Instead of being abstract, teachers should start with concrete examples of any topic

Instead of being abstract, teachers should start with concrete examples of any topic

advises Mrs Neelima Jain, Principal, Modern School, Faridabad

Tell us something about your association with Modern School, Faridabad.

I have been associated with this institution since 1991—more than two and a half decades. I had joined here as PGT mathematics. After 6 yrs of service, I was promoted to the post of Head Mistress of the junior wing, then Vice Principal, and then gradually Principal.

I am looking after the administrative part of this school since last 20 years and in all these years; I have tried to improve the work environment of the institution along with providing quality education to the children at an affordable fee.  

How have you influenced the growth of this school since last twenty years?

Modern School was incepted in 1979, in a rented accommodation. It was the dream of our Chairman Dr S D Jain to set up an institution where children would get the best educational infrastructural facilities and highly qualified and committed teaching faculty for imparting ideal education.

I have joined Modern in 1991. Since then, I have tried to give a new definition and direction to this school by setting educational goals in academic, co-scholastic and extracurricular activities. I have also trained staff members on instructional leadership and classroom practices defining the school’s mission, managing instructional programme and promoting a healthy congenial and positive learning climate. I have also provided the latest physical infrastructure and technological learning practices by linking classrooms with digital interactive white boards. Presently the school is accredited by JAS-ANZ. We have started our journey towards international school award by British Council. Modern School has clinched a niche on the educational map of Faridabad with 100% result in board exams, JEE, NEET and many other competitive examinations at district, state and national level.

Why would you say parents choose your school over others for their child’s education? What is Modern’s USP?

The USP of my school is very simple. We provide ideal, wholesome and inclusive education with all modern infrastructure and facilities at an affordable fee. We are known for our hallmark with best teachers, best learning environment and best facilities.

Is Modern a day-boarding, part-residential, or fully residential school? What other type of facilities do you provide?

Modern School is partly residential, which provides the best facilities for day scholars and residential students. We have air-conditioned boarding with nutritious vegetarian food, homely and serene atmosphere, swimming pool, other recreational facilities, in-house coaching and supervised homework system etc.

All stakeholders see the Principal of a school as the paragon of all virtues and capabilities. Do Principals require special skills to lead their respective schools in the 21st century?

Principals always require special skills.They are expected to be educational visionaries, instructional and curriculum leaders, assessment experts, disciplinarians, public relations/communications experts, budget analysts, special programme administrators as well as guardians of various policy matters and initiatives. The Principals should be multi-skilled to discharge the above-mentioned responsibilities.

Being a Mathematics teacher, kindly suggest, what should be the ideal process to make a session more interesting?

Teaching mathematics is very challenging. Before starting a class, I would advice to brain storm the students by asking questions to connect with the topic/concept by giving some clues. Instead of being abstract, teachers should start with concrete examples of the problem. They may encourage curiosity and creativity with the use of video, animation, PPTs or smart board interaction.

Do you observe classes of other teachers with a critical eye? How do you provide them with your feedback?

Yes, I do observe the classes of other teachers, but not with a critical eye. I just record the teacher’s teaching practices and students’ actions and involvement in the classroom. I also take a note of the learning outcomes for the purpose of collaborative discussion with the teacher for better classroom management, instructional improvement and professional enhancement.

Do you believe in the role of counsellors? Have you conducted any psychometric tests for your students’ benefit?

Yes, I do believe in the role of counsellors. But I have not conducted any psychometric tests so far in my school. We do conduct aptitude test for stream selection at +2 levels. The school has setup a child counselling and welfare clinic for guiding and counselling students.

You are operating in a non-city area. Do you face problems in the recruitment of quality staff?

Luckily, I do not face any such problem, either in the recruitment process or in retention. Since we provide better pay, growth prospects and congenial working conditions…my staff usually, do not quit school frequently.

Would you like to convey any message to our readers?

Standing on the threshold of the 21st Century, school administrators need to ponder and contemplate over a school system, which can integrate the stakeholders of a school—the management, Principal, teachers, students and their parents to forge a positive relationship and partnership in achieving the goal of ideal 21st century school. Our goal is to create an environment that recognises the unique stages of development and provide appropriate child-centered experiences based on the curriculum, rooted in value based education. Academic excellence should be the key foci, while placing utmost importance to other areas of curriculum such as visual arts, performing arts, music etc. for providing the learners experiential learning to raise the bar of fineness year after year.

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