Women’s Day… adding life to the day

Since morning my phone has been continuously pinging with loads of messages. And as it’s now common to celebrate any occasion virtually, how can Women’s Day be an exception to this?

Right from the society to the media every one is trying to prove how special is this day and making women feel more dignified. Surely we are worth it. But again this question keeps pondering in my mind. “Are we worth of all this praise and honour only for this single day?”

I believe if we keep aside this gender based bifurcation and look at ourselves as a HUMAN first, then every day will be worth celebrating.

We are living in an era where everything seems to be updated, modernised and so do our lifestyles. Over the years women have raised the bar and are shining brightly on the horizon. But when it comes to success, how do we define it or what parameters are used to measure it? Refined social status, dignified jobs, laurels and qualifications, stardom…. Yes today’s woman has definitely achieved all thi and is soaring high in the sky. But a large section of the marginalised society needs to be addressed as well. Those who are underprivileged, less educated, lacking highly paid jobs are still doing their bit. In fact, our society is the perfect blend of these diverse categories who are moving ahead no matter what comes their way.

While a multitasking, laden with highly acclaimed degrees, 21st century lady is crossing all the milestones and adding all the features to her crown, we have the striving lady too somewhere hid under the innumerable responsibilities and away from the so called development of the modern age, but still doing her bit to make all the difference in the lives of their loved ones. So every woman is Special in her own way.

Woman is not an object to be used but an individual soul who also have equal freedom and respect. Unfortunately this fact has been overlooked imposing burdens and harassment on women. But it’s not in any way an obstacle that has refrained the brave ladies to limit themselves. They have overcome all the hurdles and triumphantly marching ahead.

There is hardly any sphere left untouched by women. Right from the kitchen to the space, from the life making schools to theatre, from the offices upto the administration, women are proudly spreading their wings everywhere. There are the fighters like Sindhutai Sapkal who whole-heartedly devoted her life for uplifting the orphans despite being less educated and poverty ridden. There are many coming ahead and bringing in the change but those too who need a little help to prove themselves.

So all this success, progress just because we are Women or a living being made of flesh and blood and controlled by our brains, labelled as Humans. Our society doesn’t need only one type out of this man and woman thing. It’s made of both. And to sustain life, we need a society free of gender bias. It’s good to celebrate our womanhood but with humanity at it’s base.

So let’s celebrate this Women’s Day with a deeper and widened perspective of being an intellectual living being and continue to do so to rejoice every day as Women’s day.

Wishing all the dignified women irrespective of their education and social status but still trying to add meaning to life with whatever we do, A Happy Women’s day today and everyday. Cheers to life..Cheers to womanhood!!!

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CHESS Symposium

February is supposed to be a busy month for teachers…all the hustle and bustle of exams, oral tests, evaluation, farewell ceremonies of students. But this year one more event was added to this list. The district Symposium of CHESS, celebrating the successful completion of Year 1 of ETFs ( English Teacher’s Forum ).

It was a bit challenging to organize it and seek participation from teachers at this period of year. But it’s rightly said, “If there is a will, there’s a way.” It not only gained spontaneous response from the teachers but the presentations also reached a step ahead compared to the last year.

Preparations

It took every bit of time to prepare for this grand event in such a short period. There were times, when it was difficult for us to come face to face and chalk out the plan. But thanks to the modern technology which enabled us to connect with each other and plan ahead. Encouraging teachers for maximum participation, invitations, guidance and discussion on the presentations too was done through the same channel. ETF meetings helped to convey our message more effectively. And the culmination of this was clearly seen in our Symposium, which witnessed the enthusiasm and positive energy of teachers who left no stone unturned to add to this event.. Our teachers too offered us a helping hand by assisting in various jobs.

Moderators taking the charge of action

The Symposium started by lighting the lamp by the dignitaries and their guidance. It was really kind of Ms. Sushma Konduskar ma’am from DIECPD to share her thoughts and maintain the air of learning and sharing through her speech. Her assurance of helping in the CPD, relaxed all the teachers. Mr. Arun Patil, senior lecturer, DIECPD also guided the teachers.

Mr. Eknath Kambale, moderator, threw light on the CHESS project in his introductory speech, while moderators Mr. Mahesh Pednekar and Mr. Digambar Sarang anchored this ship of the Symposium. Moderator, Miss Nurjahan Naik presented her project on developing basic language skills of learners through a presentation. The vote of thanks was proposed by moderator Mr. Nandkumar Naik.

PPT presentations

From Live English to dramatization, framing questions for communication to word games, error correction to listening skill, teachers put in their best to showcase their best practices. Total 10 presentations and every presentation displaying the classroom innovations proved that teachers can manage their time well however busy and overloaded they are. The videos containing students communicating also scaffolded the presentations. Every presentation was a proof of the hard work of the teachers and contained a learning point for the audience.

Poster presentations

While the presentations compelled the teachers to stick to the chairs, the posters made the walls lively. The auditorium soon transformed into an art hall where the creativity was blooming throughout the day.

This year not only teachers presented their talents, but the real beneficiaries of this project, our learners also entered the hall with their beautiful posters. The teaching aids also assisted in elaborating the posters.

Plenary

The key note speaker for this l event was Prin. Dr. Shrikant Sawant, an eminent lecturer who shed light on the real scenario of English in India. He started with a witty but realistic example of teacher and learner’s relation by connecting it with doctor and patient’s relation. He advocated the need of teachers devising their own methods and approaches for language teaching. His point of accepting learners as role models in the class is worth implementing. He further emphasised the need of social media in learning and improving language skills.

And the award goes to….

For selecting the winners, we followed the Democratic way. The teachers voted for their favourite poster and ppt presentation. Every teacher was given the right of one vote for each category. And the teachers too lived up to our trust and chose the real talents. Mr. Anil Holkar undoubtedly made it to winning the best presenters award with his comprehensive presentation on framing and asking questions. Mr. Mukesh Pawar bagged the second prize by presenting on dramatization techniques while Mrs. Ashwini Acharekar was placed on third rank for her tourist leaflet

Ms. Prajakta Gawde, Mr. Rathod and Ms. Neha Rane made a way into the hearts of the teachers by securing the prizes for posters.

Overall it was heartening to see our efforts producing fruits of success. It is a day going deep down into our memory lanes spreading essence of happiness forever. As usual RMSA and RAA have blessed us to take up this responsibility and adding another feather into our hat of CPD.

Poster Exhibition

It is said that the sooner the better. But I would say the later the better. Todays poster exhibition made me say so. Since last two months I along with my students was trying to arrange the poster exhibition. But maybe everything happens for a good cause. Maybe our year end had to be so special so our project got delayed everytime. And when finally it was organized, it was etched on our minds as a beautiful memory.

The idea of this exhibition :

While dealing with a textbook activity, I was wondering as how could I make it more lively and enable my students to learn through it. Luckily my idea was accepted by the students and further discussions gave it a concrete form. For a smooth going I then put them into groups. All the 55 students were divided into 11 groups having 5 students in each group. Students brainstormed into their groups and decided their topic for posters.
Then started the actual preparations. Collecting the data and displaying it through the posters was the big thing. My students did not left any stone unturned to collect the data. They browsed through various sites, read many refernce books, sought guidance from other teachers and discussed with each other too. I guided as and when required. Their creativity made them think something new and go beyond the boundaries of regular course books.

Range of subjects :

The range of subjects was very wide and geared their brains. From science to history, from saints to scientists there was almost everything. The famous tourist places of the world,the cleaning machine,varieties of shells, origin of dinosaurs, recyling, the scientists and their inventions, road safety standards,the lady saints of Maharashtra,the nobel winner scientists,the floating bridge revealed their creativity and enthusiastic presentations captured the minds of audience. The best part was that when learners put into action their own ideas. The cleaning machine was the perfect example of this. The varieties of shells took them to beaches and rivers to discover their hidden features. Road safety and floating bridge indicated their awareness about accidents and human safety.

Execution by students :

Overall it was a treat to the eyes and ears to see their work and hear them using English confidentally. For the better execution, I divided them into three committees. All the members of the management committee, the invitation committee and the decoration committee did their jobs well. Right from arranging the class to anchoring, everything was well performed.

Advantages of this activity :

1 Students gained the knowledge of many things in an informal way. Without telling or dictating, they grasped it in a natural way.
2 The whole process was based on the principle of co-operation so students learnt to adjust with each other.
3 They not only shared their learning with others but also learnt something from others and learnt to appreciate others.
4 For collecting the data, they set foot in the real world, challenged their brains.
5 Due to the mixed groups, the issue of gender crisis resulted into respecting each other and helping each other.

I have asked my learners to reflect upon this activity to find out their learnings through it. I hope to get some nice answers in the new year to make a new start.