Getting to know “the other”

Once upon a time schools were considered as only storehouses of knowledge. Today they are expected to do a lot more. Nurturing empathy among children is one of their primary responsibilities today. With a world that is growing more and more insensitive and selfish by the day, imagining and understanding the lives of people different from us has become the need of the hour.

Editorial

Computers have taken over our lives in more ways than one and it will not be an exaggeration to say that computers are the future , whether we like it or not. From checking bank balances to paying bills , computers have become a permanent fixture. In schools and colleges too, teaching and learning is now more computerised. This issue on computer science has a varied collection of articles on the subject that will help teachers look at the subject differently.

Making the most of the commute

Life has become extremely busy. Nobody has the time to take a break, to relax, to unwind. Teachers, like everybody else, hardly have the time to breathe–first with household chores and then at work in school. But without those small breaks, how does one recharge oneself? How can one energize oneself to face the day ahead? The answer lies in one’s daily commute. We all take the bus, either private or school, or the auto, or drive to school or perhaps even walk. Let us make utmost use of this time we take to travel to work. Let us use this time to switch off things and draw from the energy that surrounds nature.

Building that empathetic bridge

Teachers and students share a bond that sees them through the school years. Sometimes, this bond is emotional and the student is benefited both academically and emotionally. At other times, students and even teachers fail to connect leading to dire consequences. In such cases, would the presence of a trained counsellor help? It would, with support from the larger community of teachers and parents. But a beginning can be made only by a sensitised teacher who can understand a child’s need.

Will you stop, wait, or go?

Rules and values, can one exist without the other? While one has a positive feel to it, the other is often challenged. Is there a way to balance values and rules? Can we as schools and teachers find answers to these questions as apart from their families, children imbibe most of their values and knowledge of rules from schools.

The heroic in the humdrum

The past year has just gone by and has left in its wake a lot of disruption. From demonetisation to cyclonic storms and political upheavals, the changes have been swift and hard to accept. It is in times likes these that small acts of kindness can make a huge difference, bring out the heroic nature in each one of us and kindle a sense of hope in our humdrum lives.

Simply because…it’s Art!

What is the role of art in the school curriculum today? Most of us believe in the value that art adds to a child’s education, but how does one make a case to show that the arts are not dispensable? True, what Art brings to a child’s development is beyond school academics; but perhaps to allow the arts to flourish within a school curriculum, we have to find justifications of its importance within the curriculum.

Consultation is key

The safety and well-being of staff and students is a primary concern of most schools today. In order to meet this challenge, decisions are taken and systems adopted without any consultation with the key stakeholders. Introducing surveillance cameras in schools to monitor student and teacher activity may have its advantages, but several questions need to be asked and answered before any decision is arrived at. Clearly, school administrators must realise that consultation with all teachers , parents and students before any change is implemented will find greater acceptance than simply forcing everyone to accept and adapt.

Learning to disagree – politely

Disagreement with the popular viewpoint is not accepted and is usually frowned upon. However, it is important that we create space for all kinds of viewpoints to co-exist in society. Having said that disagreeing doesn’t mean shouting down the other person. How we voice our disagreement is equally important. And classrooms are the best places to help encourage healthy discussions.

Why We Need Our Stories

Stories shape us, they help us improve our ability to understand people, their experiences and their solutions to problems. This Special issue for teachers carries a bouquet of stories that celebrate the life and work of a teacher. The stories are sure to leave you readers entertained and surprised. Happy reading.