Gayatri Perla – Science Teacher – Vijay International School – Praslin, Seychelles
Hailing from Hyderabad, Gayatri Perla is the current secondary science teacher of Vijay International School, Praslin, Seychelles. Having worked in India, Eritrea, Indonesia, China and Seychelles, Perla teaches combined sciences for year 7,8,9 and 10; Physics for As and A-levels and Mechanics 1 for A-level students and is also the School Council Coordinator. Vijay International School follows CIE curriculum with KS1, KS2, KS3, KS3 and KS5.
Becoming a teacher
I was inspired by my teachers, always took them as my role models. However, I never seriously thought of being a teacher. I was more into taking home tuitions while I was studying, this has become a very strong reason for me to be a teacher, as I could break most complicated concepts into simpler pieces that would make it easier to understand for my students. Now, I enjoy being a teacher because I get to learn a lot from my students, whilst teaching Physics or any subject for that matter!
Teaching and curriculum in Seychelles
In our school we focus mainly on learning by doing and student centred teaching. We also focus on building skills of our students and on enjoying a lesson than on assessments. Teaching is more of interactive based and thought provoking. In other schools here in Seychelles, they have Seychelles curriculum which enables students who are not interested in CIE to get into technical schools.
The fear of Physics
1. Students find Physics as a concept very interesting however, when it comes to analysing a problem and relating with a physics concept to solve it makes it challenging for them.
2. Physics requires abstract and critical thinking skills and most of us are not trained to think critically, and therefore we find it difficult to learn Physics.
3. If the teacher is able to make the abstract things into bits and pieces that is easily understood then Physics wouldn’t be a fearful subject. But, to make this happen, a teacher should be creative in her/his teaching style.
4. A universal belief that Physics is tough or challenging to learn is also another reason of fear towards Physics.
Physics in real life
I connect Physics concepts with day to day life situations, human behaviour, psychology and spirituality. For example: A charged body can be either positive or negative or neutral. A positively charged body will exert its field pointing outward, while a negatively charged body would point inward. This is quiet similar to a positive attitude person, who would be ready to give. Be it- a smile, a compliment, time, money, energy etc… while a negative attitude person would always want to take, be it- compliments, help in any form, need of success, care, love, attention, money etc. So, how electric field is present around a positively charged body or a negatively charged body; similarly there is an aura that is present around a person with positive or negative attitude. Oppositely charged bodies attract and like charged bodies repel, similar to a relationship wherein one person is ready to give (positive attitude) in some ways and the other person is ready take (negative attitude) or vice-versa.
Physics – for boys or girls?
Physics is for everyone. In fact each one of us are living Physics every second irrespective of our profession- like a farmer knows how much force he has to apply to uproot his crop, an athlete knows how much speed he has to reach to beat the opponent who is running ahead of him, a home maker knows that the rate of evaporation is dependent on surface area and the list goes on. However, as per psychology or spirituality- girls represent feminine energy which is depicted as creativity. Creativity is mostly related with arts and music. So, most girls tend to like art, music etc. While boys represent masculine energy and thus automatically has inner logical, reasoning and critical thinking. These things make it easier for boys to go deeper into Physics. But, in reality each one of us has both feminine and masculine energies in us irrespective of our gender. Therefore, it is easier for each one of us to understand anything, provided we train and believe ourselves that we can do what we want to do. We can do anything and everything.
Working in Seychelles
While searching for job openings in Africa, I ended up knowing the vacancy in the school I am currently working in. However, there is a website called www.tes.com which posts teaching vacancies.
Vijay International School