The Orchid School
Baner - Mhalunge Road, Baner,
Pune: 411045, Maharashtra, India

Tel: + 91 20 65007681, 66202702
Email: contactus@theorchidschool.org

  

Annual Day Speech 2012

Annual Day Speech 2011 - 12

Thank you Shrinidhi and Tanmay for the year in retrospect. The year gone by has had varied initiatives – some to be replicated, some modified and some replaced.

Each year lays the foundation for ideas in the year to come. The coming year is defining and significant. With 1025 students and almost 135 staff , we have reached Class X. Our first batch of Xth graders are preparing to take on the challenges of the world outside the cocoon of school life. It takes me back to the year 2004 when this reality seemed farfetched. Hard to believe that we have finally reached this threshold.

The coming year, along with focused attention on Classes IX and X, our endeavour will be to continue to improve the quality of the school systems and increase the standards in all aspects. We have already been working in this area.

Processes like the CSS and ISO audit help us to identify core strengths and weaknesses and prioritize goals and work on them.

Our areas of work and focus in the coming year will be
• Enhancing the Sports Program
• Increasing Academic Competence and Performance
• Continuing to work on Teacher quality and appraisal
• Putting more effort on increasing student motivation, student behaviour and igniting the joy of learning
• Enrolling and engaging the parent community widely and actively

The entire team will work towards achieving these goals and we will appreciate the support of all parents on this.

Today, I have 2 key messages to be delivered - one for the adults and one for the students.

For dear teachers and parents….

It is time we Shift Equations....

The world of the classroom and of learning has undergone both visible and invisible changes. While the structure of school, with its text books and time tables, may have remained untouched, the processes of learning, what we learn and how we learn, is changing every day.

We don’t live in the 70’s where teachers talked and talked and students listened (at least they pretended to), parents never questioned, management believed, everybody walked in lines, the head master was happy but never showed it….

We live in new realities and emerging trends – knowledge explosion, increase in parental involvement, teacher attrition, government policies and interference, change in society and family structures, digital explosion …
With these visible changes have come the more subtle ones that creep up on us and take hold of our lives before we are completely aware of them. Changes in the way we talk, think and interact, and in the way we imagine our worlds.

We need to accept certain shifts - from an emphasis on providing content to providing skills, from looking at the classroom as the only point of learning to accepting that learning happens across life spaces, the shifting equation between the relationship between teacher and student, parent and child.

Concepts such as flipped classrooms suggest giving the students more control of learning, moving the power centre from the teacher’s desk to the student’s fingertips and mind. Flipping the classroom may also mean more opportunities for collaborative learning among children, from student to student, from student to teacher and not just teacher to student.

Even in terms of “Discipline” – we need a paradigm shift from a authoritative environment to a democratic and collaborative one.

But most of us are not quite ready for this shift. We teachers may not be ready fearing that it might take away the legitimacy of our position in the system. We parents may not be ready because we have always seen the teacher as the ‘know all’ where as a teacher may not be, and need not be the ‘know all’.

Only if we make this shift in our thinking, our expectations will match the outcome.

We need to constantly remember – We are yesterday’s adults (teachers and parents) teaching children today for tomorrow.

For my dear children

Let’s not be Okay with okay.

We cannot be satisfied and complacent with mediocre outcome. We need to aspire to raise the bar in every field, be it academics, co – curricular, sports, discipline or attitude – Like Sharukh Khan famously says in the Dish TV ad “Don’t be Santusht – Wish karo….” That’s the mantra we want to propagate.

Let’s not be Okay with okay.
• So it is not OK to get satisfactory marks if you are capable of more
• It is not okay to not win a race, a match or a competition if you have the potential for more
• It is not okay to be casual and lax with your work if there is a deadline to reach
• It is not okay to abuse, hit or use foul words at the cost of hurting someone
• It is not okay to be disrespectful, rude or arrogant
• It is not okay to walk in to school with improper uniform or blunt pencils in your box
• It is not okay to half heartedly participate in school activities and say “I am bored” all the time when you are capable of being alive and showing that you are alive

I am sure you are getting the point. All the students know this and we have already begun tightening our expectations from each other through assembly and classroom forums. This applies to us (teachers) as well.

A bad habit never disappears miraculously; it’s an undo – it – yourself project.

A habit cannot be tossed out of the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.

So dear kids, do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. What many of us need most is a good vigorous kick in the back every once in a while. But just think, your actions are capable of changing that same kick into a vigorous pat on your shoulder. Eventually you should aim at raising expectations for self, where each goal automatically leads you to a higher level.

Don’t just stand there, make something happen.

You cannot wait upon the world for success, or a lucky star to fall from heaven – You must take action, go out and hunt it down, exhibiting initiative every step of the way.

If you want to leave footprints in the sands of time, don’t drag your feet. Walk with determination and confidence. The footprints will automatically form.

 
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