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Carmel of St. Joseph High School

Since 1967

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A TEACHERS JOURNEY !

A TEACHERS JOURNEY OF BODY MIND AND SPIRIT

Step by step, the journey goes on.    

Little by little it may seem so long.    

The things we learn will keep us on.                                                                                                                             

With faith in God, He’ll keep us strong.

  My journey as a young enthusiastic, freshly trained teacher from A.C.D.I.L. Teachers’ Training College Goa, began thirty eight years ago in January 1977. With a long cherished dream to live in BOMBAY, now Mumbai, I a native of Goa hopped onto a ship that carried me to the city of my dreams. In the 70’s with very few options to choose as a profession, where secretaries was a common choice, teaching was considered to be an honourable one, and I quite preferred the idea. So I trained to shape and mould myself as a teacher all charged up to do the honours.  With a little bit of apprehension but confident in my heart that I’d pass, I landed my first job within a week in Diamond Jubilee High School, Mazagaon, Mumbai, an Aga Khan Trust. I still recall my first interview , the then Principal, a very outstanding personality, was quite surprised that I hadn’t asked about my salary, what mattered most to me at that time was getting into the action.   

          The following week I was asked to teach the primary class of thirty little angels both girls and boys.  I still remember their innocent little faces staring at me, their new teacher, since the earlier one had left in the middle of the year. It took me a while but it was indeed a challenge interacting and dealing with children of a different community. Day by day I could feel my metamorphosis from a teenage fresher to a woman.  All of a sudden I was not just a teacher, I was expected to be a mother, counselor, guide and philosopher. Not having the resources that today’s children are exposed to, children of those days were more simple and modest.  They were very possessive about their teacher. I experienced a new identity, I was their HERO, and had to live up to their expectations. The faith, trust and adulation the children have for you is overwhelming. Teaching in those days was different too, you prepared your lessons, teaching aids and went into your class and taught. 

Activities were few I did my best and indeed left my mark. Eight years later my transition from a teacher to a home-maker which I chose to be was a phenomenon by itself. Over a period of time being a full time mother to two blessed children, a son and a daughter, opened new chapters. Understanding and dealing with kids of my own, gave a full new dimension to life.  Catering to their physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual needs was a preparation for yet another phase in my life when eighteen years later and quite by serendipity, I had to transform myself into a school teacher once again.                                                                                                                           

Being the PTA Vice- President in my daughter’s school, Carmel of St. Joseph High School, I stepped into the arena for the second time.  As a teacher had to leave in an emergency the Principal asked me if I would take up the post since I had previous experience. The thought of entering a classroom after such a long period of time, that too, the secondary section was intimidating. That’s where my experience as a mother having children of similar ages came into play.  The span of eighteen years had brought about a lot of changes in the education system. An ideal class of thirty was replaced by sixty five to seventy students which was mind boggling. Teaching was more student oriented with their direct involvement through activities and projects. The various training  programs and workshops that I attended showed the student in a new perspective and were indeed very helpful to me.   For a teacher to excel she has to reinvent herself which is a continuous and an ongoing process. With the introduction of new technology, it is imperative for teachers to be digital natives i.e. upgrading, updating and educating oneself in this field as we find students today are well- versed and far advanced in such matters which tends to put us on the back foot. The blackboard has been replaced by smartboards and teaching has come alive in classrooms.                                                                                                                                                                      

As teachers and educators today, we are bound to affect the overall growth of a child, moulding and developing their personalities. It is essential and vital to recognize the uniqueness in each and every child and work around their strengths and weaknesses. To quote our late former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam, a great teacher “All of us do not have equal talent . But all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talent.” I always take it up as a challenge to engage the ‘ not so smart ones’ who are never given the opportunity to put their talent to the test to prove themselves and the results have always been amazing.

So many have turned out into shining stars.  At this juncture I would like to acknowledge my esteemed Principals, whose leadership I had the opportunity to work under. They are instrumental in contributing to my growth as a teacher and a human being. Their commitment, fortitude, foresight, resilience, vision, progressiveness and expertise in their respective fields has been a motivating factor, challenging us to give our best at all times.  I’m truly grateful for the encouragement, confidence, guidance and the push to explore the unknown (which many a times was not welcomed whole heartedly) but on hindsight, has made me a better teacher.  Human nature tends to make us follow a set pattern, we don’t wish our apple carts to be turned over or rearranged, we get comfortable doing what we do, like and know best year after year, as a result there is opposition to change. With the rapid evolution and revolution in the field of education and other spheres world –wide, fears and doubts crop up. But we must realize as teachers that change is a must and a necessity or else we stagnate. The system does have its flaws, in my opinion with too many projects and activities, the students have lost their  ability to study and write.  With no detention upto class eight, they tend to take things for granted and can’t accept failure when they don’t perform.  But as teachers we are expected to innovate, adapt and work around this system.                                                              

Teaching today is a challenging and daunting task, having to deal with children from varied back grounds; economic, social, religious, environmental etc. Not all days are fruitful, there are days when students are uninterested and unruly which is very frustrating. I once read. As a teacher our task is not only to find what motivates a student to learn, but  also,  what motivates them to misbehave. If we meet them at that point and take away that motivation, we can go a long way towards a more effective classroom.   

     Today on the threshold of retirement and looking back on my whole teaching career, I know how enriching this experience has been for me, how much my school, colleagues and students have contributed in making my life whole and complete.   

 I always believed that if I can make a difference and touch the life of even a single child, my purpose as a teacher will be fulfilled.  What I experienced at the end of this academic year was heartening, touching and rather humbling. Having taught children from std  5th to 10th their reaction to the news of my impending retirement was quite shattering. I realized I had become a role model and a ‘fashion icon’ (their words) I believe a teacher should always be well groomed, it has a great impact on the students.  It was unconceivable and unacceptable, some even suggested that there could be a mistake in  my birth date. There was a flood of notes and cards with messages and best wishes, even from the ones who had passed out. It was all very overwhelming. Without realizing we had wormed our way into each other’s hearts.  I shall miss the interactive sessions, debates and fun filled moments teaching my students. I’ll never forget the ones who won’t let a day go by without seeing my face. When students remember me it should be with a smile on their faces and not a frown, although there might be some child I’ve hurt unknowingly. We do err sometimes and we must acknowledge that fact.           

        The most exciting day was not the ‘Teachers Day’ but the reopening day of an academic year when you walked into the class and they knew you will be teaching them that year. There’s nothing more rewarding than to hear the shouts of joy and their faces lighting up like a thousand watts, it’s so gratifying, something  to cherish all my life.   

        I can truly and honestly say with full conviction, I’ve touched a chord, been a mentor and made a difference to many lives as they have to mine, children make great teachers. I reiterate without regret, to be a teacher, is a Solid Lifetime Investment and the Returns are Bountiful.

 

Theresa Pinto

My School

Sr. Dorette Principal (Secondary Section)

ME-WE WORKING TOGETHER FOR PEACE

In a world full of conflicts of every kind, Peace is on everyone’s heart, mind and lips. The religions of the world seem to respond to this felt need. The Muslim greeting ‘Salaam’ means peace. The Hindus finish their prayers invoking peace: `Om shanti! Shanti! Shanti!’ the triple repetition underlines the earnestness of the hope. A prayer in the Vedas speaks of peace as a cosmic reality: Om! May there be peace in heaven. May there be peace in the sky. May there be peace on earth. May there be peace in the water. May there be peace in the plants. May there be peace in all. May that peace, authentic peace, be mine.

“Peace be with you!” is the greeting of the Risen Jesus to his disciples and it is also the most common greeting in the Bible. To wish someone: “Peace be with you!” is equivalent to saying: “God be with you!” When God is with us, we will indeed be peace-makers!

Peace is therefore God’s gift. It is nothing other than partaking in the very life of God. This is marked by abundant life. It does not necessarily mean material abundance, but abundance of life, of freedom, of love, of relationship, of joy, of sharing, of mutual self-gift and service.

Peace is not something we receive from outside. It is within you. We only need to radiate more and more consciously this year.

I wish that the management, staff and parents work in partnership to promote and practice Peace within ourselves, our families and society.

May peace radiate from me and begin with me.....

Looking forward for a peaceful academic year 2015-16.

May St. Joseph our patron saint help us to be harbingers of peace.

Peace be with you!!!

This is a blog for students, teachers and parents. The theme for the year is "Me - We working together for Peace". Come share your thoughts with us.

Alumni

Sr. Ramya - Manager

Jn.15: 4 "Remain united to me and i will remain united to you."

India is a cradle of many major religions and is filled with numerous popular devotional practices. By nature man has a thirst for God an to have union with God. Moreover the miserable situation has made the man, that the world is nothing and maya. Today man has everything except peace of mind. So man is seeking peace, travelling to different places. But man is not aware that he can experience peace in the place where he is staying. Prayer is the simplest way to experience that peace in one's own life. So keep clinging to God and you will gain inner peace.

This blog is for our Alumni. We invite you to share your thoughts and memories with us.