Early Childhood Education – School Leadership Conferences – Facilitating and Reflecting

Early Childhood Education - School Leadership Conference

Last couple of months have seen me crisscrossing the country to facilitate this conference in multiple cities and a few more are lined up in the coming weeks. Though I have been involved in creating and anchoring workshops for parents, adults, mentors and educational leaders in the early childhood space for over a decade, one for the school leadership has definitely been a challenging one, always.

The top most of these challenges is that of creating eagerness in the school leaders to just come together to share their learning while being open to learning from others. Though we, as school and education leaders, are looked up to create and nurture learning, most of us have an ‘aura’ about ourselves and think that ‘we are the be all and end all’. Learning has agenda does not exist. We ‘Impart Knowledge’!

I have always been looking at opportunities to learn, whether through books and web, or attending these learning fora and conferences wherein just listening to someone’s sharing adds richness to my thoughts and ideas. The personal interactions add so much more. Anchoring and facilitating has added immensely to my learning. The beauty of facilitating a session is in observation and reflection. So much emerge out of the interactions among the participants, as a facilitator I just need to put those together with a couple of ideas to reach out to everyone. It gives a sense of dejavu for almost every one.

I feel delighted and also satisfied when at the end of my workshops the participants – parents, mentors or school leaders – come and share how they identified themselves with the issues or examples that I raised or shared. It is just about our ability to observe happenings around us closely, empathize with the situation, relate to them and imbibe the learning and essence, while also being good at expressing the way others can identify with it.

So much more to learn and so much more to share and do to reach out to every parent and adult to make a small difference to every child around us, who are young leaders of today capable of impacting the world of tomorrow.

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IWS Gurgaon – Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita Sharma

Indus World School, the school endeavor of CL, added one more feather in its Gurgaon campus after the very popular centre for performing arts at its Galleria campus. IWS Gurgaon launches the Indus Cricket Academy at its Gurgaon Sohna Road (Badshahpur) Campus with a day filled with adventure activities that every parent participated in to push their mental and physical boundaries

IWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita Sharma

IWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita Sharma
IWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita Sharma
IWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita Sharma
IWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita SharmaIWS Gurgaon - Indus Cricket Academy inaugurated by Bishan Bedi and Sunita Sharma

IWS Gurgaon saw parents thronging for an outbound and inauguration of the Indus Cricket Academy. Ace spinner and erstwhile captain of Indian Cricket Team Bishen Singh Bedi, Dhronacharya awardee chief-coach Sunita Sharma and coach Kasturbha (KN Bhatt) were in the thick of action.

Every parent was seen challenging oneself by doing many an activity like flying fox, river crossing, rappling and rockclimbing for the first time in their life. They were thrilled to push the boundaries. One of the mothers was heard saying, “I never participated pro-actively in sports, forget about winning awards. I really loved being here and realized what I can do. I am going to be a regular here.” True to the byword of IWS, it is a journey of ‘Discovery Self’.

“Sports coaching and playing is to inculcate values to children right from childhood and not necessarily to make them star cricketers. If your child becomes one, there is an added reason to celebrate”, said Bedi. “Bringing up a child is like a ‘Tapasya’ and you and I are ‘Tapasvi’, knowingly or unknowingly’, said Bishan. He was addressing the parents at Indus World School at the end of a half day outbound training program for parents that included Rock climbing, rappelling, river crossing and flying fox kind of activities to include parents in physical education and imbibing a culture of sports in the family.

Sunita Sharma, the only woman coach to have ever won the Dronacharya award, exhorted the parents to enjoy the process of parenting and not put pressure on the child or themselves for quick results. Ms Sharma also encouraged mothers to introduce girl children to the field of sports actively which was well received by all parents.

The coaching facility will be run by Coach KN Bhatt, a former Delhi and North Zone player coached under Bishan Bedi and Sunita Sharma. Bhatt has played in VIjay Merchant, vijay Hazare, Rohinton Baria and Cooch Behar tournaments. The coaching is open to children in the age group of under 16 and open on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Parents too are welcome to join the coaching program, according to Bhatt Sir.

Indus World school is a chain of over 14 schools across India including Gurgaon, Indore, Hyderabad, Aurangabad, Raipur etc., and is a part of Career Launcher, leading education company with interests in coaching, vocational training, education publishing and k12 schools.

more details about the school can be obtained at http://www.indusworldschool.com and about CL at http://www.careerlauncher.com. For enrolment, you can send a mail to nidhi.marwah@careerlauncher.com

We are looking forward to having children upto 16 years from neighbourhood to hone their cricketing skills at the academy. Satya, chairman CL Educate, who also happened to represent India’s School Cricket team in 1980s, will be seen at the academy turning his arms and flexing his youthful muscles!

Facilitating Children to be Honest – A great experience and lesson from Monica, IWS, Indore

I am reproducing an experience of a mentor that acted as a reinforcement of her thoughts and practices, for the benefit of every parent and mentor / teacher. I apologize for any grammatical or spelling mistakes in here, as I thought the spirit is of paramount importance. Thanks and regards.

For the last few days, I have often been hearing that a few stationery items are  being stolen from my class, IV A.

One day as soon as I entered the class, Aman came to me saying that I  had brought a golden pen which has got stolen from my bag. I thought  of addressing the issue and I shared one of my school days incidents  which still has a deep impression on my mind.

In our school days we use to carry Tiffin from home and during the lunch break there was a
food stall which was put up at lunch time everyday which had a few  eatables like baked samosa, Mangola  (a mango drink) and soya milk.  Initially our teachers had the duty of standing there collecting money and giving us what we wanted.

One day our Principal decided that no one needs to monitor children, just keep a money box children will put the money and will buy what they want. This is how I remember my first lesson of honesty started. After a few days it was found that ten rupees were less in the
collection. Next day Principal Madam while addressing the assembly shared that I don’t know where something has gone wrong – either it has  happened by mistake as somebody has forgotten to put the money or someone has deliberately done a wrong thing. She further said whatever the case would have been I just want that the next day’s amount should
have a plus 10.

To our surprise it happened that way and the next day’s collection had  an additional amount of plus 10. While sharing this incidence with the class I said the same thing. That whoever has taken Aman’s pen I am not interested in the name but it would be good if tomorrow Aman finds his golden pen back in his bag.

TO MY SURPRISE IT HAPPENED AND NEXT DAY AMAN’S PEN WAS BACK IN HIS
BAG. MY HAPPINESS KNEW NO BOUND. IT WAS LITTLE HARD TO BELIEVE BUT IT
HAPPENED.

We all clapped for the unknown child who with understanding demonstrated honesty.

This incident in my classroom set me thinking that NO CHILD IS BAD, WE JUST NEED TO THINK HOW TO DEAL.

The Hindu Column : Teaching – Vision, rationale and personal standards

A few questions have been forwarded to me for a column to be published in THE HINDU. I responded with these answers..

1. What are the standards to which you as a teacher hold yourself? What’s your personal vision/critical rationale/purpose of teaching?

  • I see myself as a learner first and then a facilitator. I believe that no one can be taught. Yes, I can inspire one to learn with my enthusiasm and energy, the discipline and standards I set for myself and the way I go about, all the time, in pursuit of realizing my potential. Potential is unlimited, that is the philosophy I subscribe to. Walk the talk is the methodology.
  • My rationale of facilitating, is to help every individual realize his or her potential. Towards making it happen, I am always creating a learning environment for them to explore, experience and discover; sharing my learning, and bringing in outstanding achievers to interact with the youth. That face-2-face exchanges make a huge difference.
  • It is all about enabling an individual set goal for oneself and chasing them. Once that happens, everything else will fall in place.

2. What educational goals do you expect of yourself in the classroom? What are you committed to doing/achieving?

3. How do you approach your instruction methods to achieve those standards? How do you put them into practice?
4. How well do you model these expectations? How do you evaluate whether you’ve accomplished those standards?

(I found all these questions closely related, hence I am clubbing them to answer)

  • Study, explore, experiment, interact, learn and contribute. I live by a maxim for myself, “Every day I will do something, which I have never done before”.  It could be in any form – reading, meeting, interacting, and writing that fosters my learning and quenches my thirst. Every new experience I create for myself is of immense value in enriching the learning environment – for self and for others.
  • In the similar vein, as a facilitator, I create experiences in the learning environment that enables learners to realize and comprehend the concepts through experiential learning, more than the theoretical lectures of the concepts. So, for me, learning is bottom-up. Knowledge is always built, and cannot be imparted!
  • I continue to live by these benchmarks.  I share all my learning with the co-learners (students) through various means – in the classroom, through my blog (www.sreeni.org), sharing of interesting articles or sources through various media – email, social forums etc.
  • I have always lived by these standards. The feedback one gets is a great indicator. There are formal, written ones and informal ones too. Those that I keep getting are-

o       How do you have so much of energy? Your presence makes a big difference;

o       My absence is being pointed out, whenever I am traveling and not seen on the campus.

o       “What all activities do you do? It is hard to point out where you do not excel?”

o       “Rarely we see anyone take so much interest in everything that happens around, like you. In fact none”

o       “You cannot measure everyone with same yardstick that you measure for yourself?”

Apart from facilitating at the business school, IWSB – Indus World School of Busines, and the Mentors of the K-12 schools (IWS), I do a lot of workshops and public seminars on “Realizing ones potential and dreams” and “Think Big, Start Small” for the youth of the country, “Enabling your child to excel” for parents of school going children. I travel about 200+ days in a year motivating the youth. These sessions give instant feedback about how do the participants feel. They feel charged and share what will they set for themselves and achieve in the next one-year. Many a times, people come to meet me later to share that they did achieve their goal that they set out with after those sessions. The videos and presentations of these sessions are available on my website / blog www.sreeni.org.

Find the WINNER in your child – The Indore session with parents

It was wonderful to see a packed auditorium with parents who are keen to help their children excel. With a variety of questions in their mind, challenges with children varying  –

  • only interested in TV, computer and video games
  • Not keen to study or
  • Does not want to
  • Fighting siblings
  • does not enjoy reading
  • wants to play all the time
  • studies only during the exam
  • Helping to be good in English (at times by kinder garden)
  • Maths is boring for him, how to help..
  • Getting ready for competition (concern even when admitting child in nursery)
  • Does not indulge in any sports
  • Does not eat
  • Too much of anger, how to help

The concerns went on and on.  The three hour of interaction helped every one find answers to their concerns and the way they would like to help the child, themselves and their families.  Here are a couple of coverages of the event. I shall soon put up the videos of the session.

For a clear, readable version, kindly click on the following clips and see it on my FLICKR stream in the original sizes.

The coverage of the session in Dainik Bhaskar

The coverage of the session in Dainik Bhaskar

The prelude to the programme

The prelude to the programme

Find a Winner and Leader in your child – Sreeni’s session at Aurangabad

My first visit to Aurangabad and Ahmednagar has been very invigorating. I have been able to draw parents out to interact and share their challenges, and the session became very interactive. With series of examples from our daily life around children – how we behave and how else we can to help them enjoy their learning and realize their potential – I have been able to drive points that every parent realized. I am satisfied that I was able to connect and facilitate them find answers to their own questions during the session and interactions.

IWS Aurangabad - Find the leader in your child : invite

IWS Aurangabad - Find the leader in your child : invite

IWS Aurangabad - Find the leader in your child : Public seminar

IWS Aurangabad - Find the leader in your child : Public seminar

IWS Aurangabad - Find the leader in your child : Public seminar - lighting the lamp

IWS Aurangabad - Find the leader in your child : Public seminar - lighting the lamp

IWS Aurangabad - Find the leader in your child : Public seminar

IWS Aurangabad - Find the leader in your child : Public seminar

I also thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with children and mentors of Indus World Schools at Aurangabad and Ahmednagar. Children are always inquisitive and curious, eager to explore and I find no difference wherever I go. Yes, mentors are the ones who are trying to break the barriers they have created for themselves over the period of their journey. The methodology adopted at IWS are so learner centric, the mentors themselves have to be learners to help the young learner push boundaries all the time. This journey, many find very difficult to cope with initially. But, those who have been around and invested themselves for more than couple of years always share about the significant difference that this process has done to their life, and in turn to their children and their families. Many of the learner-centric processes, like circle time, have become part of the family process, wherein families sit around to share and express, give feedback to one another. And the mentor families are talking very highly about these. It is very heartening.

I am sure this movement, continued with conviction, can make a big difference to every child in the country.

Last but not the least, the location of IWS, Ahmednagar just by the side of the wild life sanctuary with blackbucks and deer frolicking around, is certainly a great rejuvinator!!

I managed to have a quick visit to Ellora, and I am amazed at the vision, workmanship and execution of these humongous monolithic architectural splendors as early as 800AD. Imagine the whole structures sculpted top-down, starting from the ‘shikharagr’, the top point, down towards the base!! What an inspiration work!

sreeni@iwsb.i

Every child is Unique

Every child is unique

Every child is unique

Every child is unique and we as parents and facilitators need to realize it, work towards understanding and facilitating the child to realize the potential.

This is one of the cartoons that I came across the net and found to be very apt. Thanks to the creator and those who shared and floated on the net.

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