Innovative teaching, effective use of technology and holistic development of students are the guiding principles of the two teachers from Tamil Nadu who have been selected by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education, to receive the National Award to Teachers for 2020.
For S. Dhilip, an English teacher from the Government Higher Secondary School, Sathyamangalam, Villupuram district, his teaching career has been one filled with effectively integrating innovative technology with classroom learning.
“As a language teacher, it is important that I ascertain the learning levels and needs of each student in my class. For this, my teaching should not be limited to simply reading out what is given in the textbooks, but rather come up with innovative teaching methodologies that will ensure better communication skills,” said Mr. Dhilip, who has been in the profession for over 20 years now.
Emphasising the view that teaching a language should not be limited to writing exams or simply reading the material given, Mr. Dhilip said that he had brought in technology to make learning more fun for his students.
“To help develop their reading skills, I came up with a digital banner with 44 phonetic sounds. ‘Gamified grammar’, another module developed by me, focused on teaching grammar through games,” he said.
For gamified grammar, the students are taken to the playground and are taught a grammar rule by playing a game there. In addition, they also learn through virtual tools. A learning module that Mr. Dhilip developed was also adopted by other schools in his district.
Holistic development is the key to shaping up students, said R.C. Saraswathi, headmistress, Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Ashok Nagar, who has also been selected for the national award.
A teacher for over 33 years, Ms. Saraswathi took over as the headmistress of the school in 2014. “My predecessors had worked a lot for the quality of education. Children are very knowledgeable and it is our responsibility to make learning interesting for them,” said Ms. Saraswathi, who is also a chemistry teacher. “We have an Atal Tinkering Lab and a Maths Lab on the school campus and ICT tools are used in classrooms to make learning interesting. I firmly believe that teachers need to innovate and engage with students and not limit themselves to textbooks,” she said.
Students are encouraged to sign up for several co-curricular activities, including music. They also sign up for the National Cadet Corps, Guides, the Red Ribbon club and several other volunteering initiatives, she said.
“When children pass out of our school, we want them to be moulded into socially responsible citizens. This is possible thanks to the efforts of our team of teachers, parents, parent-teacher association and support from the School Education Department,” she said.
Mr. Dhilip and Ms. Saraswathi are among the 47 teachers who have been selected from across the country for the national awards. They will receive a citation and a cash award. The date for the awards distribution will be announced soon by the Centre.