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    KNOWING THE PRINCIPAL - REV. FR. GEORGE THOMAS MSFS

    Teacher's Day just got over and we actually realized this time how much we missed the celebrations that we used to see since our school days. For the first time, teachers were wished virtually which otherwise would have been a grand affair. However, amidst this lockdown and pandemic, the students of St. Francis De Sales did not let their spirits dampen or were complacent about brightening this day up. They rather turned it into an opportunity to do something different and unique for the teachers by performing online, made some really cool and innovative videos, virtual speeches, e - cards and anything that could be done without being physically present. We would definitely make up for it next year with much more fervor and warmth. But September is still on, so let's dedicate this entire month to our beloved teachers.

    September also happens to be the birth month of Fr. George Thomas MSFS, our beloved principal. Every year, we honor him by celebrating his birthday on the 22nd of September as Principal’s Day. Wishes and greetings start pouring in abundantly from each and every student, teacher and staff member of the school making this day a glorious and memorable one. The day continues with performances by students and teachers, feasts and gifts from the principal for the students. This is another day of gratitude and love, strengthening the bond between our dear principal and everyone else making the school a better place of education and creating a world of its own. We all know our respected principal as a man who not only dreams of molding the lives of the children but also with a vision of changing the future of education. He inspires us every day with his words of wisdom, a man we look upto for all our problems and its solutions. But how well do we know him as a person apart from being a teacher & a visionary? On the occasion of Principal’s Day, we thought of asking him a few questions to see the lighter side of this gentleman and this is what he had to say.

    (Interview with Father George)

    What is the most frequent word that you use every day? – “Definitely”, “ Let us try do something”

    What is your favouritecolour? – White

    What are your favourite books? – 1. Good to Great – Jim Collins 2. Light from many Lamps – Lillian Watson 3. Grit – Angela Duckworth 4. Jonathan Living stone Seagull -Richard Bach 5. Alchemist – Paulo Coelho 6. The 5 AM Club– Robin Sharma

    As a child, what was your favourite sport, is it still a favourite? – As a child, it was Cricket… now it is Football

    What is your sun sign? – Libra

    Name your favourite movie – 3 Idiots

    What's your favourite memory as a child? – of going to school

    How do you like travelling, flights, trains or buses? – Train - because you get plenty of time to read and relax.

    What is the most frequently used app in your phone? – BBC & NDTV

    What's the name of your first school? – St. Joseph’s School.

    Who was your favourite teacher? – Mr. Babulal, my history teacher in school.

    What is the first thing that you have ever cooked? – Guess it was coffee and omlette

    Did you ever get punished in school? If yes, why? – Sometimes, for lagging behind in mathematics.

    Which is your favourite social networking platform and why? – Facebook, because it reveals human creativity and ingenuity in many ways.

    Are you a coffee or tea person?  - Coffee person

    Wow!!! This is interesting to know. So, this is Fr. George Thomas sharing some bits from his life. I bet most of you all didn’t know that 3 Idiots was his favourite movie J. Well these may be small things to many, but to us it means a lot. We feel more connected to him as a person after knowing this and are glad that he shared a very lighter part of himself. Remember folks, our perception itself is such a big illusion which eventually enlightens us of the most amazing facts on how ignorant we as human beings are. Let’s cherish this gift called life and spread as much knowledge as we possibly can.

     

    - Published by SFS Narengi


    CHALLENGES OF ONLINE CLASSES ENCOUNTERED BY TEACHERS

    Whenever we talk about teaching and education, subconsciously we have a picture formed in our minds of a classroom where a teacher and the student are in close proximity with books in hands. Even if we go back to the olden days, we see the Guru or the teacher giving lessons to the student, here may be in the open, under a tree. Teaching always happened with both being physically present. But we never imagined this process to happen without their actual presence or anything different.

    And then came this pandemic, along with a lockdown which brought everything to a halt. Everything switched from real to virtual. In a world where most of the things were already on a digital platform, it wasn’t that difficult to resume their work virtually. However, teaching was one of the jobs which faced some real challenges. While the schools remained closed for few days, they decided to join the digital world and start continuing teaching through online classes. Well, this is not an entirely new concept as different learning apps already existed, however, managing an entire class of 25-30 students virtually was different.

    Firstly, not all teachers are of the same age, have the same personality, aptitude and skills. Not everyone is tech savvy, creative or proactive, however, being a teacher, their primary goal is imparting knowledge and as educators they are aware of their responsibilities. Here are few challenges faced by the teachers during this phase.

    Learning Technology – Joining the new digital world with apps like Zoom, Google Meet, Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams etc. within a week was the first challenge faced by the teachers with factors like internet availability and speed always effecting the quality of the class

    Class Preparation – Unlike an actual concrete classroom, a virtual class needs to be prepared by sending the class links to both students and parents , sharing the content, method to be used (whiteboard or PPT), sharing classwork and homework, notes, references, articles and other links, thus increasing the actual work time apart from the class duration

    Managing the class – Real or virtual, classroom mischief is a common hurdle in maintaining discipline in the class, especially when kids are pro with the digital stuff and have control over being visible and audible by switching off the camera, muting and un-muting mics, chatting etc.

    Facing the camera – Although most of the teachers are fluent in their subject, facing the camera and speaking to a virtual audience can be really uncomfortable, specially for senior teachers who find it difficult to take even a selfie

    Lack of resources – Due to lockdowns, resources were scarce or unavailable making it difficult to conduct classes or projects

    Conducting  tests – Another challenge is to conduct tests or exams because it becomes really difficult whether one is cheating or being dishonest and giving individual attention to each student virtually is also not possible

    Checking assessments –  Since it is all virtual, teachers receive copies of worksheets or assignments which are not always clear, correcting them on images and sending it back is also another difficulty, it becomes more difficult when they are not sent on time

    Managing family – Finding a space for conducting a class and setting it up for the class while working from home is a challenge in itself. Moreover, managing both work and family, with taking extra care and without house helps can be really exhausting

    Having mentioned all these challenges, it has been almost 7 months since online classes have started and I am sure that there has not been much difference when learning is concerned. The teachers have shown great support in taking up this challenge of bringing classes to the students’ homes. In spite of the criticisms, they show up every day with a smile making their classes as meaningful and interesting as it used to be in schools. We all should be appreciative of the teachers and grateful for their untiring efforts, perseverance and passion for teaching which has a sole motive that the learning needs to grow and the future of our children should not get compromised.

     

    Published by SFS NARENGI


    5 QUALITIES OF AN IDEAL TEACHER

    It was a warm sunny morning in the winter of 2014 when I was in my class of MA English listening with rapt attention to my lecturer in the Department classroom of Foreign Language and Literatures. I don’t remember the topic that was discussed that day, not anymore. But amongst various other questions, there is one that I still remember.

    “What is the most important quality of a teacher?”, asked my professor.

    “Subject Knowledge!”, quipped one.

    “Communication skills!”, declared another.

    “Ability to connect”, revealed the third.

    I happened to somehow agree with all three but was not entirely convinced. There was something in that question that was not obvious. Our teacher waited for a few more minutes and then finally shared her answer.

    “Empathy.”

    The entire class went into awe silence, probably because no one expected that answer and also because not many could actually comprehend that fully. I, for one, did not understand that until many years later. But the term stuck in my head forever. Even after the explanation by the university teacher, it took me a few years to fully understand the idea. Six years later, I now find empathy to be one of the top qualities that a teacher must have.

    Why is empathy more important that others? What are the other top qualities that all teachers must aspire to inculcate and all employers must look out for?

    On top of my list today is empathy. Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position. An empathetic teacher realizes the best way to execute the curriculum when s/he understands the minds and hearts of the learners. Understands where a learner comes from, emotionally, socially or physically and how that contributes to the learning process. Therefore an empathic teacher better understands the young mind and body in the classroom and can tailor the needs of the curriculum in accordance with the challenges or advantages of the youngsters.

    [Quick note: Amongst the other professional development courses in top Ivy League universities is Empathy and Emotional  Intelligence at Work, indicating that the world has realized that our own personal happiness depends heavily on our relationships with others. It is true within organizations: those that foster trusting, cooperative relationships are more likely to have a more satisfied, engaged—and more productive and innovative—workforce, with greater employee loyalty and retention.]l

    Next up is the knowledge of the subject that a teacher has been specifically employed to teach. S/he must have read and understood the curriculum and the syllabus and must have understood the design of the curriculum framework. A teacher of any given subject must know not only the syllabus that they teach but must be aware of the curriculum design that the board follows. In the Indian context, it is necessary for all teachers to have read and understood the NCF 2005 and how it relates to the specific subject being taught. Only this realization will help them to transform the textbook context to experiential learning for the students.

    The third important quality is also knowledge, but of a fluid form. Fluid because subject knowledge and the understanding of the curriculum are mostly static, and they don’t really change as much as certain other aspects do. The laws of physics, the grammar of languages and the chemical compositions of both organic and inorganic matter shall greatly remain static. But changes occur in how they are learned and understood by youngsters, and how they can utilize their education. With automation and digitization, the way we work are changing constantly, and this is what a teacher must acquire too. It’s downright redundant to get a learner only use pen and paper all during their school life when they eventually will do a large portion of their work on a computer. The fluid knowledge that a teacher must acquire includes knowledge of gadgets, websites and related paraphernalia. They must also be open to acquiring new devices themselves and know about the evolution of professions so that they may guide their students and tailor the classroom based on the need of the future.

    Teaching is not a one-sided profession, meaning that one cannot be an effective teacher if one forgets what it is like to be a novice at something. Very specifically, an ideal teacher must always be a learner at something. They must have the motivation within themselves to acquire a new skill or talent-from something as banal as pottery, something as usual as a new language or higher skill acquisition like learning a new musical instrument or a professional degree. These learning processes include not only advancing professionally by acquiring degrees but also to attain levels of self-actualization by learning life skills, as had been elucidated in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

    The final quality in my list is fitness, both physical and mentalMens sana en corpore sano is a quote attributed to 2nd century AD Roman poet Juvenal, which roughly translates to A healthy mind in a healthy body. This motto is used by colleges, schools and institutions of athletics, military and academic attributions, indicating the undeniable need of a fit body and a fit mind. In the modern era with more problems than solutions coupled with living in a third world country like India, the daily rigmarole of earning and balancing family and work often leaves little time for a teacher to work out or meditate regularly. That said, fitness and health experts regularly keep saying that right eating choice coupled with bicycling and walking for short distances can effortlessly help us stay fit. Even as low as ten minutes of aerobic activity can improve mental & cardiological fitness. Better still, get a dog!

    The gamut of my essay is thus: the top five qualities of an ideal teacher are empathy, fluid knowledge, crystallized knowledge, regular leaning and fitness of mind and body.

     

    - By Arnab Choudhury (PGT, Asst. Teacher)


    QUALITIES OF A TEACHER

    ‘Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheswara;

    Gurur Sakshyat Param Brahma Tashmei Shree Gurudevaye Namah.’

     

    The word ‘guru’ is a Sanskrit word which means an intellectual or a spiritual guide or a leader. A guru or a teacher is a guide, motivation, inspiration and many more for his/her disciples or students. A guru is the one who is always followed and respected. A guru’s place is always the highest in a society.

     

    To be a guru or a teacher is not an easy task. One who is a teacher needs certain qualities that all don’t possess. In easy terms a guru or a teacher should have certain qualities. A teacher should be the storehouse of knowledge. The primary duty of a teacher is to impart knowledge to the students who come under his/her guidance. A teacher should be the master of that field/subject where his/her students can trust on and come for any query.

    Being humble and generous is another quality that a teacher should possess. Teachers are mostly followed by their students. A teacher should have the ability to guide the students in a proper way being the leader in every field. They are the inspiration for the millions whom they touch through their knowledge. If a teacher fails to inspire his/her students s/he can never be considered a teacher. A teacher must be the one who always inspires everyone through million little ways.

    A teacher should be a good mentor. S/he should be a guide for his/her students. Every child is born with innate wisdom; each child has the ability to create history of his/her own; a teacher’s role is to make the learners understand their inner qualities. A teacher is just the one who should harp on bringing the best out of his/her students.

    A teacher must be compassionate. Each child is special. They need love and care. Everything can be changed through love and understanding. A child learns the most from the one whom s/he trusts and feels s/he is cared for. Love is the ultimate healer. Children face difficulties in the process of learning. A teacher must teach them through compassion and understanding. A teacher must respect the individual dignity of each learner.

    A teacher should have the ability to create scope for the learners. A teacher must create situations where a child learns by his/her own. A teacher must teach the students to ask questions. What and why are the basic questions of learning. No one gets success if they carry on certain things without knowing what and why of it. The teacher must focus on the learners’ active participation in the learning process.

    The basic of learning or education is not short term successes, it has a deeper meaning. A teacher’s role is to make the learners understand the importance of education in a person’s life. A teacher’s role is to make his/her learners fit to face the challenges of life. If today’s education doesn’t help a learner to face the challenges of life that education can never be considered a good education. The young learners often fail to understand this; here the teacher’s role is crucial. A teacher must inculcate values and quality among the learners so that they can create their scope in their lives by themselves.

     

    - By Mr. Pavan Upadyay (PGT, Asst. Teacher)

     


    5 QUALITIES OF A GREAT TEACHER

    Teachers are never born great, they become great. If you ask anyone, ‘Who is a great teacher?, they will invariably look back at one of their teachers from the past and go on to narrate qualities of that teacher. Good teachers linger in our minds forever. Alexander the Great summarizes it well when he says, “I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well”. A teacher and the qualities he or she demonstrates have a great impact on the overall development of an individual.Here I recall an anecdote related to one of my favourite teachers, Sir Wasant Elwin, who was my English teacher. Once in the midst of a serious lesson, I stood up and asked him, “Sir,when are you going to get married?” He retorted, “Don’t worry, Sandra. You will marry much before me”. Neither was I thrown out of the class, nor was the lesson disrupted. That’s exactly how a good teacher would handle situations in a classroom. It is not easy to list qualities commonly shared by great teachers. However, if I have to narrow down on five characteristics of a good teacher, they will be as follows:

     

    Rapport with students

    The COVID 19 Pandemic has put a lot of professionals, especially teachers in the spotlight. This is because they are called upon to interact and build a relationship with students without meeting them in person. Building a good rapport is difficult in the normal times, and it becomes even more difficult in crisis situations as now. In order to develop good rapport, teachers need to take on multiple roles such as those of friends, mentors, educators and life coaches. A good rapport can ensure that students become motivated and learning happens in the process. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”. A simple thing as calling students by their names make a difference to their motivation to learn. Gathering background information about your students, using examples related to your students in classroom and having friendly chitchats with your students before and after class are some of the ways in which a teacher can build a good rapport with their students.

     

    Passion for teaching

    Love for teaching is very important for a teacher. This is even more true because of the long hours of work and sometimes low pay for teachers. Once a teacher has passed the probation period, one can safely conclude that they are passionate about teaching, although people might argue that it’s also because of the financial security that teaching provides. My answer to such people would be that teachers need to live too. If a teacher is passionate about their teaching, it rubs on to the wards under them, and thereby makes learning possible. If you love what you teach, students will love what they learn. Teaching is very challenging, and teachers need to keep this passion alive by finding new opportunities and new outlets for their creativity and energy.

     

    Innovative trait

    A good teacher is innovative and makes their lessons stimulating. It is controversial, but it’s true that good teachers often do their job without worrying too much about “what the principal will think”. They do not hesitate to take risks and deviate from their plans and come up with interesting ways of teaching on the spot. An innovative teacher also allows students to become independent in their thinking – the best gift a child can take way from their school life.Creating a sense of creative sense and knowledge in students is one of the most important qualities of a teacher. As the American writer, William Arthur Ward puts it, “The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, and the great teacher inspires”. In order for a teacher to inspire their students, they need to find new ways to make their classes stimulating and thereby engage the students more.

     

    Being a learner

    Education is an area which keeps changing. Fresh theories and approaches to teaching and learning are emerging constantly. For example, although we have been deep into the age of technology for some time, no teacher has learned so much about technology as they have learned in the last few months on account of the pandemic. Teachers never stop learning; they have to constantly update themselves and be ready to adapt to new situations and new approaches to teaching. As John Cotton Dana says, “Who dares to teach must never cease to learn”. Teachers need to accept with both hands every developmental opportunity that comes their way. For instance, in the current situation, educational organizations around the world are offering a lot of opportunities for teachers to update themselves and be better equipped to handle online classes.

     

    Confidence in Subject Knowledge

    A good teacher needs to have confidence in the knowledge of the material being taught and confidence in their teaching ability. Deep knowledge in the subject matter can make a difference between achievement and non-achievement. When you are confident that you know you’re in the right spot doing what you want to be doing, it is beneficial both for the student and for yourself. This is why teaching is immensely rewarding in spite of all the stress related to it.

     

    To summarize, a good teacher is not just a teacher; he or she appears different to different individuals. Good teachers love what they teach, love the pupils who learn from them and love to learn from the individuals he or she teaches. In my long years of teaching service, I have touched lives and developed many of these and more qualities that have made me what I am today. I may not be a great teacher, but I am certain that my students will remember me as a good teacher. My only hope is that I will continue to inspire many more students to be good human beings.

     

    - By Sandra Abraham, TGT, Asst. Teacher


    5 QUALITIES OF AN IDEAL TEACHER

    Teachers are age–old professionals and teaching is an age–old profession. Sometimes I wonder, if teaching was the first profession of this mighty world?

    To think about it rather seriously, I feel it indeed must have been the first ever profession.

    Well, coming back to the present day; teachers, nowadays, are given numerous tags – good, bad, strict, friendly, smart, casual and what not. But which of these tags actually refer to an IDEAL TEACHER?

    I would say, many of them.

    The most common terms used for an Ideal Teacher are Friend, Philosopher and Guide. But, I would rather like to describe an Ideal Teacher using some unconventional terms.

     

    First and foremost - HUMBLE and HONEST

    I feel, teachers need to take it easy on themselves. Just like any other human being on Earth, teachers also can make mistakes, they might not know about every single thing or happenings in the world. All they need to do is own up.

    So teachers, if you have made a mistake in a calculation or a spelling or you are not able to instantly answer a question asked by one of your curious students during the class...it’s OK.

    Just thank your student with a smile, for pointing out the mistake and correct it.

    For a question, to which you don’t have an instant answer, tell your student that you would find out the answer for them.

    Here, I would like to mention, we teachers do connect to our students quite easily. But in today’s education scenario, having the students connect to their teachers is a real daunting task. And trust me, these small gestures of honesty and humbleness will help your students connect to you...faster and better.

     

    The second important quality – KNOWLEDGE about the Subject

    People often say if you have confidence you can pull off any situation.

    But I feel otherwise, atleast for teachers. I would say, knowledge about your subject gives you the required confidence.

    Students love to know about new things and new facts and when we blend regular learning with interest facts and new findings, we win their interest in our class hands down.

     

    For the third one, I would say ORATORY SKILLS

    Being a good orator is very important for any teacher. Teaching involves a lot of public speaking.

    We confront almost around 40 to 50 young minds every hour. To influence them in the right way, to make them understand what we are trying to convey; it is very important that we have good oratory skills. If we cannot draw and hook their attention towards us during the class...those 45 minutes of ours as well as theirs becomes just a waste of time. And as for the young minds, we cannot continue to have their attention towards us if they cannot hear us properly.

    If we travel back in time and try to remember our childhood, when we were students, I can bet all of us liked to be in the class of those teachers who had a clear and prominent voice. We liked those teachers more who used to include us in the class rather than taking our class.

    The same goes for students of every generation and so I feel having good oratory skills helps us to make a positive place in the students mind and heart.

     

    At times, a teacher needs to be a COUNSELOR too and I have kept this quality on the fourth place.

    We have many students sitting in our class...each of them a different individual...coming from a different background...having different inhibitions and strengths.

    Students look up to their teachers. Often, they seek guidance and help from the teacher they like. This is where counseling comes in.

    To guide a student in the right path, we must know what drives the student….what are his inhibitions and his strengths. The teacher must give the student a comfortable environment to share his problems or as a matter of fact anything that is bothering him.

    Children often take wrong steps while trying to hide their inhibitions; due to the lack of proper guidance. We teachers can help our students open up about the negatives in their life and recognize more positives about themselves.

     

    Last but definitely not the least, FRIENDLY and COMPASSIONATE

    A teacher needs to be friendly and compassionate towards her students. Her presence should comfort her students and not make them anxious. The teacher must build up an approachable personality, so that her students are never hesitant to seek her help or guidance.

    Again, being friendly does not take away the right of a teacher to be strict with her students.

    I personally feel, if a teacher wants her students to have productive learning, she needs to be both – friendly and strict with her students; with more of being friendly and less of strictness.

    Having talked about the above qualities, I would also like to add...every student is different and so is every teacher. The ultimate goal of being a teacher is to impart education to our students and to bring positive changes in their life.

    So, I would say, every person who brings about a positive learning in the life of young minds is an ideal teacher, irrespective of his or her profession

     

    - By Payal Roy, Asst. Teacher


    TEACHERS DAY

    In India, every month has a special occasion and September always remains special for kids because of Teachers Day. A day no less than a festival and the preparations start almost a month ahead. Teacher’s Day as we all know is celebrated in the memory of our second President of India, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Born on 5th of September 1888, he was a philosopher, academic and a statesman who believed that “teachers should be the best minds in the country”. Honouring him and his noble thought, since 1962, his birthday is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in India. This day is celebrated to thank the teachers for all their contributions, hard work, love for children and most importantly their passion for teaching. The bond between teachers and their students is really special and thus, this day is important for both.

    There are children in every school who may not be quite popular as students, and needless to say that every teacher is equally loved and respected, however, one thing they know is each one of them has a favourite teacher and likewise every teacher has a favourite student. The way kids are excited to make this day special for teachers, even the teachers wait eagerly to see what they have in store. Teacher’s Day always has been like a part of the festive season in our country. Going to school, especially during the pre Teacher’s Day phase becomes even more exciting because apart from studies, there’s always  something else happening which seems extremely exciting. Sometimes even the teachers with the help of few senior students, generally take up most of the responsibilities of the celebrations in school right from deciding the performances to choosing the actors, auditioning them, managing rehearsals while making sure the classes are not hampered, decorations, etc and honestly, managing all such activities so meticulously is nothing less than any corporate strategic management. Sometimes, on one hand there are students who are quite versatile, generally put up a very good show and on the other hand, we come across a different lot who are quite shy or the naughtiest put up some real surprises which remain as sweet memories throughout everyone’s lifetimes. This is also one reason that everyone waits eagerly for Teacher’s Day because it is that day when we get to understand clearly that for the teachers, everyone is the same as they consistently encourage inclusion of every child, no matter how shy, naughty, unpopular or talented one could be.

    Students also love to gift something to teachers every year. After all, this is a day when every teacher seems even more special to each and every child. This generation is quite fortunate today as it has an advantage of interacting with their teachers by being friends on various social networking platforms and can share mutual admirations & gestures of gratitude, unlike the previous generations where there wasn’t enough scope except discussing studies, projects, etc. Sometimes students with whatever limited money that they have decide to buy either cards or gifts. But the joy of making own cards always remains special and will continue to be a seamless excitement. Interestingly, the amount of colours and decoration is directly proportional to the amount of love for teachers. We still see this enthusiasm among kids as they get into their best creative modes and make something on their own. They would buy small showpieces, pens or a diary for their teachers and the least would be chocolates or flowers in case if they don’t have enough.

    Finally it’s Teacher’s day, and there is happiness in every face and the students are all excited to wish the teachers. The teachers on the other hand, would come dressed in their best attires; and honestly they too love to look composed & best dressed for this auspicious day. Usually, the event starts with a short welcome speech followed by a song or dance performance. There are some zealous performances by students followed by speeches from few teachers sharing their experiences and stories. Teachers sometimes come up with some amazing speeches where they share their lighter sides with some of their own funny experiences of life, thereby making the event more lively & vibrant.

    The celebration of any relation is not limited to a specific day. Teachers play an important role in all our lives; be it in schools, colleges or any other institution. Just like our parents, they are also the ones who take the responsibility of showing us the right path to move ahead in life. They become our idols; the way they talk, dress up, behave and present themselves, their tastes, etc, everything influences us and helps us mould our personalities towards the reformation of a better human being. We should be thankful to them for all their untiring efforts and celebrate this bond…not just on 5th September, but every possible moment of our lives. We would feel extremely happy & blessed if after reading this, we somehow try to surprise our good old teachers by connecting with them and just slowly whisper and wish “Happy Teacher’s Day” to bring that same loving smile back on their faces. May God bless us all and make this world an even better place to stay, Amen!!

     

    Published by SFS Narengi


    Effective Parenting Habits During Lockdown

    Parenthood is a dream that almost every individual would want to happen to them – a new beginning, a new phase, more importantly discovering another aspect of being oneself. What comes next after parenthood is parenting which is the act of bringing up a child or raising a child. The easier it comparatively is to become a parent, the more difficult it is to get parenthood correct. There are no pre-defined rules which are to be followed, every lock has a different key, and everyone tries their best to be the best parent. However, it is not about being the best parent, it is about how good the relation is between a child and its parents.

    One very first thought which is common among every parent is that they believe that their children copy them a lot and so it is important for them to act or behave correct in front of them. But more than doing things correctly, it is important to make children understand the difference between what is right and what is not and let them decide things.

    This year 2020 brought something very strange with it which no one expected, no one has an experience, and no one knows how to deal with it. A growing pandemic followed by a lockdown which seems to be extending day by day changed everyone’s life. A situation where even adults find it difficult to cope, children too are confused. The role of parents during a lockdown is not different from a regular day, however, it increases more as the children are at home 24/7.

    Realizing Hygiene - The first thing to be taught or emphasized upon is to take care of their health and stress more on the hygiene factor. Rather than making it sound scary, they should be made to understand how important it is to wash hands regularly, sanitizing things frequently, covering faces while coughing or sneezing, maintaining physical distance and also to eat the right diet.

    Classroom co-operation - The lockdown has converted the real world into a virtual one and bringing the classrooms at home. The initial days of lockdown and online classes may seem to be interesting to the kids but slowly this tends to be boring making them find excuses or disrupt the classes. It’s now imperative to be with them during the classes, make them understand the efforts of the teachers and help them co-operate.

    Observing and Keeping Connected - One of the main reasons for kids to go to schools is to be with their friends as they enjoy each other’s company. Not able to meet them for days do have an impact on them mentally. While some kids express it, there are kids who cannot express, feel lonely and depressed. Observe their behavior, talk to them, be connected to them physically and emotionally with regular chats, random hugs and kisses, make them feel understood and covered.

    Playing Together - Since there are also restrictions in outdoor games and activities, take out time for indoor games. Play card or board games with them, do not let them win intentionally, let them lose and see how they react. Let them learn to accept defeat in a positive and graceful way so that they understand the fun of a healthy competition.

    Creating and Maintaining Routine - With the schools closed, the habit of a mundane life is disturbed and everyday seems like a holiday. Let the kids write down their own routine for the day, help them manage timings for their studies and recreation. They will be happy to create something like this and also execute it.

    Learning Life Skills - Another important habit is to involve the kids in small household chores like washing their own dishes, folding their clothes, arranging the bed or make a snack for themselves etc. These not only make them feel included but also help them learn life skills. If they have a pet, let them take care of the pet and not just play with it.

    Bed Time Talk - Talk to them before bedtime, ask them how the day was and see if they felt de-motivated. Teach them to be patient and positive, ask what new or different they would like to do in the coming days. Ask them to come up with ideas to keep themselves busy.

    Talk Positive - Lastly, always say positive things to them. Small things like “You are helpful”, “You did that so well”, “I trust you”, “Never stop trying” etc. can go a long way in building their confidence.

    The lockdown is another new opportunity to parenting. Celebrate it rather than worrying about it. Remember you are not managing an inconvenience; you are raising a human being. Be true to yourself and trust your ethics, because, children at times may not listen to you, which is very natural, but they will always love to imitate you, which gives you the easiest hint to teach them everything you desire.

     

    - PUBLISHED BY SFS NARENGI, GUWAHATI


    Why to study Geology?

    The word geology is derived from the Greek word "geo" meaning earth and "logos" knowledge. Thus in a nut shell it is defined as the “Science of Earth”. Earth is estimated to be 4.54 billion years old. The study of Geology aims at understanding the evolution of the planet and its inhabitants, from ancient times to the present through the physical and chemical analysis of rocks. James Hutton a Scottish farmer and naturalist, is known as the founder of modern geology.

    The study of geology enables us to know about the materials by which the Earth is made up of. It helps us to know about the structure of the earth. Geologists studies some of society's most important problems, related to water (hydrogeology), and mineral resources (mineralogy), the environment (environmental geology), climate change (climatology); and natural hazards like landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, etc. The study of geology enables us to understand the climate of the past and the present then relate the past with the present and predict the future scenarios.

    Traditionally, geology has been divided into two main subdivisions: physical geology and historical geology.

    Physical geology is the study of the earth's rocks, minerals, and soils and how they have formed through time.

    Historical geology is the study of changes in Earth and its life forms over time. It enables us to understand about palaeo-climatic changes, palaeo-seismology, and stratigraphy of the earth as well as palaeontology (study of fossils).

    Geology is the only branch of Earth Science which enables us to known about the Plate Tectonics and epeirogenic movements (mountain building).

    Geologists explores the earth materials and they not only inspect the metals and minerals, but also search for oil and natural gas, ore deposits, ground water and the various methods to extract the natural resources above and beneath the earth’s surface.

    A person who studies all these is called a Geologist. A Geologist not only studies rocks and minerals but also studies how certain factors like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods can help shape the surface of the Earth as well.

    A geologist gets opportunities to work in the industries related to mining, oil and gas (on shore and off shore), minerals and water resources.

    If you like science and care about the earth, gets fascinated by the natural world, and like working outdoors, and make your life thrilling and adventurous then always opt for geology. The employment opportunities for Geologists are also very good. Geologists along with backgrounds of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are in great demand.

    The different public and private sectors that recruit geologist are OIL, ONGC, SAIL, Research and Development Departments, Geological Survey of India, Coal India Limited, Mining Industry, Cement Manufacturing Plants, Onshore and Offshore Drilling units, Geotechnical Engineering Companies and many more. In a nutshell, there is an immense employment opportunity for geologists to pursue a promising career.

     

    - By Souvik Guha ( Asst. Teacher - TGT)


    SFS - AN ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY AND HYGIENIC SCHOOL

    We are all aware of the literal meaning of the term eco-friendly. The world has evolved into a global village where pollution, disasters and diseases have spread to a maximum range. Hence, it is very necessary to preserve the Earth and the living things that exist on it. As human beings and the dwellers of Mother Nature we have forgotten that we serve a responsibility to Earth and by that, it means, keeping it safe and protecting its environment from such evils.

    Being environment friendly simply means having a lifestyle that is better for the environment. It’s all about taking small steps towards mother earth so as to make this planet a better place for our communities and generations to come.

    A sustainable and eco-friendly school maybe described as an environment friendly school that have initiated and integrated in their instruction, research, extension and administration, programs which are environment related and I am proud to state that SFS is one such school which provides its recipients an environment friendly and hygienic ambience. Starting from the tiny little pot plants to the trees in the campus, from the green and blue dustbins both for dry and wet waste, to the baidos (aunties) standing with the brooms and dusting clothes in their hands before and after school hours, from the small basketball playing arena to the huge playground at the backyard, all will give you a hint of how much care and preferences are given to the ambience of the school, SFS to make it green and clean. The school building itself is well ventilated. The huge corridors and broad staircases which provide space for hundreds of students to walk and run around, which can actually help in reducing carbon footprint!!! While coming to the hygienic part our mind obviously gets struck into the toilets and drinking water facilities. SFS has well furnished toilets along with clean drinking water supply. It also ensures yearly health check up for all the pupils along with the availability of nurse along with other medical staffs during school hours to monitor and address the health issues of the pupils. The school also celebrates World environment day with great enthusiasm and motivation where in students participates in a number of environmental related activities like debates, essay writing competitions, art and craft, creating best out of waste, tree plantation etc. It also organizes cleaning drives where children clean their classrooms and the school compounds. Surely, SFS is an epitome of a clean and green school.

    I still remember, the first time when I stepped in the school campus for an interview I was mesmerized by the beautiful infrastructure and moved by its clean ambience. It has been more than half a decade and I am proud to be a part of this wonderful family. In my conversation with the parents on the topic one of them stated “It’s a privilege to be a part of SFS School for us. Being a parent all we need is the best and secured surrounding, as well as, well maintained and hygienic campus. Fortunately SFS is blessed with both these qualities. It has plenty of open space for air circulation and provision of clean water is also satisfactory. The greenery is really commendable” (Mehraj Jubin Hazarika). Children also feel happy and safe being in the school premises. They state that it’s a wonderful place to learn and grow.

    I pray and hope that SFS reaches new heights in the days to come and motivate other schools, parents and pupils to become an agent of change to follow its footsteps and create an environment friendly and hygienic world.

     

    - By Kalpana Rana Tamang (PRT English Teacher)


    LEARNING AT HOME: A UNIQUE COVID EXPERIENCE

    “Never stop learning; for when we stop learning, we stop growing” – Loyal “Jack” Lewman.

    The pandemic COVID-19 has taken its toll all over the world. The current condition of the world, particularly of India, is very sensitive and depressing. People all over the world are locked down in their homes and going through immense sufferings, the schools, colleges, universities and other learning spaces are completely shut down.

    This pandemic has paved the way for the new normal. This new normal includes learning at home or learning online. Learning can never be compromised and that is why the governments, schools, colleges, universities, etc. are finding ways to make education available to students at home. Never before have were so many children out of school at the same time, disrupting learning. Since the school closure, UNICEF has been supporting the Ministry of Education and Science in most of the countries so that they can continue their learning process and the teachers and the parents can get access to education even during this lockdown or quarantine. Children and teachers across the country are now meeting through an entirely different platform using their mobile phones, laptops, desktops etc. Apps like Whatsapp, Google Classroom, Google Meet, etc have become spaces of learning. Classes are going on online with most schools switching to virtual classrooms, circulating homework via social networking platforms. Teachers are making persistent efforts to record videos of the topics for discussion. Not only regularly classes but also the extra-curricular activities, projects, presentations, seminars, workshops etc. are being held online. Traditionally, Indian parents are used to a routine getting children ready in the morning, sending them to school, picking them up in the evening and them getting them to complete their homework. But, this is not possible because of the present COVID situation.  Learning now is taking place online according to a set schedule. This is a complete new experience for children, teachers and also parents around the world. Everyone is making the possible efforts to make the best use of the online platform.

    Home schooling has not only helped to continue the learning but also has given time to the students to do the things they are passionate about. Besides classes, exams are also being held successfully through the online platforms. Learning at home is a great initiative as students and teachers will not lag behind in their course and also will not be burdened with work, to be completed at the last moment. Schools have been shut to prevent the spread of the virus and this has given way to online classrooms. Students should make the best use of it and enjoy learning.

    “Never stop learning; for when we stop learning, we stop growing” – Loyal “Jack” Lewman.

    The pandemic COVID-19 has taken its toll all over the world. The current condition of the world, particularly of India, is very sensitive and depressing. People all over the world are locked down in their homes and going through immense sufferings, the schools, colleges, universities and other learning spaces are completely shut down.

    This pandemic has paved the way for the new normal. This new normal includes learning at home or learning online. Learning can never be compromised and that is why the governments, schools, colleges, universities, etc. are finding ways to make education available to students at home. Never before have were so many children out of school at the same time, disrupting learning. Since the school closure, UNICEF has been supporting the Ministry of Education and Science in most of the countries so that they can continue their learning process and the teachers and the parents can get access to education even during this lockdown or quarantine. Children and teachers across the country are now meeting through an entirely different platform using their mobile phones, laptops, desktops etc. Apps like Whatsapp, Google Classroom, Google Meet, etc have become spaces of learning. Classes are going on online with most schools switching to virtual classrooms, circulating homework via social networking platforms. Teachers are making persistent efforts to record videos of the topics for discussion. Not only regularly classes but also the extra-curricular activities, projects, presentations, seminars, workshops etc. are being held online. Traditionally, Indian parents are used to a routine getting children ready in the morning, sending them to school, picking them up in the evening and them getting them to complete their homework. But, this is not possible because of the present COVID situation.  Learning now is taking place online according to a set schedule. This is a complete new experience for children, teachers and also parents around the world. Everyone is making the possible efforts to make the best use of the online platform.

    Home schooling has not only helped to continue the learning but also has given time to the students to do the things they are passionate about. Besides classes, exams are also being held successfully through the online platforms. Learning at home is a great initiative as students and teachers will not lag behind in their course and also will not be burdened with work, to be completed at the last moment. Schools have been shut to prevent the spread of the virus and this has given way to online classrooms. Students should make the best use of it and enjoy learning.

     

    -By Mayuri Sharma, Class - 12 Humanities


    IMPORTANCE OF PRIMARY EDUCATION

    The term ‘Education’ came from a Latin word ‘Educare’, which was initiated in the mid 16th century. If one goes through its meaning, it says ‘The process of receiving or giving a systematic instruction.' Though previously it was purely based on educating at a school, college or at a university but later on it became wide in use. When we go deep into its meaning we find a word ‘refinement’ connected to it. So, we can say that education is connected to refinement of an individual morally or socially.

    Education is primarily divided into two parts i.e. formal and informal. Education starts informally at homes or in a society which later on turns to be a formal; once the child is formally introduced to a school. But the saddest part is that even today lakhs of children get restricted to only the informal mode of education. Though the government of India initiated many laws to educate each individual of the nation but it is sad to say that laws are yet to reach each individual of the country.

    We all know the importance of education in one’s life, be it formal or informal. But today formal education had become a necessity. Someone rightly said ‘Education is the key to success’ and yes we agree to it in each context. Education is the property of an individual which can’t be stolen and remains with the one who possesses it till death. It doesn’t mean that only an educated becomes successful,  it is believed that ‘Hard work leads to success’ but if we study the ratio of the successful people we find that educated people are much stable than the people who become successful without a formal education.

    We all know that to construct a building one must give importance to its foundation. A good foundation leads to a strong and tall building. Like the same way primary education is the foundation of a good education. Primary education takes a vital role of an individual’s education career. For example if a child gets a proper and better primary education it increases his/her chances to get a better education in his/her life. From the statement I didn't say that only one who got better primary education will have a better education in his/her life, it just increases the chances to make his/her life better.

    Primary education is primarily the first stage of formal education, coming after pre-school and before secondary education. The role of primary education is to ensure the broad based development of the children. This means ensuring that all children are able to develop their cognitive, social, emotional, cultural and physical skills to the best of their abilities, preparing them for their future school career. But if a child lacks a better education in his/her initial days of schooling it becomes very difficult for him/her to continue his/her studies further.

    Looking at the pathetic educational condition of the country the government of India launched a scheme called ‘Sarba shiksha Abhiyan’ which aimed at the universalization of elementary education  ‘in a time bound manner’ under the 86th amendment of the Indian constitution making free  and compulsory education to children between the age group of 6-14 a fundamental right. As an intervention program, it started in 2002 though it had been operational since 2000-2001. However its roots go back to 1993-94, when the District Primary Education Program (DPEP) was launched with an aim of achieving the objective of universal primary education.

    When all the programs started facing problems and didn’t reach the target the government of India initiated a new term named ‘Right to Education Act’ which was introduced in 2009 that came into force on April 1, 2010. Some educationists and policy makers believe that with the passing of the act, Sarba Shiksha Abhiyan has acquired the necessary legal force for its implementation.

    Though the central government initiated different laws to achieve the universalisation of elementary education but still lakhs of children run naked without a formal education. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The real development of a nation is the development of the villages”. We can’t define a successful education policy looking into a city or town. But if we go to the root level we will find that the policies are restricted to the cities and towns. The villages are still deprived of the policies initiated. We can never blame the policy makers directly for the unsuccessful policies. It is the economic condition of the villages where children are used to earn a livelihood. Many children are seen in the villages who directly or indirectly, help their parents in their living process. Most of them don’t get time to go to school and in the process of earning money they leave school before they know the value of education.

    The reason for the unsuccessful primary education is the teaching-learning process. The process is somewhere creating a huge gap between a learner and a teacher. Most of the schools don’t have proper teachers-learners ratio. Many schools are being run by a single teacher but the private educational institutions are exceptional to it. Due to these problems learners don’t get proper education and leave schools.

    Untrained teachers is the another cause of unsuccessful primary education. Most teachers are untrained and they lack the process of teaching especially the kids. It is often seen that the methodology that the teachers use is not suitable or friendly to the young learners. ‘Enjoy a learn policy is the best possible way to teach a young learner, where he/she engages fully to grasp the desired knowledge. A child never learns in fear, so a teacher must create an environment where a child learns himself/herself. The relationship between a teacher and a student must not be like a fish and fisherman rather it should be like fish and water.

    Teachers are the social reformers so they must walk extra mile to make sure whatever they impart must reach positively to the students so that the teaching learning process becomes successful. They are the one who can determine the future of the nation.

     

    -By Pavan Upadhyay


    Torch Bearers- A Name Or A Namesake

    I had often heard my mom saying “Teaching is the best profession for girls”. Years rolled by and I too developed the same thinking and hence, decided to take up this so called “best profession”. Things had been fine since the time I got into this profession. But, today, it pricks me and I keep wondering “Have I been wise enough to choose this teaching profession?” These thoughts keep wandering in my mind as I read posts on social media, as to how people consider this profession to be “not so an important one."


    I have never been a techno savvy person and giving online classes through various platforms, be it Whatsapp, Zoom, Google Meet or Google classroom, drove me crazy. I used to spend my nights watching You Tube videos, trying to imbibe as much knowledge as I could, so that I could give my best to my students. Every single day I was confronted with new challenges, preparing PPTs, explanatory videos, online tests etc; By God’s grace, I did overcome these challenges. Though it was difficult, but I always had this thing at the back of my mind, that no matter what, my students should not suffer.


    Recently, one of my acquaintances forwarded me a post which read “Teachers should not be paid, because these online classes are just a waste of time”. Reading this, I kept wondering for a few seconds, “Are these online classes really a waste, or am I wasting my time molding myself according to the needs of my students?”


    No matter how busy I may be, I have to start my classes sharp on time. Even if I sleep late, I have to make sure that I don’t miss the morning alarm. There may be situations at home when I might seek some lone time for myself, and just sit idle, doing nothing. But, this isn’t possible as I must prepare my lessons for the next day. I usually don’t share my number with anyone, besides family and friends, but today, hundreds of parents have my number saved in their cell phones. I also hate being part of any Whatsapp group, considering the fact that the phone will be bombarded with messages every single minute, but now I am a part of around 7 groups. No matter how low I may feel, I must have a smile on my face when I am on with my classes.

    Though I belong to this 21st century, yet it’s being difficult for me to adapt to these modern technologies. Can we even imagine how much difficult it is for those teachers who don’t belong to this 21st century? We proudly talk of the Covid fighters, who are risking their lives, but where would we have got these fighters had we Teachers hadn’t been in the picture?


    Considering all these, do you think teaching or giving online classes is an easy task? Why can’t we, teachers be respected or applauded just the way the nation does for the doctors, nurses, policemen etc;? Is our contribution during this pandemic crisis so minimal that it can be ignored?

     

    - By Sushmita Dutta


    HOW TO MAKE E-LEARNING MORE EFFECTIVE?

    When your job is to ensure that students under your care are learning their coursework as efficiently and quickly as possible, it is essential to provide each person flexibility and convenience. This flexibility and convenience make your institution more streamlined as well as opening your doors to more students who may not be able to go to school in a traditional brick-and-mortar environment.


    This is of course possible, thanks to E-Learning platforms which offer online courses to students who can learn at their own pace.

    Here are the major components involved in E-Learning:-

    1. Course Structure: All of the material must be presented coherently in a digital format online, and you will do this most efficiently when you have a well-developed course structure that takes the student through the curriculum.

    2. Software Solution: Students are accustomed to using software interfaces that are intuitive and easy to use. It should be flexible enough to include all of your curricula, an identify features that help to deliver courses better such as internet connectivity and cloud back up, among others, before you purchase an online learning tool.

    3. Usability: The system must also be simple to use. As students have limited time beyond reading, studying and taking test and will be somewhat unwilling to learn how to use a clunky E-Learning software system that drags them down.

    4. Content Engagement: The most fact-field curriculum will not do your students much good if it is not engaging them on every level. See to it that the content is relevant and speaks to the needs of the students as they pursue it online.

    5. Instructor: Tech is important, but the heart of all leading educational systems are the instructors. Your teacher must demonstrate a passion for teaching and have a general interest in helping students develop their minds and learn how to learn better by choosing the most effective teaching methodology, selecting an organized content structure by adding media, instructional design and lastly encouraging students to form online groups for synergy.

    These days, people are accustomed to doing research and going online while they are out and about, is in a laptop, tablet, or their smart phone. Moreover, with this technology helping them stay connected, accessing excellent courses, no matter their location, is possible. Online or E- Learning can be super effective if these pointers are applied when preparing and delivering your online course.

     

    -Shilpee Sinha


    The Hoopers of Desales

    Life, as it turns out, is about what happens to you when you make other plans. You work for a certain set of goals, and hindrances come crashing your way like the Mad Hatter of Alice’s imagination. So more importantly, it becomes necessary to know how to tackle those day to day situations when you have to improvise your plans, so that one can keep moving forward like a battering ram towards the target.


     

    The game of basketball is one such which trains a player how to use one’s mind and body in synchronization, and to realize the importance of team work. Howsoever good Lebron James is, he won’t win games without  Shaquille O’Neal, Antawn Jamison, Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, Mike Bibby, Wally Szczerbiak and Jerry Stackhouse. Teamwork.

    St. Francis de Sales School Narengi, over the past decade has taken this sport as a platform to groom the boys and girls to be successful players of basketball and with the philosophy that a lot of serious learning of life skills will happen in the court, both in the school and outside. Coach Binod Chaudhary has been the person who has been the direct guide for the players, and all of them swear by his leadership and inspiration.

    The students, on their part, have not disappointed the efforts of the management. Rather, they have been successful in practically all levels of competitions, and have also taken this success attained even after they graduated from school. This blog is about the success of those incredible boys and girls.

    Making a list of the occasions where S.F.S. teams and students have attained success ended up to be quite a task-there are just so many of them ! Since as far as 2013 to until very recently, even in the times of the pandemic lock down, both alumni and the current students have been trendsetters in basketball. Success has been attained in events ranging from in Under 19 & 17 Nationals, Junior State Punjab, Senior 68th Assam National, South Zone University, C.B.S.E. Cluster, Jr NBA Under 14, among others in the higher levels to local levels like the Anup Lahoti Championship, SFS Challenger, and other similar district and and inter-school competitions. Lakshmi Kachari, Arbaz Ali Shah, Sahil Sharma, Navneet Kr. Singh, Sudhir Verma, Akash Rai,Kanika Kachari, Deepshika Devi, Akshmita Malakar are some of the people who have claimed respect and recognition in all levels. Though these names are of both alumni and current students, it is not in any way exhaustive.

    Life is not just attaining success, but about making success a habit. This photograph is the D’RAVAGERS team, who have taken this adage very seriously.

    Carrying forward the legacy of school basketball, the alumni hoopers have formed the D’RAVAGERS club. The club was formed in 2017 forwarding the basketball culture of S.F.S. school. The club mainly participates in the senior level. With the help of the School and the administration, ‘The Basketball Tournament’ is conducted annually . The alumni of S.F.S. school is greatly attached with the club, and the tournament acts as an get-together for the students too. The club has participated and won accolades in various prestigious tournaments in Assam as well in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, to mention just two. They have taken the sport as a lifestyle, and their posts during the times of the pandemic lock down is exceptionally inspiring. Don’t forget the check out their Instagram handle here : https://instagram.com/d_ravagers___tbt?igshid=55ipzb6l11nk