Saurabh Deshwar – HoD Science, No.1 High School, Wuxi Jiangsu China
A passion for learning soon led to a passion for teaching in my life. Now, as IBDP & CIAE Chemistry teacher, an Examiner and CAIE Exam Officer at an International department of Wuxi No. 1 High School Wuxi, Jiangsu China, I try to instill that same passion for learning in my students.
Wuxi #1 High School, first established in 1911, is more than 100 years old and was called one of the ‘Five Charming Roses among the High Schools in Jiangsu province of China’. I will be completing 1 year in this school, having moved here in 2018.
My chemistry teacher Mr. P.C. Shukla who taught me chemistry during grade 11 and 12th inspired me especially his dedication to regularity and teaching. His problem solving approach was different from other teachers. He took up problems especially from the stoichiometry (Numerical Problems in chemistry) and proposed different methods to solve the same problem. He always told us to focus on concept and practice past paper questions to get good grades before main examinations. I still stick to his words and always tell my students to solve past papers before their exams begin.
At the beginning, I was inexperienced and it was quite challenging to face a class of 21-24 students. I did not have any teaching style then so I followed what most colleagues did – the “Chalk and Talk” method. As time passed, I grew in confidence as a teacher, and started engaging students in different hands-on activities.
Later, I moved to inquiry based learning and engaged students with line of inquiry. Even after the introduction of technology, the classes remained teacher-centred, where I used ppts, videos and simulations to teach students.
When I joined IB in summer 2015, I moved to student-centred learning. I started using more advanced online platforms where I put tasks online and allowed students to divide themselves in groups for group discussions. Since then my job has changed from full time teacher to a facilitator in the class. Now I plan the classes in such a way that students take the authority of their work, perform and learn. My entire goal is to facilitate students during the whole process and make sure learning takes place in the class.
Sometimes, I just throw a question to my students and ask them research to come up with possible solutions. They are enlightened then with facts and process of knowing something, will make them own it. Once they own something, they value it.
Teaching beyond books
I greet my students “good morning” because once, my senior told me that a teacher’s responsibility is not limited to just teaching inside the classrooms but it is to make them better human beings and this is possible if we impart values in them that they will remember throughout their life. Initially I greeted them, but now when they see me, they have started doing it, because they know if they don’t, then I am going to greet them anyway, so before I say it, they try to greet me. It’s kind of teaching them to pay respect to their teachers.
Teaching as a career option
Future is bright in the education sector. Earlier, teaching was the last option for the people as a job because wages were not high enough. I have seen people try to work in different sectors and when they did not succeed, they moved to teaching as it was easy as compared to other jobs. Therefore, I have seen an era of less motivated people joining teaching because they have to do something to earn their living.
In addition, it was an easy job for women and considered safe for them in comparison to other jobs. These were the main reasons school administrations exploited people and paid less than what was expected.
Now things have changed – Education is the only sector that has not been affected by the inflation and it is constantly growing. The stability and growth in the education sector have attracted the youth to choose teaching as their first carrier. I am glad that the introduction of International curriculum like CIE and IB worldwide in the education sector brings more charm and make it more fashionable than ever before. Wages are high and market is open for all. If you have the quality, you will be respected irrespective of color/country or religion.
Advice to teachers and students
The one thing is to never stop learning. The best thing we can teach kids to do is learn how to be learners, and how to get excited about something new, or learn to ask a question and then search for answers or more information.
Wuxi No. 1 high school
98 Yunhe E Rd, Bei Tang Qu, Wuxi Shi,
Jiangsu Sheng, China, 214046