Preeti Pasricha – Assistant Primary Coordinator – C P Goenka International School
Team coordination and leadership, being a great listener and empathy are skills that coordinators require and that is what Ms. Preeti Pasricha brings on the table.
She has to her credit a Master’s Degree in Commerce, a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, a Post Graduate Degree in Psychotherapy and Counseling, a Diploma in Early Childhood Education, and an MS CIT focused in Educational Leadership and Administration, General from The South Indian Education Society’s College of Commerce and Economics.
In short, she has been focused in being in the education sector and shaping it for the better.
Ms. Preeti, what got you to decide this line of profession?
Since a very early age, I have not known a more noble profession than teaching because it lays the very foundation for generations to come. I have always wanted to become a teacher and to be honest, I wish I take my last breath when in an educational institution.
Who is your inspiration when it comes to the teaching field?
There hasn’t been any inspiration as such. I was simply following my inner voice. I wanted to become a teacher since a very small age.
How, in your opinion, should teachers conduct themselves especially in the primary classes?
Teachers should be great listeners. We should always remind ourselves that we are dealing with little human beings and should respect the fact that they too have a voice.
Be kind and humble to your students giving them the attention they deserve.
I believe, with active listening, anyone can be moulded for the better. We can lead them to wherever we want by first listening to them because without knowing what they have to tell, we won’t be able to guide them.
Tell us about your role at C P Goenka International School, as an Asst. Primary Coordinator.
I oversee the instructional programs in academics. Work with other administrators and teachers to deliver the best learning experience to the students. I advise and mentor teachers and measure the effectiveness of their teaching techniques. I communicate with parents about students and help foster greater parental involvement.
Do you take classes at the school?
No, I don’t teach currently.
Do you train teachers?
Yes, we train them weekly. We call teachers subject-wise and train them on a weekly basis. The training will cover what they should be doing in the following week, what worksheets and activities should be done. We train them how to groom the children.
What teaching strategies do you follow and how do you ensure that discipline is maintained inside classrooms?
We start the training by understanding what activities should be done in the class and we have appreciating charts placed in the class which promotes discipline. We have monitors for everything and we appoint the naughtiest child as the monitor of the class. This really works.
What is the importance of circle time in the primary years?
Circle time is the time given to children to voice their opinion without their parents being around to instruct them.
A common misconception is that while giving instructions to children like sit properly, wash your hands, don’t watch TV etc., we think we are talking to the children. But that is not true. Children do not perceive it as talking. It is not a conversation.
During circle time, we listen to them and validate their opinion. This is an exercise for them to be heard and for them to understand that their opinion matters. We tell them the good and bad sides of their opinion/ideas so that they know that we are listening.
How do you deal with the shy children?
We have weekly assemblies. We give shy children major roles to perform during the assembly. We make them talk during assembly time. We give them the opportunity to talk about events going to happen in the following week. We do role plays in class, etc. I believe that any person on earth when they feel they are important, they start speaking out.
How often do you interact with parents?
Once a month. We have student review meets (SRM) at school. We also get several emails from parents expressing their satisfaction about the way the school is performing.
Do you think it is important for teachers to extend their responsibility towards children even outside the classroom?
I think everyone should be responsible for children whether inside or outside the classroom. It is not just a call of duty but a matter of responsibility as well. The more you extend your wings, the more people you can gather underneath it.
We also have a counsellor who has been given the title of parent-student coach. For children who need extra help and more time, parents, teachers and the child sit together with the parent-student coach and understand the child and the parents. We work accordingly.
Do you see technology driving effective learning?
I think it has its own pros and cons. It has a 60% positive side to it and 40% cons depends on the misuse of the child which children tend to do when they have a technological gadget in hand. Technology has made things faster and it is good for children to learn it.
Yes, we have smart boards in all classes plus each child has a personal laptop in the ICT lab.
But, we also conduct regular workshops for children and parents regarding children exposed to social media, etc. We also suggest child-friendly websites that they should be using. We strongly recommend using child lock and minimal usage of gadgets by children.
How important is inculcating a reading habit?
It is highly important. In fact, we have a book club in school for teachers as well. That shows how much of importance we give to reading.
We conduct DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) for children every week.
What do you think parents love about your school?
They love the individual attention that we give to each and every child and the way the children are nurtured with love care and through knowledge.