(Mala Balamurugan is a Shishuvan parent delighted about what her children are experiencing in school. Her daughter Anagha is a student of Std. VI and her son Shlok is in Jrkg.
Mala’s thought on parenting “Being a mother of two wonderful children who allow me to continue believing that good parenting is also about great children….I know I don’t do everything perfect as a mother…but they motivate me to do better. They help me in my never ending desire to learn, contribute and grow.”)
The Future depends on what you do today! Its such a powerful quote. Gets me thinking…like most parents, I too think…what is the future of my children going to be like? Are they moving in the right direction? Is there something that I need to do better, do more? Is there something they are missing out on? There is so much scope, exposure and opportunities out there. But what is that skill set my children should be equipped with to face the future in a confident and enjoyable way…yes…enjoyable is very important!!
Most of the times we teach them to get the highest marks but forget about the usefulness of knowledge; we teach them to be part of a dance group but forget to teach them to develop their unique style; we teach them to be jack of all trades but forget to tell them to master at least one; and we tell them to work on what they find hard to do and not nurturing what their unique gift is !!
Though India has a rich culture, and great values; today we see that parents teach their children to be politically correct and give more importance to others’ opinion about them, than their own self worth!! And because we are teaching them to seek external affirmation, this continues throughout their lives and they hand over the keys of their happiness and lives in the hands of others. We can see the effects of this stress and pressure among people from all ages and walks of life today.
It’s time we nurture the right values along with equipping our children with skills that are the need of the hour.
I had read this article somewhere and it has been on my mind ever since then. It said the top 10 skills that our children should be equipped with are as follows: (The more I think about it, the more sense it makes !!)
1. EQ and knowledge of basic human psychology:
EQ stands for “Emotional Quotient” . The corner-stones of EQ are –
Self-awareness – the ability to recognize an emotion as it “happens” and developing self-awareness ie: tuning in to your true feelings. If you can evaluate your emotions, you can manage them.
Self-regulation – learning how to regulate emotions, have self-control, adapt to different situations and manage them innovatively.
Motivation – to motivate oneself for any achievement requires clear goals and a positive attitude. An achievement drive, a sense of commitment and taking initiatives in any situation as well as being optimistic is very essential.
Empathy – The ability to recognize how people feel is important to success in your life and career. The more skillful you are at discerning the feelings behind others’ signals the better you can control the signals you send them. An empathetic person excels at: anticipating, leading ad coaching others, handling diversity and understanding others.
Social skills. The development of good interpersonal skills is tantamount to success in your life and career. In today’s always-connected world, everyone has immediate access to technical knowledge. Thus, “people skills” are even more important now, because you must possess a high EQ to better understand, empathize and negotiate with others in a global economy.
There has been enough and more research papers that prove; a high IQ doesn’t guarantee success and happiness, if not coupled with a good EQ! Eg: If I am super intelligent, but cannot get along with people, how far will I go? Or, I am a boss but, people under me are miserable, does it make me a leader?
Basically children should be equipped with the skills to understand the working of the human brain.
2. Prudent thinking:
Our children learn various subjects in school and are taught to think in specific ways, but it’s even more important to think on your feet and that too prudently to sail through various situations in life.
3. Never fear fear:
Yes, face fear and overcome it, but do not fear fear!! As easy as it sounds we adults make it most difficult for children to overcome this. Children need to know its ok to fail. You win some – you lose some. If children become fearless the way they were as toddlers or newborns…they will be able to handle any situation or stress in life.
4. Handle money matters:
Accountancy, Finance and Management courses can teach you how to secure a good job at a finance company, but it still does not teach you to handle personal finances and invest wisely. Entrepreneurship is another skill that is highly required for future leaders; as the training, acumen and skills that one gets while training to be an entrepreneur, cannot be received anywhere else.
5. Being a Handyman:
Like army training teaches its cadets everything a man needs to know to survive and live comfortably, each person should learn skills to become like handyman – plumbing, painting, carpentry, electrical work etc.. You can, not only save monetarily but also add value to your house and life. You do not have to depend on anyone to get simple things fixed.
6. Being a home chef:
Cooking is no longer a job of only women and housewives, it is a skill that enables you to eat healthy, cook healthy and be healthy. You can handle your own appetite and plan a meal that suits your palette, plus keep your family happy as well.
7. Communication skills:
You may have a 1000 great ideas in your head, but if you are not able to put them across to someone in an effective and impressive way, those 1000 ideas are worth nothing. Communication skills are a key that set you apart in any scenario – a job interview, or being a leader.
8. First aid:
A basic knowledge of First aid and to give relief in case of any medical emergencies is another skill that can make a big difference between life or death for near and dear ones.
9. Self- defence:
This helps one to protect oneself or a loved one in the time of need. Being prepared is better than repenting.
10. Sales & Marketing:
Whether you want a raise, or convince friends to go for an outing or get a job…skills from the marketing world come in handy. Whether we realise it or not we are selling or marketing something throughout our lives.
Many of these skills are not taught in our education system because it’s assumed that the children will learn them along the way or from parents. Infact, once our kids are out on their own..these very skills help them thrive. So, along with the best degrees from the best universities…if the children walk in there with these skills beforehand…it will ensure success.
A famous quote from a lovely movie - Beta kabil bano kabil, Kamyabi tumhare piche jhak maarke ayegi.. – Be capable and skillful …success follows and so does happiness!
Another reason why Shishuvan attracts me most as a parent is because I can see kids learn many of these life skills – consciously and sub- consciously ….and no matter what, Shishuvan kids kaabil zaroor bante Hain!!
Role of Teachers, Parents, Students, Librarians and
Chief Librarian (Shishuvan School)
Celebration of Librarians is one of the Annual Events at Shishuvan. This is the second successive year of celebration of this event. Shishuvan School Matunga, Mumbai, celebrated Librarians Day on 12th August 2017 in honor of 125th birth anniversary of Dr. S.R. Ranganathan (widely known as Father of Library Science in India). The celebrations were marked with a Seminar on “Excellence in School Librarianship through Best Practices – role of Teachers, Students, Parents, Librarians and others”.
This time the objective of the Seminar was on Excellence in School Library Practices Vis a vis Best Practices. Democratic and Open School Philosophy of Shishuvan is maintained in Library Seminar by involving and addressing Parents, Teachers, Students, Librarians and others. Presentations were made, lectures were delivered by Teachers, Parents, Students and Librarians and others. The participants comprised of students ,teachers, parents, librarians. Seminar stood out to be unique as it involved major stakeholders of school library service. The result was an useful gain and share knowledge from each of the presenters and participants. Organizers reasserted and re-assured their approach to involve all stake holders in the forth coming events/activities. It was appreciated by one and all and specially by the guest speakers and presenters. Shishuvans commitment to School Library Service was amply visible in the deliberations of its teachers, students, parents and Library Staff.
Soon after the Lighting of the Lamp Ceremony, Mrs Shubadra Shenoy Principal of the School gave her welcome address. She emphasized on the role of Libraries in Schools. She emphasized that libraries and their services are integral to Shishuvan and its academics from KG to Class X. She advised participants to be proactive and support actively in the Teaching Learning process.
Mr.Rajashekhar Devarai, Chief Librarian, in his introductory remarks emphasized on the importance of celebrating Librarians Day, briefed the audience on the relevance of the Librarians Day in a School and dealt in brief about the theme of the Seminar centering around the concepts like : School Libraries, Librarians, Excellence and Best Practices.
Mrs. Heeru Bhojwani (Information Curator and Coach – American School of Bombay), Mrs.Suhas Dave (Head Librarian – Gundecha Education Academy), Mrs Sangeeta Bhansali (Director – Kahani Tree), Mrs.Prashanti Ghadigaonkar / Geetmala S (Faculty Members – Muktangan) were the Core presenters. Mrs. Jamila Merchant, Mrs.Shraddha Tiwarekar, Mrs.Prajakta Bhandare, Shraddha Goyal and Mrs.Archana Balaji , Class VIII students Disha and Mihir presented / deliberated on behalf of Shishuvan. Kabir Class Student activated / energized the group with a timely break.
Highlight of the event was the Question Answer / Discussion Session moderated effectively by Preeti Santosh Malavade, Librarian of Vibgyor High Borivali. Questions were invited for all the presenters one by one. Various issues and concenrns were addressed. During the session Mrs Shamim Padamsee shared her ideas on Indian authors, Indian Books and Reading Events. She also briefed on the ongoing Leading Reading Schools of India Awards. Mrs.Namita Talreja Vice Principal gave presidential remarks. Mrs.Jamila Merchant thanked every one responsible for the success of the Event / Seminar.
Functional and state of art Libraries are back bones of successful schooling according to IFLA/UNISCO School Library Manifesto (1995), “ School library globally are envisioned as a force for the enchantment and improvement of Teaching and Learning through out the School Community for Educators as well as Students .”
The theme of the Seminar was well appreciated by every one. The major take away of the Seminar :
- Libraries can and should play important role in the Teaching / Learning Process.
- Librarians need to adopt professional approach and be professional in works and activities.
- Teachers, Students, Parents and others can contribute and impact effectively and appropriately to achieve excellence in school library service.
- It was truly a day filled with learning and ideas. – Nirupama Kaushik
- The Seminar which was organised was wonderful and it was helpful to gather innovative ideas. There was a good interactive session. Good knowledge to gain. – Amol Sonawane
- In Seminar I enjoyed and learned many new things such as “students can also be Librarians” and came to know about new activities that can be created and will help me during my classes. – Anon.
- The workshop / seminar was encouraging and I came across many new activiries that will help me in developing reading habits in children of my school – Anon.
- The Presentations were wonderful. I liked them. – Hiya, Class V Student, Mahapragya Public School.
- Excellent Seminar. I like all activities and discussions held during the Seminar. I would like to attend such seminars again and again. Thank You. – Ms.Kamini Katkar, Librarian, PIS – CBSE, Powai
- Got very good information on Library functions. I could hear to Librarians with experience. Seminar was arranged in a very good way by Shishuvan. Thanks for celebrating our day i.e Librarians Day. – Hemangini G Shah, Librarian, Sion.
(Father of Niharika,Std IV Karma)
The Durshet trip was clearly a once in a lifetime opportunity not just for the students but also for all the father’s who volunteered for the trip.
The credit for this wonderful trip goes to the staff and entire management of Shishuvan who gave more than 100% to ensure that the trip went well and each and every student returned back with fond memories.
The students not only got an opportunity to participate in adventurous activities but they also learnt what it is like to stay independently for 48 hours.
I strongly believe that such instances will strengthen the confidence of the child and motivate them to engage in outdoor activities irrespective of whether they are on a school trip or on a personal trip.
During meals the management had arranged for buffet ( breakfast lunch and dinner) and I saw the children lining up quite methodically to collect their plates bowls etc. The volunteers were there to serve food to the children and I could see that almost each and every child tried everything that was served to them without making a fuss.
The concept of enacting a play within just half an hour or so can be seriously challenging for 10 yr old children but the manner in which they participated was very impressive. The volunteers made efforts to bring out the best out of their respective groups.
Some of the activities were a bit scary for some children and we did have incidents when some of the children suffered injuries during the course of these activities. However none of the children showed signs of backing out and they went all the way. The credit for this again goes to the volunteers who took utmost care of the children.
Overall it was a beautiful trip; one that will go down as the most cherished one !
-founder, erpnext | the best code is the one that is not written
Last week, I was asked by the Principal of Shishuvan, the school my 6-yo daughter goes to, to talk with fellow parents on how to prepare for a digital future. What she had in mind was to talk to parents on how can we withstand the onslaught of social media, attack on our privacy, automation, malicious hacking and other such things we keep hearing of. The ferocious pace at which technology is creeping into our lives and mutating our relationships and our own sense of perception, and has instilled a fear in all of us. The fear of missing out (FOMO) generated by social media leaves us feeling empty and out of control.
In my view, whether we like it or not, the information revolution will most probably not be turned back. I am sure people living at the dawn of the industrial era would have had similar feelings. Instead of resisting and rolling back the industrial revolution, those who embraced it, went on to create unseen prosperity and wealth for themselves.
Even though the jury is not yet out on the industrial revolution, it has helped push the world population beyond seven billion, is the reason most of us are alive today, brought material comfort, healthcare, safety, equality, human rights, education and democracy to dark corners of the world, while at the same time destroyed native cultures, created a more unequal world and pushed the fragile planet on its edge.
The information revolution comes with its own promises and dark secrets.Instead of resisting it, I believe we must harness its power for our own good. At the same time, I do not naively believe that it will be a cure-all for the problems that face today.
“Software is eating the world”
We started the discussion with this often quoted 2011 phrase from Marc Andreessen, the co-creator of the world first web browser. Marc Andreessen was an undergraduate student when he helped create the web browser, and later went on to found Netscape and is now a famous technology investor. His embrace of technology at a very young age is behind his phenomenal impact and influence in the world.
Today the evidence is clear that software is eating the world. The world’s largest bookseller is Amazon, the largest Taxi company is Uber, the largest television network is Netflix, the world’s most valuable companies are Apple, Google and Microsoft, the world’s most exciting car company is Tesla, the fastest growing entertainment segment is gaming. Image recognition and deep learning technologies are helping detect cancer and most of the scientific experiments are now conducted by computer simulations at a scale that is not possible physically.
Our kids too, are growing up in an online first age. The moment I tell my 6-yo that I do not know the answer of something, she will ask me to Google it. The leaps recently made in speech recognition and conversational technologies are just beginning to reach us. I think there is no doubt that we need to equip our children to navigate in this world.
There are three opportunities we discussed that the digital age brings to us.
1. Be a maker and not just a consumer
In this age it is very easy to be a maker. We have lots of tools available to us to build things for our selves, rather than just using something that is readily available. Any number of YouTube videos will show us how to learn to break down or build anything we want. When we make things we push our creative abilities and this gives us a deeper understanding of the world.
2. Learn to Code
Many leaders and thinkers believe that learning to program computers should be a life skill taught in school just like math. Since computers are already everywhere, including in your pocket, learning how to make these machines do work for you will give people a lot of advantage in whatever field they choose to pursue. Not learning to program computers, will leave us vulnerable to those who will learn to harness its power.
Today there are lots of online resources that help you learn computer programming, from code.org to Khan Academy
3. Learn for Mastery
Like all fields, education itself is undergoing a huge revolution. The growth of online courses and platforms like Khan Academy are resulting in better quality of understanding in children. In his second TED Talk, Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy talks about mastery based learning. In the traditional system, even if you have gaps in your understanding, you are pushed along with the rest of the class to more and more advanced concepts. This results in loss of confidence and can derail the brightest of students, and even instills a fear of the subject itself. All of us who have done the traditional schooling have experienced this. Using online platforms, children can learn at their own pace and move to more advanced concepts only when the understand the more fundamental ones.
This opens up an opportunity where a large portion of a class can become masters at what they are learning, and not only a small gifted minority.
What can be done at School?
The first step is awareness. We need to have more conversations as teachers and parents on how we want to prepare for the information age. Some specific proposals include:
- Having a formal Computer Club
- Working through the computing curriculum to include programming at a younger age
- Involving children in IT activities at school, by understand how a school uses technology for its administration etc.
- Learning about and experimenting with using online tools to “flip the classroom” and move towards mastery based learning.
We had 50–60 parents in this session and the response was pretty overwhelming. I was expecting more skepticism, but most of the parents were probably experiencing the same as what I was. The computers are here, how can we help our kids handle them.
Few parents narrated their own experiences about their children losing confidence due to a concept they did not understand or how they were already using Khan Academy for their kids (surprisingly though, most parents did not know about Khan Academy). One parent who is working with a private tutorial also shared her experience that they saw engagement and quality of understanding go up after they tried flip the classroom strategy.
I think it was a great first step to start the conversation, now our challenge is to probably have more such conversations with parents and teachers and come up with concrete steps to implement.
The core philosophy of Shishuvan is based on Gandhian thought and anti-colonialism. The new age of colonialism is being brought upon us by the growing power of companies like Google, Amazon and Apple, which is based on their ability to harness the power of computing. The way we can resist is by being masters of our own tools. We need to equip our children at a young age to lead the way so that at least a handful can become leaders of the information age!
School Counsellor and Psychologist
The student of STD V and VI celebrated the spirit of Christmas in their school council conducted on 17.12.2016 which was planned by the student representatives. The representatives wore Santa clause hats to rejoice this feeling with everyone. The council began with the students discussing the true meaning of Christmas and taking it beyond buying gifts and presents. The citizens also shared how they celebrate Christmas which includes sharing their toys, clothes and needy. The students also mentioned that Christmas is about sharing kindness and happiness with everyone. The council was concluded on this note with each and every one rejoicing this spirit and greeting one another a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
-By Suchitra Potnis
Shishuvan celebrates Anuraag- the festival of love every year to mark the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and remember his philosophy and value. This is also the time, when we connect with our alumni and invite them to organised the inter school competitions.
This year, the festival was celebrated on Friday, 30th September 2016. The inter school competition saw great fervour among the participating teams. Around 200 students from 14 schools participated in this event from all over Mumbai including Children’s Academy (Ashok Nagar), Children’s Academy (Thakur complex), Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidyamadir, Auxilium School, Balmohan Vidyamandir and others.
The inter-school competitions were held in the fields of Literary arts and Performing arts on the theme of “Tolerance”.
Happy Feet (Dance competition), Sur Sangam (Music competition), Artistica (Art competition), Spin a Yarn (Story telling competition) and Who am I?(Monologue competition) were the competitions conducted during this event.
The Shishuvan alumni and high school students were actively involved in various aspects of the event right from conceptualization of the theme/competitions, follow up with schools, school registrations, certificate writing, introduction of judges, till the felicitation of winners.
Each competition was judged by the experts in the field. Some of our alumni’s were also invited as Judges. The judges gave a valuable feedback, declared the winners and felicitated them towards the end of the competitions.
Participating students came up with interesting stories, drawings, dance and music pieces. We also witnessed some thought provoking monologue acts in the “Who am I” competitions. The event concluded with felicitations of the winning schools across categories.
We look forward to celebrate the festival every year, as an opportunity to connect with our alumni and fellow participants.
By : SIYA DEVEN GANDHI, Std.VII -S
AUTHOR: Francesca Simon
TYPE OF BOOK: Fiction
PUBLISHER: Orion Children’s Books
The book is all about how did Henry spend his precious Saturday playing ‘schools’ with Margaret.
This book was very funny in some parts,. The book is very small and handy with many illustrations. I was able to complete the book quickly. My favourite part of the book (event) is when Margaret takes the attendance. Horrid Henry tells the first time – In the washroom, second time- flushed away and third time – Dead.
I loved the attendance and the ideas Henry got to go back to his house and not to stay at Margaret’s house.
The book is good as it is, but if i have to give a suggestion i would add Dave’s birthday party.
Henry’s mom wants peace in the house so she sends Henry and Peter (Henry’s brother) to Margaret’s house. There he had to play though he did not want to play that game. Then he finds out different ways to go back home and one of his ways goes successful. He gets to go home and gets enough time to watch his favourite television shows- Marvin the Maniac and Terminator before Dave’s party.
By: Mishti Manglani Class: VI – Dhyaan.
Author: Laurie Friedman
Type of Book: Fiction
The book is all about Mallory’s life, the incidents and what she thinks, just like a diary! I liked reading the book because it was a diary and very interesting read.
I like the character ‘Joey’ as he was very cool and didn’t take offence at anything. He also shared his feelings with Mallory. I like the poems which Mallory made for Frank and Colleen in the book. I liked the book as it is .. but given a chance I will make it little more interesting and humorous. Mallory’s diary really inspires me as it has the problems which many of us face.
The way the author has written the book- looks like it’s a famous personality’s diary. Some problems were true and one problem that was faced is with their step-whosoever.
This book is recommended by me to them. Not only for adjusting with their step-whosoever people but also for people losing their friends. I found the advice very wise. This diary reminds me of my diary, I compared it too and found whosoever is upset can just make a diary and smile will find a way! I got so much moved by the story and here is how I depicted the same in my drawing.
By: Anaghaa Balamurugan Class: V – Karma
Type of Book: Fiction
Publisher: Happy Cat Paperbacks
The book is about a mouse with magical powers who uses his unique gifts to fix problems & find solutions to benefit all. Also that, we can find friendship in the most unexpected ways.
In the book many parts were humorous like when Septimouse kept repeating, “I am Septimouse the seventh son of the seventh son”, which meant Septimouse was the seventh son of his father and his father was the seventh son of his father. It was funny to keep reading this again and again.
My favorite character was Katie the little girl who helps Septimouse in learning all about cheese and how to make it too.She had blonde hair and her eyes were small and round. She had a curved nose and a small cute smile. She was very helpful and kind.
I liked the book because, it was humorous, easy to understand, interesting and was explained in detail and I could imagine myself as one of the characters.I would like to change those parts where Septimouse is boasting about himself, because I feel being humble and doing good things is more important than talking about it. I would quietly go about doing things.
The book is about a unique mice family with 7 little mice and their parents. Among them was Septimouse, the 7th son of his parents. Septimouse had magic powers like, he could shrink others, turn others into stone and understood language of cats, dogs, humans etc..The story very nicely shows how Septimouse along with his friends does something that no other mouse had thought of doing before – he was actually Septimouse the Supermouse!
By - JASH RAMBHIA, VIII DHYAAN.
Let’s talk about Co-curricular activities in school. Annual days, field trips, fairs, fun?
But the most exclusive and interactive is the project day.
Well, I, Jash Rambhia, studying in VIII Dhyaan would like to share with you about the fun filled subject of PD (personal development) in the project day. As a part of the PD curriculum of Std. VIII, the counselors and the respective student team taught us a topic which plays an important part in our lives i.e. GOAL SETTING and AFFIRMATIONS. The topic seemed new and interesting for the students. I personally loved both the topics and volunteered to be a part of the PD stall reflecting these concepts for the Project Day. The students were given sufficient time for the project day preparations and it was this time when we did quality research to make our information as impressive as we could under the guidance of our teachers. We made charts that were relevant to our topic and would facilitate understanding of the same. We also made takeaways in the form of bookmarks to be given to the visitors on the Project Day. We worked very hard to make our stall a success. In the whole process we came to know each other’s talents, likes, dislikes etc. On the day of the event we presented and explained what we had prepared wonderfully and confidently. Visitors seemed extremely interested in the topic. This could be due to the relevance of the topic in their personal life as well as their children.
In the first stall we spoke about Goal setting and the importance of it in our life. A short acronym was given to the visitors regarding the same. After this they reflected on their goals, ways to achieve it, time taken as well as the hurdles they would face while achieving these goals. This was loved by the visitors and some of them even promised themselves to put it upon the refrigerator by which they would remember their goals and work towards it.
In the last counter I spoke about affirmations. I explained to them what affirmations and its importance in achieving our goals. They were then presented with a bookmark in which they were asked to write down self-generated affirmations. They were also given a take way which spoke about different ways to help their child set and achieve their goals. It was observed that the visitors enjoyed the process and gave positive feedback regarding the information provided.
Here are glimpses of the stall…