Thursday, April 30, 2020

The New Normal for Schools Post COVID19


School is the best learning space, an egalitarian ecosystem and very humane. We will need the support of all stakeholders - teachers, students, community and management - for social wealth creation in the new world order. #MyGoodSchool #HappyTeachers #SchoolsCanChange

Each person in your school contributes to the culture of your school. School culture is built on the actions and interactions of the people. You make your school stronger by adding value to others and making others feel valued.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Courage and Patience - Optimizer BHIS

Every teacher has a series of stories to share, so do I. My first teaching job was that of a primary teacher, though teaching was not new to me. I have been teaching for a very long time. I taught math and science to 4th and 5th graders then. When I went to this particular group of 4th graders to take my math class, everyone seemed happy to see me. There were greetings all around except Aman. I went up and greeted him as he looked down, ignoring me. I started teaching and solved a few questions on the board and while kids were writing in their notebooks I got the time to look into each student's work. Everyone was quick in writing down solved questions from the board, except  Aman.

Later I inquired about him and his behaviour. His class teacher informed me that he was a first-generation learner and had a learning disability. That very day during the dispersal I saw  Aman scribbling on the board with a smile. I got an idea of seeing this. Next day, I solved a sum on the board, explained a particular concept and later divided the board, using chalk, into three sections.

I called three students randomly to solve similar questions, every child was excited to solve the sums on the board and awaited their turn, eagerly. I saw Aman writing in his notebook. It was filled with many mistakes.  I corrected them and asked him to write the answer on the board. He hesitated but agreed to copy it from his corrected notebook. I appreciated his work and asked everyone to clap for him. I could see the smile of achievement on his face. After this, we continued doing this every single day. He was appointed the homework monitor. One part of the board had been assigned to him for solving homework answers on the board. Of course for a math teacher to give time for homework solving in class is time-consuming and frustrating. Yet, I was PATIENCE and the whole class co-operated. So I feel in this process of teaching we all learnt the art of PATIENCE.


I could see a drastic change in Aman's behaviour. He began to greet me with a smile whenever I entered the classroom. In fact, he waited for the math class, where he felt like the star of the class. Moreover, he became a happy child, more confident than he was before, and was enthusiastic to come to school. He started showing COURAGE. Every child in the classroom got a chance to solve sums on board, but for  Aman, it became a symbol of his achievement. A permanent column was made on the board for him to solve the sums. He started doing his homework regularly, knowing he had to do it on board every day.

" A little patience can make a timid child courageous".
If you love and care for someone you have to have patience and understand their behaviour. When you do that to bring in some positive change in your students it makes you feel happy and this happiness translates into a more interacting and enthusiastic class.

Optimizer @ Billabong High International School Thane.
- Rupal Trivedi, Kalyani Chaudhari, Madhubala Saji, Kshama Rajgor, Momita Banerjee, Ajita Bhoir & Sanket Patel

Courage and Patience - Rectifier BHIS

‘‘Patience and Courage conquer everything.’’ – Ralph Emerson.

Samar was a poor boy, who lived in Mumbai in a small house with his grandmother. Their only source of income was his grandmother’s pension, which was barely enough for his school fees and other daily expenses. Samar’s school was far from his house. In spite of this, he used to walk to school, to save some money.

It was his first day at school as a 6th grader. He reached school late. When he entered his classroom, all students were already in their places. His new class teacher was sitting at his desk and was noting down the attendance.

After Samar entered the class, the teacher called him over to his desk. He asked the boy the reason for his late coming. But Samar remained silent. The teacher just scolded him – this being his first day of a new academic year – and warned him to be on time. Samar listened patiently and went to his seat.

The next day, once again Samar reached school late. This time the teacher was angry, and as a punishment, he hit Samar on his palm with a ruler. Samar took the punishment silently and went off to his seat.

This carried on for a few days. Everyday Samar would be late and his teacher would hit his palm with a ruler as a punishment. Samar took his punishment silently and patiently.

One day when the teacher was on his way to the school, he saw Samar escorting an old lady, in a wheelchair, to a Daily Care Center. At that time the teacher understood the reason why Samar always came late to school. The teacher went ahead to reach the school on time.

Samar entered the classroom, late yet again. However, the teacher did not punish him. He recalled what he had seen on his way to the school. He asked Samar about it. Only then did he come to know that the old lady in the wheelchair was Samar’s grandmother. She had met with an accident two weeks prior to the start of the school, due to which she was unable to move around on her own, and had to use a wheelchair.

Hearing this, the teacher felt very sorry for punishing the boy without understanding his circumstances. He knelt next to the boy and hugged him with teary eyes.

The teacher's actions expressed his silent apology for his mistake. He openly praised Samar for his patience and efforts.      

In the end, Samar won over his teacher by his patience and relentless courage in facing the adversities that came his way.

It takes courage to accept one’s mistake and to praise someone’s efforts.

Rectifier @ Billabong High International School, Thane

- Pallavi Harkare, Kalpana Dodia, Mahalakhmi Iyer, Priyanka Iyer, Rajeshri Mohite, Prerna Khanna

Courage and Patience - Engaging Minds BHIS

A stumble may prevent a fall.

COACH ME
and I will learn
CHALLENGE ME
and I will grow.
BELIEVE IN ME
and I will win.

Magic happens when you do not give up, even though you want to. The universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart - J.M. Storm.

Albert always grew with the thought that only children with good grades are successful in life. Albert's performance was always the best, he was brilliant at academics,  Now Albert was heading to high school. Along with this, grew the expectations of all his teachers. Albert began to feel nervous. Each day built new pressure on him. It was like a mountain of expectations that he was unable to hold up. He couldn't confide in anyone. He lost his self-confidence. His courage disappeared in a blink of his eye. Needless to say, his performance began to suffer.

Ms Daisy, a middle-aged teacher who had always observed Albert since his childhood, was puzzled by this sudden display of low self-esteem. She approached him. She understood the underlying issue and showered him with her continuous encouragement and personal attention. Days turned into weeks. With a lot of patience and perseverance, Albert gathered courage and decided to attempt his final exams. And there he was - topping the rank list. His happiness knew no bounds. He couldn't thank Ms Daisy enough. This combination of courage and patience teaches us to not give up in life despite the situation.

The Patience to wait for the right moment and the courage to accept whatever you encounter are the two hardest challenges in one's life!!!!!

“COURAGE DOESN’T ALWAYS ROAR. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow’”

Engaging Minds @ Billabong High International School Thane
- Ginny Franklin, Yojana Suryarao, Ishita Thakkar, Kiran Pandey, Nilka Gandhi, Geeta Mali, Meenaz Khan.

Courage and Patience - Innovators BHIS

The greatest test of courage on the earth is to bear defeat without losing heart- R.G. Ingersoll

Rishi is a timid boy studying in Grade 7. He has the distinct accent of his mother tongue when he tries to speak in English. It is always a thrill for his friends to make fun of his accent, the moment he starts speaking. Timid and shy as he is, Rishi chooses to remain in his shell unless forced to come out of it! His Maths teacher noticed that with each passing day Rishi was starting to lose interest in her subject and refrained from asking questions to clarify his doubts in the class. She chose to take the initiative to make this little boy turn around in Mathematics. So, she mentioned that whoever could not finish their work on time, would have to do so by staying back after school hours.

As expected, Rishi was the only one who had to stay behind to finish his work. The teacher took it as a chance to interact with the shy child and soon could make out that his problem was not with the subject but with his communication. She motivated him to muster courage and to speak. She assured him that his friends would lose interest in teasing him once he was able to overcome his fear; he could, definitely, win his game.
The session with his Maths teacher infused new confidence in Rishi. He reverted to his usual self, clarifying doubts and sharing his ideas in class. Initially, he felt upset as many students giggled, but he learned the tenacity to ignore them. The teacher happily answered his questions, and at the same time instructed the students to maintain decorum while in class. Rishi was all the more encouraged to speak fearlessly and confidently. He regained his interest in Mathematics and practised it regularly. The Maths teacher was patient with the children and continued to encourage them. It brought an immense sense of satisfaction to the teacher as she was able to enthuse this otherwise timid child with a sense of courage, by her patience and affection. There was a sea change in Rishi's attitude after this incident. He not only became active in his classroom but also made more friends in school. Soon he brought laurels to the school by participating in various inter-school events. With every passing day, he became more appreciative of the little things around him. He became more patient and courageous.

Innovators @ Billabong High International School,
 -Bhumi Punjabi, Vaishali  Phatak, Krishnakshi RaviShankor & Smita Bhobate

Courage and Patience- Bloom BHIS

Today I recall the Art Mela, of my former school, an event that was held two years ago. It was an amazing time. The preparation was in full swing. There was a lot of enthusiasm and zeal to make it a successful event.  Everyone wanted the show to be a grand success and hence contributed with 100% effort.

The Art Teacher had a lot of ideas on her mind, which she discussed with the Principal and the same were being conveyed to the teaching staff as well. As it was not one person's job alone, the ancillary staff,  teachers, students - all became an integral part of the preparation. The external faculties started pouring in and teaching various creative and innovative art-related skills to the students, who in turn, began to create their masterpieces for the Mela.  Decoupage, origami, doodling, coffee painting, woodcraft,  stone painting, clay moulding, you name it and it was all there. 


It was my first teaching job. Naturally, I was immensely excited. Besides, I was put in charge of the origami bird hanging stall which had a team of 5 students to manage it. 

Among these 5, there was a student name Radhika, who appeared to be very enthusiastic and full of life.  She was bold and could approach anyone and pull him/her to the stall. In sharp contrast, I also had the shy, introvert Ria on my watch. She was not comfortable with the assigned task at all.  

She was new to the school. She said to me,  "Ma'am it's not my cup of tea,  I cannot do it! " I did not understand how to convince her as she seemed to have given up completely. I looked on Radhika for help. I told her to partner with Ria during the event. Radhika followed my cue and took Ria along as she moved around, talking to the guests (mainly parents and friends of the students), and welcomed them to visit our stall. Given her attractive personality, most visitors crowded around our stall. 

By the end of the day, Ria seemed to have learnt something from her peer. Having started diffidently, she began to emulate Radhika. Despite her shyness, she could answer the queries posed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to see her interacting with the visitors, on her own.

It was a win-win situation for all.  I was successful in converting the shy Ria into a courageous individual. Once again the saying -"Where there is a will, there is a way", had turned out to be true.

Bloom @Billabong High International School, Thane 
-Priya Wagle, Manisha Joshi, Rinku Lapasia, Savita Rane, Ranjana Solanki, Sharanjeet Kaur & Manjit Kaur

Courage and Patience - Harmony BHIS

Courage and Patience Reinforces Tenacity
“I believe that you can; of course, you can,” the teacher muttered reflexively as she looked deep into his eyes that mirrored the very depths of the ocean.

Yes, he is the true epitome of clarity, firmness and perfection. He confronts all challenges with his perseverance. Rohit always maintains his scores in academics. In Grade-IX too, he proved himself by earning the best scorer record. His journey was not at all a bed of roses. He treats ‘Patience’ as the companion of his wisdom and ‘Courage’ as the weapon to endure every situation.

As we know, our classroom is a miniature society, where we deal with many different minds and mindsets. Some are bold, some shy, or courageous while some are timid. His peers leave no stone unturned to comment on him but he always handles those tactfully, by turning deaf ears. Moreover, punctuality is an indispensable trait of Rohit. It is a foundation, not an embellishment for him.

It was time for selecting students to the student council. After a great deal of scrutiny, the names were forwarded. At the same time, there was a great deal of speculation among the students. “Rohit’s name will be forwarded, undoubtedly,” Riya said to her friend, Swapna, who sat beside her.
“Of course, he is the favourite of all,” Swapna responded meaningfully, glancing at Rohit.
The teacher could foresee the reactions of the other children present in the class. As usual, Rohit was indifferent to all those remarks.

Persistently Rohit cleared all the levels of testing as he inched closer to becoming a member of the student council. However, in what seemed to be a bolt from the blue, he did not make it in the final selection.

Predictably, no heartbreaks or overwhelming articulation of emotions came from Rohit. He seemed stoical in dealing with an adverse situation.
“Rohit, how do you feel about this result?” the teacher asked, perplexed at the youngster's calm and composed demeanour despite the defeat.

“Its fine, Ma’am! ... I am okay with everything. It’s all a part of life.” It was indeed a courageous answer from a school-goer like Rohit. He showed true mastery over his emotions as he had realised that despite his talent he lacked the power of charming others through the use of captivating words. This wisdom was beyond his years and can rarely be seen in the children of his generation. For him, success was not final, failure was not fatal; what mattered was the patience to continue.

During the Investiture Ceremony, the teacher witnessed the peak of his acceptance when he was assigned the role of an anchor. He worked tirelessly to write the script and he was on his toes to follow instructions. Once again he seized the attention of the audience and the guests. Being one of the most deserving candidates of the student council, he was neither sceptical about his actual role in school nor felt any regret over that event. Importantly, he did not grudge the success of his peers as they were called to the podium and felicitated - an honour that he had certainly coveted. Looking at his set countenance, the teacher saw his patient acceptance, without bitterness, confident in his conviction that its fruit will be sweet for him one day. 

Courage and patience are two fundamental attributes to achieve success. Both are complementary to each other. Courage does not mean being physically strong. As we have seen in the case of Rohit, courage means examining the situations or resources patiently and acting to rightfully achieve the goal. Sometimes, it is necessary to overcome our fears by taking risks to achieve success and careful examination of the situation will certainly gather the courage for the same.

Harmony @ Billabong High International School, Thane 
- Abira Chakraborty, Pooja Khona, Bhumika Ailsinghani, Rajshri Rane, Soniya Kuril, Poonam Choudhary, Kavita Shetty

Courage and Patience: Super 7

“Courage is knowing what not to fear”- Plato

Courage is a simple but profound word. In our childhood, we have written many essays and narrated several stories to prove to the world how courageous we are. However, the reality is that very few of us have mustered this virtue, in reality. We think, re-think and then think again before standing up for a cause even though we know that it is just. Only courage can help us deal with our inner fears and overcome them. Professor Andrew Martin explains, “Courage is defined as perseverance in the face of academic difficulty & fear.” Very often we need a guide or facilitator to help us. Thus, it is important that we teach our students to be bold and stand up for the right cause. Teaching students to have courage in the classroom not only increases engagement and academic achievement, but it also helps them enhance their self-belief and face every adversity fearlessly. 

One of us recalls the incident involving a boy, named Ajay, in her class. He was acrophobic (fear of heights) - a fact mentioned by his mother during a Parent-Teacher interaction. A few months later, our school organized a Rock-Sport event in which there were many adventure games. All students including Ajay had enrolled for this event. The game started with many activities including rappelling which required a child to tie himself up to a rope at a certain height and then climb down. While others were excited about this new sport and were animatedly chattering, Ajay was silently standing in a corner. His pale face portrayed his paralysing fear and the dilemma that tore through his little heart.

With the intention of soothing his nerves, the teacher walked up to him, spoke for a few minutes and helped him with the safety harness. Just when he was about to move down, Ajay started sobbing uncontrollably and refused to descend. He untied himself, shakily drank some water and sat down. After some time, the teacher went up to him again, spoke to him at great length and helped him overcome his fear. Ajay agreed to try again and this time he managed to complete his activity. Later on, he even admitted that after the initial few moments of abject terror he actually enjoyed himself.

Rudransh Awasthi of Grade IV feels that
Patience is the key to success. 
It is, however, not possible to be courageous in a day– one needs to steadily build up this trait. Patience plays a key role in this process. 
One of our teammates visits a class once a week as a reading teacher and after about a month she took notice of a timid child named Arghya. His passivity was of a different kind. It was not merely about being introvert– there was something more to it. He refused to speak even when spoken to.


Her initial efforts of striking a conversation failed. She did not give up and continued with her efforts. Slowly she started receiving monosyllabic answers from him, though there was still a sense of unease in the child. The teacher then tried talking to his friends and came to know that in Grade 5 he was once rebuked by a teacher for a mistake. The incident was reported to his parents as well and this caused him to recoil into a shell. He intentionally avoided speaking too much with teachers. Upon further inquiry, she found out that his behaviour was very different when he was with his friends. She decided to do something about it and came to meet him every day before dispersal. She shared her day’s experiences with him and urged him to do the same. There was a lot of resistance from his side but gradually he started to open up and after a few months, they shared a unique camaraderie. Arghya is now an enthusiastic member of the class.


Courage and patience is valued intricately connected to manage negative emotions and they draw on many of the same characteristic adaptations related to emotion regulation. It is important that we let both these virtues enlighten our paths in this journey of life.

Super 7 @ Billabong High International School, Thane 
-Sayantani Mukherjee, Dimple Awasthi, Ritu Chitnis, Manjusha Saji, Jyoti Ramdhave, Vijaylaxmi Ramesh, Sumati Muthukumar

Courage and Patience - Penta BHIS


It was a breezy afternoon when I asked my excited learners:
“Who was the first Prime Minister of India?”

Even though Cather knew the answer, she always seemed hesitant to respond. When I beckoned at her, she could only mumble. Cather wanted to answer. I could see that eagerness in her eyes. However, under the waiting gaze of all the other students in the class, she felt anxious and scared. Having got nothing but silence from her, I asked Cather to sit down. As though on a cue, the lunch bell rang. Everyone rushed out to play, except Cather.

She sat in the class alone and quietly ate her food. I called out to her; she did not move for a second. Then very slowly she walked up to me. Cather was apprehensive of being pulled up for not answering. She knew where she was lacking and thus felt anxious and unsure. I handed over a slim book (from my little collection in the Teacher’s drawer) and requested her to read it.
The name of the book was ‘Courage’. It narrated a story about a seagull who wanted to fly but feared to do so. Despite the best efforts of its family and loved ones, the seagull was terrified of using its wings. It thought that it would fall if it ever tried to fly. I was certain that Cather would relate to the seagull, as I saw her settle down with the book. In 

In the story, the seagull mustered courage, moved up towards the edge of the cliff, near its nest, and jumped off it. Initially, the little bird nosedived straight down, sure of a rather painful injury, if not death. However, just when it was about to touch the ground, something magical happened.

Something inside the seagull made it spread its wings and fly; and fly it did – really high! The seagull had patiently borne its weaknesses and had finally mustered the courage to overcome them. It perfectly embodied the values of patience and courage, which could magically transform lives.

Cather now knew exactly what she had to do. When the class returned after the break, she raised her hand to say something in front of the class. As I encouraged her with a nod, she took a deep breath and answered with conviction: “Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India”.

The entire class clapped with joy, seeing this new confidence in Cather while she grinned with the radiance of self-discovery. Just like the baby seagull, she had gathered courage at the opportune moment. Just like Dr A.P.J.Abdul Kalam had said “The bird is powered by its own life and by its motivation.”

Penta @ Billabong International High School, Thane

-Jeeji Sanjeev, Sanika Joshi, Arpita M.G., Muskaan Menda, Radhika Anand, Supriya Naravankar & Bhavani Swamy.

आनंद और सहनशीलता: राजेश्वरी राठौड़


आनंद एक ऐसा भाव है जो किसी भी व्यक्ति के अंतर्मन को प्रकाशित कर देता है यह एक ऐसा भाव है जिसमें अन्य भाव भी समाहित होते हैं जैसे कि सकारात्मकता, स्वतंत्रता का भाव और आध्यात्मिकता। छोटी से छोटी घटनाओं से भी आनंद की अनुभूति ली जा सकती है

जब कभी हम किसी कारण से अप्रसन्न हो या किसी व्यक्ति से खिन्न हो तो  हमें किसी  विद्वान व्यक्ति से  परामर्श लेना चाहिए अथवा किसी सकारात्मक विचारों वाले व्यक्ति से अपनी समस्या को साझा करना चाहिए जिससे कि समस्या का समाधान हो सके। यह छात्रों के लिए सर्वथा उचित है वे जब भी कक्षा कक्ष में होते हैं तब सीखने की उद्दीपन अनुक्रिया को तीव्र करने हेतु कक्षा कक्ष के वातावरण को रुचिकर आनंदमय बनाना चाहिए जिससे कि उनकी स्मरण शक्ति तीव्र हो और वे विषय को आत्मसात कर सके।

सहनशीलता एक ऐसा  भाव है जिसमें व्यक्ति स्वयं से भिन्न विचार वाले व्यक्ति के तर्क, कार्य को धैर्य पूर्वक सुनता है और निष्कर्ष निकालता है प्रत्येक व्यक्ति के लिए सहनशील होना अति-आवश्यक होता है जैसा कि फ्रांस के एक विद्वान  ने लिखा  है कि  " हो सकता है कि मैं आपके विचारों से सहमत ना हो पाऊँ परंतु आपकी वैचारिक स्वतंत्रता का सम्मान करना मेरा कर्तव्य है। अर्थात् सहनशील होना एक विद्वान व्यक्ति का प्रमुख गुण होता है एक शिक्षक के रूप में सहनशीलता का अनिवार्य गुण होना अति-आवश्यक है क्योंकि बालकों की बात को धैर्य पूर्वक सुनकर ही सही निष्कर्ष निकाला जा सकता है और इस प्रक्रिया से उनके मानसिक विकास में भी सहायता प्राप्त होती है और वह अपनी बात को व्यक्त करना सीख जाते हैं।
Rajeshwari Ratore
The Fabindia School, Bali

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