Friday, 12 April 2013

The day I became a KG Coordinator

Good day!! Let me begin by saying that I love my four schools: Natwar Nagar MPS (Mumbai Public School), Mahalaxmi MPS, Laxminagar MPS and Wadibunder MPS.

The day that I became a KG coordinator, I was super excited. The excitement lasted for a few days till it seemed to me that my teaching career was coming to an end. I had a difficult time in the first 3 months letting go of the classrooms and the students.

I had become an instructional leader and someone that was entrusted to building capacity in others. I had to become a grandparent to my students and a parent to our teachers...phheww

However, though I wasn’t a “teacher” anymore, I noticed that I missed the teaching part – I missed the feeling I would have when students would “get it”, the joy of dancing singing and acting with abandon and knowing you won’t be judged. I enjoyed the direct interaction with students.

But being a teacher at heart meant that I refused to let go, at every chance I got, I not only entered the classroom but took over the classroom teaching.

I still remember a funny incident at Wadibunder MPS where the teacher had to tell me to take a break from coming into class as the students felt like she was a substitute teacher and were getting used to my way of teaching. In reality I couldn’t let go of the class, I missed the students terribly. The same thing happened at Mahalaxmi school.

The past few months have been good for me as I have come to realize that as classroom teacher, I was able to directly affect students assigned to me for the year, but in the my role, I am able to support and positively affect all teachers and students in my schools.

Also, I continue to still be a teacher and teach as the role provides ample opportunities for me to go and substitute for an absent teacher.

I’ve started to enjoy the creativity and collaboration involved in the process of professional development of teachers and staff. At a recent PD, I was thrilled to hear the teachers saying that despite the distance and struggles, they felt that the 4 schools are one big family.

My first step towards building the community was to truly see all members of the school family: students, staff, parents and significant community members as partners.

We had a collective vision and mission that guided our practice. But it was also very important that each individual member of our schools understood that the collective vision and mission did not dictate that there is only one correct way to do something, and that we don’t all have to be at the same place, and on the same timeline as we move forward.

Our PD sessions always have time allotted for teachers to present their ideas, their understanding of any given situation and to write and narrate their learning stories. We promote the sharing of strengths openly so we can learn from each other. We learn and have fun, that’s why our KG schools are so cool.

Sheetal Murudkar
KG Coordinator, Mumbai

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