March 3, 2023
Among several women teachers, two names, Sr. Agatha and Sr. Victoria, stand out as guiding lights with knowledge and insight. They were gentle, classes were a place to learn and there was a room for questions. They had the patience and care to respond to the repeated requests of their students. They uplifted several first-generation children as they knew the power of education. To all students, they were a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. We are no longer in the comfort classroom, but they are still guiding us, and we know they will continue to do so until the end.
We reached out to several women educators and asked them a question: “What makes you a unique woman educator?” And we are thrilled to share the unique responses.
For the past 27 years, I have worked as a passionate female educator in various capacities across the country. I have pioneered many initiatives to ensure GENDER EQUALITY, across all age groups of students and in all aspects of schooling. It has been a constant endeavour to take the students beyond the boundaries of the textbooks through the design of application-based curriculum, enabling the students to connect with real life, which has certainly empowered the girl students.
My primary focus has been on inculcating Life Skills and Value Education among the students, leading them towards Social Awareness. The vision that ‘Every student must be treated equally irrespective of their academic achievements’, has created a learning ambience sans bias in the schools’ I am associated with. As a CBSE master trainer, I have been privileged to guide and lead several educators to enhance their skills as teachers.
Dr Sujatha Girish, Principal, Daffodils Foundation for Learning, Bengaluru
As a Woman Educator, empathy has been a strong factor that has enabled me to connect with my students and build a rapport easily. Besides being a good listener, I believe in ‘Praise in Public and Reprimand in Private.’ Being cognizant of the ever-changing times and understanding the language of the Millennials, GenY, or GenZ in terms of their literature, music, art, and movies. I have always given them the freedom to express their creativity without losing the essence and value of our culture.
Jean George Samuel, Principal, MG School for Excellence, Bengaluru
Not only are the children interested, but I am as well, and I anticipate something interesting happening in class. So, the excitement with which I enter the SAME class every day, armed with ideas for a DIFFERENT learning experience, distinguishes me. Children are unique, and so am I!
Shanthi S Prasad, Principal, Deeksha High School, Bengaluru
Decision-making is one life lesson that should be taught to a child from a very young age. To my teachers and students, I emphasise two things I learned as a child. One is to simplify and break down a problem, which helps in finding the best solution. The other is to analyse a problem using the CAF technique (consider all factors) before coming to any conclusions. These two approaches have helped me personally grow and be the best at what I do.
Mrs. Padmaja Vaidyanathan, Principal, Anantha Vidyaniketana School, Bengaluru
Affirming your own uniqueness leads to the most fulfilling way of living. I personally believe in:
3 Es: encourage, express, and engage
3 Cs: creativity, compassion, and confidence
I believe in this quote: “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” Coco Chanel
Parimala L K, Principal, Seshadripuram Public School, Bengaluru
I believe that what makes me unique as an educator is that because I FAILED throughout my school journey, it taught me to:
•Be empathetic towards my students, and I can help teachers be empathetic towards their students.
•Look at the big picture – help students and teachers look beyond the small failures and realise that these small failures are stepping stones to the future.
•Find joy in the journey – by looking beyond the failures and the mistakes, students and teachers can find joy in the journey, joy in the little things, and joy in the small steps that students take towards success.
Anupa Gnanakan, Director – Education, ACTS Group of Institutions, Bengaluru
Being naturally equipped to “care” by virtue of being a woman. A genuine quality of every woman trying to make “connections” with children is making them feel “seen,” “heard,” and “understood,” thereby providing them immense emotional security. A strong feminine and motherly instinct to empower children by teaching them to “think” independently.
Anuradha Singh, Special Educator, Bengaluru
As a woman educator, I want all of my students to make a positive contribution to society. My students should dream dreams that can become realities and that they can achieve. Above all, they should be good human beings with values who reach out to the poorest of the poor with love.
Ms. Philomena, Principal, BNM Public School, Bengaluru
As educators, we must not follow others’ styles of teaching, and we should not be the victims of any inferiority or superiority complex at all. Adopt our own unique style of teaching, develop our own strategies, and have good relations with all students, considering all according to their due status on the basis of their performance.
An educated woman can meet both her own demands and those of her family. They are better known and have a greater voice in the political and social system. The first step in empowering women is to make them financially independent and protect their rights and interests. When women are empowered, we increase the skilled workforce, local economies are strengthened, businesses do better, and families rise out of poverty and create generational wealth and self-sufficiency.
Shailaja V K, BRS Global School, Bengaluru
Always ready to unlearn and relearn to stay on par with the current trends. To bridge the generational divide, educators must first understand the generations. Though not able to protect the country like the Indian army, a humble contribution is made in preparing the children for the future of the country.
Lalitha Ganapathi, Educationist, Bengaluru
After reflecting on my 27-year journey in school education, I believe that following my qualities has helped me become successful.
Love for learning and listening, collaboration, exchange of best practices, value in real-world learning, adaptability, and empathy.
N. Yasotha, Senior Principal, Sree Vijay Vidyashram, Dharmapuri
When my actions inspired others to do more and when my emphasis on discipline was a little rude, the hope I gave to my students’ parents is what distinguishes me as a woman educator in my institution. Jai Hind
Shirley Abraham, Principal, Federal Public School, Bengaluru
Though the man is the head of the house, the woman of the house plays a greater role, just like The President is the head, but the Prime Minister is the real head; however, a woman’s thought life, words, lifestyle and values she carries around have a tremendous impact on her children, family, society and world at large.
The adage “Home is the first school, and the mother is the first teacher” is very true, so the woman’s uniqueness as an educator begins at home, through the language and culture she teaches; in fact, her teaching begins while her baby is still in the womb, as her mood swings, emotions, and everything else is picked up by the child, and thus learning continues.
Dr. Mrs. Shanta Susheela, Educationist, Bengaluru
One of the top signs of me being a unique woman educator that everybody admires is that I never give up and don’t let failure stop my dreams. If one path doesn’t work, I take a detour. So be it! I learn from my disappointments and do better the next time.
Geetha Lakshmi, Principal, The Prodigies International School-Varthur, Bengaluru
Driven by a visceral, hard-wired need to start, innovate, and disprove the word “it can’t be done,”. Motivator, mentor, and leader, leading the learner to deliver the best of their competencies. I can overcome complex challenges by making experience-based decisions.
Dr. Deepti Chaturvedi, Principal of a reputed a school, Bengaluru
As a female educator, I am aware of the significance of empowering other educators and fostering the development of capable individuals. I exhibit a promising work ethic and strongly believe that it directly correlates with my rapport amongst students and teachers.
Latha L, Principal, Harvest International School Innovation campus, Bengaluru
I am a unique woman educator because I am passionate and dedicated, have fine interpersonal skills, and am always eager to implement creative and innovative teaching methodologies. As a school leader, I focus on a student-centric curriculum and activity-based education system where the main focus is on experiential learning along with instilling moral values that enhance emotional intelligence and the holistic development of both the students and the fellow educators.
Poornima S Narayan., Principal, Monsoon Public School, Bengaluru
As a female educator, I have been admired for my skills at convincing students and comprehending their emotions. I always look for quality in delivery rather than quantity. It’s a cycle of learning, unlearning, and relearning.
Mrs. Shilpa Patil, Tutor, Englisholic Classes, Vijayapur
Wishing all a Happy Women’s Day!
Santosh Avvannavar, Education Journalist QtSTEAM & Mentor QtPi Robotics