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Home Explore Mentor Magazine| February 2018 | Volume 11 | Issue 09

Mentor Magazine| February 2018 | Volume 11 | Issue 09

Published by parul, 2018-02-03 01:43:31

Description: February 2018 issue of Mentor Magazine is on examination time in schools and we have tried to do pre and post examination assessment. We have different stakeholders talk about how to measure academic success using examination results to improve the teaching-learning practises to educators talk about how students can manage examination stress. In this issue we also invited a nutritionist to talk about healthy diet during examinations and students facing board examinations talk about the whole fanfare.

Keywords: Mentor Magazine,LXL Ideas,Examination,dieting,exam pressure,teaching learning practices,academic success,writing,learning


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R Get PUBLISHED ONLINE Share your thoughts for Mentor Online ( on following topics: Support Staff as Change Agents Emotional Wellbeing of Support Staff Support Staff and Student Wellbeing We thank our contributors for their informative write-ups under Writer’s Choice: Challenge of Middle Graders: Dr. R K Kharbanda Civic Education: Anuradha Pati Financial Literacy: Raman Bansal * Subject to editorial discretionShare write-ups, videos and infographics on any of the topics above at [email protected] andwe’ll publish it Online!* You can also contribute under School Pedagogy, Governance, Innovation, Leadership or Writer’s Choice categories

CONTENTSFebruary 2018 | Volume 11 | Issue 09 | ₹ 40MENTOR THOUGHTS 165 Inside The Mind Of A LeaderSultan Speaks Ms. Radhika Sinha, Aditya Birla World AcademyBeyond boundaries 1433 Preparing For ExaminationsLXL Safe School Framework Factors affecting students' performanceBeing proactive SCHOOL LEADERSHIP34Creating a Customised Training 22Calendar Mark of a Successful SchoolTargeted building of human capacity in schools In skills or scoresSCHOOL PEDAGOGY 25 Examinations: A Means or An End6Design Thinking Assessing student examination performanceSolving complex human problems SCHOOL INNOVATION9 27E-learning for Excellence Food for ThoughtAccessing digital resources Staying healthy during examinationsSCHOOL GOVERNANCE 29 Evaluating Board Examinations11Managing Emotional Wellbeing of A critical analysis by the studentsStudents A Venture ofConscious healing of subconsciousPublisher & Owner: Syed Sultan Ahmed Editor-in-Chief: Kalpa Kartik All Rights Reserved 2016Content Team: Upasana Jaipuria, Parul Pandey Designed by: Uday S EduMedia Publications Pvt. Ltd.Production: Praveen U M, Sathish C, Guna V Printed by: ManojPrinted at: Elegant Printing Works, #74, South End Road, Basavangudi, Bengaluru - 560 004.NOTICE:Authors/contributors are responsible for the authenticity of information they provide in the article. The publishers do not accept liability for error or omissions contained inthis publication. By submitting letters/emails or other publication materials to Mentor Magazine the author/contributor agree that it is the property of Mentor Magazine.All communication to Mentor Magazine must be made in writing. No other sort of communication will be accepted. All decisions regarding publishing of an article is theprerogative of the publisher and editorial team of Mentor Magazine. Mentor Magazine is owned and published by EduMedia Publications Pvt. Ltd. for and on behalf of Mr.Syed Sultan Ahmed. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the competent courts and forums in Bengaluru City.

KidsInternationalFilm festival INDIA Announcing the Winners of the1st edition of IKFFIMAKE CINEMAContest for Students! and the award goes to…‘Happy New Year’ ‘What's In A Name?’ ‘Mango’ Directed by Waseem Niyas Directed by Anant R Gokhale Directed by Shivam Kothari Indian School Al Ghubra, and Anant K Gupta Abhyasa International Muscat, Sultanate of Oman Modern School Vasant Vihar, Residential School, Telengana New Delhi Junior Super Senior Senior IKFFI, an online film festival hosted by schools showcased the art of cinema through filmscreenings in schools and provided an opportunity for students to narrate their stories and ideas via films in the Make Cinema competition To host IKFFI 2018 in your school, contact us: Ik | [email protected] | +91 90191 11110

SULTAN SPEAKS February 2018 Beyond Boundaries [email protected]“School failed me, and I failed the school. It bored Therefore, the entire claim on impact isme. I wanted to learn what I wanted to know, but actually limited to only those students who bythey wanted me to learn for exam.” This was said sheer chance got admission into those Albert Einstein and is still relevant for Let's do simple math, the average populationschools decades after. of a good-sized school in India is about 2,000, this indicates that the number of students thatEducation in schools should go beyond pass out of the school grade 10 or 12 is abouttextbooks to impact the students' lives and 200 every year. Even if a school has been inprepare them to face the real-life challenges. existence for 100 years the number of kids whoBut the harsh reality is that schools today are have actually been influenced by the school isfailing miserably in achieving this goal. Let's just 20,000. This number is minusculenot talk about preparing students for life when compared to the billion-plus population wethey are not even able to prepare students for have in India.examinations. Students going to coachingright after the school have been a common If we may ask, what about the other children,trend for a while now. As schools remained the ones who did not get admission to thesetraditional and did not evolve they have quality schools? Well, the answer you wouldallowed innumerable new education-related get is that they are not their students so it is notbusinesses to germinate. their problem. When town planners design cities, they earmark spaces for civic amenitiesPrivate education companies today create that include parks, hospitals, and schools.content, train teachers and run coaching Schools have been given a space to make aclasses which should have ideally been done by difference to our society, somehow schools haveschools. This phenomenon has made most only made a difference to the students whoschools redundant as centers of learning. study in their premises and have never beenSchools cannot compete with coaching classes concerned about the others! In future, ifin the race of getting marks, in fact, most schools have to be relevant they have toschools have joined hands with coaching reinvent themselves and move beyond theclasses. madness of academic grades. Schools have to look at children outside their walls as theirStatistics tell me that schools are in general concern and add value to their lives, this is aselfish and shortsighted organisations. If we humungous opportunity waiting.ask a question to any school, who are yourstudents, the answer would be – the ones who Syed Sultan Ahmed,have gotten admission in their schools, paidtheir fee and wear their school uniform. Managing Director, LXL Ideas 5

PEDAGOGY Design Thinking Tirthankar DashTirthankar Dash is a Humanist and a Design Thinker. Mr. Dash works at the intersection point where human insights meet design. In a career that spans over 20 years, he has worked across geographies in a host of industries. His experience ranges across Advertising, Sales and Marketing,Brand Management and Innovations. Mr. Dash has set up and heads Quantum 360°, a Design SolutionsLab that helps businesses build brands, products and services around powerful human insights. In thelast 10 years, he, along with his team, have played a pivotal role in the launch of many new brands,products and services across countries. Mr. Dash spends his free time searching for answers to this onequestion as to what makes life meaningful.Business of Education industrial era are complex and wicked.Education is a business of creating human Complex problems are difficult and impossiblecapacity. So, schools today are manufacturing to solve because of their incomplete,more and more human capacity. Now the contradictory and changing requirements thatquestion is- what is this capacity for? The are often difficult to recognise. They have nosimplest answer one gets is to go out and make a determinable starting or stopping point andliving. Education leading to employment is an have dynamic inter-dependent variables. Forincomplete answer. Has the whole and soul of e.g. Climate Change, Diabetes, Obesity, Mentaleducation reduced to putting food on the table? Health are all complex because these involve aIs there nothing else? My hypothesis is the multitude of interrelated variables likewhole role of education is that to build human physical, social, psychological, emotionalcapacity to solve problems. According to a factors etc. making it difficult for a person toreport by World Economic Forum Report on hold to it and resolve it and where changing oneskills of future, complex problem solving will aspect creates more the number one skill that would be needed. Humans as Designers of Present and FutureProblems of Present and Future: Complex and Humans are designing themselves into theirWicked next era and they are the cause as well as theIn the industrial era, our problems were linear solution to the problems. Complex problemsand simpler that involved using knowledge are results of humanity's inability to grasp thewithin a set of known variables to come up with consequences of their actions. So, we producesolutions e.g. transportation problem can be an idea but refuse to take the ownership of thesolved by designing a more efficient car using entire value chain. Let's discuss the biggestthe laws of mathematics and physics. wicked problem of all i.e. Artificial Intelligence (AI). Humans have created AI and soon we willBut the problems today i.e. in the post- have automated cars. But in case of an 6

February 2018 of our job market would be automated e.g. lawyers losing their jobs to a machine with algorithms, programmers to self-generating programmes and teachers to robot teaching the subjects. Thus, our life in future will be disrupted if we don't reinvent ourselves at some level. This is a provocation that the educational industry needs to make to prepare themselves with a single-minded focus on solving complex problems of present and future.accidental killing, who is to be blamed: the Need to Redesign Educationhuman owner or the machine. Recently, Sophia Now, the question arises: Is the educationbecame the first robot to be declared a citizen system geared enough to create the capacity toby Saudi Arabia. What does it mean for a robot solve some of today's problems? Our schoolsto be a citizen? What rights does Sophia hold? today are teaching skills to solve externalNobody has elaborated that. This is because we problems which were present in the last 200created the product but didn't think about years of dehumanisation. This educationaldesigning the ethics, morality and regulations system worked great for the era we lived by butaround it resulting in more problems. now we are on the next curve of evolutionEverything from improper household waste where the magnitude and complexities of thesegregation to climate change is because of our problems will escalate explosively. Presently,inability to map our creation to consequences. our education is designed to heavily influence the analytical thinking in students that leavesFrom Past to Present and Future: From them with a highly developed left-sided brain.Dehumanisation to Rehumanisation These students are not even thinking with aToday, all our developmental indicators balanced head leaving them extremelymeasure human productivity and not their unprepared to move into this new world.well-being. Our metrics for success are devoidof humanness resulting in indicators which Using a systems approach, we need to designincrease when they are casualties like war and new models of education. Here, we are notenvironmental disasters due to the creation of dismantling the old system but layering it withmore labour jobs. This is because, for hundreds new skills, ideas and thinking to create newof years, we human beings have trained our capacity to solve new problems. For e.g. whenminds to think ourselves as machines and Quantum Physics came in, we bought a newlabour. This has resulted in our success being curriculum to understand it. Likewise, whenmeasured by increased productivity, efficiency, new issues and paradigms appear, one musttime management etc. Through prepare to design a curriculum that addressesmachinification, we have been constantly some of these challenges.dehumanising ourselves. But now, machinesand artificial intelligence have become so big The best way to go about it is to be self-awarethat we have started to search for our i.e. schools today are preparing students forhumanness. Machines have already started entering workplace fifteen years later, so theyreplacing us and in the next 10-15 years, 50% should first imagine what the jobs of future will be. Have the school do that? 7

PEDAGOGY www.lxl.inIn my opinion, the job market is going to Ÿ Why: Getting an Insight (Synthesis Mind)change dramatically. More than mechanical Ÿ How: By ideation and iteration (Creative &engineers, we would require Climate ChangeEngineers, Mental Health Professionals, Collaborative Mind)Mindfulness Coaches, Well-Being Managers Ÿ What: Creating Prototype (Building Mind)making the schools completely out of sync The Human-centered design thinking bringswith the market of industry and sustainability. together different perspectives i.e. behaviouralSchools are the factory of the future and it sciences and technology together to result inbecomes their prerogative to take action hybrid thinking and this is what our educationagainst some of these changes which are systems need to promote.already happening. William Gibson has rightlysaid, “Future is already here- it's just not The schools need to take an ownership ofevenly distributed.” bringing human sciences like psychology, a n t h r o p o l o g y, s o c i o l o g y t o t h e“Using a systems forefront.Having an appreciation for and teaching human sciences leads to change in approach, we behaviour and developing empathy and need to design maturity in students to handle these new models of problems.Instead of algorithms, the school education assignments should focus on solving complex problems that have been made smaller suitedRedesigning Education using Human Centered to the age of the child. Assignments like designDesign Thinking joy in your house, make you canteen healthy orHuman Centered Design Thinking is the first make your mother happy can encouragerealistic approach taken by corporates to solve students be to understand the human situationcomplex problems of future. This system of the problem and build empathy to comeinvolves bringing human in the centre of the together as a group to solve because everything collides with thehuman condition eventually. Its objective is to Business Innovation Models have alreadymake experiences more meaningful in the moved from mathematical to humanistic. It iscontext of who one is and what one wants to do the need of the hour for schools to realise thatwith self. The design aims to move from an problems of future are complex and human inexisting condition to a preferred one by nature so that they can build human capacityintervening on a flow of events to produce the to solve them. Then only, they will trulydesired effect. Human Centered Design moves succeed in creating maker's mindset i.e. mindfrom chaos and intangible experiences to order that designs the future of the World.and tangible experiences by incorporating self-expression into solving problems. This designmoves through four sequential steps to solveproblems i.e.Ÿ Who: Building empathy to the situation (Humanistic Mind) 8 [email protected]

February 2018E - learning for ExcellenceMonika MukhMonika Mukh is a Librarian with more than fteen years of experience in the eld. Currently, she is a librarian at Chitkara International School in Chandigarh. She has been instrumental in helping the school transition from a traditional to a fully automated online library. Ms. Mukh hassuccessfully completed three years of diploma in Library and Computerised Information Sciences (LCIS).She is also a graduate and postgraduate in Library and Informational Sciences, professional courses thathelp in studying the principles of the library using the current technological aids. Ms. Mukh has alsocompleted her MBA in Human Resources Development and plans to use her learning in increasingtechnologically efcient human capacity. She believes schools can achieve a lot more only if theyrecognise and invest in E-learning, Managing and Building E-resources.The tremendous growth of technology in this maintained for public access catalogue facility,digital age has changed the reading culture the books are categorised under differentdrastically. E-learning provides the learner subject categories and displayed on the screenwith an opportunity to learn anywhere, of each user ID. This helps every student accessanytime. It has become essential to utilise the the required reading material and avoidpower of our E-resources as the majority of our situations of the limited availability of booksadolescents are turning digital natives and especially during examination time.finding it easier to consume content online. Forlong, our students have been using textbooks, E-resourcesclassroom notes and supplementary books Without e-resources, e-learning is not possible.referred by their teachers to prepare for exams. There are specific kinds of e-resources availableNow, with the integration of technology in the for specific information seekers. Few of themclassroom learning, online preparation using are as follow:E-resources is gaining popularity. E-learning isa concept of learning electronically using the Google Scholar: It is a freely accessible webinternet and communication technology. search engine for research scholars. It provides digital or physical copies of articles; IndexesOnline Library: Unlimited reading material technical reports, thesis, books and otherSchool Libraries play a vital role in documents including web pages that aredisseminating the suitable communication deemed to be in support of e-learning throughvarious electronic resources and services like E- RefSeek: It is another web search engine forLibrary or online library. Schools can fully students and researchers, where the academic-automate their libraries providing an related information is easily accessible.uninterrupted circulation of reading materials RefSeek's unique approach offers studentsto all the student members. In Online library comprehensive subject coverage which helps 9

PEDAGOGY www.lxl.inthem in their particular subject area.DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books): Themain objective of this e-resource is to provideOpen Access of variety of books to the readers.It invites academic publishers all across theworld to provide the data of their books toDOAB for free access.eGyankosh: It is a national digital repository to Khan Academy tutorials of Maths and Sciencestore, index, preserve, distribute and share etc are gaining traction with studentsdigital learning resources developed by the especially in helping them understand theopen distance learning institutions in the difficult concepts through variouscountry. illustrations. Through audio-visual engagement with graphs, charts, an instructor“Schools can fully can sometimes be the difference between students performing well and poor in the automate their exams. libraries providing an Online Exam Prep Apps: Simulates the exam uninterrupted setting with time-bound question papers circulation of helping students to manage their time while reading answering questions. The assessment sheet materials to all provided also helps them be aware of their the student mistakes and provides room for improvement. members Students can pace their studies at a level they are comfortable with which is not possible in aNational Digital Library Portal (NDL, INDIA): classroom setting.NDL is an all-digital library that storesinformation about various types of digital Conclusioncontents including books, articles, videos, There is no doubt that e-resources are helpfulaudios and other educational material relevant in e-learning but sometimes there are somefor the users from varying educational levels challenges which are confronted by theand compatibilities. NDL portal is designed to learners like technical issues, time factor, lackbenefit all kind of users like students (all of knowledge and non-availability of funds.levels), teachers etc. We can only overcome these challenges through active decision making andWatching Online Videos: YouTube videos, implementation of proper e-learning process. Using e-resources judiciously can help our students and teachers widen their subject horizons and prepare better for examination. 10 [email protected]

February 2018Managing Emotional Wellbeing ofStudentsVeena MurthyVeena Murthy has more than two decades of experience as a teacher. She started her career as a primary school teacher right after her graduation. Later on, she went to complete her MA in English, Sociology and Economics from the prestigious Osmania University. After post-graduation, she joined as a Senior Secondary Coordinator and was also a Social Science Teacher. SheJoined Delhi School of Excellence, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad in 2016-17 as the Principal. Under herleadership, the school has been felicitated with the Best Emerging School Award by Times of India in2016-17 and Social Action Award for Excellence in Health Awareness by Indian DevelopmentFoundation in 2017-18. Apart from being a teacher, she has been actively involved in Social Serviceactivities and regularly conducts and organises blood donation camps, MUN sessions etc.“Educating the mind without educating the Administrators should in consultation withheart is no education at all.” - Aristotle the school counsellor identify the emotional needs of the children and work towardsAs educators, all of us would have faced building a stress-free environment in thesituations of the emotional breakdown of our schoolstudents during exams when we counselled to Ÿ Planned Academic Calendar: A systematic,make them feel better and continued with the persistent, organised, planned and regularschedule. Looking back, I realise that there effort from the beginning of the academicwere untold and unexpressed issues which my session is followed to prevent anxietystudents held in silently- maybe I didn't related to the examination. The calendarobserve keenly or lacked the tools to resolve should be a healthy mix of academic andlimiting my management of the situation to a extra-curricular activitiesfew words of wisdom. Ÿ Working on Emotional Resilience: TheAs every school is working hard to prepare students should be taught to manage thetheir students to ensure good results, they are stressors around them efficiently so thatalso making sure their students don't face exam their self-efficacy improves by regularlystress. What majority of schools however lack attending the counselling sessions held atis taking proactive instead of reactive the schoolmeasures. I, as an experienced educator,believe the importance of preventing rather Ÿ Stress-Busting Activities: Regular physicalthan resolving stress. education, zumba, aerobics, other dance forms helps the students to relax,Proactive Measures to Reduce Examination rejuvenate their tired minds, build theirStress endurance, stamina and enthusiasm forŸ Building the Right Atmosphere: other strenuous activities. In addition to this, meditation like yoga sessions enables students to think positive and eliminate 11

SCHOOL GOVERNANCE Shashank Soloman negative thoughts, focus on their goals and Implementation of an Idea: Destressing increase their concentration power. It helps through Music Therapy them introspect and work on their strengths and weaknesses A) Introduction of CHOS Our management has introduced Music“ Administrators Therapy as a unique programme called CHOS i.e. Conscious Healing Of Subconscious to our should in students. Music has been associated with consultation with reducing the stress hormone cortisol and the school boosting immune response by increased counsellor production of beneficial antibodies and cells identify the invading harmful viruses (Levitin, 2007). emotional needs Though there are therapy centres which of the children specialise in healing specific emotional issues and work outside the school, CHOS is first of its kind in- towards building school program for our students who come a stress-free from various emotional backgrounds. Our aim environment in is to empower them in all socio-emotional the school aspects and mould them into a holistic individual through the power of the sound of music. B) Pilot Programme Intensive research for eight months by a school team comprising of our school counsellor, the music teacher and myself was done before the CHOS programme actually began. A small group comprising of students from different emotional backgrounds was selected. Initially, we followed the receptive method and allowed students to speak what they felt after listening 12

February 2018to certain specific tunes. During the process,we realised that a few of them were notinterested in music and refused to listen toinstructions and respond, that is when wedecided to use the active method. Since thegroup was small it was possible for us to cater15-20 minutes per student every day.Based on the observations recorded, and teamworktechniques changed and the behaviour of the Ÿ The music is also played during lunch in thegroup was observed on campus and the samewas done back at home by parents. Apart from dining hall and in the classrooms. This hasreading extensively about Cymatics and doing reduced noise levels during classan in-depth research, our team is also taking up transactions and during breakssound therapy courses so as to qualify, equip Ÿ As there is already emotional resilience set,themselves and handle the sessions anxiety and stress levels during tests andprofessionally. exams have reduced. Students listen to tunes which calm them before taking up aC) CHOS Implementation testA selected set of tunes that would relax and de- Ÿ Issues like turning blank during exams,stress students are played before assembly for dryness in mouth, sweating, headache,6-8min every day. Students sit straight with stomach disorders arising out of anxiety,their eyes closed and feet grounded. The tunes forgetfulness, lack of retention etc. haveare changed once a week. The decibels are kept also significantly reduced among studentsin mind while playing the music for differentlevels. After the successful implementation of CHOS in our school, I strongly believe in the power ofD) Benefits of CHOS: healing through music to ensure emotionalŸ Research proves that music has the power sustainability of our future generation. to help relax and reduce stress but it is As a strong foundation is required for a huge important that the right kind of music is to building to stand, in the same way, a strong be heard for the results to be achieved. emotionally balanced mind is needed to CHOS helps the students in selecting the support our bodies. To achieve this, it is a right music prerogative of schools to adopt therapeuticŸ Repeated practise of listening to music ways in building emotional competence in our among students helps them to settle down students. emotionallyŸ Helps the students start their day at school on a positive note and with a relaxed state of mind.Ÿ After four weeks of exposure to music, parents observed a voluntary reduction in screen time of their studentsŸ After implementing the programme, we observed that our students are calmer, focused and exhibit increased cooperation 13 [email protected]

SCHOOL GOVERNANCE Preparing For Examinations Biswajit MajumdarBiswajit Majumdar is a senior English teacher and has been in the eld of education and research on the English Language for more than two decades. He is the Senior School Co-ordinator at M C Kejriwal Vidyapeeth, Howrah, West Bengal. He has a burning zeal to make education relevant tothe needs of the present time. Mr. Majumdar focus lies in addressing the diverse interests and abilities ofthe students by presenting information in a variety of ways. He has presented his paper at theInternational Conference for School Leaders at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in December 2017.He regularly conducts workshops both for the teachers and the students in various parts of the country forthe betterment of learning. Mr. Majumdar is a keen learner and aims to foster true learning and criticalthinking in the students.One of the most stressful experiences that all be a part of their daily routineof us have gone through as students is the Ÿ Collecting answers from diverse resources toenvironment and the situation of examinationhours, the room, the invigilators and of course enrich the contentthe question papers. Many of us must have Ÿ Making a blueprint of an answer beforegone through the nightmares related to examhours. This is quite common in our country actually writing it helps in smooth flow ofwhere the destiny of students' destinations is thought and offers less room for mistakesapparently determined by the exam results. Ÿ Time management is important. Make aSince the board examinations are around the habit of finishing the test paper incorner, we must know the factors that affect relatively lesser time during rehearsalthe performance of the students adversely and periodwe also must be acquainted with the influential Ÿ Reviewing the written answers thoroughlyfactors that will fetch a superlative at the end of an examination is a mustperformance. Ÿ Avoid long sentences, double negatives and idiomatic languageFactors to be kept in mind for students to ensure Ÿ Use separate paragraph with propertheir best performance punctuation for every question that youŸ Make short-term plans for the preparation answer for and underline the key-words of your answer to draw the attention of the (chapter wise and subject wise) examinerŸ Go through the patterns of questions and Ÿ Understand the question asked before answering accordingly prepare every chapter Ÿ Do not make spelling errors and tenseŸ Make the habit of framing correct mistakes when you write your answers Ÿ A legible handwriting is one of the key sentences.Write in simple sentences criteria to make the examiners read the without any ambiguity answers comfortablyŸ Reading question papers of all types should 14

February 2018Ÿ Students should be aware of question type Ÿ Schools must take the herculean task of and marks allotted as it will help them plan counselling the parents of the students and use their time more effectively and appearing for board examination fruitfully during the examination hours Ÿ The schools must suggest and advise theŸ Start studying well before the examination parents to be empathetic while interacting as timely preparation will decide the scores with their childrenŸ Focus on understanding the concepts rather Ÿ Finally, parents are urged to explain and than learning by rote for a long-term inform the child about the ways to face the retention exam confidently instead of being a dictator or an indifferent partyŸ On the day of the exam, relax, be happy and imagine you are writing any ordinary The Secret of Success test that you have already written The students who know how to deal with the confidently examination patterns and conditions will be successful in combating the exam stress. These“Schools must students review and analyse critically the areas to be improved. They solve the problems, look take the up the correct and relevant answers in their herculean task of textbooks and other resource materials. They counselling the ask the teachers about the concepts that they parents of the have doubts on and most importantly after students gathering them and giving them a proper appearing for shape, get them checked. The secret of success board for any student is to utilise optimally all the examination resources at their disposal. Do their best and leave the rest.The role of teachers, parents and the schoolŸ Keep reminding your kids that their hard work will definitely bear the best fruitsŸ Make the students realise that if they are scared of tough questions that most questions framed are of average difficulty and designed to be correctly answered by most examineesŸ Allow the kids adequate sleep as a fresh mind will help them comprehend concepts easilyŸ Give healthy food since student's mental faculties function sharper with the right nutrition 15 [email protected]

COVER STORY INSIDE THE MIND OF A LEADER The world's simplest idea. The Golden Circle, coined by Mr. Simon Sinek. A man who deciphered the minds of leaders, leaders like the Wright brothers, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King. He said exceptional leaders had a way of life, a way of doing things and realizing this gave birth to the Golden Circle. It consists of 3 concentric circles. It begins with the why? How? And finally what? The purpose of this is to understand what a leader is made of in their core and what drives them in this dynamic world. In this issue, Ms. Radhika Sinha, the principal of Aditya Birla World Academy, Mumbai, shares her beliefs on making a difference and what made her venture into the field of education. WHY? where we learn our first lessons of life. My Alma Mater, Sacred Heart School, in JamshedpurWhat made you embark on this remarkable has played a vital role in shaping me as anjourney and what keeps you going every day? individual today. I graduated with EnglishI am a teacher at heart; my journey has been Honours followed by a Masters in Englishinspired by my teachers, some who cared and Literature from Ranchi University. Mysome who didn't cared enough. My inherent journey only reaffirmed my belief that I waslove for children, to be able to touch their hearts meant to be a teacher and was simply waitingin even the smallest of ways, is what keeps me to share and spread the joy of learning. Thegoing. lessons I learned in school stay with me, evenThe following words encapsulate the very today. We learnt to accept challenges, faceessence of my life's calling: competition, disappointments, rejoice atI have the power, passion, the skill and the victory, make friends, feel anger, love, jealousy,knowledge, to make a difference; pride, joy; the entire gamut of emotions.Each and every day,Each and every child! I know for sure, that the values we imbibed then, hold us in good stead today and they willTell us about you, about your story. remain with us forever as a source of strengthA school is best described as 'Life in Miniature' enabling us to hold our head high. 16

February 2018 my paper onto my face! There was pin-drop silence in the classroom. That day I quietly shelved my aspiration to pursue medicine.Tell us your core belief. On the other hand, my love for EnglishI believe, challenges, obstacles and failure are Language and Literature dates back to the day,all developmentally necessary: they make us I wrote an essay and my teacher asked me tothink beyond ourselves – they nudge us out of read it out in class. Since then, somehow I knewour comfort zone. It is only when we face a that I wanted to be a teacher who cares to makechallenge that we find the hidden reserves of a difference in the lives of children she touches.courage and resilience come to the forefront! I have loved every moment in my classroom teaching English. Maybe I was not cut out forTell us about some of the instances that changed the Sciences!your life? The instance that you felt was yourcalling. Share an instance that tested your strength andAs adolescents, some events evoke powerful how did you overcome it?emotional reactions that might override the When I was the Principal of an all-boys'intellect and stay with us forever. residential school, the resistance from the 'male' staff that I had to deal with wasI would like to share a short, personal uncomfortable and indeed a challenge, to sayanecdote: I lost my mother to Cancer when I the least! However, I knew that I had thewas in grade 9. At that time, I was all charged ability to work my way through this; also, Ito study Medicine and do research in Radiology had the trust and support of the Management.and Oncology. I was a fairly intelligent student. So, I devised a way of collaborating with staffMy interests also lay in music, dance, and for all action plans; respecting theirtheatre. I pursued all these with equal vigour suggestions and views; involving them inand joy. decision making and impressing upon them the need to work as a team. I managed to keep myThere was this cultural festival of which I was calm against all odds; I let my sense of fairnessan enthusiastic participant involved in rule my actions; by and by, the acceptancemultiple activities. But I will never forget, that came!particular day, after the show, we werereceiving our marks for a class test. My name HOW?was called out and our Physics teacher startedoff, “You can waltz down the ramp, sing and How have you channelled your passion into yourdance, be a drama queen. But in Physics, you present role as a leader?can never get more than a 2/10!!” And she flung I believe 'to develop learning, one needs to develop teachers'; being a teacher at heart and having identified the urgent and non- negotiable need for improvement in the levels of English language skills, I have taken up the challenge single-handed to enhance the level of Language Skills for our entire teaching and administrative staff. They have become my 'willing learners'! 17

COVER STORY www.lxl.inThe strategies used are innovative and creative; were testimony to the fact that we wereevery session is crafted keeping in mind the imparting the right kind of learning; therequirements of the learners as well as the emphasis on a holistic development wasnumbers, at times over 90 staff members! To evident when our children stood out in co-hold the attention of the entire staff, is not an curricular activities; our placements got bettereasy task but there is a differentiated and better every year; our graduates sharedmethodology to keep every learner engaged; that the values they had imbibed consciouslyrolled into the teaching-learning is music, quiz, and unconsciously at school stood them in gooddrama, games online tools, fun exercises, stead!'verbattle' and debate, group discussions,story-telling. There are several online Over time and steadily, we built an open andassessments, including a half yearly and final transparent communication system with ourexamination! The staff engages in all the parents and today, I am proud to say that weexercises freely and the feedback received after share a fantastic sense of mutual trust andeach of the sessions has been extremely understanding.heartening and motivating. We want to know what your leadership strategyIt has been an important learning for me as is in the field of education and how youwell because I managed to keep my 'willing implement it.learners' thoroughly engaged and it kept the I feel that leading by example is the best formteacher in me so rewardingly motivated! of leadership. I try to model the qualities that I would like our team to emulate.How have you impacted your school's growthsince your joining? Advance Planning has helped me pre-emptI have been with the school since its infancy situations; it gives me time to collect myand the journey of a new school is indeed thoughts and be ready with responses; also thea r duous. We al l came from different prior preparation for scheduled events haseducational and school backgrounds and while helped me manage my time better.we all brought with us a wealth of experiencefrom our previous organisations, we had to I also strongly believe in the 'power of purpose';carve out an identity for our school, a distinct Every day, I make a mental note of what myniche for Aditya Birla World Academy. purpose for the day is. It could be the very simple 'day to day' matters to resolve or workIn today's world, expectations are very high at, but I note them down all the same. At thefrom all stakeholders and they want immediate end of the day, I take a stock of what I haveand visible results! So, we did have our share of been able to complete and close. It sure gives a'helicopter' parents, each one trying to tell us sense of fulfillment to note that the purpose forhow to run the school. I even had to address the the day has been achieved and one is ready forparent body explaining to them that there is a the next. To resolve conflicts from an objectivevery fine line between 'involving and stand, to be in the observation rather thaninterfering' in our children's education and we judgmental mode; to respond rather than reactwould much rather have the first! We dealt with and to facilitate open dialogue between theevery instance with calm and patience, conflicting parties within a given time frame.knowing that we were on the right track and Ongoing reflection of 'why I do what I do' hasour actions would speak for themselves, far helped me in the way I handle things.louder than words. And they did: our results 18

February 2018Take us through the process of – ideation, plan Parents were divided into groups and they heldof action and execution of one of the best animated and constructive discussions on thepractices/idea that you implemented in your first two questions and came up with a SWOTschool. analysis, outlining our strengths, weaknesses, 'Skyward Bound' was a conscious and well- opportunities and threats. Some of the pointsplanned initiative to get all our stakeholders to were common and some diverse but we wereco-own the ideas of a strategic plan for the way able to get a wide range of ideas from differentahead. perspectives. They also brainstormed on howIt was a unique and amazing exercise SMART goals could be set for the school.conducted separately, with our students moreinformally, with staff as well as our parents, Each group shared their views with the rest ofmore formally. Parents felt that the experience the groups; the approach was honest andof sharing thoughts and ideas in setting up the transparent, positive and unbiased and a truefuture goals of our school gave a strong feeling reflection of balanced and good ideas. Thereof being responsible towards the journey that was so much of energy, valuable insights andthe school has in mind to give the best to our perspectives. There was a palpable sense ofchildren. The transparent and wonderful belonging and eagerness to contribute to takeconnection that they share with the school was our school to great and greater heights. Thisclearly evident during the sessions. was the start of a collaborative partnership built on mutual trust and understanding.The idea behind 'Skyward Bound' was:To reach out to our parents as important We take pride in being one of the very fewstakeholders for their valuable inputs and schools that invite feedback from allinvolvement stakeholders, like the learner feedback, theŸ To differentiate between perception and annual surveys from students, teachers and parents. We value their responses and try to reality incorporate whatever is feasible and in syncŸ To co-own and share responsibility of with our philosophy. planning for the future WHAT?Ÿ To understand, share and respect different What have you done in your school that perspectives represents the belief system that you would likeŸ To establish realistic goals, objectives and to instill in children? In addition to a commitment to academic strategies excellence, Aditya Birla World AcademyŸ To build a stronger partnership of mutual strives to bring about a holistic development in every child – to hone the talents that lie latent understanding and trust within every child.Ÿ To articulate 'our vision' based on 'your We are committed to traditional Indian values vision' + 'my vision' and culture for children to stay connected withWe believe that our vision prepares us for their identity and feel a sense of belonging, buttomorrow; our mission shapes our today and we also recognise the need for a globalwe can prepare for tomorrow if we believe inour core values.We asked ourselves four crucial questions:Ÿ Where are we?Ÿ Where do we want to be in the next 5 years?Ÿ How do we get there?Ÿ How do we measure our progress? 19

COVER STORY www.lxl.inperspective in life. We pride ourselves on being their competence, effort and commitmentan 'International School with an Indian Soul'. and taking a firm stand in case ofOur motto “Learn, Achieve and Inspire” complacency or work not up toepitomises the spirit of our school. We expectationsendeavour to build an awareness of and respect Ÿ Putting in place a comprehensive annualfor cultural diversity within the country and performance appraisal system, therebyinternationally where a student learns to motivating staff to give their bestaccept and respect diverse views, develop Ÿ We have a web-based interface, one-stopattributes of open-mindedness, a sense of portal for parents to view real-timecamaraderie and a sense of social information and progress of their child. Allresponsibility. student data, admissions, fee payment, communication is onlineWhat did you do to bring to life your aspirationsfor your school? What is the future you want for your school?Being a new school, it was important to What future do you see for your school? Whattranslate the school's vision, priorities and will you do to bridge the gap, if any?targets into explicit policies and practises as Education is not just about academic trainingwell as develop a culture of collaboration, in and excellence. It is also about laying emphasiswhich all members of the school community on the importance of life skills, such as self-contribute to the achievement of shared goals. discipline, open-mindedness, respect, responsibility, resilience and reflection.In a short span of 10 years, we have carved a Student engagement is of utmost importancedistinct niche for ourselves. This achievement to bring about active learning; learning that isis on account of: meaningful, relevant, fun, experiential – theŸ Working closely with the Heads of Faculty key is that the child is learning for life. The future sees education widening its horizons as to make the learning more skill based; to there is a growing awareness of a paradigm ensure there is stronger vertical and shift in the mindset of what an education must horizontal integration equip a child with. Even in a world ofŸ Striking a good balance between specialisation, the importance of a holistic delegating, letting go and yet overseeing development is emphasised. The world needs matters – have placed trust, given complete people who are passionate about what they do; clarity and confidence to the team that who respect open-minded perspectives and while we all are together each one is those who can transcend barriers that beset the accountable for the task on hand path of global exchange.Ÿ Giving positive and specific feedback to staff on an ongoing basis, appreciating 20

February 2018Chai time chit-chatTell us your life's journey all the way from the teachers and partly the diligence ofyour first steps into a school to right this the students.moment.It has been a wonderful journey having How do you factor examinations inworked in different school setups! teacher evaluation and performanceRanging from a private school to a assessment models?missionary, an all-girls' public residential Teacher performance is evaluated onschool to an all boys' residential school several parameters so as to have a fair andand amidst this, a school for the 360° system.underprivileged. But the one commonthing that kept me going was my inherent How do you ensure a fair evaluation oflove for children! student's performance in examinations? We ensure that there are assessmentShare one of the finest advices you have objectives and rubrics shared withbeen given that you still carry along with students at the beginning itself. There is ayou today mark scheme and a tiered and thoroughRather than being the “best in the world” process of moderationaspire to be the “best for the world”. How do you use examination system toAs a leader what kinds of changes do you better the teaching-learning practices?aspire to make in the future of education? Formative tests, being assessment toolsAnother big avenue we see our school for learning, give a sense of the progress inmoving towards is transitioning into the teaching-learning process, whileincorporating more technology into our summative tests and examinations beingteaching methods. Virtual Reality is a assessment tools of learning outcomesnew space in education technology, and give a clearer sense of how effective thewe are slowly taking steps to explore this. teaching-learning process has been.What is the most unexpected thing you've What are the in-service training programslearned along the way as a leader?Creating a conducive work culture for teachers to help them deal withamongst staff amid the clash of titanswith their professional egos! The leader is examinations better?caught up managing people more thananything else. We arrange professional development sessions on:Does students' performance in Ÿ differentiated and innovativeexaminations directly represent thequality of learning in the school? assessment strategiesNo, it does not directly represent the Ÿ how to improve the quality ofquality of learning. Student performancein the exam is partly the sincere effort of feedback Ÿ the anecdotal comments and the rubrics for project-based learning Ÿ sharing best assessment practises within the department21 [email protected]

SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Mark of a Successful School G S Madhav RaoG S Madhav Rao is presently the CEO of Synergy School Systems in Noida. With a career spanning over four decades, Mr. Rao has donned several hats from that of a teacher to Educational Administrator and Chief Academic Ofcer. He has worked with Delhi PublicSchools as Principal and later with GEMS Schools as the Executive Principal. After spending 14 years inMiddle East, he returned to India as the Chief Academic Ofcer, GEMS India based in Gurgaon, DelhiNCR. Mr. Rao has also been a recipient of CBSE National Award for teachers. His expertise in SchoolEducation go across a spectrum of specialisations- creating innovative School Models, CurriculumDesign, Class Room transactions, Assessment, School Quality Assessment, Building Designs and Britishand Indian Curriculums.Measuring Successful Schools the schools should do a really good job ofAre successful schools measured by their that—allowing you to really search out whatstudents' academic achievement? you want to do and find your passion. TheyIn reality, YES! shouldn't care if that's in academics or art or sports. I think the school system really failsShould it be? – A provocation to ponder that with testing. You're just learning to take a test.future success of school needs skills besides an You're not learning to actually be happy.”academic portfolio This clearly explains a gap in understandingWhat reference do we have to measure the what school provides and what our studentssuccess except the summative scores secured need. It is high time we designed learning forper hundred. We do not have well-defined learner’s sake to accomplish the ultimate goalcriteria that we believe show the impact of of education i.e. learning that can be appliedschools' work on the students' successes in life. for the benefit of the self and the society.Even most of IIT alumni don't work in the fieldof pure engineering and technology for which Looking at Academic Success: Present StatusIITs deliberately train them. Without data on Our students' academic success greatlywhat is being accomplished in terms of depends on the ability to recall and reproduce,students' success by our intended actions, it is followed by exhibiting some understandingdifficult to measure schools attainment. and very little application. Our country doesn't participate at Programme for InternationalA student of Grade XI was quoted in The Student Assessment (PISA) tests is somethingHechinger Report: to worry about. It surely shows that we lack“Role of school is to engage the student and confidence that our students can be in the firstfind what makes the student interested in the ten high performing nations. We may have tosubject. It's about finding passion, and I think worry a lot in the way we teach math and 22

February 2018 get special mentoring from thriving private coaching industry.sciences without any reference to global More over the students who opt for Math andstandards. Therefore domestic success of Science do not prefer to pursue them atschools in performing well is relative. Most graduation even if they fail to get admission toschools do not consistently perform well at a good Engineering College! With poorboards. How do we then say that a school is funding, lack of resources and incentives,successful if it has one time or occasional many brilliant and talented minds do not takeachievement? to science research as a career. Explains why we don't figure at Noble awards in science and“ Success should technology! How do we then measure the impact of success when it is not about the mean getting deliberate work that schools do in teaching into the science and math? workforce with a concept of Measuring Success: In skills and not in scores leadership and Success should mean getting into the workforce teamwork with a concept of leadership and teamwork besides academic besides academic achievement. For many, achievement success is about getting a good job with the help of knowledge and skills that you attainThe only admission that is craved is to IITs. through the schooling.About 50% of total seats are available forgeneral category whereas lacs of aspirants Besides academics, we can attribute success toappear for JEE main and JEE advanced after a school that assures habits of mind in itsschool. Schools cannot claim absolute success students that help them to perform effectivelyfor themselves as these successful candidates in the careers they choose. Some are: Ÿ Skills developing physical and mental wellbeing. Today physical and mental illness have become common problems and schools need their curriculum to focus on building resilience and stamina in students to adjust to the rapidly changing World Ÿ Life Skills: cognitive and higher thinking skills, social and emotional skills build competency for critical thinking and problem solving Ÿ Adaptive skills through creativity and innovation in face of challenges. New graduates will increasingly be recruited for their adaptability! “91% of HR directors think that by 2018, people will be recruited on their ability to deal with change and uncertainty.” says The Flux 23

SCHOOL LEADERSHIP www.lxl.inReport by Right Management. success shall be open to new opportunities and adopt a growth mindset.The future of success in schools Seth Godin, a critically acclaimed AmericanSuccess of schools in future will be measured author has said, “If you’re not doing the thingsagainst that scare you, you’re not really learning.”Ÿ Performance in International “ Schools should Examinations like PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) that add skill set evaluate education systems worldwide certication asŸ Building skills required in the present and an essential future jobs. Schools need to know the ingredient of industrial requirements and promote a competence to learning environment that focuses on succeed meeting the demandsŸ Curriculum that offers a behavioral skill Thus, schools need to think out of the given certification. Learning in schools should box and invest in innovation, creativity, higher bring about an observable change in the order thinking and practical application of behaviour as schools are tasked with knowledge disseminated to their students. For responsibility of building human capacity now academic success is essential but will not in their formative years of development be the sole driver of attainment. SchoolsŸ Designing a dedicated framework to should add skill set certification as an essential incorporate visible and measurable ingredient of competence to succeed. In the pedagogical innovations race to scores, we have left or leaving manyŸ Fostering Willingness to Learn, Unlearn children behind. Success to me means helping and Relearn every child actualise what he or she is good at!Ÿ Empowering students and teachers to be resourceful, flexible, and creativeŸ Moving from a local to a global platform by network and idea exchange“The opportunities and possibilities of the21st Century are exciting and empowering forschools. Schools that have high expectations of 24 [email protected]

February 2018Examinations: A Means or An EndRajeshwariRajeshwari is the Headmistress of Chinmaya International Residential School. She teaches Economics and is also a Spiritual Guide with a vast experience in education for the past 20 years. An inspired and creative person, she conducts many workshops for students and teachers onHolistic and Value-Based Education. Being in a residential school and living with children and havingobserved them closely, she believes that children should be nurtured to be emotionally and spirituallystrong so that they can become intellectually cultured and responsible citizen of the nation and the world.As a spiritual guide, she mentors and counsells students of different age group and prepares them to notjust earn in life but to live the life as a whole. In this article, she has shared useful tips for improving theteaching-learning process through exam results.Plight of Present Examination System end by itself. To add value to theirThe plight of the present examination system examinations, schools can implement theand the stress on rote learning and exam results following practical steps:is a sorry affair. The entire system, includingchildren, teachers, parents and the society take Ÿ Adopting different methods of assessmentexam performance as a yardstick to measure at least in the primary school. In thechildren's potential. Assessing student's beginning of the year, the teacher shouldcapability and future aptitude with just one identify individual learners and prepare aassessment is unfair. However, as the bridge course to fill the gap in some learnersexamination system is here to stay, we as so that in due course the learner can catcheducators can do our bit by adding qualitative up with the rest of the classvalue to it. Ÿ Learners at different levels should beTips and Techniques to Add Value to provided with question papers based onExaminations their current learning capabilities. This will motivate the learner to pick up the pace andFor Schools: content comfortably and quickly ratherThe examinations normally test what the than face demotivation by performingstudent does not know rather than testing how poorly when tested with the otherwell does he knows something. It is this fear of mainstream studentsthe unknown that makes a student, who maybe academically very good, to take extreme Ÿ Student's performance in a class should notsteps like suicide fearing the unknown result of be recognised by who scored the highest inhis performance. One must understand that an the examination. Rather, they must beexamination is just the means to understand recognised and awarded by the criteria ofwhere we stand academically and it is not the who improved the most in the exam when compared to their previous performance. This will motivate the students to compete with themselves rather than others 25

SCHOOL LEADERSHIP One, the students open up to learning as the group is small and they can ask any questions, without inhibition, to their mentor. Secondly, the mentor himself/herself grasps the concept at a deeper level as he/she has to teach in such a way that his group understands the concept. Here the mentor becomes both creative and also learns to communicate his ideas effectivelyFor Teachers: For Parents and Students: Ÿ Student assessment should go beyond roteŸ It is essential for teachers to analyse the exam performance and evaluate the learning and exams results to discover and student's area of strengths and weakness reveal the different aptitudes and after the exam. Some of the methods can be intellectual abilities of the students by analysing the performance of the class Ÿ Parents must be made an integral part in based on the question paper blueprint with the evaluation of the child. They must respect to the following aspects: attend counselling sessions to understand Knowledge, Understanding, Application, that all children are not the same and Skill and Evaluation based questions. This neither are their learning abilities in a given analysis can also be done chapter wise/ area. Once parents understand this, the concept wise/ question wise. Teachers can pressure to perform in the exam and meet come to a better understanding of the the parent's expectation will reduce strength and weakness of the class based on Ÿ Schools have started introducing methods the above analysis. The teacher can then like mindfulness and meditation to make focus on remedial areas and guide the the minds of the students calm and focused students accordingly in this generation of turbulenceŸ It is also noticed that most of the time, the Conclusion: teacher focuses on the average students of It is well known that many students fail as the class and somehow misses to engage the engineers and doctors but become successful in high and low achievers. After the exam, the the pursuit of arts, music, literature and high achievers could be given more media. Fearlessness to do what one is challenging questions and remediation passionate about and facing failures with 'so provided for low achievers what?' is the only key measure for a truly successful person. The strength of character,Ÿ Mentoring system is another technique that willingness to move ahead on the right path can be adopted in class. Groups can be made alone no matter what and looking at life itself where a high achiever mentors the other rather than lifestyle and its worth is the true students in his/her group and helps them to measure of success. learn. There is a two-fold advantage of this method: So let us build the future by not fostering the fear of the unknown, rather facing the unknown fearlessly. 26 [email protected]

February 2018Food for ThoughtRekha GuptaRekha Gupta is a certied Dietitian and Nutritionist with a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics from Indira Gandhi Open University. She is also a qualied diabetes educator, certied by International Diabetes Federation, she secured the rst rank in her batch. Ms. Gupta has also completed herBachelor’s and Masters in Pharmacy from Department of Pharmaceutics, Indian Institute of Technology,Banaras Hindu University. A registered Pharmacist with Pharmacy Council of India. She has also workedas a guest lecturer for the Pharmaceutics Department of her former University and a certied PediatricNutritionist, counsellor for HIV , AIDS and family education. Ms. Gupta has conducted several workshopsfor school and college students on Right Nutrition for school going children, Healthy tifn, cookingNutritious food without Fire and Healthy Food for Holistic Development.For students during exams what they eat can provide children with smart diet tips to greatbe as important as what they study. A well grades in exams!balanced nutrition is important throughoutthe year but is particularly important during Healthy Tips for Students During Examsexamination time when the brain and the body Start the day with healthy wholesome breakfast:are under stressful condition. A good diet can Foods with a low glycemic index e.g. oats,give enough energy and improve mental health muesli, upma, eggs in all forms are beneficialand alertness, while a poor diet can make a and provide a steady supply of glucose.student feel sluggish, anxious and jittery. Small frequent meals are preferred: Three toIt is important for the schools to remind the four large meals a day will make them lethargicstudents how important it is to eat well, and sleepy as blood is redirected to the stomachespecially during exam time. A healthy diet is instead of the brain. Small, frequent,not just important for the physical health, but nutritious meals will give them a constant flowalso mental health as our brain requires the of steady nourishment keeping them alert andright nutrients for normal functioning. Many awake.students find it hard to know which foods areimportant when trying to keep the grey matter Proteins are essential in the diet: Carbs arehappy. digested quickly whereas proteins provide the much-needed slow burn giving a constantTeachers-as Nutritionists source of energy. A breakfast rich in proteinIt is seen that teachers always have more increases tyrosine (an amino acid) levels in theinfluence on children social and intellectual blood and brain which help nerve cellsdevelopment. It becomes the duty of a teacher manufacture chemicals which keep childrento talk about nutrition and good eating habits alert and students, especially before exams. They can 27

INNOVATION www.lxl.inKeep them hydrated: Generally, the intake ofwater and fluids go down during the exam timewhich makes a person listless, restless, irritableand the concentration goes downs. Water canalso be substituted with fresh juices.Avoid too much caffeine i.e. coffee, tea andcarbonated drinks: All these lead todehydration and acidity. After giving an initialboost, they can cause a deep low. They will alsointerfere with circadian cycle and lead to sleepdeprivation.Avoid too much sugar, junk and processed Role of Schoolsfoods: These foods are loaded with sugars andsimple carbohydrate and can cause a sudden Ÿ The schools should plan a nutritionspike in sugar levels in the blood. After a while, workshop on the right diet for theirwhen the stomach feels empty it could lead to a students before the examinations. This willcraving for more. create awareness about healthy eating and the impact it has on the performance of theGive them stress-buster foods: During the child, thus making them better preparedstressful period of exams, the body'srequirement for water-soluble vitamins like Ÿ There should be a proper fruit break inVitamin B complex and C, minerals like zinc school and ensured that students get a fruitgoes up. These help in the synthesis and and eat it toofunctioning of adrenal hormones thatbasically are our stress-fighting hormones. Ÿ Proper hydration should be givenBrown rice, nuts, eggs, fresh veggies and fruits importance. During exams, the schoolcan help. should provide lemon juice with a couple of cookies to the children for proper hydrationFoods to increase the efficiency of the brain: and energyAnti-oxidants like Vitamins A, C and E cutback harm to brain cells due to heightened Ÿ If required, schools can provide individualstress during exam time by fighting the free counselling to parents and students from aradicals. Eggs, fish, green leafy vegetables, nutritionistfresh fruits will facilitate to meet this demand. Ÿ School canteen should serve healthy foodDon't miss out on memory boosting foods choices like juice, fruit platter and healthyOmega 3 fatty acids found mainly in seafood snacks rather than junk food which makesand oilseeds are required to enhance brain students dull and lethargicfunction and memory. Ÿ The students should also be told what theyAvoid outside food during exams: Eating should eat before an examination. Eatingoutside food can cause infection due to low light and nutrient packed food during thisimmunity and high-stress condition during time is a great helpexams. To conclude, the right nutrition is the foundation of not just academic success but interconnected with all areas related to the holistic growth and development. To teach right...feed right! 28 [email protected]

February 2018Evaluating Board ExaminationsThe best judge to critically examine our boards are the students facing them. This article brings to you twoyoung authors; Abhijna: a class 10th student and Kriti, a class 12th student who share their presentexperiences of going through the dreaded 'BOARDS' and also enlighten our readers on some useful tipsand techniques to sail smoothly through. Abhijna Choodi is a grade tenth student studying at Cambridge Public School, Bangalore. He is an avid soccer fan and considers sports essential for development. Abhijna had the honour of being the sports minister of his school for two years. Abhijna likes participating in debates and other literary events and has won several Model United Nations held in schools such as Bishop Cotton Boys', The International School of Bangalore etc. A talented musician, he has also cleared the junior level of Carnatic Vocal Music. Abhijna takes school and competitive exams seriously. Recently, he has cleared the National Talent Search Examinations (NTSE) stage 1 and is now preparing for the school boards.Kriti Dutta is a student of grade twelve from Presidency School Bangalore South. Kriti secured an impressive score of 93.5% in her 10th ICSE Board Exams. She was among the six students selected totake part in the interaction with Mrs Sudha Murthy, chairperson of Infosys.Kriti was the Middle School Prefect in the 6th and 7th grade, the Literary ClubPresident in 10th and the House Captain for two consecutive years. She hasbeen part of a dance troupe that raises funds for 'Seva In Action-school forspecial children with special needs', Koramangala and a member of CMCA(Children's Movement for Civic Awareness).How are you preparing yourself for board this process the basics and concepts are neglected. Especially in the sciences andexams? Please share some tips with other mathematics, without knowing the core concepts, its impossible to solve moststudents. questions Ÿ The core part of your preparations consistsAbhijna: The boards are becoming more of relentless practise, learning, solvingchallenging and competitive and every mark exercises and perfecting your concepts andcounts, so in order to achieve that perfection, problem-solving skills. It is vital tojust hard work is not going to cut it anymore. completely solve all the exercises in yourThough hard work is vital for boards, teachers school textbooks, clear doubts. Then moveare stressing the importance of 'smart work'. onto previous year question papers, modelTo do well in boards and achieve the success papers, specimen papers, tricky questions,that you desire, there are a few key steps: board question banks. In this phase, youŸ First, get your basic concepts right. This must improve your knowledge database to the maximum, perfect concepts and clear cannot be stressed on enough because students are under the impression that the more challenging questions that they solve, the more marks they are going to get and in 29

INNOVATION all doubts Chemistry, Math, Computer and English. TheŸ Lastly, polish your skills. This part is very only subject helping me maintain a stable percentage is English! Although my friends and underrated by most students but is vital to I feel as though everything is a downward- their success. At this stage, you already spiral, certain techniques have been helping us know the concepts, solved lots of questions improve. and now it is time to give the finishing Ÿ Make your own study material: For Physics touches. Solve board papers with a time limit, with accuracy and precision, to get and Chemistry, I have maintained a accustomed to the pressure. Discuss separate derivation book for derivations of questions with your teachers, they provide important formulae from the beginning of essential tips as they have a lot of the year and this has now become a lifesaver. experience. Most importantly, take your I know there are plenty of formulae books preliminary examinations very seriously to available in stores and online, but making check your preparation level them on my own helps me accurately recall during the examKriti: With my 12th board exams approaching Ÿ Pay attention in class! Our classmatesat such an alarming rate, I realised the stark definitely have more interesting things todifference in my methods of preparation in say/do and so do our fuzzy little brains, butclasses 10th and 12th. For my 10th ICSE, with my listening to what the teacher has to say, isbeloved Mathematics, I made it a point to solve like watching an audio-visual version of theat least 5 questions every night. These little bits answer-key of your future question paper.of practice every night helped me during my Ÿ For all the 11th hour brave hearts, solvingrevision before exams. Coming to subjects I the last ten years question papers is a sureliked the least (English), I made it a point to shot boost to your confidence and itread it first thing every morning, or on my way positively helps with a revision of basicto school. That way I at least had an idea of conceptswhat was going on in class and prevented mythoughts from gallivanting elsewhere. What do you fear most about the Board Exams? Abhijna: The thing I fear most about boardBut 12th, wow! My combination is Physics, exams is probably similar to what most students fear, i.e. failing to meet the expectations of your parents, family, teachers and friends. Moreover, we ourselves expect a lot going into board exams as it is the first major, life-changing exam that we will write. As it decides our future, a lot of fears creep in, what if I don't finish the exam? What if I get below 90%? What if my friends beat me? What will I do in the future if I don't do well? What will my parents think if I do bad? It is even noticed that quite a few times students underperform, due to the stress and fear related to these exams. They can't perform to their potential because it is difficult for students to cope up with the pressure. So when you actually look at it from a student's perspective, there is undeniable fear 30

February 2018of failing at every step of the way. long hours Ÿ Students need to find their own stressKriti: More than the fear of getting my answerswrong or not having enough time to complete busters which can allow them to relax formy paper, I fear my correct answers will not some time. Either hanging out with friends,contain certain “key-words” that examiners playing sports, evening walks or anythingexpect at the time of correction and this could else that helps them relaxlead to the deduction of the entire marks Ÿ Many schools are taking up parentallotted to the answer. If the question asks a counselling workshops to help parentscertain theory and my answer has explained it understand their child's needs during thesatisfactorily, my marks will be cut off if I have exam times. This is definitely a step in theused a synonymous word instead of that given positive direction considering that studentsin the textbook. That way, I feel, even though need all the help they can get during thismost of our concepts are clear, we are being crucial periodgraded differently, while those who havequoted the books probably just memorised it Kriti: At home, my parents have managed tohaving no absolute idea of what is explained. create an environment of 100% serenity. The bitter truth, I find it appalling! The fact thatHow can your parents, teachers and the school we are in our “Board year” and that we must behelp you reduce the exam stress? in our study-mode seems petrifying to most ofAbhijna: What most people don't understand is us. Our parents, with worry lines on their faces,the situation that the students are being placed always on their toes to be there for us, makingin, it is the first time for most students to write sure we do not get diverted is rather, how do Ian examination of such a massive significance. put it, pressurising. Sometimes I feel I wouldDoing well in boards not only requires the have written my class test with a lot morethorough preparation of the syllabus, but also confidence had it been a different grade.requires you to mentally prepare yourself forthe boards. It requires a confident, strong- “ Students need towilled, positive, stress-free mindset. This iswhere parents, family and teachers step in. I nd their ownbelieve it is not only necessary but also the duty stress bustersof their parents and teachers to take care of the which can allowemotional side of the students and not always them to relax forpressure us into studying. It is clinically proven some timethat the brain requires breaks to perform at itsmax, studying non-stop is not effective and As you would have already experienced, schoolpossibly detrimental. is the only place you would ever meet so manyŸ It is necessary for parents and teachers to like-minded people. Thereby, I don't think a school needs to do much to help relieve stress, act as constant morale boosters for we are great at motivating each other! One students, to instill confidence and humble request though, P.E happens to be the positivity. They must ensure students are in best stress breaker, and it definitely would a positive environment at home or school make us less whiny if another teacher wouldn'tŸ Their words of encouragement and support go a long way in helping the student's mental health. They must encourage students to take positive breaks between 31

INNOVATION www.lxl.intake it as a substitution to continue their are not tested. There are some students“revision”. exceptional in certain fields and not so good in others, they can certainly make it far inAs cliché as it seems, encouragement does their respective fields but are brought downwonders! It brings about such an unintended by board examsadrenaline gush—we are prone to do better. Ÿ The thing is that we have not come up withThis undoubtedly is the best way to help a a different method of evaluation that isstudent build up the enthusiasm to do better. realistically implementable throughout India until then board exams will hold theWhat are the Pros and Cons of Board Exams to massive significance they hold now, evenevaluate your performance. though a lot of people debate over themAbhijna: There definitely have been a lot ofdebates over the pros and cons of the boards. Kriti: Evaluating my performance via BoardsPROS: PROS:Ÿ An effective method to evaluate the 'overall Ÿ At least after tediously studying so many learning capability' of a child and checks vast topics, I can narrow down to the topics the precision and accuracy of the I would like to take up for my further knowledge of the child studies and those I would choose not toŸ The pressure that it accumulates and puts Ÿ Also, once I successfully faced and on the students, shows the students the 'real conquered the class 10 board exams, I find world'. It shows that nothing comes easy, my fear of facing tougher, bigger exams everything requires hard work. It helps us fading away. I have learnt to manage time, to handle pressure, teaches effective time multitask and give my best in pressure management skills and increases the overall situations knowledge of the child CONS:CONS: Ÿ Less importance to Practicals: are allottedŸ From a student's perspective, I guarantee only 20-30 marks in our boards. Honestly, that not everybody necessarily agrees with practical exams happen to be the only ones the method of evaluation of one's wherein our actual knowledge of the performance and worth using board exams subject is testedŸ It is definitely not an indication of a Ÿ Predictability: Board exams happen to human's true worth, they definitely don't have one loophole, and that is the past decide your entire life, yes it does go a long year's question papers. If one patiently way in making your career and future but scans through the previous board questions that doesn't mean it's a sure shot indication they will surely know what topics to not of whether you are going to succeed or fail prepare for even though they seem to be in life part of the syllabusŸ Boards don't effectively test so many Ÿ With all of these random points mashed up factors that the real world requires, like into an article, I would like to say that no creativity, innovation, even though there matter how hard examination boards try to are parts of the exam where students need make exams seem like a positive segment in to be creative, its due importance is not our lives, we teenagers, by all means, take given. Moreover, factors like socialisation exams results as the maker or breaker of skills, team management and others as such our lives 32 [email protected]/[email protected]

February 2018LXL Safe School FrameworkDr. Sagneet Kaur & Anishaa AhujaLXL Research TeamUnder Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safe outside area of schools (65%) and schoolenvironment precedes intellectual needs ground (54%) are ill-maintainedestablishing the importance of safety in Ÿ Lack basic health and hygiene, like schools,imparting education. In an international lack hand towels (69%), sanitizer (56%) orresearch, it was highlighted that 1 in every 3 sanitary napkins (49%)student feels that their school is unsafe with Ÿ Ill-equipped medical facility, like schoolIndia having one of the highest ratings with ambulance (93% of schools); nurse (74%),72% of students citing their schools to be on-call doctor (75%); medical equipmentUNSAFE (Childfund, 2016). A root cause of (68%) and sick room (50%)this failure is our reactive approach to safety Ÿ Inability to ensure psychological safety;breach and exhaustive policy guidelines 64% parents cited schools are not suited tolacking consistency and scalability. handle mental health issues Ÿ Weak social safety; 35% schools never doLXL Ideas in its initiative to build safe schools background check of staff and 42%conducted a pan India research to assess the students don’t feel teachers and seniors arepresent status of safety among schools, approachableunderstand the perception of safety from theeye of different stakeholders and to preview a With inferences drawn from above research,360 degree assessment of schools in different LXL Ideas has brought a dedicated andsafety aspects i.e. Physical, Psychological and collaborative framework to ensure safetySocio-emotional. among schools. Detailed inferences of LXL Research on Safe Schools; LXL Safe SchoolThe results highlighted a lack of basic safety framework and implementation process can beand security measures following these yed-sultan-ahmed-md-lxl-ideas-safe-schoolŸ 54% of parents, teachers, and students are Taking this issue in-depth, LXL Ideas is not satisfied with safety policies conducting Phase 2 Research on Safe SchoolsŸ 51% of schools lack awareness of with an objective to come up with implementable recommendations to make the government policies and guidelines on LXL Safe School Framework viable and safety scalable to implement. Come and join us in thisŸ 64% teachers cited that their school never initiative by writing back to us on [email protected] conducted any training on safetyŸ 59% of schools do not include parents and their feedback in ensuring safetyŸ Lack of basic infrastructural safety in the following facilities; school canteen (72%); 33 [email protected]

MENTOR THOUGHTS Creating a Customised Training Calendar Kalpa Kartik, Editor-in-chief, Mentor Magazine, Director, LXL Ideas [email protected] Conclave 2017 left me with lots of required?learning, understanding and some important Ÿ What should be the model of evaluation?insights into the minds of other educators, Ÿ Will everything finish in allocated time?leaders, and stakeholders from the learningcommunity. One of the concerns coming to the Answering these questions, the schools canforefront was a huge demand for in-service efficiently design an effective year-roundteacher training and the inability of schools to training calendar for their teachers. In aprovide professional training programs for nutshell, to organise a training in a school, thetheir teachers. To address this, practical action plan is to lay down specific learningplanning and implementable strategies are objectives and then select the resourcerequired with emphasis on design to nurture materials that would aid in accomplishingexcellence, creativity and overall performance them. The training content shared shouldin the workplace. detail the subject matter that the school wants them to learn, how long each section shouldAll schools prepare their academic calendar take, the methods of instruction for each topicmonths in advance. Similarly, schools need to covered, and the measures the school will use tobe proactive while preparing a training check that the participants have learned whatcalendar for their employees. Training was needed for them to learn.Calendar is like a roadmap laying down thetasks and guiding the schools towards The most important aspect of designing aachieving their ultimate goal of trained human training calendar is the active involvement ofresources. To achieve this goal, the schools the learners in entire learning cycle and well-should have a clarity on: defined task orientation with achievableŸ What is the needed skill set to be acquired specific aims and objectives in a given time period. If schools check all these boxes, they by their trainees? would successfully equip themselves inŸ Why are these skills important? building an environment of growth andŸ How will the content be presented i.e. the learning for their teachers and support staff ultimately improving the learning outcomes of entire execution? their students.Ÿ How will they know that the trainees have understood the class correctly?Ÿ What are the teaching-learning materialsTo subscribe or to contribute articles please contact 34

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