Mandatory Disclosure

Gunjan Khandekar
Primary Teacher

1) Tell us a bit about yourself.
Ans. I am a shy but happy-go-lucky person who is passionate about her life. I am someone who gives her 100% in whatever task I take up. Because I love what I do, I have a steady source of motivation that drives me to do my best. I am a positive person who has an enthusiastic outlook on life. I am ambitious and I enjoy each day as it comes. I am someone you can always come to with your problems and I will make sure I will help you out with it.

2) What is it like being a teacher? Is it fun, exciting, or stressful?
Ans. Frankly, I never thought I would become a teacher being an engineer. As I started teaching it felt as if I was made for this. Being a teacher of course brings in a lot of responsibilities and stress as you are responsible for shaping the future of the children. But then again being with kids and teaching them the things they aren’t aware of simply and differently is a lot of fun. It gives you a lot of satisfaction that it’s because of you the kids are understanding the things and this is what excites me a lot.

3) In what ways do you encourage creativity in your classroom?
Ans. I usually encourage brainstorming in my class. I ask the students to share their ideas or knowledge about a topic instead of me directly introducing it. I try and use different visual aids which build curiosity in the students. Also, I ask students to teach a few topics to their peers to instill critical thinking skills in them.

4) Tell us about your likes & hobbies.
Ans. I love reading a lot. Daily before sleeping I at least read a page or two. Also, I am a trained Kathak and Bharatnatyam dancer so I love dancing too. Singing and listening to music is also one of my hobbies as I feel music is the best healer and language can never be a barrier in this field.

5) Do you make learning fun for your students? How?
Ans. Yes, I do that. As I am an EVS teacher making the students understand the concepts is my priority. And going with the conventional way of teaching can make the class boring. So, I usually use audio-visual methods or show them models related to the topics to make my sessions interesting and fun. I keep my classes interactive where students can participate. My classes are usually the noisiest ones. I use the peer teaching method instead of me going all the way teaching them for straight 40 minutes. Also, we discuss several other things during the class which freshens up the mind of the students (as their concentration span is low) and they can concentrate and understand the topics more easily.

6) Who is your favorite sportsperson and why?
Ans. My favourite sportsperson is Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He is a leader with a passion. He is one of the most popular cricketers and one of the most successful cricket captains. What made him my favourite sportsperson is his down-to-earth nature and his ability to handle pressure at any point in time. He has always demonstrated how to handle pressure situations and earned the name Captain Cool. Also, his leadership quality must be admired the most.

7) Would you describe yourself as a tough or understanding teacher?
Ans. I think I am a mix of both. I like to be friendly with my students and listen to them as well but when the situation requires me to be tough, then I have to be tough but of course in an understanding way. I teach kids of different ages mostly 10-year-olds, so I have to gain their trust, respect and prove myself worthy first so when I become tough at a certain situation they would understand.

8) How do you use technology to enrich your lessons?
Ans. Technology is playing an important role in the current situation. With the help of technology, we could take our classes easily. But the challenge was to make the sessions interesting. I personally use a lot of audio and videos to help children understand the topics thoroughly. Also, I prepare a PPT presentation for each and every topic to make the content easier. I also ask the students to explore certain topics on the internet and let me know about them the next day which also leads to curiosity building.

9) Describe a gifted student.
Ans. If we go by definition, gifted people have above-average intelligence and/or superior talent for something, such as music, art, or math. Gifted students are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude or competence in one or more domains. These students have abilities that are significantly developed beyond those of their peers. They have keen observation and are curious about knowing all the things around them.

10) Who influenced you to become a teacher?
Ans. I don’t have any background in teaching in my family and being an engineer, I never thought of being a teacher. But right since my school days, I have always been teaching my younger sister so it comes naturally to me. When I came to Pune, I started taking tuition to pass my time. Once I got the grip of it, I thought of actually giving it a try and started with teaching. And gradually I turned it into my career.

11) List 5 adjectives that accurately describe yourself.
Passionate. Sincere, Dependable, Hardworking, Versatile.

12) What were you like, as a student?
Ans. I was a very sincere and bright student. I’ve always been that quiet student who used to sit at the front of the class and dutifully take notes. Also, I have always been active in all the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities like swimming, skating, shooting, dancing, horse riding, etc. which made me a popular girl at the school.

13) Tell us about an award or recognition during your teaching career?
Ans. Being recognized by the students itself is an award for a teacher. When you enter the class and students feel happy seeing you is an out-of-the-world feeling. That itself feels like recognition.
Also, various times my hard work and dedication have been recognized by our Principal Ma’am, Coordinators, and colleagues which haves kept me on my toes to give my best in every aspect of my teaching life.

14) In your opinion what are the biggest challenges that teachers face today?
Ans. With Covid – 19 crisis, online teaching became the new normal in the field of education, and with every crisis comes deep challenges and opportunities for transformation. The biggest challenges faced by the teachers today are the lack of technology/up-to-date technology, lack of teacher experience with technology, limited digital resources, etc. Other than the technological issues various other hurdles faced during online classes were figuring out online class etiquette, maintaining discipline online, etc.
The transition into the digital classroom has made it a difficult task for the teachers. The teachers are spending copious amounts of time planning lessons to keep students engaged, disciplined, and spending boundless energy to motivate highly distracted students. Teachers are also working hard to fill the learning gaps.

15) What would be your advice for upcoming teachers.
Ans. The advice that I would give to the new teachers is to have passion, empathy for the students, solid knowledge of the subject area, as well as good organizational skills because they’ll need to be well prepared for the lesson. I’d tell new teachers to make learning fun. If children enjoy what they’re doing, they will soak up all the information like a sponge. Give your 100% in everything you do. Get to know your students and differentiate your teaching to each student. All children have talents, remember to look out for them, acknowledge them, praise and value them all. We are about educating the whole child, not just academically. It will all be worthwhile when you get to meet your students as adults whom you have helped to shape.