Successful Teacher and Unsuccessful Teacher

Successful Teacher and Unsuccessful Teacher

Successful Teacher

Unsuccessful Teacher

A successful teacher touches heart and inner-being of his students. An unsuccessful teacher feeds only information in child’s brain.
A successful teacher transforms the information into knowledge, and then teaches it to the student. An unsuccessful teacher converts knowledge into information.
He thinks of all-round development of the children. He just thinks about marks-oriented improvement in students’ results.
He makes learning process a joyful experience. He mechanically follows teaching process.
He turns knowledge into science by referring book as a resource. He considers books as everything for teaching and turns knowledge into information.
He converts education into knowledge and brings success to the students. He converts learning into a competition and baffle students into the webs of mark base system.
He gives priority to encourage weak students. He focuses only on bright students.
Students find solutions of their difficulties in him. Students see him only as a problem, not as a solution provider.
Students keep faith on their teacher and give a special niche in their hearts. Students see him just a paid-teacher and then forget him.
Every moment students have spent with their teacher becomes a pleasant and memorable experience for them. Every moment students spend with the teacher passes mainly as a stressful and disgustful experience.
He is like a divine-man and is the oxygen to the school. He is an unsuccessful man behind the shadow of a teacher and is a destroyer who creates problems.
Students keep trust on him and can go ahead in their education. In a puzzled educational system, a student does not feel comfortable.
He has a vision of ‘How to shape-up the students to be a part in nation building.’ He is busy with in fulfilling his own interests through teaching.

– Jaydev Sonagara (Excerpt from his book “Parvarish – Making Children Successful”)


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A relentless mother who wanted to improve child’s handwriting

A relentless mother who wanted to improve child’s handwriting

A girl-student of grade 4th of my school entered into my office along with her class monitor. The class monitor had this girl’s lesson diary clutched in his hands. It was apparent that the girl had not completed her homework. We had a rule in the school that if a student had 10 remarks of “incomplete homework” in his/her diary, the matter was reported to the principal.

I dismissed the class monitor who had accompanied the girl and than asked her sympathetically, “Why don’t you complete your homework?”

She responded saying, “Sir, I complete my homework everyday but my mother tears those pages apart from my notebook. She feels that my handwriting is very poor.”

“And sometimes, my mother gives me a beating too!” the girl further explained, and then she went on to show me the beating marks on her legs!

Realizing gravity of the concern I called her mother to the school and had a candid talk with her in detail. I explained to her the long term consequences of her treating the girl’s handwriting concern in such a manner. A few days later, I convened a meeting of all the parents who were not happy with their child’s handwriting. We devised a ‘Handwriting Improvement Program’ for all these children and appointed a teacher specially to train them.

Results that we got were wonderful! The same project was later implemented in all of my schools and it proved to be very successful. Even a few teachers joined the program and benefited from it!

The lady teacher, Ms Bhavini Suthar, who had been conducting this ‘Handwriting Improvement Program’ earned good fame and name from its success in the Ahmedabad city. Ms. Suthar now earns Rs 20,000-25,000 a month only through her handwriting improvement skill. Later, she also published a book on this topic!

If proper attention is given to address such concerns happening in the school, they could bring a massive change into the lives of students and teachers. A small effort had brought happiness to many families. Turned a teacher into a writer! And it benefited to all.

This is the responsibility of the principals to break the ice and go beyond the routine of timetables and circulars to feel the pain of the classroom (students, of course!) If this is done then positive results will automatically follow, we need not wait for them to happen.

– Jaydev Sonagara (Excerpt from his book “Parvarish – Making Children Successful”)


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A vision is essential in building a career

A vision is essential in building a career

Our entire educational system is working with keeping an eye on percentage based results. Majority of the parents are deciding the career-line for their wards on the basis of percentage they have obtained in the Std. 10th and 11th. The entire system acts like the child’s academic excellence has no connection or links with his/her interest, talents, inclination, skills and career. Right from the kindergarten level the parents are evaluating the performance of their children’s on the percentage they have obtained rather than looking at their natural abilities and talents.

Rather than bringing out the talent and personality of a child, today our entire education system is moulding him into a robotic machine that just stores and rote the information and pouring them out in examination-hall; and mostly a machine that runs after the money.

The Government, System, Society, Media – altogether have sowed only the seeds of competition, jealousy, impatience, and show-off and as a result the trend of mass scaled corruption, attraction for money and wealth have rampantly grown-up in the society.

Our Divyapath School (Memnagar division) had organized a ‘Career Carnival’ in the year 2008-09. In the Carnival, the students had prepared over 250 projects as per their interests and inclinations: each project was showcasing present days’ career opportunities and next generation career for the future times. While, kindergarten children had played a skit depicting the essential language-skill, smartness and alertness requiring for becoming “The Airhostess.” During the event, over 30,000 people, mostly parents, had visited the school and after that I noticed that the focus of the parents have shifted from ‘Results’ to ‘Career’.

Ahmedabad city’s well known Chartered Accountant had made two unsuccessful attempts in the 12th Science, before he opted for the Commerce Faculty and became the Chartered Accountant. His failures were the results of overlook of one important fact, when he was in 10th Standard, he had obtained very good 58 marks in Arithmetic, but, his performance was not good in the Algebra. If his parents had noticed this important fact at the time of results of his 10th standard, I am confident that then they could have easily saved three important years of his academic career and prevented him from suffering of ‘depression, frustration, and failure’ for that span of time.

Who is sowing the seeds in the brain of our children that the success of life lies only in becoming Doctor or Engineer? Why our children are just dreaming of ‘to become a Doctor or an Engineer only?’ Why our children are not showing passion for the fields like Music, Painting, and Sports? Why our Children are not searching for a career in the field of ‘Wildlife Photography’? Why result of our research is always ending in ‘Zero’? Despite of having such a vast coastal line, why are we backward in the fields like swimming and marines? Why only a handicapped person from Japan and a blind man from Scotland are thinking to climb the Mount Everest? Why Gujarati youths are running away from joining Army, Navy and Air Force?

An answer to all these questions is lying in our education system which we have set up as a career for them (children).

Today’s our success is the success of the percentage obtained on a good memory. Now-a-days, all our ventures are aimed at generating capital wealth. All our growths are visible in possession of materialistic valuables, thus ultimately, rather than living in a good life style, we are living in a world that is indulged in a competition in possessing materials and means.

For our kids, we are securing good percentages in the exams, but, we are not able to teach them, how to survive in the times of failure? Today’s youth are able to ride the motor-bike at very high speed, but rarely knows, “What is a time-management?” He knows how to use a high-end mobile, yet, doesn’t know that the Mobile is for a ‘Management Mobility or Entertainment Mobility?’ We are not yet able to bring in an educational syllabus that teaches ‘A respectable life can be lived with a bicycle, rather than with a high-brand car only.’ Our mind-set of ‘talking of high morale but doing a lot of wrongs’ has not yet changed.

Let’s come on, teach our children an art of living rather than pursuing them into the competition of percentage; and to realize that the prosperity of the family is not lying in money and means, but, in eating and sharing together. Money ultimately delivers nothing but tension, bad-habits, poverty and diseases; therefore, we must teach our children to live a healthy, happy and simple life, rather than converting them into the money-earning robots.

– Jaydev Sonagara (Excerpt from his book “Parvarish – Making Children Successful”)


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Pillars of student-teacher bond

Pillars of student-teacher bond

During a training workshop for principals of Ahmedabad City, then Education Commissioner Smt. Jayanti Ravi had asked the participants to write an essay on “I Remember My Teacher”. And, majority of the principals wrote several pages describing instances of remembering those primary teachers who had left a lasting impression on their minds from their school days. After this, all participants were asked to raise their left hand holding papers, put right hand on their heart and ask themselves that will they be a part of such an essays, 30 years from now, when their students whom they have taught will be asked to write an essay?

Teacher is not just an instrument giving information. It is not essential that the teachers should be highly proficient, but, surely be having a good knowledge on the subject. What is more requiring is good nature, inexhaustible patience, and virtues like soft, tolerant, gentle and pleasing, modest and polite, kind, courteous and having friendly attitude, so that his/her personality could be friendly and likeable among the students, other teachers and parents alike.

A teacher has to have a marginal quality of motherhood along with weightiness of father. Teacher is expected to have an understanding of reaching to the last student of class. Teacher got to have an ability to move on taking along every student with him and a skill to motivate that develops a vision of tomorrow and self-confidence in children.

A successful teacher is one whose entry into the classroom is eagerly awaited by the students, if he fails to reach on time. Victorious teacher is the one who is living in the heart, mind, and home environment of students. A successful teacher is a role model; whose feet are touched by students even after a span of 25 years.

The one who knows and feels the pain of students and strives to endow them with abilities bringing novelties in his ways is a good teacher. A successful teacher is one who has always been awake, adopting new approaches, and offers new things to students.

I want to recall one incident that I witnessed in an ordinary primary school at Detroj village where I saw a truly living principal. I saw an academic instrument shop which was being run by students and I was amazed to see them practicing something unimaginable. They picked up whatever they needed and put the money in a box. No checks or person to monitor it. That time I realized that it is better to put the box of honesty before students than giving lessons of honesty using a book. In same school I also saw unique laboratory teaching student draw map on sand squares using scale of cord. Not necessary that you will find a good teacher only in big school of a city. Even I have seen good number of real teachers, who is having a real zeal for teaching with heart in small primary school in villages.

It feels like a politician has entered into class under the garbs of a teacher when he punishes students, shows partiality, utters foul word and talks of hollow ideals.

The warm relationship between students and teachers makes the school’s atmosphere lively and humanly, and leaving long lasting memoirs of true relations. It is also visible in the training of principal. It is also visible in the success of school management’s vision and can be felt in the society that values its teacher with a strong sense of pride. It is also visible in the system rewarding teacher’s abilities. Truly showcased in village’s ideals and is surely experienced in management system that backs the teachers who are doing well. It sparkles in the eyes of students and visible in the wings of proud parents. It shines equally in the reputation of family. It is also felt in the remains of the last rites of the teacher as well.

– Jaydev Sonagara (Excerpt from his book “Parvarish – Making Children Successful”)


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Why children say ‘No’ to school?

Why children say ‘No’ to school?
  • Children at the beginning of their school life, either going to nursery or attending junior kindergarten, protest against the parents for sending them to school because of sheer insecurity that they feel. They fear that once they are left alone at the school, and the mother gone away, they may not see her again. The feeling of separation from parents and/or members of the family make the kids protest against going to school. They  even cry and resort to all sorts of tantrums within their reach.
  • Students from grade 2nd to 12th protest against joining a new school because they do not like to leave their present school environment.
  • In the early days of schooling, children do protest against going to school if their feelings have got hurt by any teacher or student; or issues which they had encountered, any comments about conduct, language, appearance or even behavior.
  • Many times comments made relating to religion, sect, race, caste, name, father or mother gives a feeling of hatred to the child toward school. Thus, he avoids going to the school.
  • Even factors like poor academic results, poor show in some performances, failure or even for that matter performance below expectation levels could also become one of the reasons for a child to protest and not go to school.
  • Other reason that could make a child to protest against going to school in the beginning not able to make friends in a new school or even for that matter his/her dislike towards the teachers and the system he/she is just introduced to.
  • Even a kid’s emotional bonding towards a close relative or grandparents visiting the household may emerge a reason for his/her dislike to go to school.
  • In one such instance, a third standard student, Daksh Raval suddenly started protesting against going to school, teachers and attending classes. This boy started threatening to run away, leaving school and even kill himself. But it was later on it was realized that the reason for his all erratic behavior was his grandmother living in a village, who was visiting them and Daksh was not willing to leave In fact he wanted to stay with her only.

The parents must check the above mentioned reasons whenever a child protests against going to school. A child needs to be assured of security to make him/her determination of going to school stronger and need to be prepared mentally in order to get mixed with the surrounding easily.

Schools need to give their teachers a special training to make the newly admitted students feel more comfortable and receive acceptance in the classes.

Following a complaint of class teacher, Aanush, an 11th standard student, was called in principal’s office for talking to girls only in the class. When asked about, it, Aanush replied to me, “Sir, I haven’t got the opportunity to meet the boys and make them friends in the school. Those two girls I am talking to are decent. I know my limits. Teacher made comment about this in the classroom and it has hurt me. Sir, you tell me, what is my fault?”

We need to understand, learn and change to behave with the new generation. We need to change the “spectacles”. Tomorrow it may happen that a class teacher may not wish but boys and girls will be sitting together. This is not a challenge of tomorrow, it is a destination.

– Jaydev Sonagara (Excerpt from his book “Parvarish – Making Children Successful”)


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Discord among parents is unbearable for children

Discord among parents is unbearable for children

A child’s existence, development, his/her health and self-confidence completely rests on the normal relationship shared between parents. Easy, tolerant, gentle–pleasing, good and cordial relationship between father and mother can always have a very positive influence on the children. While circumstance where the parents experiencing disagreements, arguments, difference of opinion, disputes or divorce are going to have negative effects on the psyche of a kid.

For a principal, who is struggling to develop an association with a child, the struggle and strife experienced by a divorced couple brings the utmost sad affair in the entire process of education. Though the separated parents might be able to get the custody of a child but they utterly fail to restrict negative attitude despite giving their wards best of the facilities and physical comforts. Even after a year of divorce, gradually children’s attitude tends to become negative, harsh, dejected, angry and protesting one. Also such children’s result too gradually gets lower. Children of such separated parents later on grow a sense of insecurity, lack of self-confidence, indecision and nurse negativity in subconscious mind while moving on in their lives. Many times such children take to the negative activities and crimes.

For kids, it is the relations with parents that are more important than that of getting physical comforts and facilities. For them conversation is more significant than the instructions. It is the gentleness which gets preference over advices. Kids, who do not even learn after thousands of instruction to be helpful to others, may well pick up it in just mere one instance mere while observing his/her parent’s dedication towards each other; mother and the father.

The tradition of giving away oneself for the other selflessly, being tolerant to each other is breaking away as an individual has been drifting from values of joint family to nuclear one and from having an individual room to more secluded privacy including separate TV sets and range of facilities at their disposal for each family members of the home under one roof. Therefore sometimes family bonding and values are stronger in the people living in smaller houses.

Divorces affect the boys the most. In such cases, boys seem to face more problems while girls turn out to be more tolerant and able to put up with its consequences. Also the feeling of insecurity is seen more among those whose parents shifts the accommodations and schools more often.

Divorce tears apart the individuality of a kid into two. The struggle of getting custody of a child literally reduces them into a property that the mother and/or father hell-bent on acquiring. For kids these types of struggle among parents stoke a feeling of hatred towards both.

One day a divorcee mother came to meet her son, a third standard student Nikunj, who stays with his father, who already had submitted a court letter of having child’s custody with him in the school. In wake of this, the desperate mother took a firm stand, seeking one glance of her son even through window-glass of the classroom, but denied permission to see her son one-on-one. Even the mother was apprised about her son’s pitiable plight in such a situation and persuaded to settle the issues with her husband. And, when Nikunj was called inside the school office his moist eyes were speaking everything, especially the happy moment of seeing his parents together. Without wasting a moment, the trio was requested to watch the movie – Baghban.

In tenure spanning over 20 years as a principal I have aided so many such settlements between husband and wife; and even witnessed changes which the couples accepted wholeheartedly.

A husband and wife should always discuss their problems only in the absence of their children. Couples must not treat the child differently with an intention to influence in such a way that the child surrenders to one of the individual, either mother or father. Do not expect solutions of your issues from your children. Parents must show immense respect for each other and if possible, address your kids with honour. Show extreme tolerance over small-petty issues and refrain from getting into argument or quarrel.

Instead of trying to change the other person; one should bring a small little change in himself. One should develop a strong sense of ‘let bygones be bygones’ and try to forget issues. Beware of the fact that attitude, talks and issues of some other must not disturb the peace of your house. Avoid discussing or dragging the family members and common relatives of either husband or wife into the conversation. Letting the past goby, one must focus on bright future. Family is only pillar of our human-life system. All the struggles of life, development and happiness will turn into pain and unhappiness if family matters get bitter and marred by allegations.

– Jaydev Sonagara (Excerpt from his book “Parvarish – Making Children Successful”)


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How to keep kids busy?

How to keep kids busy?

What all a kid could be asked to pursue during free-time?

  • Children keep themselves busy in reading if they are made to develop reading habit at an early age of 5 – 6 years.
  • They could remain occupied in a good way if they are kept engaged into activities such as sports, drawing, music, dancing and craft skills from the age of 7 years.
  • Tasks like house cleaning, arrangements, decoration, decency, assisting in cooking, sprucing up of house, purchase and making them learn how to take care of things can also keep them occupied.
  • Also aspects that could keep them engaged positively include; how to make good friends, how to keep relationships, how to get mixed with friends and carry out works and if they are made to learn how to share their things with friends in order to use it.
  • Parents need to see that computers and TV should not become free-time friends of their wards.
  • Ask them to develop interest in swimming, horse riding and cycling.
  • During vacation time, start sending your wards having age of 12-years or more to nature camps, environment and adventure trips in company of a matured coach only after checking safety
  • If your wards have special interest in history, geography, science, mathematics or literature and so on, then find out such development centre for respective subject areas and involve them into it.
  • Children who are into collecting stamps, coins, cards, leaves, feathers, information collection for birds also remain active and busy.
  • They could also be kept busy by parents by taking a daily walk with them, taking a stroll in the garden, and/or playing a game of chess at home. And, the best parents would be those who are also having reading habit thus they can keep their wards busy by telling stories and encouraging them to read too!
  • Send them regularly to nearby skills development centre, community science centre, mathematics or language centre and help in developing this habit for long term.
  • Once kids are involved in such activities, parents must drop any of their fear or doubts, and try to find out on how their wards could transform this habit into a lifelong
  • Parents must remain alert and make enough efforts for such activities.
  • Alert parents could use this free time creatively and innovatively to help their wards come out of their weaknesses.
  • Take handwriting improvement for an example. Encouraging your wards for this will be an ideal use of time.
  • They could be put into the Centre for Languages, Speech Improvement, Personality Development and other such courses with an aim to improve and enhance their manners and attitudes.
  • Make them to learn Yoga, its different postures and Pranayam.
  • Personally, I have constantly felt that the youths and kids’ centers run by different religious sects are really doing good work. This is not an option of development but certainly becomes useful in instilling values, civility, interests, humanity in them.

In today’s community, no special facilities for the children are considered in our professions, schools and even government’s urban planning. There is even scarcity of good playgrounds, equipments, coaches and encouraging environment.

I saw a public school in Huntington in New York’s Long Island, which charges no fees from the students. The school is spread over a 250 acre of campus area. And, after watching the Olympic level running tracks, a library that could make any Indian university feel ashamed and the level of coaching at the school, I realized that India has miles to go in achieving similar progress.

– Jaydev Sonagara (Excerpt from his book “Parvarish – Making Children Successful”)


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