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Ekya / October 06, 2020 Posted by : administrator

Are there qualities we could imbibe and make teaching-learning meaningful?

A student once asked me, ‘What inspired you to become a teacher?’ From my perspective, every woman has inbuilt qualities of a teacher that includes love, compassion, passion, dedication, sense of duty, responsibility and the list is limitless. As the saying goes, a mother is the first teacher of the child. And, in my life, the process of teaching-learning enhanced when I became a mother (of two children). Yes, all mothers are considered good teachers, but I also realized that there are certain skills essential to teaching and need to be learned too. I learned these as I began my journey at Ekya and with my little ones at Montessori and Kindergarten. 

I wanted to explore my horizon as a teacher, and my career kick-started as a Montessori adult at Ekya Schools. The number of professional development sessions, orientations, and other programs organized for teachers at Ekya helped me boost my confidence and grow personally and professionally. Understanding the Montessori approach and methodology helped me gain skills and knowledge to facilitate students’ learning and development, but true learning to me came with an intense experience of working with children. Inspiration is a big word I say, the true love and admiration I received from the children from my journey as a Montessori Facilitator to a Coordinator have indeed helped me gain a great learning experience. 

I began to ponder over a few questions like; what do we need to expect from children or what do we want our children to learn? This made me think further and I was able to realize that we want our children to learn basic qualities such as honesty, integrity, compassion, respect, and love for all. Actually, all children are born with these great qualities and all that we have to do is to nurture and strengthen them day by day. Children give true love and admiration to teachers and these are not deliberately taught to them! These come naturally to them.

At Ekya, the curriculum is designed with an emphasis on our children not just learning concepts or skills of varied subjects but developing an enduring understanding of them and applying them in the practical world. The exposure students receive with the “Quest” – an inquiry-based and experiential learning program helps them develop the confidence to express themselves.

Besides academics, there is an emphasis on personal development too. Every child is unique, and how to nurture each child with self- discipline is what I learnt at Ekya by adopting “Social Contract”. This approach to self-management is built on an agreement between the class teacher and students who together decide an appropriate  set of consequences and rewards and take the responsibility of abiding by norms they have set for themselves. 

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Times have changed and so has education. Earlier, one would never consider the education of 3 to 6 years olds seriously. Parents would send these little ones to school only to play and socialize, sing some rhymes, learn ABC, and numbers 1 to 10. Today, we see a great transition, and the kids have proved themselves in participating in varied experiences in these initial years that are crucial for their growth and development – physical, mental, and emotional. 

To cite an example,  during this time of pandemic when the whole world went topsy turvy and the education system too got a huge setback- As the saying goes, learning never stops at Ekya, and the immense training paid off. Teachers took over online sessions with grace and the little ones adapted to these easily by learning how to handle the computer system or following norms during virtual classes. They demonstrated and proved that they belong to the futuristic approach to schooling. Their energies keep the teachers rocking and moving ahead strongly in facing various difficulties and contribute to building a safe society.

Children have taught me immensely. I feel I have learned many things by observing them learn and adapt to various situations so naturally.  

I have learned how to make learning experiences purposeful, relatable, and enjoyable. In technology, I have learned the use of a variety of teaching tools and strategies to cater to different learners. I have learned to be more organized in creating a positive class environment and a strong culture; in planning and executing lesson plans and expecting learning outcomes continuously. I have learned how students are reaping the benefits of academics as well as outdoor activities in the sandpit and play area. I have learned how they are developing attitudes of sharing and care towards their environment and peers. I have also realized how sharing and caring,  showing empathy, knowledge, and resources with each other is a valuable thing to do. Last, but not least, I have learned how students take part in competitions with a spirit to participate rather than winning. 

I am glad to be a part of this prestigious institution which has helped me grow professionally. From just being a mother, now I feel I have widened my horizon, raised my aspirations, and above all being able to touch the lives of many children (beyond my two at home). I cherish this transition from a homemaker to a professional and continue to be open to learning valuable lessons of life from children and the environment around. 

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I feel immensely proud and blessed as I watch my children growing up imbibing these nurturing qualities, my students growing effortlessly and valuing my teachings, and also my pre-primary team which welcomed me as a Coordinator and allowed me to be part of them, to mentor them and to nurture the little ones along with them. My journey from a Mother to a passionate Teacher and now a Coordinator in facilitating quality and meaningful education to all children continues.

By

Vijaya Lakshmi A

Pre Primary Coordinator

Ekya BTM

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Ekya / February 15, 2024

How to Instil Road Discipline in Your Children: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

We are always around kids during their childhood years, but as they grow, we allow them to play and roam with friends. Practising road safety is essential for the safety of both passengers and pedestrians. According to the research, road crash injuries are the leading cause of death aged 5 to 29. It is quite tough to be around the kids all the time, hence it becomes imperative that children be aware of road discipline. To ensure the safety of children, parents and teachers must know how to instil road safety discipline. But the question arises, what is involved in road safety? Here is the comprehensive guide for parents and teachers about how to teach road safety rules to children;

How to Ensure Road Safety for Children?

Teach them basic signals

First and foremost, teach the kids about the traffic signals and lights and what they mean;
  •     When the signal turns Green, that means ‘go’.
  •     When the signal turns red, that means ‘to stop’.
  •     When the signal turns yellow, that means ‘to slow down’.
  •     Only walk when the ‘Walk’ sign appears, but look right and left before crossing the road.
  •     Do not cross the road when the sign says ‘Don’t Walk’.

Cross the road at the Zebra crossings

Teach the children to cross the road only at Zebra crossings, and guide them that they are meant for the safety of pedestrians. Help them understand the speed of a vehicle and that they can only cross when it is at a safe distance

Equip the children to understand signboards

To understand signboards, give your kids a mini-guide or pamphlet in which sign boards are explained in a way they understand.

Avoid using mobile phones

In this era, even kids are using mobile phones. Teach the kids to strictly avoid mobile phones while on the road or roadside.

Ride Bi-cycles carefully

Guide the kids to wear proper gear while riding bicycles, whether with friends or going to school. Make them wear helmets, elbow and knee guards. If they are riding bicycles in the dark, make them wear bright-coloured shoes.

Do not jump traffic lights

In any situation, do not jump the traffic lights, teach the children to follow this rule as it poses a risk.

Avoid playing on the road or roadside

Children are always excited and start running wherever they find the way. Tell them not to run and play on the road or roadside, it is always risky.

Stand out of blind spots

Teach the children to never cross a road from in between vehicles or any other object, that is always dangerous. Guide them to always cross the road when it is clear.

Follow bus safety tips

Guide the children about following the bus safety tips every time they travel on a bus.

How Can Adults be Role Models for Children?

By following these steps, adults can teach children about road safety rules and discipline;
  •     Teach the child to understand basic traffic signals and signs.
  •     By frequently checking whether the child stops, looks, listens, and thinks before crossing the road.
  •     Explaining road safety rules in simple language.
  •     Walking on the road and following the road safety rules together
  •     Do not use phones and other devices when walking on the road or around vehicles
  •     Always hold the child’s hand on the driveway or while crossing the road
It is not possible for parents and teachers to constantly supervise their children when they are out on the road. So children must be taught road safety standards from an early age. We at Ekya Schools believe in instructing children in these areas and by following the road safety etiquette, they feel responsible towards themselves and others. There are many ways we teach the students about road safety. We incorporate easy understanding for the children, like using age-appropriate behaviour, making the learning fun, using visual aids, appreciation to practise in real-life situations. We cover it all.

Ekya / February 15, 2024

How to Foster Active Listening Skills in Your Child: Tips and Strategies for Parents and Educators

Active listening is way more than just hearing. It is an intentional act to engage, understand, and reflect. Active listening plays an essential role in building a student’s communication and language skills. During the early education period most learning is done in the verbal format so, parents should pay more attention to developing active listening skills in their kids. In the longer run, it will be quite helpful for students as they can perform better in their academics and also do justice with their relationships. Being one of the  leading CBSE schools in Bangalore, we understand the importance of active learning and hence sharing a few tips on improving listening skills for children:
  • Always maintain eye contact while speaking: Parents and guardians should make eye contact with their kids. Making eye contact boosts their child's confidence and improves active listening skills which makes them more enthusiastic during conversation.
  • Repeating the key points: During the conversation, parents should pay attention to the things their children are more focussing on and if they want them to focus more on a particular point, it should be repeated again and again. This will feed it into their subconscious mind.
  • Ask multiple questions: Asking multiple questions during the conversation is a good way to develop listening skills among children as answering requires active listening. This is also a good way to develop inquisitiveness among them.

Here is the list of different types of listening:

  • Critical listening: It involves listening and analysing both the positive and negative aspects of any topic and synthesising the information to form a point of view.
  • Discriminative listening: In this type of listening interpretation is done by considering sound and body language rather than the words. 
  • Aesthetic listening: It involves enjoyment. Aesthetic listening is often used by parents or teachers to make the education fun and more engaging. 
  • Biased listening: It is also known as selective listening as the listener only focuses on a particular part of the communication. It leads to distorted information leading to communication.
  If you are a parent and wondering how to teach listening skills to your child, here is a list of a few exercises:
  • Take the help of audio resources: Children like to listen to audio clips as they find it more interesting and engaging. So parents should use audio resources for teaching different subjects. Nowadays audio resources are made using such special sounds that the brain finds more appealing. Such types of audio clips can be used to improve the active listening skills of children.
  • Conduct regular listening activities: It is one of the best parenting tips for listening. Listening activities can be made in the form of games to make it more engaging and fun. Once a week it can be done as a group activity in school. This way children can not just participate but also learn to reflect on certain topics.
  • Take regular feedback: Parents and teachers should be involved in taking regular feedback. This will make the students more responsive and attentive during teaching sessions as to provide any feedback it is essential to be attentive and actively listener.
  • Include short questions in between conversations: It is one of the best active listening strategies for teachers and parents. Short questions in between learning sessions encourage the students to be an active listener and more attentive. This also promotes an inquisitive nature among students.
  • Maintain a relaxing environment: It is one of the most essential points that parents and teachers should never miss out on. A relaxing environment promotes the holistic development of students. It enhances the confidence and promotes the participation of students in discussion sessions which further enhances the active listening skills. 
It is advisable to promote active listening skills among students as it not just be the building block of their communication skills but will also help them perform better in their academics. As per a study, there is a direct correlation between active listening and academics. Active learning skills boost student’s overall development which will help them in becoming a holistic individual.  If you are tired of searching the internet with terms like the best schools in Bangalore or the best CBSE schools in Bangalore, consider visiting Ekya Schools. With over 30 years of education legacy, it makes us one of the leaders in the education sector. All our 5 campuses across Bangalore follow the Understanding by Design (UbD) Framework which is based on research pedagogy. Our teachers are well qualified and go through rigorous year-long teacher training programs. This makes them well-versed with modern education techniques over conventional rote learning methods. UbD framework focuses on special learning techniques that focus more on practical knowledge given through various activities to make the learning fun and more engaging which further enhances the active learning skills among students.

Ekya / February 15, 2024

How Ekya School's After-School Program is Nurturing the Next Generation of Leaders

Ekya Schools is a vibrant community of children, educators, and parents present in various parts of Bangalore City. The school believes in a holistic education that goes beyond textbooks and exams, focusing on the overall development of each child. Holistic development is crucial for students as it allows them to develop into a well-rounded person. Through exciting after-school activities like Robotics for kids, Visual arts programs, and sports in school, Ekya Schools offers a platform where young learners can explore their interests and reveal their talents.  As one of the best CBSE Schools in Bangalore, we will delve into how these programs are shaping the next generation of leaders. 

Design Thinking

The Design Thinking Challenge is held annually at Ekya Schools and is a fun opportunity for kids. They get to work on socially relevant problems like Environmental Awareness, Animal Welfare, or Bullying Prevention. They get to use their imaginations and team up with friends to come up with ideas that can make things better for everyone. It's not just about finding the right answers, but learning from mistakes and sharing thoughts.  With design thinking challenges, our goal is to create new leaders who are good at solving problems and making the world a better place.

Robotics

Co-curricular activities at Ekya schools, like Robotic Programs, play a crucial role in the holistic development of students. These programs give them valuable knowledge about robots, automation, and engineering. They get to use what they learn in physics and engineering by creating their own robots.  By doing this, they become better at thinking creatively, understanding science, and learning visually. At Ekya schools, we make sure these activities are fun and easy for students.

Quiz Programs

Quizzes can greatly enhance the learning and development process for students in several ways. They make kids remember and understand what they have learned before. It also teaches kids how to make good choices and think critically. When students work together in a team, it helps them cooperate and learn from each other.  At Ekya schools, we have a fun quiz called the Mock GK Quiz for kids in Grades 1 to 6. It has different types of questions and teams get points for answering correctly. This quiz is a great way for students to show off their knowledge and skills. 

Visual Arts Program

Visual Arts classes are a perfect way for students to express themselves creatively and develop skills that go beyond what they learn in the classroom.  At Ekya Schools, students who are interested in honing their skills in visual art can join our after-school activities for Visual Arts. These classes teach different techniques like abstract art, canvas painting, glass painting, Madhubani, and more. By exploring these techniques, students develop their creative skills and learn to communicate their ideas visually. 

Sport activities

Playing sports isn’t just about running around and getting exercise. It also teaches important skills like teamwork, staying determined, and keeping a positive attitude.  Ekya Schools offer a variety of sports coaching programs, including basketball, karate, gymnastics, skating, badminton, table tennis, and cricket, to help students develop these important skills. We also provide access to indoor games like chess and carrom, as well as yoga, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to engage in physical activity and develop healthy habits.

Music

At Ekya Schools, we think every kid is special and has things they're good at. That's why we offer Performing Arts classes. In these classes, students learn about Music and Dance or Performance Arts. It's a fun way for them to show what they can do and learn new stuff too.

Conclusion

In conclusion, schools aren’t just about math and science, they are about learning many things. At Ekya Schools, we are committed to offering our students an overall development learning experience through a wide range of extracurricular activities including music, sports, design thinking, and other engaging pursuits. For the best holistic education, consider Ekya Schools, one of the top IGCSE Schools in Bangalore.
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#StudentBlogger: Autobiography of a Diary – Beyond

Every life has a starting point. Mine was at the paper factory. No actually, my life started as a tree, in a beautiful evergreen forest. I was a small spruce tree amongst my family who by the record, was more than eighty feet taller than me though our age difference was about thirty years. We all stood rooted together and had small conversations with our neighbors, the pines, the hemlocks, the balsams, and many others. We spoke about many things generally, but one dark topic was about these malicious creatures, umm, they were called byumens, no, ah HUMANS!! Legends believed that these creatures were the cruelest of all…. They cut trees down and put us in some big, sharp gigantic cave-like place where we were made into some kind of thin layers called Paper. Well, I met the same fate; I was bunched together and one of my sides was pinned together and “Diary” was written on me. Thus, my new life began, without my family, without my friends, without anybody, or so I thought.

I was placed in a big, bright place where I stayed, alone for weeks. But one fine day, a young pretty-looking human, came towards me and kept staring at me. She picked me up, smiled widely, and took me to her house, hugging me during the entire journey. I was placed in between a few other books on a shelf, and they were all amiable on my arrival and made me feel homely. There were many books, but each had different titles… One said “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, another said “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, “Divergent” and so on. That night, the girl came into the room all cheerily, shut the door, picked me up, and the smile from her face eventually faded away. She started speaking to me, which I understood surprisingly, as we weren’t of the same species, but she doesn’t fit the description of my parents about humans. Her name was Cora, and she was the nicest creature I have ever met.

She told me secrets that she never disclosed to anyone. Her parents were entrepreneurs, and their latest project failed which led to a sudden drop in their financial status. One night, Cora heard her mother wailing and asking her father what to do about Cora’s school and future. On hearing this, she was heartbroken and decided to do something to earn for her family to ease her parents. She took up a part-time job in a cafe close to her school, and the money she earned, she would put it in a small box kept in her parents’ room for a month’s expenditure. Poorcan girl had to work for three hours after school in the cafe cleaning the tables and washing dishes to earn an inadequate amount of money. She often got questioned as to why she arrived late every day, and she would come up with some excuses. She told me that I was the only one who knew about this, and I shouldn’t tell anyone, but I thought it was necessary that her parents know about this, but whenever I spoke, it seemed as if they never heard me. Cora, though looked happy on the exterior, had some deep secrets. Apparently, people bullied her in her workplace and in her school, but she told me that it doesn’t bother her much. Cora told me many secrets for a long time and I think a friendship had been formed between the both of us.

Anyways, years have passed since I have seen Cora. I was sleeping in Cora’s house and woke up in the middle of nowhere in a dusty attic a few months ago. Turns out Cora moved away. I was heartbroken on hearing the news from my friends, as she didn’t even say goodbye, and I thought we were friends. Well, months passed, and I remained idle in the same place, and one day, I saw a bright light enter the room, and in came Cora. She looked at me, picked me up, smiled widely, and hugged me in the same way she did when she first got me from the shop, but this time, I saw her shedding some tears. She took me down to her room, and the sight of it made me reminisce about the time Cora and I spent together. She told me one last thing, “You are the best friend I have ever met and I will never ever forget you. You comforted me when I needed someone, helped me reflect my thoughts, and made me the person who I am”. This made me ambivalent as my existence had positively impacted her life.

I was glad that I made such a difference in a young human’s life though I wasn’t logically alive then. She was my only companion as I never met my parents after the humans’ invasion into my home. I was first very biased and thought not to open up to any human being as they destroyed my parents and me, but Cora proved the fact that not everyone was like that, and she brought about a change of opinion in me. She depended on me and told me everything, even though she never heard me talk. I would like to end by saying that even though I am not breathing right now, I am helping you all by being your closest friend and I will always be there for you to depend on me. Yes, I am a DIARY and I am proud of it!

By

Rhea Murali,

Grade 10

Ekya JP Nagar

#TeacherBlogger: The power of connections!

Teaching, and being an educator…. What a beautiful feeling it is! … A journey of discovering new connections!

I have had around two years of in-class experience with the pre-primary children and have absolutely enjoyed and cherished every bit of it. And then came a sudden and unexpected turn in the lives of children and educators. Lots of questions started to cross my mind. Now what? How are we going to adapt to this? Online teaching? For the little ones? Will they be able to sit through the class and grasp concepts? Will we be able to deliver the content? Oh! and the concerns were never-ending. 

But, as always, the little ones have completely managed to surprise me and proved that they can adapt to any change - be it handling a laptop/tab, muting and unmuting, communicating with their peers virtually, and being able to sit through for 30 mins in front of a physical space without much scope for movement that every preschooler yearns for. Students are doing a brilliant job of adapting to the current situation. They are sitting and are moving too and are trying every bit to embrace change. 

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On the first day of the online class, I was super nervous. I was wondering if I will be able to connect with my students virtually as I could in a physical classroom setup. Connections to me mean- understanding the child, getting comfortable with him/her, being able to discuss things openly with them, and sharing experiences. These are not only important to me but also to the child who is in pre-school. Indeed, before we start implementing our lessons, we need to establish connections. And, to my surprise, within no time, these connections were built with each student. 

We have now grown into a class filled with lots of excitement and learning. Students eagerly wait for classes and love interacting with their friends virtually every day. If a student is absent on any given day, one student from the group always asks, “Ma’am, why hasn't he/she joined yet? I cannot see him/her on the screen.” This is what is the real connection that I have discovered among our students in the virtual classroom. 

The little interactions we have in the corridors, in-between lessons, in the play area/sandpit are irreplaceable. I was wondering how we could create these personal touchpoints with the students virtually. This is because these are the areas where children establish relationships with each other and with things all around. 

But, as the days passed by, everything fell into place and we are all learning together. Everything is possible as long as we want it to happen and work towards it. The routines that were set during the initial days of online classes really helped in managing the classes more efficiently and productively. Few routines that made a lot of difference were - unmuting yourself when asked, raising your hand if you wanted to speak/share something, hands to yourselves, listening carefully while your friends were speaking, and waiting for your turn.  

As the saying goes “Learning never ends”, be it in-class or virtual. It continues to be a great experience for me! Besides learning to teach, I have understood how important it is to make real-world connections with each other! We are all doing our best. Proud to be an educator!  

By

Ms. Meghana C 

Montessori Teacher

Ekya BTM

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