Teacher’s Orientation 2017 for the Auxilium Schools of Auxilium Bandel, Barasat, Dum Dum, Kalyani and Park Circus took place in the school auditorium of Auxilium Convent School, Dum Dum on the 1st of April, 2017. The resource person was the renowned and charismatic motivational speaker Mr. Simerjeet Singh.
After a brief introduction by Sr. Clara, the principal of ACS, Barasat and a prayer by Sr. Superior Stella, Mr. Singh took over and straight away broke the ice of humourous anecdotes and a deep breathing exercise. He stated the purpose of the orientation- that teachers should seek to inspire, engage and challenge not only their students but also themselves. Introduction, Inspiration and Innovation are the three ways in which a teacher can grow to her full potential to make a difference in the lives of their students. To this effect, Mr. Singh initiated the ‘Who are you?’ exercise for the teachers to gain insights and understand themselves better.
A teacher has to create a right climate for learning- she has to deal with her students with empathy, patience and kindness. Here, Mr. Singh, read out the emotional story of Dr. Theo dove Stoddard, whose life was changed because of the love and care of one teacher. Mr. Singh emphasized the importance of ‘Teacher expertise’ over experience. A ‘T-shaped expertise’ is required to teach for which a teacher needs to have an in depth (vertical) knowledge as well as a lateral (all subjects) knowledge too.
He identified the ‘Three C’s’- Change, Challenge and Competition, as catalysts of growth. A teacher cannot afford to remain stagnant, but should seek to always re-new, update and engage herself in newer paradigms and possibilities. New Results can only be obtained through new patterns of thought, ideas and actions. Mr. Singh joked that it was not curiosity that killed the cat but ignorance. So questions such as –‘Why’ ‘How?’ ‘What if’ ‘Why not?’ – should be asked continually. Here the 1, 2, 3 exercises were done to encourage them to adapt and change to different situations.
A teacher should have Focus. She should learn to prioritize. Here Mr. Singh asked the teachers to look for the colour red in the room. This activity taught the value of focusing on specific goals. Next he asked each teacher to complete the statement: ‘I believe my work is important because …,’ the group activity that followed was meaningful as the teachers were asked to discuss/ speak on: ‘How my work makes a difference.’
The second part of the seminar was all about Adaptability, Change and Re-invention. Mr. Singh quoted Stephen Hawking when he said: ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change’. He mentioned five things that Intelligent and Innovative people do:
- Observation: They are alert and observant to new ideas/opinions/points of views/methodology etc.
- Questions: They question- Why? Why not? How? What if?
- Diversity in terms of Experience– they seek to wider their knowledge/experience by learning from other people from various different fields
- Curiosity: They want to ‘Know’ more and more.
- Connection: The ‘Eureka’ or the ‘Aha’ moment.
The workshop concluded with Mr. Singh advocating change by making right choices, by removing mental blockages, by ideal self-realization and 100% effort what I choose to Become. He left no one without an assignment which was food for thought: What must I start doing? What must I stop doing? What should I continue doing?
The orientation was interesting, stimulating and thought provoking. It hammered home the truth that change is the only way to growth and a teacher must constantly seek to upgrade, re-invent and challenge herself if she is Too become an effective teacher ( in a world where ‘Google’ is the Boss!).
Ms. Sharmila Biswas
Auxilium Convent School