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Sangam School: A Path-Breaker

Sangam School's logoThe Sangam School of Excellence was established in 2004 in the rural town of Bhilwara, Rajasthan. In a matter of just 14 years, it has established itself as one of the leading schools of the country. The school which started with 55 students has gone from strength to strength over the years. The school has grown into a residential institution with CBSE and IB affiliation, which welcomes students from different parts of the country.

 

On a Progressive Mission

The school works on a mission to offer the best practices in education so that students are better enabled for their future. Through this common goal which is resonated by the school management, principal and teachers, innovative techniques like ICT, V-SAT, EBSCO have been incorporated to aid student and teacher learning.

What started out under the able leadership of the founding principal Ms. Mamta Bhargava has been taken forward by her successor Ms. Madhu Nagpal.

The true mark of a progressive leader is a progressive vision. Ms. Madhu Nagpal has been leading Sangam School into the future and has embodied the spirit of an educator who believes in building a novel education system.

 

Ms. Madhu Nagpal
Ms. Madhu Nagpal

She finds the “one size fits all” approach of the Indian education system as passe and firmly believes that each child:

  • Has his or her own learning style
  • Adapts differently to their immediate environment
  • Has their unique identity which dictates their future paths

Thus, she has been consciously working on implementing newer techniques for student and teacher development over the years.

 

What’s the Secret for their Success?

The school has enabled its teachers so that they can trigger their students’ interests in taking the right career choices for themselves. By introducing the following initiatives, the school has been able to make a mark for itself as one of the best in the country:

  • UCLA Extension's Global Career Catalyst CertificationBringing in a Structured approach towards career guidance: The school has partnered with UCLA Extension’s Global Career Catalyst (GCC) program for teacher development. Through this program, the teachers are sensitized about the world of career options available for students and how they can trigger their interest in the classroom. By incorporating the GCC program, the teachers have been able to adopt novel methods in the classroom.

For example, Ms. Ankita Sharma, a teacher at Sangam School, has been introducing the corporate connect while discussing subjects. By linking chemistry with ONGC, she was able to trigger students’ interest in domains like Chemical Engineering.

 

  • Inviting Professionals for Career sessions: The school has been conducting sessions between students and professionals over the years. Students are given an opportunity to interact with CAs, engineers, etc. and get to know about their careers.

The school also plans to invite parents who can give an insight into their careers and interact with students.

 

  • Anecdotal Register
    Image Source: https://apessay.com

    Building on the Student Connect: The school has introduced techniques like the Anecdotal register. Through this method, teachers are able to maintain a record of students year on year so as to better identify a student’s:

    • Behaviour patterns,
    • Unique problems faced, and
    • Progress made.

This helps the teachers write LORs for students after observing them over the years and helps in effectively mapping out personal counselling requirements for students.

Sangam School has been the torch bearer for Indian schools and aims to incorporate innovative techniques for developing teacher and student learning.

 

Do you want to incorporate such Career Guidance Techniques for your students?

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Career Guidance in Classrooms

With new career options springing up every week, and the looming threat of automation and AI, it is becoming increasingly important for schools to up their career guidance game.

Image Source: https://www.techemergence.com
Image Source: https://www.techemergence.com

 

Why should your school have this?

Before we even open this discussion, here are a few facts for your reference:

  • Uncertainty 2.0: As per a PwC study, 38% of jobs in USA are at a high risk of being replaced by Artificial Intelligence.
  • New job roles: 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 have not even been invented yet.
  • Automation and jobs: Over 800 million jobs are being threatened by automation, with over 70% of IT jobs under threat.

When faced with stats like these, concern related to careers is certainly bound to rise. How can we address this as educators?

 

Bring on the Classroom Discussion!

Classrooms must be leveraged as platforms for discussions around careers. This will ensure that the interests of students are triggered and cultivated for careers.

Here are 3 ways through which you can establish the career connect in your classroom:

  1. Develop career-specific content for all subjects:

By carefully planting career discussions, teachers can build upon a student’s aspirations through active classroom learning. Subject teachers should be encouraged to flesh out their classroom content by adding the practical aspects of the topic.

Develop career-specific content for all subjects
Image source: http://www2.connectseward.org

 

For example, the English teacher can highlight job application and business letters as part of the syllabus. The History teacher can bring in the Hogwarts castle from Harry Potter to gain the attention of students and touch upon architecture as a possible career option.

 

Do you want to know how you can introduce career guidance in your classrooms?

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to know more

 

  1. Bring in a Practical Connect:

Imagine a local market set up in the classroom to explain discounts and markups to students during a Math class! Such real-time subject matter connect would make learning exciting and fun.

Bring in a Practical Connect
Image source: https://www.thinglink.com

 

Similarly, a Math teacher can include the concept of Math and Analytics and discuss possible career avenues with students. This will give an opportunity for students to understand the impact of their work. Teachers can also discuss possible internship opportunities with students so that they can learn new skills and get on the right track for career success.

 

  1. Make career guidance a mainstay:

Teachers can apply career guidance principles as and when they get an opportunity to do so. Through 10-15 minute sessions, a teacher can highlight a particular concept and map it to the required skills, current industry trends and future prospects of the career.

Make career guidance a mainstay
Image Source: https://www.american.edu

 

For example, while teaching Physics in the classroom, the teacher can highlight drones and the technology that goes behind it. This would make the students see a live example of the subject’s implementation. So an ordinary class on the law of motion can turn into a stimulating experience for students. Plus! They will be able to learn better through visual interventions.

 

Here’s how one teacher benefited through the Global Career Catalyst certification and was able to guide her students better:

 

By adopting a grade-wise career discussion, teachers can help broaden options for students from grades 6-10 and selectively guide them towards the chosen path in grades 11 and 12.

 

To know how your students can excel in their careers,
CLICK HERE

The Magical 5 hour Transformation!

Fastrack yourself onto the path of success by following a simple rule: Devote just 5 hours for self-learning during your weekdays. Yes, you heard that right!

 

The Millionaire’s Charm

Millionaire's Charm

As per a study which was conducted for over 5 years on 200 self-made millionaires, it was found that:

  • Over 86% claimed that they read during their free time, and
  • 63% listened to audiobooks during their morning commute

Famous personalities like Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Jack Ma, Elon Musk and others attribute their success to continuous reading.

 

The 5 Hour Rule

Coined by Empact founder, Michael Simmons, this concept highlights an important practice undertaken by successful people:

The conscious practice of setting aside 5 hours for deliberate self-learning.

 

What does it include?

It includes a basic 3-step-process:

Read
Image Source: pixabay.com
  • Read: This not only expands your knowledge but also gives you a good head start against your peers. As per Jack Ma, readers end up knowing more about other industries and their tactics.

 

How can you implement this?

Ø  Begin by allocating 20-30 minutes of reading time in a day,

Ø  Listen to audiobooks while exercising or during commute time

 

 

Reflect
Image Source: pixabay.com
  • Reflect: By developing an active internal feedback mechanism, you can learn from past mistakes as well as successes. This would help you take some time out and assess yourself over a period of time.

 

How can you implement this?

Ø  Utilize time slots of up to 10 minutes on a daily basis. Choose a relatively less productive time of the day, like a post-lunchtime slot.

Ø  Build a habit of asking yourself questions like “What were my takeaways from that XYZ meeting?”.

 

Experiment
Image Source: pixabay.com
  • Experiment: Whatever you learn, make it a point to implement it in real time. Conducting experiments will put facts to the test and help you comprehend textual matter efficiently.

 

How can you implement this?

Ø  If you have undertaken a complex training or certification program, begin by breaking them down into smaller modules.

Ø  Then, for each module, identify possible areas where the learnings can be implemented. For example, after attending a teacher training program, you can implement the learnings in your classroom over different phases.

 

By having this powerful 5-hour rule as part of your daily routine, it can be your ultimate passport to a greater version of you.

 

If You would like to invest in your professional development by allocating 5 hours a week,

CLICK HERE

 

 

Revolutionizing Indian Education: The Sunbeam Group

 

The Sunbeam Group has been associated with the word ‘progressive’ for the past five decades. Founded in 1972 by Dr Amrit Lal ‘Ishrat’ Madhok and Mrs Deesh ‘Ishrat’ Madhok, the school has come a long way from its humble beginning in a small rented apartment in the then small town of Varanasi.

Till date, the school group persistently follows its vision to provide a conducive environment for the holistic growth of its students, providing the same opportunities as a student in any other bigger city.

 

What makes Sunbeam different?

Sunbeam group has been focused on providing continuous career guidance for its students. It realizes the need to create an environment for teachers to develop future leaders. In order to strengthen this mission, they have incorporated the Global Career Catalyst (GCC) as one of the components of its teacher training programs.

The school group makes use of a 3 step process to develop its students:

 

1. Interactive Classrooms:

A Global Career Catalyst certified Principal, Ms Gurmeet Kaur of the Sunbeam group, was able to effectively guide her students on matters such as:

a) Ice Breaker: For her Grade 8 interaction, Ms. Gurmeet was able to guide students on Careers that incorporate Writing, by including diary entries in her discussion. She was able to guide them on profile building steps that span across Grades 8 to 12 through participation in debates, public speaking and Ted Talks.

b) Subject Selection: For Grade 11, she guided her students on different subject selection combinations as she was better aware about the possible career opportunities. For example, when Riya wanted to take up Biology and Psychology, Ms. Gurmeet was able to correlate the two subjects and suggest a possible career path.

Sunbeam Group believes in leading by example and thus, school principals across campuses are undertaking similar initiatives for student development.

 

2. Career Planning across grades

a) Grades 8 and 9: Students are sensitized through tests and discussions about their likes and dislikes. In Grade 8, a more generic introduction is planned out, and later it gets more specific as subjects diversify in Grade 9.

b) Grades 10-12: In-depth psychometric assessments are conducted to understand a student’s career choices.

 

3. Monitoring Students

a) Progress Tracker: Through bi-annual Teacher interactions, each and every student’s progress is monitored and an in-depth analysis is done in case of any deviations.

b) Collective Decision making: Discussions are conducted among class teachers, subject teachers and an Academic Head to understand a student’s behaviour, habits and performance.

c) Everyday connect: On a case-by-case basis, activities for teacher and student interactions are planned out. For example, when a student feels homesick, the required teacher intervention is carried out to make the student ease into the setting and feel comfortable.

 

Sunbeam Group’s GCC certified teachers and principals

 

Through this 3 step process, the Sunbeam group has been able to make a mark in the Indian education space and will continue to shine as a bright star for years to come.

 

If You would like to implement similar processes in Your School reach out to our expert Mary Joseph

CLICK HERE

 

 

Changing Face of Global Classrooms

With an ever-increasing level of uncertainty about the future, be it in terms of skills or jobs, it is imperative that students are better prepared. Three International Institutes have been implementing innovative practices in their classrooms to help their students be future-ready. These have not only erased the physical boundaries of a regular classroom but have ended up transforming them like never before.

 

Global Classroom
Image source: https://flipedu.parenting.com.tw

A Virtual Experience

Established in 2006, Stanford Online High School (Stanford OHS) has been one of the first schools to have embraced the power of digital learning, that too in a big way! The school has been consistently featured as one of the best schools in USA by Business Insider.

The school, which has produced one of the highest enrollment rates in Ivy League colleges, has been implemented entirely online. Some of the key features of this virtual school are:

  • Virtual classrooms: Classes are conducted online through a dedicated platform. On an average, around 12-15 students are part of one class with a teacher, along with readily available class materials. Students can ‘virtually’ raise their hands to answer questions and meet up for a virtual discussion.
  • Global connect: Students from all around the world can tune into the classroom
    Global Connect
    Image Source: https://ohs.stanford.edu

    through video-conferencing technology. So one wouldn’t be surprised if the same class had students from all 7 continents answering a question on Hitler’s invasion of Austria!

  • Proactive Career Counselling Network: The career counselling unit at Stanford OHS works with students and families to chart out career plans. They help in identifying the student’s interests, personality and aptitude to identify best-fit career choices.

 

LearningLearning through collaboration

A legacy institute like Phillips Exeter tops the list when it comes to introducing collaborative learning in the classroom.

Established in 1781, this school has been consistently ranked as one of the best schools in USA, and even in the world! The school has alumni ranging from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to renowned novelist Dan Brown.

The school has implemented the Harkness philosophy, under which a group of 12 students sit around an oval table to explore a topic, with a teacher serving as a facilitator. The following 3 elements are included in this:

  • Space: An oval table has long been the accepted statement piece to denote collaborative learning spaces.
  • Student-centric: With students discussing topics from geography to politics, it is ensured that a sense of equality is achieved within the classroom. This helps in developing a sense of tolerance and sharing in the classroom.
  • Discussion mode on: With lectures being replaced by active student engagement, the classroom learning becomes experiential and more peer-based. Here, a ‘one size fits all’ approach is no longer valid as every participant receives a fresh perspective out of the discussion.

 

Hands on experience, Matters!

A recent addition to disruptive education has been Ecole 42, a coding school in Paris which has no teachers!

The school was set up by Xavier Niel, a French billionaire in 2013. It is a free school and works entirely on the system of merit. Assignments are meted out to students right from their entrance tests and all the way to the very end of their duration in the school.

Some of the key features of this school are:

  • Rigorous selection: All prospective students have to undergo a one-month long entrance test to secure a place at the school. Students who manage to clear the assignment-based tests get to attend the school for free for the next 3-5 years.
  • Time management: At 8:42 every morning, students get digital projects to complete. This has a deadline of 48 hours and thus, requires them to manage all their activities in a time-bound manner.
  • Gamified learning: All the modules (be it tech integration, AI module development or formulating algorithms) and languages (Python, C, etc.) have given rise to a virtual gaming experience for students. All their assignments require earning points in order to advance to the next level.

 

 

To prepare a future-ready workforce, our students today need to be more hands-on than just being rote learners. Thus, teaching practices are evolving to cater to an ever-increasing need for skilled students who can take any problem thrown at them head-on.

 

Has your school incorporated any cutting-edge innovations in its classroom? Let us know by emailing us at

mary.joseph@univariety.com

Who knows? Your innovative classroom practices might end up being added in our next blog!