The Women Pedagogues

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A woman plays myriad characters in her lifetime- a girl, daughter, mother, wife and many more. As a woman, she not only influences a family but also society at large. Working women prove that a woman is simply not meant to stay within the four walls of a house and that she has many things to offer at the workplace. In the same way, female teachers also bring a lot to their profession by being an essential part of both a child’s learning and his or her social, cultural and economic development. Apart from being important catalysts for empowerment, they also amaze everyone by balancing their personal and professional lives with much aplomb. We caught up with a few such ‘women of steel’ to find their take on women empowerment, issues they face while at work and their contributions to the society.

Kiran Das, St. Joseph’s High School, Bhubaneswar, 25 Years’ experience.

What inspired you to take up the profession of teaching?

Self-discipline, love for teaching and commitment made me a teacher with a difference.

What is the biggest hurdle you had to face in your path to success?

Practically, I am a very positive person, in fact I didn’t take anything as a hurdle. I balanced and managed  looking after  my sickly mother and my job.

How would you define women empowerment in your words?

Women empowerment for me is giving them freedom to the extent, where women and men share their talents and qualities  to work together for peace. That would truly make ‘Dharmarajya’ a reality rather than a faraway dream. That is why from the very early days of education, students should be taught to honour girls and women.

How do you perceive the youth of today?

Youth have unlimited talent and energy which they are eager to use for constructive purposes, young people enjoy adventure, challenges and creativity in any form.

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. Our education system should give priority to develop and nurture reverence to conscience.

As an educationist, What is your personal approach towards teaching?

Teaching is the most responsible and the most richly rewarded profession in the world. The best can be drawn out of students only when teachers have brought out their best out of themselves. If we want to educate the youth in values the best way is to make ourselves role models of what we teach. Only then can we save the nation, build humanity, and create a better future.

How do you juggle between personal and professional life?

I in fact didn’t have to juggle between my personal and professional life. Both my life were the same. Teaching was not my profession but my life. I enjoyed it. Students are my personal belonging as precious as wealth to a wealthy person.

What is the most effective way to motivate children?

Behind every good student there is always a good teacher. Hence, I feel the role of motivation of children lies with the teacher. The most important role of education is to equip students to meet the needs of the time. Education influence attitudes and cultural patterns of living, moral and ethical values. So that Students are able to discriminate between right and wrong throughout their lives and become more mature personalities and it is a teacher who is a best person to imbibe these values with them.

Bhawana Singh Mohanty, Sai International School, Bhubaneswar, 10 Years experience.

What inspired you to take up the profession of teaching?

To make a difference in students lives and guide them to make the right choices in life.

What is the biggest hurdle you had to face in your path to success?

Negativity of the people around me which can change our mindset and transform our attitudes. It’s difficult to stay away from them but always move on with positive attitude.

How would you define women empowerment in your words?

According to me women empowerment means women being  free and independent entities, to be equally associated with men on an intellectual and professional wave length.

How do you perceive the youth of today ?

Youth of today has many good qualities in them but with negative ethical traits towards women which should be changed to positive.

As an educationist, What is your personal approach towards teaching?

I believe in holistic education. This kind of education is in tune with each child’s unique needs and skills and one that prepares the child to become a well rounded adult.

How do you juggle between personal and professional life?

It’s very difficult to manage between both as you have to be mentally, emotionally and physically present. I set clear boundaries for myself. Focusing on school issues at school time and personal issues at personal time which makes it easier for me to achieve the balance between them.

What is the most effective way to motivate children?

Believe in them, encourage them and involve them.

Supreet Rajpal, Mother’s public school, Bhubaneswar, 18 Years’ experience.

What inspired you to take up the profession of teaching?

Well, my family had the experience of running schools and hence, I have spent my childhood observing how children look up to their teachers. I realized very early, that I had a calling for this noble profession. So, when I got my first  job at Ruchika High School as an  English teacher, I felt a sense of purpose and fulfillment as I could contribute towards shaping impressionable minds. I relished the bond that I shared with my students and the fact that they could reach out to me with their innocent queries and moments of joy and excitement. Hence, there was no looking back since then.

What is the biggest hurdle you had to face in your path to success?

There are bound to be challenges in anything you do. The path becomes easier when your passion drives you to work harder each day and it becomes a memorable journey. I guess my passion has enabled me to take those hurdles in my stride, without feeling their presence.

How would you define women empowerment?

When women have the choice to walk hand in hand with men, in all walks of life and are included in the decision making process , I would call it woman empowerment. It is about having a say in the family, in society and in nation building.

How do you perceive the youth of today?

The youth of today has far more potential and awareness, thanks to the exposure to technological advancements around them. But the eroding values, apparently caused by modernisation, is a big concern.  I feel we need to guide the youth of today so that they can strike the right balance between our age old values, cultures, traditions and the growing demands of the modern society.

As an educationist, what is your personal approach towards teaching?

This question has actually got me thinking. To me, it means, giving students enough reasons to want to come to school each day and keeping them equally excited and engaged till they leave. I feel teaching is ‘touching lives forever’!

How do you juggle between personal and professional life?

Yes, my personal life with my family and friends is equally important. I pursue my interests and it is challenging, since I cannot disconnect myself from school and children for too long. After fulfilling all my responsibilities, I like to enagage myself in introspection, to figure out how I can do things better or smarter.

What is the most effective way to motivate children?

The most effective way to motivate children is by  understanding them, by lending them an ear and  appreciating their every little achievement, even though they may appear small from an adult’s point of view i.e. instilling a sense of accomplishment.

Sasmita Tripathy, Apeejay School, Bhubaneswar, 25 Years’ experience.

What inspired you to take up the profession of teaching?

Teaching has been my passion as I love to frame the future by impacting the lives of young children.

What is the biggest hurdle you had to face in your path to success?

The biggest hurdle I feel is to manage with the mindset of current generation.

How would you define women empowerment in your words?

Women empowerment is to empower women by promoting their participation in all areas to improve their quality of life both socially and economically. It also means to provide them with a capable environment, motivate them, accept this growth and make them independent in all aspects.

A women should be equipped with awareness and needs to be skilled enough in trying out and exploring the new Zenith, that will help her not only to befinancially independent but also to be capable of facing adverities and challenges.

How do you perceive the youth of today?

The youth of today are quite competitive and have great appetite for knowledge. They have better logical and reasoning power. At the same they are more connected to social network and gadgets and are drifting away from their tradition and culture.

As an educationist, what is your personal approach towards teaching?

A child should be exposed to the practical challenges of life and needs to gain confidence. Effective use of information technology for the benefit of the child should also be encouraged.

Children should be active agents of their own learning process student enquiry and peer learning through open ended questions need to be strongly advocated.  Child  centered and activity based learning with the objective to achieve fullest potential is the basic mantra.

How do you juggle between personal and professional life?

I get the important things done first and then allow myself to do the insignificant things when I find time. I focus my time and energy on what matters most rather than trying to do everything.

What is the most effective way to motivate children?

Creating a safe and supportive environment, which will be conducive to varied exposures,  positive competition, experiences and enabling them to apply their skills to bring out their  potentials is the key to motivate children.

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