“Own your smartness and inhabit it with pride.”
This Teachers’ Day, we are pleased to share candid thoughts of Mrs. Sudesh Singh Director, Delhi Public School Sonepat as shared with Curious Times on Teaching in the 21st Century.
What brought you to the world of Education?
In 1980, when I first stepped into a teaching career, it was my deep passion to teach and make a difference in the lives of thousands of children, which guided my life. Every year, I continued to learn and give to my students.
Do you find any change in the education landscape in the past 40 years?
Yes, a lot has changed. Technology has become an inherent part of everything we do. 20th and 21st Century are two different centuries altogether.
Well, we are teaching students, who are born after the Year 2000. Their parents had mobile phones when they were born. The students of 2000-19 are very different from 1980-90.
Teaching methodology has changed, which is good. There is a big shift in my colleagues and educators around. Rightfully so, we have millennials workforce in schools, just like in any other profession and their learning and teaching formats are very different.
We conducted a survey among teachers to understand if the current teachers’ training programs sufficient to teach the 21st Century students. Most of the educators feel that they are not. What are your views?
Our training programs have fallen short, especially at the pace at which the change is required. We do end up building some general skills, however, a lot needs to be done on the enhancement of technical curricula, teaching abilities, management and leadership skills.
Share your views on the role of the internet in teaching.
“I truly believe that the internet has been a blessing for students, teachers and school management. It has provided a lot of curricula support, which was missing in the 1990s. Both teachers and students are empowered with all the knowledge at their fingertips.”
We at Curious Times believe that responsible and age-appropriate media has been missing as far as children are concerned. Unverified information and confidence reducing platforms and apps have dominated their impressionable years. As we are building daily news, information and children’s engagement platform to bring around social consciousness, global awareness, empathy, critical thinking, health, civic, education literacy, what are your views on daily news reading habits?
I have always believed that daily news reading and general reading habit is a must for all children. One doesn’t need to assess anyone on their understanding of the current world. Reading habits start reflecting in their personality and character both in the short and in the long run.
It has been observed that as students prepare for their higher education, jobs, careers, their deeper understanding of diverse world issues and how they impact global societies come handy in their success. There are no successful professionals, leaders, entrepreneurs, who were just subject matter experts.
Daily consumption of news and a positive environment of subjective discussion and sharing of views both at home and schools is very important for the all-round development of our children.
What are your final thoughts on Teaching in the 21st Century and to the 21st Century students?
The technology has made available a plethora of information and brought changes to the pedagogical spectrum. We as teachers have to take our students to creative learning, instead of rote learning.
Many new disciplines have emerged, which should be part of curriculum replacing the outdated knowledge.
However, respect for human nature and moral values should always be taught to our students, both at home and in schools. These go a long way in the building of great citizens and nations. It is disheartening to see juvenile crimes, which are the outcome of inadequate emphasis on morals.
Its Teachers’ Day, what’s your message to students across India, who read and engage on Curious Times?
“Dear young ones, you are expected not just to be smart but to own your smartness and to inhabit it with pride.”
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