“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation…We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle
A model for defining and achieving excellence in schools is one that focuses not only on the traditional three Rs but also three other Rs. The traditional three Rs include reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic. We need to focus on other three: reasoning, resilience, and responsibility. These latter three Rs complement and enhance the first three.
Reasoning is a broad term that encompasses the comprehensive set of thinking skills that a person needs to be an engaged, active citizen of the world. These skills include:
Good reasoning complements knowledge by enabling students to use that knowledge well.
Resilience refers to persistence in achieving goals despite the obstacles life places in our way. Everyone encounters roadblocks sooner or later; the question is how you surmount them. Resilience involves:
Schools need to build students’ resilience by creating challenging experiences for them that require resilience to see them through.
Responsibility covers the ethical and moral dimension of development. Four components are particularly important:
Schools need to develop responsibility by creating situations that require students to develop their own unique and personal sense of responsibility.
If we continue to turn our schools merely into centres that prepare children to take exams, we are neglecting the important three Rs that will teach them how to be active, productive citizens in a rapidly changing world. In order to create a culture of excellence, we need to teach our children to:
It is only when we have achieved this paradigm shift in our approach that we will truly be centres of excellence.
Mrs Reshma Bhattacharya, a post graduate in Comparative Literature , B.Ed and certificate holder in Educational Administration from Jadavpur University, is an experienced and passionate educator. With gentle hands and a caring spirit, she has been nurturing young minds at IVWS since its inception. Being the founder Vice Principal, she has been instrumental in the steady growth of the school. Her breadth of interest lies in providing the children with a joyful and wholesome learning experience.Leading from the heart, she is a strong believer that every child is a winner and that there are no under achievers. With an undying faith to unlock the potential in each child, imparting holistic education is not just a promise but a practice she determinedly upholds.. Moreover, she feels a sense of pride in being a member of the institution where learning is not relegated to text books, but intended to be engaging, thought provoking and, most importantly, relevant. Embracing the ideals of collaboration, compassion and originality, Mrs Bhattacharya strongly believes that the race for quality has no finish line and it is all about becoming better with each passing day.
At the heart of the 22 even years of my teaching career, the most rewarding experience has been building strong relationships and catalysing communication with the staff, students and the families I have served. Reminiscing on the journey of IVWS for more than a decade now, it gives me immense joy and pride to be associated with this institution, right from its inception. I feel delighted to be a part of the IVWS family and uphold the tradition of involvement and collaboration with all its stakeholders, sharing joy and happiness as much as challenges and crises.
We at IVWS believe that a school’s formative influence extends beyond the formal education that it is known to provide. To make the best use of the promise evident in our students, it is imperative that we train them to aim for academic excellence as well as cultivate their practical wisdom to function as well-rounded personalities. Life skills awareness and value-oriented learning along with a plethora of co-curricular activities providing opportunities for self – expression are integrated into the curriculum to prevent the pursuit of knowledge being relegated to a mere gathering of information. Aligned to our mission in nurturing the whole child, is our endeavour to instil qualities of empathy and resilience in our students and caring for their social and emotional well-being.
Most of all, we see education as a way of life and living. We strive to create opportunities so that every student leaves school well – equipped to achieve individual goals and with a sense of commitment, social responsibility and an undeterred drive for exploration.
A gold medallist in Modern History, Priyadarshinee Guha is in charge of the Senior school Humanities programme and the entire co-scholastic activities in the school. Her vast experience of over twenty five years in teaching and teacher training helps her to promote novel and creative approaches to teaching at IVWS. With her multi-faceted talents and love for the arts she is able to steer the children to explore varied avenues of expression through drama, dance, singing, music and literary endeavours.
Times are changing now and I see a rainbow blending now…things are changing now’ as we take a leap into the future. From the world of the chalk and blackboard we are now looking at revealing a world to our students where the horizon is limitless.
As a teacher in love with History, I have tried to bring my passion for the subject into every class I have taken in the last 25 years. I cannot claim that it has been a joyride always, more of a roller coaster one. However one thing has remained constant over these years, it is the zeal to soldier on against all odds that the system has thrown up. Whenever challenges have come my way I have taken it head on, as I believe to be a successful teacher one needs to be a lifelong learner.
From my childhood I have been guided by a tremendous zeal and love for the Arts- liberal, literary, performing and the entire gamut put together. I feel strongly that the minds of children should be opened to the endless possibilities of learning. As an educator I need to present a plethora of experiences to students. This in turn will provide adequate opportunities to students to explore their creativity.
Beginning there, as a child steps into the formal system of education, learning should happen from everything that surrounds a young mind. Let us not limit or stunt the growth of young children and imprison them in the pages of subject oriented textbooks. This is where my belief is strongly rooted in helping students, parents and teachers understand the importance of the Arts. A perfect marriage of this can lead to the all round development of children as they explore avenues of learning by looking at a multi disciplinary approach; by establishing connections between their academic subjects and music, dance, mime, theatre, photography and cinema. How better can a child understand geometry than looking at the town planning of the sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation? Wouldn’t it be magical if they made clay seals in their pottery classes to understand more about these unique items? An Odissi dance performance can come alive if we can link it to a study of the magnificent friezes on the bodies of the Odissa temples.
This attempt at integration of the Arts into the mainstream is my passion. Students do not come to school to only study. As our goal is the all round development of students where we cannot undermine or diminish the all importance of Co-curricular Activities. The kind of learning that happens from participating in different programmes could never be measured against anything else. Skill sets that are picked up by students in such endeavours remain with them forever. The ability to share, accommodate, listen, participate and learn from others is things that help students to grow. A child might struggle with Science but he maybe a talented pianist, a child might find it difficult to memorize pages but her forte might be dance.
As an educator I feel it is my mission to help every child explore the tremendous opportunities that a love for the Arts can put forward. My greatest reward would be to come across a student who would be a leading scientist in a world famous laboratory yet would be an avid photographer! Such permutations and combinations are endless and I really wish to discover as many as I can in the years to come.
A student of English, Ms.Sumana Saha brings with her more than twenty years of experience in the sphere of education. As the Head of the Secondary school, she tries to motivate students to nurture their talents with a passion and learn in a manner that is relevant and meaningful.
In charge of the scholastic and pastoral care of the students of Grades 6-8, she brings over 35 years of experience in this field to attend to the needs of the middle school children.
A professional with over 30 years of rich and extensive experience in teaching and administration, Sharmila Dhar looks after the Pre-Primary and Junior Sections of IVWS. She has an amiable personality, a positive attitude and is a committed team player. Apart from supervising day-to-day work, she constantly strives to raise the bar by implementing innovative lesson – planning and teaching, fostering a healthy learning environment through creative hands-on activities and introducing modern assessment tools. Through her leadership, Ms. Dhar ensures that the high standards of excellence are established in the foundational years.
In charge of the entire Sports programme of the school, his dynamism and enthusiasm are contagious. He motivates the students to constantly strive harder.