A confident and highly organised professional with experience in the education industry for more than 20 years and having a deep understanding of child psychology. Pooja Sehgal, Director of Kindheit Kindergarten Pre Schools is a trainer, motivational speaker and a great human being.
Question 1. Please let us know more about your journey, how and from where you started?
I started as a teacher at Columbia Foundation School in 1999
Question 2. Being a Change-maker, how can you contribute towards the betterment of the community of Teachers and Principals?
We have developed a teacher training program for pre school teachers which is at par with international standards. We can provide on the job training, which help NTT teachers to understand the requirement of this age group better and provide them a strong foundation for future. The training also help them to have a broader view to understand the needs of the children.
Question 3. What kind of support would you like to provide to teachers and fellow educators?
Answering their queries related to career advancement on Forum., Mentoring and guiding fellow educators., Organising webinars or workshop for community., Sharing thoughts through blog or write-ups
Question 4. Please mention some of your skills that can help community members.
Class room management, creativity, discipline, poise under pressure, event management, public speaking, leadership, mentoring.
Question 5. The transition from an individual contributor to a leadership role must have required specific skills, what skills do you think are critical for teachers for such transition? Were there any challenges as well, If yes then how did you overcome those challenges?
An individual should be enthusiastic about their job. They shall encourage student/ employees to share the same with passion. They should be a multi tasker ( able to handle different tasks at a time ), creative and should have ability to change lives, be a role model and develop well educated and respectable students/ employees. An individual should help with not only their knowledge, growth and experience, but personal improvement too. They should have a diverse set of professional skills to complete the package. Challenges are a part of life and should be handled calmly. I always saw my challenges as a path towards success as they only made me stronger and motivated me towards my goal.
Question 6. How would you describe your leadership style?
I like to work as a team leader, not as a "Boss". I try to get involve to teach the team, delegate work and encourage the team to complete there targets. I try to set an example by working as a part of my team and give them a friendly environment.
Question 7. What advice would you give to a new teacher?
I would help a new teacher to feel confident, powerful, and important. Advice them not to give up by having a never give up attitude.
Question 8. What would be your ideal school environment, and how would you encourage that kind of culture?
A pre school should be able to provide a hands on experience to young children, where they get an opportunity to experiment and learn. Classroom design should be able to inspire, motivate and nurture the children. Child friendly furniture and well equipped play area should be provided. Learning resource area, educational reference material, outdoor learning area should be created. A strong curriculum with well trained teachers and other staff members should be hired and should be trained to handle children responsibly and in a friendly manner.
Question 9. How would you develop an inclusive environment in your school?
Just sharing physical space is not enough, sense of belongingness is essential. We should work to create a meaningful relationship and experiences for the children. When children need help to explore the environment, teachers should make modifications to support their participation. Teachers should interact with children in such a way that help them to think and solve their problem at their own level. Children who are handled with love and affection at this age are more likely to become more confident and successful in life.
Question 10. As the position of a Principal requires intense time management, how do you organize your day to meet the plethora of requirements and commitments required as the School Principal?
Planning plays the most important role in time management. We always plan everything well in advance to make everything work in an effective and efficient manner. If we need help, we take guidance from professionals and involve our parents also for mega events. Before starting and planning everything, we sit down with all our teachers and discuss all the possibilities well in advance. We always make sure that everything is done on time as punctuality is the key to success.
Question 11. What is your opinion on the use of technology in classrooms? Were there any challenges that you faced in integrating technology?
Technology plays an important in today's world. It has transformed lives and businesses. In todays world, every class is going smoothly due to the given technology as everything is working online through video calls. During this pandemic, everybody has understood and accepted the importance of technology, nobody can deny that technology has helped us beyond our expectations. Yes, I faced challenges initially as we need to give training to our teachers on how to work virtually. Few teachers were hesitant at first however, now they are doing great.
Question 12. Do you feel there are any gaps in the present education system? If so, how do you feel one can fill those gaps?
Yes, I feel there is a gap in the present education system which I would call " Learning by doing ". This means that a child learns more by getting involved and they'll be able to understand better and retain it to rise in future. Our present education system lacks behind in this aspect as the children are not able to use their five senses to learn.
Question 13. Would you like to share any specific message to the community of teachers and principals?
I would like to request all the teachers and principals in this field to handle the children as their own. Also, if you are looking to enter this field and choose it as your career, you should ensure that this is your passion and not just another decision you made. Only then you can do justice to yourself and the children.
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