My name is Usha Iyer, an Education Professional with 37 years of experience and a teacher from heart right from the day, I completed my post-graduation. A premise of being a reflective educator is the ability to articulate foundational experiences that have shaped how one understands meaningful education. The Bangalore School and The Green School Bangalore is promoted and headed by me as a Director I have been awarded as the most influential STEM educator and ambassador from India by STEM.org.
There are few factors that motivated to start a preschool and a business on my own:
• First and foremost motivating factor: First and foremost motivating factor: Like the character Gail Wyn and felt frustrated in the book, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand where he was told emphatically that he did not run the show there, so he names his yacht/ship as “ I do, I do, I do”, I started feeling restless working in many educational institutions though many of them were what you could call as excellent institutions.
• Second Motivating Factor: I was very clear in my mind that I need to start my own venture to ensure that I achieve the kind of quality what I would like to have in an educational institution. Many of my peers and friends felt having been a Principal for a fairly sizable International School like “India International School”, I should start an International School where I have had more than 10 years of running the school (from being a start-up with 7 students in 2002 to being more than 500 students 10 years later).
But it does not require an expert to tell you that for a Middle class teaching professional like me to start an International School it is more a dream. There is also another compelling reason for me to start a Preschool rather than a High School is that children at the age of 2 to 5 can be molded in terms of character traits, likes, attitudes and more importantly creativity and innovation.
• The third Motivating Factor is to give the best value proposition: We had bench marked with the best of the schools in the country who offer preschool education and we shall strive to provide the same quality of education or better at half the price they charge for the services and discussed the proposition with my husband who is a Management Professional and came up with the following objectives:
1.0) The school will be the best in the country within a period of 10 years and shall aim to make a substantial impact on its stakeholders in terms of its quality offering, the kind of processes it shall have, ability to attract the best talent, position the school that pleases the children as well as the parents.
2.0) The school shall take its social and environment responsibility as a priority in helping the needy children and we have adopted Anganwadi and unaided government school.
3.0) We have an objective of being a much larger institution that impacts many children in the coming year through’ franchising the brand. The ECC franchise branch is replica of the main TBS campus.
4.0) We were clear that TBS shall conform to the highest ethical values and will be transparent and committed and we follow that with our parents and teachers. And hence we embraced an “Asset Light” model, by which we will not lock up capital in land and buildings and we shall take the premises on rent.
5.0) So our goal is clear to make The Bangalore School as the Best Preschool in the country which started with a humble beginning of 8 children in 2011.
Highlights of the School:
TBS is a unique child-centred learning environment that offers innovative programs for children in their primary and preschool years based on the philosophy of progressive education with democratic principles.
• Enriching experiences and Different children have different interests
• Approach and Respect for Nature & Environment
Plan into action: The Implementation
1) We are nine year old (or young, depending on the perspective) institution now and first thing we did in the first year is to look at a compact strategy execution model. We felt something like a balanced scorecard (BSC) what is quite popular would serve this purpose very well.
2) We said all our end objectives of being the best in the country is 8 or 10 years away. This kind of a lag indicator will not help in day-to-day running and satisfied stakeholders.
Parent Feedback, Learning milestones for every child, Assessment & Evaluation of teacher performance.
3). We felt so strongly that we need to fix the quality of the service that we give, we started with training programs for all the teachers recruited in the first year itself by one of the quality institutions like Teacher Foundation.
4). TBS has been fortunate to have a dedicated team of staff and very cooperative and encouraging set of parents as our well wishers, from 8 children in June 12 to 80 children by end of 2014, 130 by 2017 and 200 by 2018. We started our first franchise in 2018 august and the school had 130 students by 2019 which showed our brand presence of TBS Social Media.
Priyanka Singh – Principal- TBS-ECC Branch (1st franchisee Branch): Priyanka Singh is a dynamic educator and currently working as a principal for The Bangalore School ECC branch. She believes “There is no magic to achievement. It’s really about hard work, choices, and persistence.”The Bangalore School, ECC Road, Whitefield has been ranked 3 in Bangalore’s top 10 Franchised Preschool ranking. Also got best campus design 2018-19.
5). The school from the 5th year it scaled to greater heights with teacher training unit also being there and after the first franchise unit which is set up in 2018 .TBS parents trust led the school to start its bigger campus called THE GREEN SCHOOL BANGALORE in 2019 which is totally on lines of 2030 UNESCO education goals. In the COVID times now we have come up with the TBS learning hubs (Learning pods) within the apartment or vicinity of the kids to ensure that kids learn in trusted, hygiene, safe physical environment and has been appreciated & accepted by parents.
6).We have relied on social media and internet tools to get the required mind share for the school with Facebook.com/ bangalore preschool -we have over 37000 likes on our page as on date, Twitter and all other prominent social media handles.
7). We were gratified to have been rated as one of the top 20 Preschools in Bangalore and now amongst the top 10 preschools in Bangalore by Education World – Jury Ranking and many more authentic bodies.
8). The school worked on climate change programme with green contributors from Canada. We were obliged to receive an award from UNGA (United Nations General Assembly in 2017) on being a green school in the climate week of trump in New York which indeed motivated us and keeps our zeal high in this journey.
9. Future Plans: Achieve Safe & sensitive school from Jenny Mosleys, UK & Quality Certificate for preschool from UK and start 3 or more Franchise school implementing Coding, AI, Robotics & S.T.E.A.M as an integral part of daily curriculum.