Dr. Raghuveer.Y.V is a Change Maker with an open mind. A sincere academician for the past 24 years, the major areas of work that he has achieved as a good academic leader include evolving innovative and creative teaching methods, research in science and education, curriculum development, teacher training, resource management, academic team building and hassle-free administration.
Dr. Raghuveer Y.V. , Principal of G.D. Goenka Public School, Patna believes that catching the teachers and students ‘doing right’ is much better than catching them when they are ‘wrong’, an act that brings about a ‘positive discipline’ in school.
Question 1: Please let us know more about your journey, how and from where you started?
I was a ‘seasoned lecturer in life science’ in college education for the first 17 years. I was teaching intermediate to post-graduation classes. To summarize my subject knowledge and experience with varied groups of students, I authored a unique biology textbook for the second intermediate course, titled Lecture-Picture-Literature for the first time in Karnataka.
Being a rank holder (5th Rank) for the University of Mysore and having worked as a dynamic lecturer for more than 15 years, I had the impression that students learn a lot from me! But when I ventured to school administration as a founding principal of a CBSE school, I realized that I learned a lot of things from children and their parents. Commencing from getting the NOC to school from the deputy commissioner, completing the CBSE affiliation process was an educating and enriching experience in the first school of my school service.
Question 2: How can you contribute towards the growth and development of the community?
Teaching is not just a job but every time it is like a ‘performance’ before the audience. Like we need proper preparation for every singing, specific training is required for good teacher’s performance in their classes. Like we wash and iron our clothes before wearing them afresh, every teacher needs to gear up with the self before presenting their lessons in front of their students. To give this ‘make up’ every time, teacher’s training is the base.
Question 3: What kind of support can you provide to teachers and fellow educators?
Answering their queries related to career advancement on Forum.
Mentoring and guiding fellow educators
Organizing webinars or workshop for community
Sharing my thoughts through blog or write-ups
Question 4. Your key skills which can help community members.
General and specific teacher training modules to be explained for authentic execution
Question 5. How did you deal with the challenges that you faced during the transition from an individual contributor to a leadership role & how did you overcome those challenges?
As an experienced school educator, I should declare and vouch for two essential dual roles to run any level/kind of educational institution successfully. The first quality is to work as a ‘leader’ most of the time and second quality is to work as ‘manager’ to manage every variety of sensitive human minds. As a Vice-Principal of school, one should take care of ‘today’s happenings. I mean day to day functionalities of the school. On the other hand, as a responsible Principal, I would have to take care of ‘needs of tomorrow’. I mean for futuristic challenges. Both of us should commonly look at the ‘emotional anchorage’ of team members. Especially the teacher’s community is an extremely sensitive group of people. As long as they are respected and given some freedom and space to execute their work, they would work. Else, they hop from place to place hunting for these benefits apart from monetary benefits. It’s well known that one of individualistic ideas on a given challenge/situation is insufficient compared to that of many other views and experiences taken from responsible team members. Accordingly, to take any institutional decisions in the form of a policy or standard operating procedure, democratic leadership would really work well. I have been quite successful in incorporating these principles in administration. Following Board and Institute policies regarding the budgetary process and procedures for planning and execution of library, laboratory, hostel, musical, art, and all other academic and non-academic requirements has become a routine of functionalities now. Recruiting, mentoring and training personnel and determining resource requirements (materials/ manpower) and directing the arrangement of the same for integrating the various Disciplines and Departments is again part of this sacred profession. Analyzing the existing competition and doing forward-thinking to fulfill the mission and vision of the organization with effective and subject appropriate evaluation methods has been my practice.
Question 6. How would you describe your leadership style?
Democratic leadership to build and execute with teacher’s team. Catching the teachers and students ‘doing right’ is much better than catching them when they are ‘wrong’. It is an act of bringing ‘positive discipline’ in school. This has been my regular practice which has given fantastic results wherever I have worked.
Adaptability to respect the self and also accept others ideas on any given subject is another positive parameter which has worked very well in my leadership career.
Question 7. What advice would you give to a new teacher?
Be a keen observer and indulge in creative ideas to perform from self and motivate others.
Question 8. What would be your ideal school environment and how would you encourage that kind of culture?
Teacher and student empowerment is the ‘basic tool’ for effective and consistent implementation of any academic / co-curricular / extra-curricular ideas and activities. As an academic leader, I would always look forward for opportunities to ‘nurture’ both these communities and bring in consistent overall school development.
Question 9. How would you develop an inclusive environment in your school?
An inclusive environment is established with effective execution of integrated curriculum and cross-curricular links.
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?
Delegation of school work to the right people at the right time to execute it appropriately is the key here. At the beginning of every academic year, we would make a detailed school calendar. Parallel to that, various school committees and faculty members would be assigned a specific program of work to be executed with the required time frame and reference. Obviously, both purpose and process would be explained as and when required to beat monotony and retain creativity of every task.
Question 11. What is your opinion on the use of technology in classrooms? Were there any challenges that you faced in integrity technology?
Usage of technology in teaching had some initial hiccups due to conservative thinking. However, a wide variety of modern electronic gadgets with advanced technology in the recent past have lured the attention of most of the faculty. In the initial implementation level, user-friendliness takes considerable time. But once it is established, teachers would volunteer to come forward to establish themselves before the student community.
One thing we should keep in mind while using technology in classrooms. The usage of technology must save sufficient time for the teacher's ineffective explanation to his / her students. Any electronic gadget involving knowledge bank and technology should be like a ‘slave’ in the hands of teachers. Any day, the faculty must use it as an effective ‘tool’ to enhance the creative teaching methods and reachability to a large number of audience.
Question 12. Do you feel there are any gaps in the present education systems? If so, how do you feel one can fill the gaps?
Except for the lapses in application-oriented teaching-learning system in India, I don’t think there is much of an advantage (so-called gap) with international program to Indian children over the existing schooling system through CBSE/ ICSE curriculum. As per my personal experience going to a couple of schools in the USA, the objective questionnaire is gradually getting replaced by a descriptive questioning system like the wide practice in India. For specifically interested youth in India, exposure to international curriculum could be an advantage in increasing the herald of opportunities abroad.
Question 13. Your message to your readers.
The more you read, the more it would make you understand ‘what to know is infinite’ than what is already known!
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