Swamy, founder of Purkal Youth Development Society passed away on June 11, 2021. Even though he has been taken away from this world, his loving heart has left behind a beacon of light for all in the community.

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We are deeply grieved to learn that Dr. GK Swamy, founder of Purkal Youth Development Society, 84, passed away on June 11, 2021. He had surgery recently and could not survive it. Even though he has been taken away from this world, his loving heart has left behind a beacon of light for all in the community.

A man who chose not to retire after working as an economist and started his journey post-retirement as an educator by selling his only asset i.e., his flat in Mumbai, and moving permanently to a village called Purkal near Dehradun with the mission of being a positive influence and support to children from an underprivileged background.

With the motto ‘Life is for Giving’, the PYDS started off as an informal free home tutoring facility in 1998. G K Swamy sir with his unwavering faith and generosity built this school into the PYDS Learning Academy, a full-fledged CBSE affiliated school for over 435 rural children, with infrastructure at par with the best.

Video Courtesy: Rajiv Gandhi Foundation

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“Our vision for the disadvantaged children is to create leaders for change: individual, society, and global,” he would say.

He will be reverently remembered by family, friends, and the children he touched the lives of and made them walk in the right path, the path of wisdom.

We will always miss his presence.

PC: TEDxEicherSchool

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This Gujarat Principal Mops His School Everyday Before The Bell Rings

A primary school, in a small district of Gujarat, has its humble principal mopping floors and sweeping the school every day an hour before the classes begin

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There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes. – William J. Bennett

While teaching children the lesson of 'Cleanliness is next to godliness' this principal 'literally' cleans his school. Girishbhai Bawliya is the Principal in a Government Primary School in the Vadod village of Gujarat. He has cleared his headmaster exam after being a teacher for over a decade. Girishbhai arrives at school every day one hour before time to see to the sanitation. Using brooms and mops he cleans the school himself for his students. 

One might think he probably does it because the school is in poor condition and has no funds to spare for cleaning. The truth lies far ahead, the school does receive several grants by the panchayat under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Girishbhai believes that the money can be put to better use and so he uses the sanitation grant money to create other facilities for the school and the students. 

The principal along with another teacher from the school, Jigneshbhai Dholakia, used up the vacation time to paint beautiful and captivating murals on the school walls for the children. These educators wanted to beautify the school campus with art while motivating the students.

On being asked, why he chooses to clean the school in spite of being the principal, Girishbhai said it was his duty to not just teach children about hygiene and sanitation but also show them. He believes in doing as he says and that no work is substandard for any dignitary. In his own words, “some lessons in life can only be learned through actions and not words.” 

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This educator who has not taken a single day off since he took over the position of the principal, is an exemplar of the kind of educators our great nation yields.

ScooNews admires and salutes the humility and virtue of such educators and feels proud to share such brilliant stories!

Source Credit: The Better India

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Nevada Teacher Becomes First To Be Awarded The National Teacher Award From Her State

The First Lady of the United States, Jill Biden, visited the classroom of the awardee of National Teacher of the Year Award. Being an educator herself, the First Lady recognised Urtubey’s hard work and called her the ‘Epitome of a great teacher’

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Juliana Urtubey is a special education teacher at Booker Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Having experience of over a decade, being an educator for kindergarten through fifth grade and her attempts to improve learning outcomes for her students, landed Urtubey the ward for 2021 National Teacher of the Year.

The Council of Chief State School Officers recognized Urtubey as the winner of the national award. She became the first woman since 2005 of Latin American descent and the very first Nevada state teacher to have won the award. The council CEO Carissa Moffat Miller told NBC News, “Juliana Urtubey exemplifies the dedication, creativity and heart teachers bring to their students and communities.” 

Urtubey has been named Ms. Earth (originally “Ms. Earth-to-bey,” a pun on her last name) with much love, by her students for her efforts to beautify schools with gardens. She along with her students formed a garden club called “Gnomies” along with a mini farmer’s market. 

Urtubey said, “We, as teachers, are much more open to this self-paced learning, this flipped classroom, which has been an invitation for students who think and learn differently.”

Starting from individualizing lessons, tending to the emotional and behavioral needs of her students to spending hours with struggling pre-K kids, helping fifth-graders and strategizing with teachers, Urtubey does it all.

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The award is usually presented at the White House by the President but due to the pandemic the ceremony has been delayed. This did not stop the First Lady, Jill Biden, from congratulating Urtubey during a surprise visit to her classroom. Being an educator herself, the First Lady knows the struggles and importance of the education system. The First Lady said, while appreciating Urtubey’s work, “She (Urtubey) is just the epitome of a great teacher, a great educator.”

During her childhood, having had troubles in finding a good school and correct learning environment, made Urtubey realise the importance of educators and the right classroom. This inspired her to become a teacher herself and work with differently abled students. She said, “There’s always strengths to find, and so once you find those strengths, you start there.”

ScooNews wishes Juliana Urtubey, Ms. Earth, heartfelt congratulation on winning the National Teacher of the Year 2021 award!

 

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Read About The Teacher Who Set A New Record In Cycling

Gurpreet Singh, a teacher from Jalandhar cycled 32,000 km in the lockdown

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3 June is known as World Bicycle Day since the United Nations declared it in 2018. Apart from being a world-class sport cycling is also considered a good alternative to no pollution transportation. This physical activity is known for supporting a healthy way of living while also backing emotional and mental well being. 

Gurpreet Singh, an accountancy teacher at Apeejay School, Jalandhar, is an inspiration to us all. At the age of 48, he has set a new world record by bicycling for over 100 km daily for 300 consecutive days. In his own words, a ‘teacher by profession and a cyclist by heart’ Singh is one of the most active members of the Jalandhar Biking Club.

Singh told The Tribune “From May 19, 2020, to March 14, 2021, I cycled 100 km to 400 km every day. I have cycled more than 32,000 km during this period. During this journey, I had faced scorching sun, dense fog of the nipping weather, strong thunderstorms and rain but never gave up. I used to cycle four to 15 hours a day, come what may.”

He applied to be named in the Limca Book of Records and India Book of Records, for his accomplishments. Apart from that Singh is also a three-time Super Randonneur having completed rides of 200-300-400-600 km in one season.

He was not a health fanatic all his life, rather weighed a lot and has many medical conditions. His decision to begin cycling came from his son who had an accident and eventually feared riding two-wheelers. The dawn time cycling became a thing for Singh and soon he realised he loves to ride. Aside from becoming fit health-wise, Singh found a new way of living. Today he is being celebrated for his dedication and resilience.

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Singh is an inspiration to all the educators who find it difficult to take some time out for themselves. This World Bicycle Day, educators must promise themselves some individual time and maybe go cycling once in a while to promote their mental, emotional and physical wellness.

 

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Thimmappa Kodlady Teaches English To His Students Without Alphabets

This primary school teacher does not begin with teaching the alphabets while teaching English

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Thimmappa Kodlady is a Government Lower Primary School teacher in Malethodi, Karnataka. His experience in being an educator reflects in his teaching style that he has developed for a decade. He is popular for using an unusual way of teaching English to the primary children of his school. Thimmappa does not begin teaching with the generic ‘A for Apple’ in fact he does not teach about alphabets at all in the beginning. He teaches his students via phonetics, he believes that learning how something sounds is way more effective than being taught how to spell it. 

The reason Thimmappa decided on developing this unique way of teaching English to his students stems from his realisation that students in higher classes find it difficult to learn another language. He told edexlive, "A lot of kids drop out of high school or college because they don't understand what is being taught in English or because it is difficult to learn the language. But what if we teach them English when they are in lower primary or primary school? The fact of the matter is, it isn't a big deal to learn English. That's why I decided to train my students in English in a unique way so that they don't feel bored to learn the language."

Thimmappa worked hard for his teaching style development. His undying dedication to his students led him to attend any and all workshops for educators that he could find. His method of teaching clearly works since his students can read and understand complex words and phrases. He also makes sure to analyse the learning along with his students at the end of every lesson.  "I teach them the sounds of these letters first and once they are perfect with the sounds, I move to the letters. Children will learn it faster if we teach them the sounds first. While this is achieved, what children learn easily is to write the spellings. Even long and complex spellings are written easily by children."

Other than inside the classroom, the school has high-frequency word posters in the corridors for children to keep learning all the time. The students also get divided into groups that take minutes of all the school activity related meetings, these students need to present with a report after the said meetings. This is Thimmappa's way of making sure his students learn inside as well as outside of his classroom. Educators like him are the soul of the Indian Education System, they do not let the lack of resources in the rural areas distract them from their goals. 

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