Siva Rama Sarma -IBDP and MYP Physics teacher -Oakridge International School ,Hyderabad
About Siva Rama Sarma
I am an IBDP and MYP Physics teacher having 16 years of teaching experience in Physics in various curricula. I am working as an IBDP and MYP Physics teacher at Oakridge International School – Hyderabad for the last one year. Previously I worked at Dhirubhai Ambani International school-Mumbai.
The Oakridge international school is an IB continuum school offering Primary year to Diploma programme. Here I teach Physics to grades 9, 10, 11 and 12.
Teachers who left an indelible impression
When I was studying in senior school and college my Math and Science teachers inspired me not only in my learning but also choosing to teach as my career. I am thankful to two Physics teachers Dr.Sanyasi Rao and Dr Radha Krishna who inspired me in teaching Physics and also showed how to make the learning more enjoyable to students, especially in Physics! They always solve problems in Physics and discuss the different ways of teaching in their free time. This clearly demonstrated that the teacher is a lifelong learner and their dedication towards the job.
I saw them in my whole college time and decided to become a Physics teacher and proud to say that I have followed their footsteps and successful in making learning enjoyable to my students.
First job as a Physics lecturer
My first job is Physics lecturer in a Degree college where I completed my graduation. It was a wonderful period to me. I walked and talked with my teachers and taught classes. I got the chance of exploring the Physics in my style and got lot of appreciations from students and co teachers. But my thirst for exploration was not ended and looking more challenges,so I joined the senior school following the CBSE curriculum and later IB curriculum.
Innovations in teaching methods over time
In the last 16 years I changed my teaching style in different stages. I started teaching board and chalk method and eventually added the technology. It is a proud moment to say that I was the first Physics teacher in my college who integrated technology to teaching and learning; it was in the year 2004.
Then after, I started making my own inquiry based questions and problems in Physics, implementing project based learning, experimental learning, podcasting, and flip teaching etc. It has eventually become student-centred learning and has given the opportunity to students to explain concepts.
Teaching Physics today
Now it is more of learning than teaching taking place in my classes. I always connect Physics to real life situations, movie stunts etc so that students know that it is not a subject but it is a knowledge experience to know reasons behind happenings around us.
Now I am guiding students in doing experiments with the aid of technology where they can get the opportunity to use sensors, data interpreting software, and analysing the situation using graphs made on the data. These tasks develop research and experimental skills required for 21st century students.
A key skill required by students today
I believe the most important skill a student should have is thinking skills. This skill develops critical analysis strategy where a student can analyse the situation and give his or her reflection. It is an everyday routine in my class.
Recently we had the discussion on the topic “energy production” where I encouraged the students to come up with their understanding of energy sources. They explored why the renewable energy sources are eco-friendly and also had a debate on why we are depending on fossil fuels though it is harmful to the environment, the modelling of energy balance, and effect of greenhouse gases etc. Students have used the project zero visible thinking routines, the best tools for encouraging thinking skills. And also various experiments conducted in the course definitely make the students to engage in practical applications.
Being a mentor
I encourage students to speak whether the answer is right or wrong. That is how we get to know where they stand. The most important thing is talking to them. We need to tell them which areas they are stronger and appreciate them when they did well in that area.
Once they accepted you as their mentor, then I believe that they love the subject you teach and also improve their skills.
Benefits of the IB curriculum
The IB curriculum is such a perfect curriculum which allows the student to have balanced learning. They are assessed with many formative assessments which are not grading them but knowing what is their level of understanding and how they can improve further.
Eventually, formative assessments train the student to ready for summative which is a graded exam. So, I’m pretty much sure that student enjoys the curriculum in his or her tenure and develops many skills such as research, thinking, self-management skills etc and becomes a life -long learner.
The need of the hour
Today we are looking at how to collaborate Physics with biology, arts, economics etc. to give interdisciplinary experience to student to make them understand that they need to work in a team of different areas of knowledge and collaboration is the success mantra to achieve the goal.
Nanakramguda Road, Cyberabad, Khajaguda, Manikonda
Hyderabad, Telangana 500008
Ph No.: 040-29800111 / 29804111 / 29805111/ Website: http://www.oakridge.in
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/Contact no: 9603044513