Founders Day Functions

It’s been a lot of hard work, but very satisfying, to bring the curtain down this weekend on all the Founders day functions and the culmination of the Twentieth Anniversary year of the school.

It started on Friday 10th July with the Aravali Founders Day where Mr Shekhar Gupta was the Chief Guest in the evening, giving an interesting talk on the role of media in a modern society and taking questions from the students.

Last Saturday, the 11th saw the Annual Alumni dinner. Overall turnout was a little lower this year, but it was nice to see a much bigger contingent of Aravali Alumni. What it lacked in numbers it made up in warmth and it was really great to catch up on all their news and progress.

From 13th July onwards it was activity week for the Phase III and Vasant Vihar campuses. Monday saw Eco-Buzz, Tuesday morning the special assembly put up by the parents of Junior School (what dancers !!!!) On the same day Phase III had an inter-school dance competition. Wednesday saw Shri Bandstand – a fascinating array of time warp experiences where i did have to remind myself it was 2009. For my taste it was a bit heavy on the heavy metal copy-cats – the highlight undoubtedly a rendition of Jimmi Hendrix’s Purple Haze.

The new exhibition boards provided fascinating perspectives for parents and a trip down memory lane for many staff, portraying the twenty year history of the school. Junior School parents commented that it gave them new insights in to the full variety of social and environmental contribution by senior school students – which made them proud and happy that there own children can look forward to that kind of involvement later.

Friday and Saturday were the big programmes to wrap up the 20th Anniversary. We started with a nice early morning programme on Friday at Vasant Vihar, remembering where it all started. Then, a quick dash down the expressway to Phase III where we held the first of two awards functions. Chief Guest was Vir Sanghvi who gave a fascinating speech and then answered candidly as the students fired some very interesting questions at him.

Friday evening saw a unique event. A gathering of virtually the entire workforce of the school at a hotel to celebrate the anniversary in real style. Anyone who might believe that a gathering of over 300 school teachers and administrators would be a very staid and sedate affair would, in this case, be very mistaken – remember, these are Shri Ram educators. Enormous fun, great bonding and lots of memories.

The final event on Saturday morning at Phase III saw the awards presentations to students of Classes VI, VIII, X and XII with Mr Naveen Jindal as Chief Guest. He really connected with the students and had them listening in rapt silence as he explained the thinking processes behind his decision to take on the might of the Indian establishment for the right to fly the country’s flag.

Through all the award functions for Phase III and Aravali Senior School it was great to see toppers who had also excelled in sports, co-curricular and other activities as well as their exams. Preparing the Director’s report always reminds me just how much success and achievement our students pack in to a year (maybe that’s why we’re always so busy ??!!).

So, it’s all over for another year and we get down to the ‘serious’ business of working with our students for a whole load of new successes, new achievements. Next year will see Aravali celebrate its 10th Anniversary, so more reasons to celebrate the school.

Male Teachers

Hi All. Term has started with a bang, everybody’s launched in to action at a million miles an hour. However, I just wanted to find time to post this link to a BBC article which highlights a longstanding concern of mine.

Any challenges they have in this area in UK are far far worse here. Where they may only be seeing around 10% male applicants for primary teaching, we’re only seeing about that for secondary teaching. At the primary level, once you put aside PE teachers males are pretty much non-existent. We see that the opportunity to connect with a male role model is sometimes one of the biggest motivations for some of our children (boys especially) to engage in PE and games. However, if they don’t have the natural aptitude to shine in sports in a competitive environment then this route can be virtually closed to them.

There are many questions we need to ask, as educators, for why the profession cannot attract men. Is it purely about the salary levels? Is it lack of an obvious career path? Is it because the strong emphasis on caring, nurturing etc. has conveyed a message that it’s no job for a man?

In the knowledge age there are many professions that, unfortunately suffer for having become entirely male bastions When quality of minds and application are the key determinants of success we need the best minds, male or female. We also need to acknowledge that the combined skills they bring to the table can enable all to be stronger.

So, how do we chip away at some of the entrenched attitudes? How do we get more men in to classrooms, including in primary school?

BBC Article

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