How do we prepare students to become leaders of the 21st Century!

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Our world is rapidly changing. How can we help our children keep up?

21st century skills are the new building blocks for learning. Our children will need to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive world, and at the same time be able to collaborate with others. Creativity and innovation will be highly prized for solving challenges.

So how do we prepare our children for the jobs of the future?

What new skills will they need?

Our children will have to be equipped with a mixed skill set encompassing traditional academics, life skills such as collaboration, problem solving, creativity, and career skills such as innovation, technology, and global awareness.

While schools are beginning to make the shift toward 21st century standards, there’s a lot that you can do as a parent to foster these skills at home. It is always better to provide a good foundation at an early age.

Try these ideas as starters for supporting your child’s success.

  1. When children play together, offer them a collective set of play materials to encourage sharing, turn-taking, and social skills.
  2. Encourage out-of-the-box thinking by asking your child to come up with one or two new rules to a familiar game. This helps kids learn to evaluate their ideas, and solve problems in a group.
  3. Invite your child to help you solve common household problems by engineering new solutions. How can you get the back door not to stick? What’s a tidier way to bathe your new pooch?
  4. Encourage your child to participate in family decisions and problem solving, and then praise your child’s efforts to reason through different situations. If they seem hesitant, brainstorm together. Once your child understands that all ideas are welcome, they will feel more confident.

Together we shall prepare our kids to be the leaders of 21st Century!

Happiness is a state of mind

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“Happiness is always a choice. I have to create my own good fortune. So look for the ways to be happy always”.

This is the quote I have written on the front page of my diary. When I wrote this, I wrote it to myself…. in my mind. What is the main aim in everyone’s life? What everyone wants? What everyone seeks for? What everyone longs for? What everyone have in themselves? What is the ultimate cause and effect of all our deeds?

H A P P I N E S S ……

5 New Year Resolutions your kid can have in 2017

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Kids are like molten wax, you can shape them however you want in their early childhood. But more than parents and teachers shaping them, it is important for them to realize certain things and be able to make a choice.

Here are some of the New Year resolutions that your kids can have for themselves:

  • Save electricity and Go Green

With so many ecosystem issues coming to light of late, it is very important to teach our kids the significance of making friends with nature. It is essential that they learn to protect and respect our nurture. Kids can take a resolution to make efforts to save the environment and fall in love with it. They can start by saving electricity, switch off the electric products not in use and try to learn to use alternate sources of energy. They can also decide to go green by walking to the next store instead of taking a bus or cultivating a small garden in their balcony.

  • Read more learn more

Reading more books will always help the kids learn more. These days, kids have a lot of exposure to social media and hence, they don’t prefer to read the hard copy materials. It is essential to educate them to read more books. Kids can resolve to read at least a particular number of books throughout the year and as parents, you can motivate and encourage their resolution to do so.

 

  • Learn the art of financial management

These days, the world is very business oriented, hence, it’s important that our kids understand the value of money. They should know as to how money plays an important role in everyone’s lives and how it should be controlled. Kids can resolve to understand the various ways money can be saved. Parents can buy a small piggy bank and encourage them to put a share of their money in the piggy bank to learn the art of saving money.

 

  • Excel in a sport of choice

Sports not only give stamina and energy to the kids but through sports, kids learn a lot of new things. Sports can drive a kid’s motivation and encourage him to reach greater heights. Kids can resolve to excel in a sport of their choice. By excel, it means they should be highly dedicated towards it and make sure that they give their 100% during the process of learning it and practicing it. They should resolve to go to all the practices and learn as much as they can. You can give them temporary goals like coming 1st in class in that sport, bagging a national level medal etc. depending upon the kids’ knowledge level in that particular sport.

 

  • Learn a new hobby/craft

Learning something new always opens your mind to new avenues. You can encourage your kids to take up a new hobby or learn a new craft of their preference which will help them explore and find out new things in the world.

It is important for us to understand that kids need their own space and time. Whatever they decide, let them do it on their own liberty. Give them the freedom to be able to decide and act upon their decision. This will not only help you but it will also help them in the long term.

Transformational Teacher - Ms. Sujata Dash

Music has the power to transform us. Whether it be the thrashing of guitars, the celebratory horns of mirachi or the gentle humming of a loved one, all people are familiar with music in some form. Even the pitter-patter of falling rain is considered music by some. And perhaps, it is the endless, intricate ways in which, Ms. Sujata Dash, music teacher at Mount Litera Zee School, finds her way into the lives of her students and has continued to influence them through music.

For her ceaseless efforts in instilling the essence of music, since the last five years, we asked Ms. Sujata Dash, what she had to say about Mount Litera Zee School, HSR Extension:-

 1. Why did you choose teaching as a career?

Ans: I chose teaching as a career because it is the platform through which I can implement my ideas and thoughts among the children. It provides me an opportunity to work with people and make a difference in their lives. We, as teachers, have the power to inspire and motivate children to become what they love to become. 

 2. Why/How did you come across/join MLZS?

Ans: My journey with MLZS started on 4th July 2011. I remember walking into the campus listening to the melodious and spirited rendition of the "National Anthem" at the morning assembly. The spirit of the song evoked a sense of responsibility in me and has been motivating me ever since.

 3. What do you like about MLZS?

Ans: MLZS is one of the best CBSE Schools in Bangalore. This school provides all kinds of activities like Sports, Yoga, Music, Art & Craft, Dance etc. The academic curriculum is taught very creatively here. The classrooms are very interesting with teacher-driven facilitations,  audio-visuals and activities catering to all kinds of learners, which help children comprehend the subjects/topics. Teachers, here, are very friendly and co-operative. I am extremely proud to be a part of this Samsidh MLZS family, which has played a vital role in sculpting me as a 21st century teacher.

 4. What are the changes that you have brought into a child?

Ans: Being a music teacher at this Institution, I help impart the knowledge of Hindustani vocal music and have taught various genres of songs to all classes.  I am aware that music helps students relax their mind and improve their memory power and become invigorated so that they can tackle any work.  I’m glad that I play a role in this process.

5. Why is MLZS better than the other schools?

Ans: Samsidh MLZS is better than other schools because we offer a comprehensive and holistic education to students.  The students are not judged merely on the grades that they score in various subjects. The academic and co-curricular activities are designed in such a way that children develop life-skills and learn how to collaborate, communicate and co-operate to work as a team. The value system, which they inculcate within the school, is second to none. The friendly atmosphere of the school, the camaraderie among the staff, allows me to a member of this big family.

 6. What are the achievements in your teaching career?

Ans: The school has provided me with ample opportunities to hone my skills in teaching  music formally, by allowing me to attend various external workshops like SUBLIME, TFAI etc. These workshops have empowered me to improve my style in teaching music. Also, I also had the chance of becoming an External Examiner of Gandharv University, for Classical examinations.

 7. How long do you wish to work for this school?

Ans: I wish to be an integral part of this family forever.  I cannot envisage myself going anywhere else.  Who likes leaving home?

 8. What do you think is the role of a teacher  in MLZS?

Ans: We are the facilitators and mentors, rather than  teachers.  The adage of a teacher being the “Friend, Philosopher and Guide” holds true for each and every teacher at Samsidh MLZS.

 9. If you need to describe MLZS in one word, what would it be?

Ans: Innovator 

 10. Out of the six values of the School, which value is the closest to your heart?

Ans: Compassion

 She concluded in the words of Robert Frost - “I have promises to keep and  miles to go before I sleep,” and wishes the best for the school and the students to reach their true potential. We thank Ms. Sujata Dash for her relentless endeavours in creating a magical world for her students through music.

Everyone Loves A Good Story

To be able to use one's imagination to entertain others is a great skill to master -- our parents and grandparents used bedtime stories to great effect in our childhood.

Storytelling is an art: it educates, it entertains, and it enthralls. It encourages us to be creative. It can even lull us into a good night's sleep. It helped preserve different cultures and traditions across the world before the printed word was invented.

The word 'story' can attain a slightly negative connotation with such English-language phrases as ‘cook up a story’ (invent a story or alibi), or ‘spin a yarn’ (tell a long, far- fetched story). Were you aware that ‘old wives tale’ is a widely held traditional belief that is now thought to be unscientific or incorrect, while ‘a tall tale’ is a hard to believe story?

Those who always tell a ‘cock and bull story’(an obviously untrue story) to their parents, teachers or classmates will find it difficult to convince them they are actually telling the truth and are likely be dismissed with a shake of the head and a “Don’t trust him/her, we are sure it's the ‘same old story’(a bad situation that has happened many times before)”

A story can make us warm and fuzzy inside like a success story, a heartwarming story, a bedtime story or a rags-to-riches story.

Moreover, a good story can fire up our imagination and everybody loves a good story! Therefore, being able to tell a story well can keep your audience spellbound; it is an art worth mastering.

In recent times, the practice of storytelling at home and in schools has declined due to the popularity of video games and social media networks. However, scientists and educators recommend that, this tradition should be made a part of family time and school curriculum.

Storytelling helps students in many ways:

  • Level-playing field: Every child is gifted, but in a different way. Storytelling gives an alternative to children who are unable to cope with traditional learning methods.
  • Job opportunities: The ability to express our ideas and vision clearly and imaginatively is a key to be a part of the 21st century workforce.
  • Networking: The power of oral expression can help students create effective networks -- the lifeline of modern living.

Teachers, on the other hand, can benefit from:

  • Increased reach: They can reach out to every student in the class and keep them interested for longer periods of time.
  • Less stress: By introducing an element of fun, teachers can communicate with students with less effort.
  • Renewed creativity: Educators can broaden their own horizons by effective and creative use of storytelling.

Finally, storytelling is an effective method of communication that has been in existence for thousands of years. In case you are interested, here is a link to some interesting variations of the word story/tale/yarn at http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/story)

International Students' Day - The Role of Education in Social Transformation

According to Wikipedia, International Students' Day is an international observance of student community, held annually on November 17.

The day was originally started as a commemoration of 100's of University of Prague students who lost their lives during WWII, but is now an occasion for universities the world over to celebrate multiculturalism, diversity and cooperation among their students.

It is also an occasion for the worldwide student community to celebrate their acts of social responsibility through gatherings, competitions, food fests and charity events organized on the campus on the day.

In India, we observe October 15 as the ‘World Student’s Day’ (which was declared by the United Nations in 2010) in appreciation of our former president’s contribution to education.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam in addition to being a scientist who played a stellar role in India's missile defence programme, and was also fond of teaching. He is remembered for his love for interaction with students at schools and universities across India and even internationally.

Dr. Kalam popularized the movement to spread awareness about the importance of education by highlighting the role of education as a tool of transformation. We will now look at the social impact of the initiative led by our former president:

  • Role of Teachers: It reinforced the traditionally held belief that teaching is the most noble of all professions and teachers need our support to effectively handle the enormous responsibility of creating the citizens of tomorrow.
  • Importance of Education: It informed people that the only way to change their lives for the better is through education as it is capable of  providing the children from the underprivileged classes with a chance to be a part of the mainstream of the society.
  • Healthcare Awareness: It highlighted the fact that providing healthcare to millions is an enormous task in India but it is possible to make people more aware about diseases and therefore spend less on medical treatment through access to education.
  • Social Harmony: It reminded us that accepting differences and celebrating similarities in the community is key to achieving social harmony and education is the best means to ensure it with active participation from students.

On the occasion of celebrations dedicated to students, let us also thank our teachers for guiding us and take a pledge to help others to gain access to quality education.

Mount Litera Zee School wishes the student community a Happy International Students’ Day.

What values do festivals teach us?

India is a vast country where the landscape – along with language and customs – changes every few kilometers. We are the most diverse country in the world by far!

Festivals are an integral part of a country: There is not a single community, or country in the world that does not celebrate some festival associated with seasons, religion or a day that holds special significance to the people of that country.

In India, we celebrate Diwali, Ramzan, Christmas, Guru Poornima (and many others) which have their origins in religion, while Bihu, Pongal and Sankranti are about celebrating nature.

There has been a welcome trend in our country in recent times that can go a long way in further strengthening relationship between different communities. We now celebrate most festivals which were earlier considered as being specific to a community cutting across divisions – religious, ethnic and linguistic. This is unsurprising and is consistent with our national ethos.

Are you surprised at the emerging trend? If you are not, it is clear the thought never crossed your mind. It is also possible that you did not think it was worth looking for differences when finding similarities with fellow human beings made more sense to you. It reaffirmed your belief that all festivals are a celebration of Unity – the oneness of mankind.

We are born equal and we must live as equals. We have no adversaries but in disease, poverty, and illiteracy and we must be united in our fight against them.

The world belongs to all of us, but so does the responsibility of keeping it the way our forefathers found it many moons ago.

We should strive to leave the world in a better shape for our future generations. Harvest festivals across the world are celebrated with this specific purpose in mind. Our ancestors realized that Nature is the supreme force that rewards us for our good deeds, and punishes us for the bad ones.

Festivals are celebrated with another purpose in mind; to reaffirm our commitment to our family, friends and the community we live in. It is also a happy occasion for making new pledges.

Finally, conservation of nature and promotion of unity among the inhabitants of our planet should be our top priority and festivals help us achieve both the objectives in a fun way.

Value Education and Parenting - Importance of Inculcating Right Values in Children

We often find ourselves vulnerable to enticements and temptations. The true test of our integrity is dependent on how our core set of values inculcated by our parents and nurtured by our teachers can withstand the challenges posed by our environment.

For example, most of us are law-abiding citizens. But, many of us will admit to driving down a one-way street in a moment of weakness only to end up running into a police officer.

Oh, the ignominy!

Moral of the story is, our core set of values are non-negotiable and we must remain true to ourselves regardless of the circumstances.

Our education begins from the day we are born. We continue to learn all our life, with parents and educators sharing the great responsibility of shaping our future.

The world around us is changing rapidly with the advancement in technology and we must adapt ourselves to our new environment. However, it is equally important to preserve our core value system. Teachers and parents need to work together to shape the youth of today into responsible citizens of tomorrow.

Incorporating value education in schools and greater involvement from parents could provide the answers to the issues like social alienation and antisocial behaviour faced by our society.

School environment is ideal for developing traits like growth mindset in children. Let's see what other values children can develop in school with the help of their teachers:

  • Creativity: Encouraging children to be creative boosts their sense of self-worth.

 

  • Collaboration: Teamwork is the ability to work across barriers and is a highly valued quality in the 21st century work culture.

 

  • Growth mindset: A ‘fixed’ mindset makes children believe their talent is a fixed trait, whereas a growth mindset encourages them to further develop that talent.

Home environment provides a natural space for parents to inculcate values like compassion in children. Let's see how it can benefit a child's growth:

  • Family Values: Spending more time with children is a great way to teach them the importance of family life.
  • Compassion: Teaching children to have concern for all living things goes a long way in making the world a better place.
  • Sharing: Teaching children the joy of sharing with the less fortunate is a great way to get them to place others’ interests before their own.

 

Finally, children may not always be forthcoming with their problems. For this reason, it is important to create a support system based on value education and responsible parenting to help them deal effectively with their anxieties and concerns.