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Expectations from monthly review meetings

I have always wondered if every one who attends a review meeting has a common understanding of the purpose of it? What are the expectations from these meetings?  My experience of working in schools and working in corporate have been similar in some ways and different in many. In schools, it is more about what…… Continue Reading →

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Fake environment

Candor is a virtue not respected enough. In our desire to be nice, polite or protective, we miss out on the opportunity to be honest, frank and helpful. Nothing is more dangerous to a students’ /child’s well being or ability to improve than creating a fake environment around them. An environment that screams, you are…… Continue Reading →

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What can middle school students do to be college ready?

You don’t prepare for college when in college. Most often than not, students , parents and schools, start their career counselling programme from Grade XI. Some schools focus from Grade X. However, the right time to engage students in a meaningful dialogue about their aspirations is in the middle school. Here are our 10 suggestions…… Continue Reading →

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How strong are my aspirations

Aspirations give us the motivation to do something. Aspirations come from our dreams and unmet drams can lead to frustrations. The question therefore is what are we doing to fulfill our dreams? Research suggests that our aspirations go through a U-phase. As we reach mid twenties our aspiration peak and sometime during our fifties it hits the…… Continue Reading →

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Existing ideas are as powerful as the next new

Why are we so quick to denounce a new idea, a new initiative, a new thought when it does not come from us? Do we fear the idea itself or the thought, that the person who came up with the idea would gain acclaim and attention? Complex question, but easy answers. We definitely fear the…… Continue Reading →

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Digital Dilemma

Research indicates that cellphones cause distraction leading to stress and frustration as students loose valuable time. Humans tend to calculate or observe small shifts as manageable. Something that can be controlled or rectified when ever we want to. It is when a dramatic, unannounced (really?) gigantic shift occurs and kicks us in the stomach that…… Continue Reading →

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We don’t have to be just sheep

Possibilities are endless and limitless. That is the way a two year sees the world. What happens when they enter school or more importantly when they start to ‘listen’ to the adults? I am reminded of an interesting fable here. It goes something like this: A mother could not get her young son to come…… Continue Reading →

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Progress or perfection

The sense of ownership is liberating. It fuels creativity and purpose. This is what we try and build in you as you engage with your research work. But sometimes, the desire to write that perfect lab report or the most earth-shattering extended essay may cloud your judgement of time. Don’t get me wrong, it is…… Continue Reading →

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The tickle is not in the feather

You go with the intention of window shopping, enter a shop and casually pick up a shirt that you like. It is blue in color and a quick mental check confirms that you already have 4 blue shirts in your wardrobe. You decide to hang it back. And just then you notice another shopper eyeing…… Continue Reading →

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Manage your exam health

Exam time can be stressful no matter what age you are at. It is not uncommon, AND it can be managed. What you can do: Understand yourself and know your limits. Target setting early in the year can give you that clarity. Ensure that you have all the resources you need to prepare for the…… Continue Reading →

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Right thinking matters

A farmer when asked why he shared his best corn seeds with all the other farmers in the neighborhood, said, ‘If my neighbors grow poor corn, through wind dispersal the pollen from their poor crop will get carried to my field. This cross pollination will in turn bring down the quality of my crop.  To…… Continue Reading →

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Wake up and smell the coffee-‘REMAIN TEACHABLE’

This one comes straight from my experience. I believe that pressures, hardships, austerity and challenges only make us better and more resilient. They help us grow. Today one of the pressures that teachers face is that of how to continue to stay relevant. The students siting in our classroom no longer need to be there…… Continue Reading →

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Storm in a Teacup

Yes, deadlines have a habit of creating that. The art of managing deadlines is prioritization. A skill students must be introduced to in school from the time (at least) they learn to pronounce it. Important and urgent. Essential Time allotment 5 % Important but not urgent. Necessity Time allotment 75% Urgent but not important. Distractions Time…… Continue Reading →

The Tribe: Talent, Skill and Knowledge

Knowledge you receive. It could come from anywhere and anyone. Be on the lookout. Knowledge can be gained and developed through personal and shared knowledge. Skill is developed with practice. It is teachable and can be learnt. You have to invest time, be intentional and gritty. Remember, the bottom line is, it can be learnt!…… Continue Reading →

E-Mail Etiquettes

Being inundated with countless emails daily is in itself a challenge. Coupled with that, what can be most frustrating is, receiving emails that one has nothing to do with or that which requires a couple of reads to understand what it means! A simple checklist that can come handy:  State a meaningful subject line. It…… Continue Reading →

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DRAW YOUR THINKING

I got introduced to ‘sketchnoting’ fairly recently. However, as I investigated and practiced, I realized that I had actually been doing sketch noting from childhood. Writing small notes for myself in the margins of my notebook in school or making a square or a circle around the text that I wanted to highlight, or simply…… Continue Reading →

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6 REASONS WHY WE MUST TEACH DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP TO STUDENTS

When asked, most teachers talk about how they encourage young learners to research for their projects, assignments and home work. But how many of us first teach our students appropriate behavior when using digital media and more specifically the social media.

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Padlet For Collaborative Learning

While I have been using padlet in my classroom teaching, I was only recently introduced to it being used for teacher training when I did my Cambridge Professional Development Qualification training recently. Padlet is one of the easiest tech tool to use in a classroom or a training programme. Let me share some of the ways…… Continue Reading →

THE VALUE OF RECESS

From 30 minutes to an hour, schools provide free play time to the students during the day. Some schools also incorporate a short recess of 10 to 30 minutes is provided in addition to the lunch recess for students to have a quick breakfast or water or just rest before they head to their next…… Continue Reading →

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ONE MINUTE PAPER

“Do not forget the child in the assessment” The Minute Paper or the One Minute Paper is a technique that teachers can use to assess their own teaching and student learning. The Minute Paper can be introduced at any time during your class time (Davis, Wood, & Wilson, 1983). It can be used at the…… Continue Reading →

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Book Review: Teach Like A PIRATE

Writing a Book Review is a piece of cake only if you have devoured a book because you couldn’t put it down!  The book is a must read for teachers old or new to the profession. For experienced teachers, it helps in ‘sharpening the axe’ and for the new, a treasure that will ignite the…… Continue Reading →

5 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN APPLYING TO COLLEGES

The clear answer to this is to ensure that you apply to the college that not only matches your aspirations but also is the right fit for you. Be realistic and be aware. Many students believe that one way of securing a seat is to apply to many colleges. Not only do they end up…… Continue Reading →

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Feedback or Feed-Forward

While driving on the road, the driver checks in the rear view window to see the approaching traffic. An important activity if the driver wishes to take a turn or brake. However, for driving forward, he looks forward through the windscreen. He looks at possibilities and opportunities ahead. While feedback is important, it is feed-forward…… Continue Reading →

Learning style- Metacognition

The process of learning is very unique to each of us. While we may all use the technique of metacognition, it is important to understand what it means so that we can use it as an effective tool to modify our own learning behavior. Many people think of metacognition as a process of thinking about thinking…… Continue Reading →

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26th January Reflections:

“Am I learning to teach as fast as the world is changing?” In this fast changing world, where a thought today, before even getting verbalized can become a thing of the past or obsolete, there is always this one question that buzzes around in my head. “Am I learning to teach as fast as the…… Continue Reading →

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Our V.U.C.A World

Our complex world these days is often explained by the acronym V.U.C.A. Meaning, volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity. The four different types of challenge demand four distinct types of approach (HBR 2014). The acronym was introduced by the US American army war college to describe the world after the end of cold war. The word gained accepted…… Continue Reading →

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Beautiful, My #OneWord for 2018

  ‘It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.’ Voltaire. This year’s #OneWord2018 for me would be ‘BEAUTIFUL’. Beautiful in every aspect. Be it work, cultivating friendships, nurturing family, building my learning community etc. Whatever I do, I will ensure that…… Continue Reading →

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Benefits of recess in school

          How often do we think about recess time while structuring the school time-table? Most go with a 30-min block that serves as lunch time for all students, be it the J-school or the S-school. Have always wondered, what should be an ideal length of recess in a school? The Centers…… Continue Reading →

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FLIP CLASSROOM

Learning is very individualistic. We all learn at our own pace, when we want to learn and have different styles for learning. Given these challenges how can we then enhance the learning experience of our students. Almost all schools follow a structured timetable and therefore this is one challenge that cannot be overcome easily, but… Continue Reading →

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Sustainability is about simple understandings

For schools education should not just be about strategy but also about content. As rightly said, strategy can only help in the process of communication. Content on the other hand is about introducing concepts and building knowledge through them to create new knowledge. Resources, that enable learning to take place, technology that motivates young learner…… Continue Reading →

The teacher is engaged, not simply in the training of individuals, but in the formation of the proper social life. (John Dewey)

The teacher-learner relationship is fragile in nature. It is based on trust and empathy. Pupils learn best when they feel cared, protected and respected in their learning environment. How then can we redesign our learning environment so that first and foremost trust between the teacher and the taught be established? One way in which a…… Continue Reading →

The Skill-Development Initiative

The recent report published by FICCI (2013-2014), states that the percentage of formally skilled workforce available in India stands at 2% vis-e-vie n 96% for South Korea, 80% for Japan, 75% for Germany and 68% for UK. The initiative taken by the central government and by the state governments is commendable. It is forecasted that…… Continue Reading →

How parents feel about their children’s transition to college

When my older son started with his college applications in the Year 2008, I was intrigued with the whole process, as he had decided to choose a university abroad for his undergrad. The process was very different from what I had experienced in my time! Yet, I was curious to know if my parents went…… Continue Reading →

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Teaching and Learning with Technology

How can one define technology? Dictionary meaning of technology refers to development of apparatus and equipment using scientific method for human use. If that the case, why are teachers so uncomfortable with the notion of use of technology in teaching? have teachers not always used technology to transfer information to their pupils? The use of…… Continue Reading →

To use the same methods and expect a different result would support the definition of insanity

Why are we as teachers reluctant to change? Considering the fact that the pupils in our care are exposed to the same content today as we are, should we not be more open to learning and innovations ourselves?  

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