Caring for the carers

Usha Raman

We all agree that teaching is a strenuous job and while we identify several reasons for this, we never look at care giving as a possible cause that leads to teacher stress and burn out. Of all her different roles and responsibilities, care giving takes a lot from the teacher, both mentally and physically and this is why the school should build a system to care for and support their teachers.

The teacher at work

Usha Raman
This Special issue, curated by one of our long-time contributors, Neeraja Raghavan, is the outcome of an idea to get teachers to reflect on the contextualization of their lessons. The articles that we received reflect the level of detail and the diversity of the teachers’ lived experiences. If one teacher brought alive ancient cities in ruins through a contemporary experience, another showed how to develop English textbooks from the children’s own experience. In other words, ‘indigenous pedagogy’ is really all around us.

Winds of change

Usha Raman
The draft of the New Education Policy was released in May this year. Ever since it has generated a lot of debate on what it proposes to do and what it does not. And while a lot of people are getting into this debate of the NEP, the people conspicuous by their absence are the teachers and school administrators and children–incidentally the stakeholders that the policy will most affect. While nobody may ask us for our views on national tv it is still very important that amongst ourselves we discuss the provisions of the NEP and see how we can bring some parity between our own vision for education and that of the top authorities.

Why Fridays matter

Usha Raman
How can educators introduce conversations around big issues in the classroom and how can children be helped to think differently when it comes to tackling these issues? Fifteen year-old Greta Thunberg has been an inspiring voice, calling governments across the globe to tackle climate change. It is now up to educators to support the participation of children in movements like this so that they understand what is happening around them and also give them the intellectual tools to navigate through these trying times.

Stories to go back to

Usha Raman
A teacher’s professional development is not limited to the number of workshops or refresher courses she attends. For a teacher, every day brings some learning. These beautiful lessons about life and teaching that our students bequeath us are what makes teaching such a rewarding profession.

A crucible for a new culture

Usha Raman
The staff room is often a good barometer of the culture of the school. A friendly and open staff room can be an indicator of an open and friendly school, where cooperation and collaboration trump competition. But it can also be a space from which change, innovation and excitement spring, where friendships are made and nurtured, where both successes and failures are discussed without judgment.

“Welcome” back to school

Usha Raman
There is a lot that is not right with this world. And while we can’t set about solving all of the world’s problems, there are some things we can do to make our own small worlds better places to be. As teachers and students, our schools form a large part of our world. Let us work to make this space better, more welcoming and accessible to all of us.

A place for health in the PE curriculum

Krishna Kumar
Health in the PE curriculum resides mostly in the margins and reform is necessary if it has to find a higher and better designed place. Many new concepts and appropriate material are available to infuse spirit and energy into the health curriculum and this will be a first step in the long chain of reforms.

Re-imagining the role of play

Usha Raman
Physical education is often not seen as a subject and is something that is attended to on special occasions. This issue is an attempt to set right that perspective and explore the different ways in which schools might re-imagine the role of play and movement in education.

Beating the heat

Usha Raman

As summer slowly starts to creep in on us, we also approach the end of the academic year. And this is a difficult combination to beat. The days are getting hotter and stuffier and the teaching-learning is also almost done for the year. How can teachers and students keep their spirits up until the summer holidays? Do you have any ideas?