Dr. Suchitra Bhattacharya is the Principal of Manav Rachna International School, Faridabad. She has rich experience across Schools in Leadership roles and has deep insights what makes a child successful. Here she shares how to Grow 21st Century Skills in Students.
Dr Bhattacharya belonged to the fraternity of the armed forces of the country. As a result, she has travelled a lot across the country. She has taught in different parts of India, at various positions and levels. She has been a part of the educational field for 21 years, 11 of them as a leader.
Dr. Bhattacharya loves being around children and teenagers. According to her, they provide her with a chance to learn something new every day. Their enthusiasm and their fresh approach to all kinds of situations keeps her on her toes, making her feel young at heart.
Having taught in the border areas of the country, she elaborates how teaching the children of the army personnel was a unique experience. It involved not only standard education but also taking care of them like a parent and guiding them to the right track.
Dr Bhattacharya is hugely inspired by Dr. Abdul Kalam. His rise from the humble background to being the President of the country, and influencing millions of citizens is what she takes inspiration from.
Thoughts as a Principal:
Dr. Suchitra Bhattacharya admitted that being a leader; especially of a school, entails a lot of roles and responsibilities.
One of the most important aspects is creating opportunities as a leader for the team and building a team filled with positivity. The leader has to take the team with them, motivating and appreciating them for their work. And in times like the pandemic, take care of them- mentally as well as physically becomes very crucial.
According to her, the youth of today has a lot of potential but at the same time are extremely rebellious. This is why it is so important to grow the 21st century skills in students. So that we can channelize their rebellious nature in a productive way.
Opinion on How to Deal with Stress:
She shared tips on how to manage the mental health for teachers and students alike.
Stating that there was no set formula, few things which her organization has looked upon: Ensuring resources such as oxygen cylinders and beds were provided to those students and teachers who were in need. Giving them assurance and keeping them connected to the community helped a lot. There were also fitness programs, cooking programs and happy hours to help them relieve the stress.
Dr Bhattacharya advised us to take time out for ourselves and start our day with something that we love doing. This would fill us with hope and positivity. This would in turn help us deal with stressful situations.
Opinion on Digitalization:
Her opinions on the impact of technology on education were insightful to say the least.
Dr. Suchitra Bhattacharya thinks that digitization of education is a positive impact of the pandemic. And a hybrid of the two methods is the way forward, leveraging the best of both paths.
Advice to Parents and Teachers on how to Grow 21st Century Skills in Students:
The challenges that teachers have had to face during this period have been varied. But none is more than shifting to online learning, especially in the initial days. However, adapting to this is the future because it is an important 21st century skill. Anyone who does not go with the flow will have trouble in this profession and others alike.
The need to develop socio-emotional intelligence as a skill is of very importance. There should be special emphasis on cultivating empathy, team work and understanding the needs of others.
Along with it, children should be given creative freedom to explore themselves. But they should always keep in mind that there is no short cut to success. Teachers should strive to upgrade their knowledge, to be at pace with the changing times.
Another dilemma that parents are facing today is to stop themselves from falling for the rat race and the need to encourage goal-oriented thinking for students. At the same time not pushing their child towards doing something he/she doesn’t derive joy from.
Learning about their interest and supporting students to pursue it, making sure that they are also aware of the importance of academics and curriculum is the way to go.
Watch the video to get a better understanding on how to grow 21st century skills in students.
Dr. Bhattacharya sums up her advice in a message to all the teachers, parents and students saying that “whatever field we choose to pursue, we should strive towards and sincerity and hard work as they are the key to success and parents and teachers should have faith in the potential of children. But above all to be happy, no matter the circumstances.”
YouTube Link to full Video –
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