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By Fr. Dr. Francis Swamy SJ
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Jun 7th, 2019
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The new Academic year 2019-2020 began on June 4th, 2019 with an intensive and thought provoking session for the staff, conducted by Mr. Jerry Almeida, an internationally acclaimed inspirational speaker, storyteller and an UN advisor.

Fr. Swamy was present throughout the session. Mr. Jerry began his presentation by pondering on the word’ Namaste’ which was not merely a word of greeting but included ideas of honour and equality as well. The point that was brought home was that a lot of actions we perform are by habit without realizing its inherent meanings.

The basic focus of the session was Changing Mindsets. And to begin, the mindset of teachers and parents should change to make them relevant for the twenty first century. Mr. Almeida mentioned Socrates’ quote

I cannot teach anyone anything; I can only make you think.”

The foundation of every teaching should be to introduce critical thinking in children. Knowledge is limited but ideas and imagination is not.

Mr. Almeida also mentioned that teachers and parents are preparing students for traditional jobs that will not even exist. Teachers should become aware of the new winds of change and train students to adapt to them.

Teachers should teach their students to be perceptive and discerning. They should understand and teach their students to understand the value of character more than position or rank. The teaching of values and character is the very basis of Jesuit education. Thus the emphasis should be towards the teaching of values rather than just imparting knowledge.

Another point that was emphasized during the session was the importance of passion and belief in teaching. Only a passionate teacher will be able to unfold the gifts and potentialities of the child.

Mr. Almeida presented a few videos which emphasized the importance of a new way of thinking. Teachers pondered and discussed the video of Sir Roger Bannister who was the first person to run a mile in less than 4 minutes breaking the myth that it was an impossible task.

Mr. Almeida emphasised that a strong belief, intensive practice or a change of tool could completely change mindsets. The session ended with some thought –provoking inspirational videos about common men who achieved outstanding feats by just changing their way of thinking.

The staff were inspired by the session and are charged up to begin the new academic year with a new mindset and a futuristic vision of dealing with students entrusted to them.


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