Senior School

Caught between being adults and children are adolescents- an age where there is a rush of emotions, rising curiosity, heightened desire for independence and an increased need for social acceptance and consensus. At the same time, students are pushed for academic achievements and prepare for their future careers. Though they are standing at the threshold of adulthood and new found freedom, they are still growing- mentally, physically, neurologically, socially and emotionally. In such a churn of events, we as teachers are required to be responsible role models extending great care, since these highly impressionable years may have a lasting impact on their entire life.

  1. Teacher Training: Subject expertise is a prerequisite to be an excellent senior school teacher. Students begin to make choices about which academic domain they would want to pursue and probably make a career out of it. Therefore, teaching these inquisitive, sharp minds requires great skill and an enormous knowledge base. Teachers are frequently sent to workshops, conferences/conclaves that discuss the latest developments/research and unresolved issues in specific subjects. Teachers collaborating with their colleagues world over help them in reinterpreting and teaching the subject matter in a better fashion using, technology and newer, innovative teaching methods. However, being a teacher to high school students requires one to take responsibility of their emotional and social development since it is in school that students are exposed to their widest social circle. Handling friendships and various social relationships and obligations can be quite overwhelming for the adolescent, which may interfere with their academic performance. Teachers, hence, are trained to deal with their emotional development as well.
  2. Technology: Just like in the middle school, senior students are trained to use ICT facilities in school for their research, presentations and project work, and for developing their time management skills. In tune with curricular goals, virtual learning environments and opportunities are created for children who in turn can connect with students worldwide. Different learning styles and needs are also addressed through ICT.
  3. Global Exposure: Senior school children are fairly aware of the different current affairs, history, global economics and popular religions that drive the world. However, we need to sharpen their interest and focus on furthering their knowledge base by encouraging students exchange programmes, interfacing with their counterparts from around the world, discussing books, articles and films that highlight humanity as the ‘world religion’ and even school trips to different organizations such as NASA, Freedom Foundation, the Parliament, inviting guest speakers and the like. Discussing their experiences, recounting events through introspection and group reflection can even lead to understanding how one’s thinking is shaped, and so how knowledge is ‘born.’ That is, students recognize how perceptions guide a person, a community, a nation or even the world.
  4. Life Skills: While their academics focus on how they can make a career and therefore a living out of their academic programme, we also focus on strengthening a non academic skill set that needs to be honed for surviving in the increasingly chaotic future. Improving language, presentation and social skills form an important part of building these skills. We do this by organising leadership camps, sending students to competitive debates/ elocutions/ creative writing, running school election campaigns and even maybe organising fund raising for a certain social cause. These activities not only boost their confidence, but help them enhance their potential and discover unknown talents. Social interactions, problem solving, creativity, team building and risk taking are some of the many attributes that will be expressed and enhanced. Once again, self reflection plays a pivotal role in building one’s skill set.
  5. Spirituality: High school students are old enough to realize that core human values are fundamental to all life. While they still maybe confused about the difference between being irreligious and spiritual, and may have many confounding questions about atheism, theism and agnosticism, we continue to strive towards ‘excellence of self.’ Meaning, identifying one’s background, moral stand, belief systems, religion and socio-economic status and rationalizing each of its influence on ‘self’ is central to understanding the fact that all divisive forces that exist amongst humans are created; that means that we don’t battle with people but we battle with essentially human perceptions. We achieve this by engaging our students in various community centric activities, as Mahatma Gandhi says, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
  6. Community Service: As the children graduate to high school, they are able to recognize that there is a fair overlap between spirituality and community service. Therefore, we capitalize on this and encourage community service projects such as water recycling, organising an ‘olympic event’ for village children to promote athletics, forming a reading programme/ club for differently abled children or even volunteering for a community clean-up day. It is only through such engagements will the children understand that there is a necessity to ‘pay- back’ to the community; and that is ‘any’ community. It is through this route will we kindle in them the feeling of ‘oneness’ and sow the seeds of ‘World Citizenship.’ As Mother Teresa was once known to have said, “Love is Service and the fruit of Service is Peace."