Springdale High School, Jorhat (Assam) believes in instilling lifelong skills in children and helping them to succeed in all spheres of life, says Shahnaz Ahmed, Founder-Chairperson, Springdale High School, Jorhat, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).
How do you see the use of technology for improving the learning outcomes for students and how your school employs technology for this cause?
Today, technology is the need of the day as it guides teachers and students with great resources, new opportunities for learning, ways to create and collaborate on newer paradigms and cut costs too. Definitely, it is a very powerful tool for education. Usage of technology enhances a child to stay engaged and have quicker and faster access to information. Students remember the idea of content for a longer time through illustrations. Flow of knowledge is enhanced at every level with video-conferencing and use of digital devices.
Our school uses the smart classes of Xtra marks and it has definitely helped our students to be active learners and quick participators. For instance, while reading a short story they can choose between just reading or simultaneously listen to a story. They can create a traditional story or create a website or make a video or a PPT presentation. While teaching lessons on each topic it is very important to provide background information and showing it to the students and then delivering a lecture. Trying these methods I have realised that instead of giving and showing PPT lectures, it is best to make a blend of both for an effective outcome-based education. It aptly confirms to the maxim, “I hear and I forget. I see I remember.”
A good school must have good student-teacher coordination, what methods do you follow to maintain a healthy coordination between teachers and students?
Our teachers get to know the students by their names as quickly as possible. Knowing students by their names, likes-dislikes, hobbies, goals etc. not only increases the relationship between a teacher and a student but also helps a student to value his/her importance. Providing positive comments or appreciations when appropriate also helps the student to become frank with the teacher.
As the teachers demonstrate their interest and joy in the teaching, it shows that the students enjoy being in the classroom and implies enjoying being with the students. We avoid the use of threats and punishments. We use a time-out procedure rather than punishments when students do something that is disruptive. Sometimes, the teacher becomes the student and asks one of the students to become the teacher for that particular day.
In order to maintain a good learning environment at schools, what activities along with studies are conducted at your school?
Co-Scholastic activities are given equal importance for the holistic development of the children. Exhibitions, sports and observing important days are a part of the school curriculum. A balance of work and play is taken care of in the school as the school believes that “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy”.
Instead of explaining students draw a story. Teachers draw out ideas with images or symbols which enhances the students to help the brain work faster. Brainstorming session with students also help them to unleash their thinking capabilities.
Maths in the lower classes is taught in a very innovative way with the help of self –prepared rhymes which go like this:
Teacher: Where is the tens and where is the ones?”
Students: I don’t know, I don’t know.
Teacher: The tens is on the left side. The ones is on the right side.
Our mission is providing not only good but great education & striving towards academic excellence
With ever-changing dynamics of the education sector, how do you think, teachers are changing their way of imparting knowledge?
Today, teachers are encouraged to use a lot of social networking sites which help them to initiate critical discussions. The 21st-century education framework emphasises on establishing Professional Learning Communities (PLC). Teachers share visions, do collective learning, collaboration, peer-observation and are research-oriented.
In my elementary and middle schools, all same grade level teachers have a common preparation time each day. At high school, all teachers within a single department share the same prep time which allows teachers to work closely with colleagues and encourage them to engage in ongoing discussions about their curriculum and how to meet the needs of each learner.
What is your vision and mission for upcoming years?
Learning literally means knowledge acquired by studying. The years of a child in school are very critical for growth and development of an individual.
We, at Springdale intend and strive to ignite this fire in the minds and hearts of our children right from an early stage and consequently move ahead on the path of enlightenment of the entire world through education which comprises a series of achievements and accomplishments, each raising the individuals to a higher level of awareness, understanding and kinship with everything around them. Springdale education, guided by the school’s vision, mission and values was conceptualised by me and aims to prepare each student to be successful, engaged and informed citizens in the 21st century who are caring, knowledgeable, imaginative, innovative, hardworking and productive. To achieve that, we act on the principles of education upholding the school motto, “Truth”…”Determination”…and “Perseverance”, which are categorised into Head, Heart, Skills and Feet to better reflect the holistic development of each student in our care: Responsible, disciplined and dynamic learners (Head); Compassionate individuals with the passion to serve (Heart); Confident, adaptable and innovative individuals prepared for the challenges ahead (Skills); Resilient Citizens with Integrity (Feet).
Our main aim is to teach our ‘Springdalites’ to realise and take on their dreams…. That dreams are achievable!
Our mission is focused on many more years of providing not only good but great education & striving towards academic excellence. Going forward, we shall continue in our endeavours towards building a better future for our students.
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