Pooja Anjanikar, the principal of Orchid The International School, gives us an insight into her personal life and her gentle advice to parents, teachers, and students. She also gives us her views on the pandemic’s effect on the educational sector and what lies ahead.
Journey to Today:
Ms. Anjanikar is a distinguished educationist with a wealth of experience. She has had a multi-dimensional personality right from early childhood. This led to her trying out a plethora of activities from an early age, be it swimming, dancing, taekwondo, or other extracurricular activities.
Being a teacher was not a part of her early plans but destiny chose her. And now, 20 years later, a day hasn’t gone by when she hasn’t taught.
Ms Anjanikar derived great pleasure from what she did. This helped her excel in her vocation and grow in her career. She has always been self-motivated. She has always strived to be the top performer in her chosen career. This has helped her grow at a very fast pace.
Ms Anjanikar is a problem solver. She believes that a solution or a middle ground can always be found for every situation, no matter how dire it is. Making big issues small, not small issues big, is a mantra she lives by.
Not letting go of your creativity is another aspect she thinks is important to grow in life.
Effects of the Pandemic in the Educational System:
Her attitudes and philosophy towards life were tested during the pandemic. Pandemic has changed the field of education forever. Digitization became the name of the game.
Ms Anjanikar’s school was located in a remote area. Being fast to adapt, she realized that the masses in the small town were not techno-savvy. So, she provided training to all the teachers of her school, making them familiar with Zoom, the video communication platform. Her efforts bore fruit and she was able to restart school in the form of online learning barely two weeks after the country went into lockdown.
According to Ms Anjanikar, the flexibility, that parents and teachers experienced as the pandemic’s effect on the educational sector, will be difficult to overlook. Working and studying at our own pace will be missed. However, online learning had its own share of problems as well, like pretending to attend online school, but in reality, playing or wasting time on other things.
Students have to adjust and overcome their fears of the virus. Teachers have to adjust to teaching in the old manner. That is without the comfort of their homes. As well as, without the liberty of managing household responsibilities with school work.
Initiatives and achievements:
Madam also shared some of her personal achievements with us. She does amazing work for underprivileged women, free of cost. She also runs a housing community where she advises women, as well as educates them: helping them to get degrees and jobs, and enabling them to complete their education.
Advice to Parents:
Students get aware of a lot of things in this world at a very early age. They mature very fast. Parents should become a friend and partners rather than guardians. And most importantly, guide them to the right path. Today’s children are adept at carving their own path. So, the primary role of the parents should be to support them in every endeavour.
Advice to Teachers:
With the changing times, the role of teachers in skill and personality development has changed massively. Teachers have become facilitators, not instructors. They teach the youth of tomorrow the difference between right and wrong. They need to be on their toes and not hesitate in learning from children.
Advice to Students:
Her message for students and children all around is to learn to accept failures. We are all built differently, and therefore are winners in our own way. We should not take part in the rat race because the definition of success is different for everyone.
For her, success means how you plan your lives, how you live your life, and how you overcome problems. Because nothing is permanent. Each day is a new opportunity, a new challenge. And if we learn to take everything in our stride we will surely go on to live a happy life.
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