Experienced international educational leader (K-12) who relishes the opportunity to develop and positively shape an entire school community as CEO & Head of School. Having worked in some of the best International Schools Day & Boarding schools in Middle East, East Africa and South-East-Asia , Arup is able to draw upon his diverse experience in a variety of schools as he shapes—and is shaped by—the incredible colleagues trained and groomed under his mentorship. He is a change situational leader who loves to bring changes with time to be always at the top of business. Balancing being principled and courageous with being open-minded and tolerant, Arup is grateful for being in a position that gives him purpose and meaning every single day.
Question 1.Please let us know more about your journey, how and from where you started?
1990 - Mirambika , Delhi, 1994- Rishi valley School (KFI), India 1998- Ministry of Education , Maldives . Returned to India in 2001 with a view to Heading a Boarding School in Baroda MKGM school (2001-2007) Ivy League Academy, Hyderabad (2007 -2009) Vikas Vidyalaya , Ranchi (2009-20012),Royal Global School (2012-2015), IST, Tanzania (2015-until today) .. Heading Schools as Principal, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for 20 years in South East Asia, Middle East and Africa
Question 2. Being a Change-maker, how can you contribute towards the betterment of the community of Teachers and Principals?
I am basically a transformational leader who makes time appropriate change dynamics in to K-12 system so that education remains relevance to community and students as well as teachers are challenged every day. In this endeavour my major role has been to empower all stakeholders through training and dialogue by bringing on the table the most appropriate and effective research based curriculum and pedagogy. At the same time I have been ensuring that the gap between academic excellence and wellness are reduced to have new-gen. positive learning situation in schools
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 your thoughts through blog or write-ups
Question 4.Please mention some of your skills that can help community members.
1. Resilience, 2. Curious 3. Courageous & Decision making 4. Self-starter and team-player 5. Sharing & Collaboration 6. Clear-communicator 7. quick learner 7. People & passion driven
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?
Critical skills to become leader- 1. Capacity to delegate and empower, 2. Conflict resolution 3. Building team with trust, 4. Attitude to learn 5.Partner with colleagues
Well, there are challenges everywhere which makes a person best suited in the role. However, young aspirant teachers to be coached by mentors to address crisis and changed environment to assure leadership. Leadership is not managing schools rather taking school to a certain height by innovation and critical thinking.
Question 6. How would you describe your leadership style?
To me ,leadership is not a position rather behaviour. Immunity to leadership is one of the important areas I have worked on. I am a situational leader who tries to address situation than generic solution. I believe in shared and collaborative leadership, raising expectation is the base for culture of creativity and innovation and team work
Question 7. What advice would you give to a new teacher?
A new teacher either working in International schools or National curriculum schools should have sound content knowledge, develop techniques of engaging class rooms through modified pedagogies and assessment, tech savvy and exploit technology to its maximum, develop rapport with students and parents within a dignified limit and ability to create a positive learning situation and navigate emotional crises and well-being of students being a caring, passionate and mindful teacher.
Question 8.What would be your ideal school environment, and how would you encourage that kind of culture?
Whether in a small district town school or a world class International school, the educational needs and desire of children and their parents remain essentially the same: to have a safe place to grow into successful, self-actualised and happy individuals. Thus I have an idealistic and passionate view of education: I want what all parents want for their children and, indeed, what children want for themselves – that they should be inspired and motivated in an environment which is stimulating and exciting, happy and safe where children’s potential can be unleashed. I try to foster a climate and culture permeated by the notion that learning is always the lens through which we judge effectiveness; that relationships matter; that international-mindedness is fundamental. An environment where children are not leashed rather efforts of the leaders to unleash children potential. Thus creating a platform devoid of fear from which both teachers and taught are exploring possibilities of learning and solving complex problems. Children would be encouraged to grow in to a satisfying personality who purse self-shaped goals rather than borrowed goals from peers and parents.
Question 9. How would you develop an inclusive environment in your school?
Inclusive Learning recommends schools provide academic support services to ensure all students have the opportunity to thrive. Flexible pacing, reading specialists and tutoring can be especially helpful to students with learning differences or who speak English as a second language.
Highly trained teachers are vital to educating students about privilege and oppression. Many teachers do not have enough of an understanding of these topics to properly support students. We need to build on capacity and sanctions.
Teachers without training may also use hurtful language, or perform other micro-aggressions like, as Inclusive Schools points out, mispronouncing names of students of color.
For educators to effectively support a community, they need to see themselves as more than conveyors of fact. They need to hold their students to high expectations, prioritize closing the achievement gap, and help their students understand and connect to the world at large.
It’s rare for school curriculums to address concepts like privilege, oppression, global power structures and racism. But according to information presented at the Massachusetts Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, this as a key step in combating inequality.
By only formally instructing on academic disciplines like math, schools provide students with a knowledge of facts that doesn’t connect to today’s greater world. This type of education gives no counter to prejudiced beliefs white students may encounter at home, in media, or from the world at large, and no context for students of color to make sense of their own experiences in our current society.
Integrate Student Bodies
Many measures have been proposed to integrate student body populations, from voluntary transfer programs to redrawing school neighbour-hood boundaries.
Adjust Ranking Calculations
One way the educational system can address school inequality is by adjusting evaluation measurements to take both diversity of student population and intercultural understanding into account.
Create a Respectful School Community
Outside individual classrooms, educators can also make sure they foster an inclusive larger school community. Let students know that the staff can serve as a resource to help them navigate issues related to discrimination and oppression.
Create A Space for Discussion
Educators can promote inclusivity by creating environments where students can openly discuss thoughts and feelings about privilege and structural oppression.
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?
It should come as no surprise to veteran principals that although leading a school is rewarding, it can also be extremely stressful. In the latest Rise and Shine survey administered to the National Panel of New Principals, 84 percent of new principals say they’ve had a high-stress school year.
So what’s causing all of that pressure? School politics? Dealing with parents? According to the survey, 59 percent of new principals identify time management as the most challenging aspect of their jobs. Between instructional leadership, family engagement, and building management, principals are routinely squeezed for time.
Fortunately there are ways principals make the most of their time. Here are few areas principals may look at :
1. Handle paperwork only once
Make it a priority to handle paper only one time. Complete the task immediately, file it, or delegate the task to another person on your team. Don’t allow papers to stack up thinking you will deal with them later. Only more will come and the amount of paperwork can become overwhelming!
2. Upgrade your email
Google’s Inbox and Polymail are two options that boast a “boomerang” or “send later” feature. These options allow you to reply to all of your emails, send new ones, and clear out your inbox at any time of day or night, but emails won’t arrive in recipients’ inboxes until the time you choose.
3.Cluster teacher observations
Doing three or four observations in one day helps heads to see a variety of lessons across the grade levels. This dedicated “day” ensures that principal is out in the building enjoying learning with students and teachers.
4. Implement efficient school change
.It has to begin with an honest search to determine priorities on the basis of the best available evidence.
Question 11. What is your opinion on the use of technology in classrooms? Were there any challenges that you faced in integrating technology?
Integration of technology in education is commonly talked about. But what i feel is that technology has been integrated in education and need of this hour. We need to ensure there is optimal usage of technology for the benefits of students and students need to be encouraged to find more relevance of technology in a holistic manner. Teachers those who were tech-shy have been forced to get immersed in technology during COVID-19 induced lock-down and school closers . Thus a phenomenal change of the mindset of teachers to embrace technology is at its peak. School leaders need to ensure that teachers should explore more and practice blended learning in near future
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?
There are major gaps in the present day education system in India and few other under developed countries. The more obvious gap is there is disconnect between class room and real life situation. Education process is still remain in industrial age in which remembering facts and figures are still being encouraged rather than critical thinking , problem solving and ability to work in a team. We still follow examination meritocracy rather than creativity and talent meritocracy. The last but not the least we hardly bother in our system well-being of teachers and students.
Question 13. Would you like to share any specific message to the community of teachers and principals?
Everyday when you come to school remind yourself that you are here for linking learning to life.
Other Change Makers