Denise Glyn Borders "I am passionate about Education...

Learning Forward Podcast on 7th November 2020 - Episode # 50 Sandeep Dutt in conversation with Denise Glyn Borders. She has served as president of SRI Education, where she led three centres – Learning and Development, Technology and Learning, and Education Policy. Previously, Borders was senior vice president and director of the U.S. Education and Workforce Development Group at FHI 360, a global human development organization with an evidence-based research approach. Earlier, Borders was a senior vice president at AED (formerly the Academy for Educational Development), where she oversaw U.S. program operations in education, early childhood development, research and evaluation, and education policy and practice. She also served as president and CEO of The McKenzie Group. She served as associate director of the Office of Research, Evaluation, Assessment, and Professional Development for the Department of Defense Education Activity. She was also chief of Educational Accountability and Assistant Superintendent for Baltimore City Public Schools and a National/Federal Government Evaluation Consultant at CTB/McGraw-Hill Publishing. In addition, Borders has been a curriculum specialist, teacher supervisor, classroom teacher, and university lecturer. Borders currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Teachers College, Columbia University, and for AdvancED. Borders shares how year 50 at Learning Forward is special and what the organisation is doing to revise the Standards Of Professional Learning after almost 25 years. The vision of the Standards is to serve the foundation of Learning Foward, what it stands for and the fourth revision will focus on educator practice and student results. Professional Learning is the prime vehicle to embody the success of educators, in the current times, the new digital skills and technology will really make all the difference. With 45 of experience, from a teacher to the CEO of The Professional Learning Association, there is no one better than Denise Glyn Borders for our show number 50.
President/CEO Learning Forward
You will love the stories shared by our happy teachers and passionate educators. We grow the capacity of your people to improve student achievement and transform your school into a culture of trust and collaboration in less time with fewer resources. Each person in your school contributes to the culture of your school. School culture is built on the actions and interactions of the people. You make your school stronger by adding value to others and making others feel valued.

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World Cities Day - Kusum Sharma

The 31st of October is celebrated as World Cities Day. The aim is to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, enhance cooperation among countries and cities in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contribute to sustainable urban development. The overall World Cities Day theme is Better City, Better Life.   However, every year a different sub-theme is selected. The sub-theme is in such a way to either promote the success of urbanization or address specific challenges from urbanization. 

The theme is selected to discuss how urbanization can be used to achieve sustainable development. It aims at implementing the New Urban Agenda.

New Urban Agenda
The New Urban Agenda was adopted in Quito, Ecuador at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in 2016. The conference is also known as the Habitat Conference. The Agenda set global standards for the way the cities are to be built, managed and inhabited. Also, it aims at implementing SDG 11 which deals with making human cities and towns inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The Habitat conferences happen once in every 20 years. The habitat I was organized in Vancouver in 1976, Habitat II in Istanbul in 1996 and Habitat III in Quito in 2016.

Over half of the world populations now live in cities. The number is to double by 2050. It possesses great challenges related to the environment, housing, infrastructure, climate change, basic services, infrastructure, food security, jobs, education, safety and natural resources. 

Kusum Sharma
The Fabindia School

Honesty and Respect - Dynamic DGS

According to ‘Science of Honesty’ psychology study, telling the truth in a situation where one is tempted to lie, can significantly improve a person’s mental and physical health.

Honesty is not just about telling the truth. It’s about being real with yourself and others about who you are. It’s the easiest thing you can practise to be happy and get respect.

Respect is not a gift. It has to be earned! It is also reciprocal. What we give is what we get. When we respect humanity, we automatically respect humans.

While all of this is true, both these values hold different meanings for different people in varied situations.

As part of one of the school’s inter-class competitions, we change the class display board every month to increase general awareness and encourage creativity. Students participate actively and work hard to make their class boards attractive. A few years ago during one such competition, a teacher reached the school early morning and was shocked to see that the display board had been tampered with. The damage was huge! The items were torn and thrown on the ground. The same incident repeated itself the following day. This upset her a lot. That’s when she thought as to who could be behind all of this and why? She had a word with all the classes and asked them to confess. Nobody admitted anything; instead, the children started accusing each other. Once again, she discussed the matter and promised them that whosoever admitted the truth, would not be punished. Later that day, one student came and confessed. He felt that this board made by the other class was better. He wanted his class to win as they had never won before. She asked him why he had not spoken the truth earlier? He replied that he was naturally afraid of being punished. But when he was honest about it with her, he realized his mistake. The teacher respected the child for revealing the truth, and he too felt better.


In a similar incident, a student spoke bad words about a teacher as the latter was stern with her. Instead of scolding, the teacher had a relaxed conversation with the child about the situation and tried to understand her emotions. It was this respect for another person’s views that the child finally apologized and could trust the teacher even better.

As adults, we do not give a chance to the children, to be honest. We react, not respond!


Another teacher’s experience with RESPECT was wonderful. At her workplace, the seniors respect everyone’s opinions, are approachable at any time of the day, and are open to changes. This has changed her approach to work in a positive way. The way humans speak, listen, and react, determines the respect quotient from the opposite side.


Respect can be taught to children by being good role models. When adults respect their choices, sit with them, and explain things, good things can happen. This is how the child’s abilities to do better can be improved. The elders can magically change their mindsets and let them blossom into beautiful humans. Age is never a factor as far as respect is concerned. It is for all, and it’s unbiased. Respect is an echo.


Dynamic DGS @ The Doon Girls’ School, Dehradun - Shilpika Pandey, Reena Gusain, Rachna Bharrdwaj, Meenakshi Panwar, Reah Sikand & Sumali Devgan.

Medley DGS: Honesty earns Respect!!

“Be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others. If you want love, give love, if you want honesty, give honesty, if you want respect, give respect. You get in return, what you give.” Anonymous 

Nearly everyone knows the story of the poor wood-cutter whose iron axe slipped and fell into the river while he was chopping wood and at the end, his honesty was respected and rewarded. For one, to build the character of honesty entirely depends on his/her family values and surrounding, and school becomes a major part of it. As I sit and reflect on my life as a student, I find several incidents when one was honest and got punished, and at other times, honesty not only saved but also earned respect. As a teacher its different angle, as you are the authority and the child looks upon you with trust. It is difficult to make children understand the concept of honesty. At a young age, children find a lot of things attractive and want to have them. In one such incidence, a girl in my dorm took a toy of another child as she liked it very much. As a housemother, it is my duty to know every child, and somehow I knew who did it. On confronting, the child agreed that she took the toy. Now came the challenge of whether to punish the child for stealing or to spare her for her honesty. Manier times to teach a bigger lesson one has to forgive smaller mistakes. That’s how we earn the trust of the children when they learn that their honesty has been respected.

गुरु  कुम्हार शिष कुंभ है, गढ़ि  गढ़ि काढ़ै खोट

अंतर हाथ सहार दै, बाहर बाहै चोट ।।


And this reminds me of another incidence where a girl took a book of another child and wrote her name on it. The other girl to whom the book belonged recognized her book and claimed for it and the argument started. Since both the girls belonged to my dorm, they came to me with the fight. On questioning both, I understood who was telling the truth and who was lying. After dinner, I took the girl for a walk and told her that I know the truth. I said to her “You are a good girl, and it must be something important that made you do so. If you are honest with me I will help you as much as I can”. She told me the truth that she had forgotten the book at home and was very scared of the subject teacher. Hence, she took that book. Then she started sobbing, thinking what everyone would say when they will know that she was lying. I told her one such incidence when I had forgotten my book at home, and my teacher did not say anything because I was honest and promised to be careful from next time. After listening to my story, the girl got the hint and promised to accept her mistake in front of her classmate and the teacher. As a teacher, it is also essential to maintain the balance between being strict and discipline and being understanding and approachable.

While pondering over this incidence today, I realize the importance of not only educating our children on “honesty is the best policy” but also on why it is the best policy. Just as in this story, one lie leads to others, and soon we find ourselves stuck in the web of our own lies and dishonesty. That’s when we realize that for a shorter benefit, we put our respect at stake. And the fear of losing our respect forces us to say more lies. Honesty is expressing our feelings and opinions accurately, and when we are not doing that, we get into an internal conflict that makes us restless, tense, anxious and fearful.

Hence, Just like Mahatma Gandhi’s Experiments with Truth, let’s do our experiment with Honesty in the class and outside and see for ourselves whether truly, honesty is the best policy?

Proud to be Educators From Medley DGS - Anubhuti Sharma, Chandralekha Negi, Kirti Bisht, Mamta Kandpal, Neelam Waldia, Rudrani Ray and Sugandha Ahluwalia 

Honesty and Respect - Magnets DGS

Magnets DGS @The Doon Girls' School, Dehradun - Kiran Juyal, Manju Srivastava, Mezhu Chopra, Pooja Sharma, Renu Sundriyal

Honesty and Respect - Triumph DGS

            "ईमान पर दुनिया कायम है, ईमान बिना सम्मान नहीं |                                               ये राह सच में मुश्किल है, इस पर चलना आसान नहीं |"

मनुष्य के लिए जीवन में ईमानदार होना उसके अस्तित्व को बनाए रखने के लिए आवश्यक है और दूसरों से सम्मान प्राप्त करना आज इंसान के लिए मुश्किल नहीं है, परन्तु क्या हम स्वयं की नज़रों में स्वयं को सम्मान दे सकते हैं?? यह जानना हमारे लिए सबसे आवश्यक है| 
(एक संवाद ईमानदारी और सम्मान के बीच) 

ईमानदारी : हे सम्मान ! तुम कहाँ जा रहे हो ?

सम्मान : अपने अस्तित्व की खोज में |

ईमानदारी : परन्तु मैं तो तुम्हें हर जगह महसूस कर सकती हूँ |

          जरा अपनी नजरें दौड़ाओ और देखो, हर नौकर अपने मालिक का सम्मान करता है | 

          दुकानदार ग्राहक का सम्मान करता है |

          और हाँ ! सबसे बड़ी बात, हर शिष्य अपने गुरु का सम्मान करता है |

सम्मान : परन्तु वह मैं नहीं !!! वह डर है, जिसने मेरा स्थान ले लिया है |

ईमानदारी : डर ??? यह कैसे सम्भव है ? ऐसा तुमने कैसे सोचा? ऐसा सोचने पर तुम्हें किस बात ने विवश किया?

सम्मान : तुमने!!!

ईमानदारी : मैंने!!! परन्तु कैसे ???

सम्मान : लोग तुम्हारे रास्ते पर नहीं चलना चाहते क्योंकि तुम्हारा अनुसरण करना बहुत कठिन है | तुम्हारे पीछे चलने  पर लोगों को दर्द और दुख का सामना करना पड़ता है| अत: लोग तुम्हें और मुझे पीछे छोड़ कर किसी और रास्ते पर चलने लगते है, जिसे तुम मेरा नाम दे रहे हो| बार-बार रास्ते से भटकने के कारण मनुष्य अपनी पहचान खो रहा है और अपने जीवन की खुशियाँ भी खोता जा रहा है |

ईमानदारी : क्या कोई रास्ता ऐसा है, जिससे मनुष्य तुम्हें और मुझे छोड़े बिना अपनी मंजिल पा ले ?

सम्मान : विश्वास और सहनशीलता दो ऐसी राहें हैं जिस पर चल कर मनुष्य हमारे साथ-साथ चलते-चलते अपनी खुशियाँ पा सकता है |

ईमानदारी : तो चलो प्रिय सम्मान ! विश्वास(trust) और सहनशीलता(tolerance) को भी अपने साथ ले चलते है, ताकि मनुष्य अपने जीवन की सच्ची खुशी(true happiness) को प्राप्त कर सके|   

जी हाँ!! यही सत्य है कि ईमानदारी की राह पर चलना कठिन है,परन्तु यदि हम ईमानदारी(HONESTY) का मार्ग अपनाएँगे तभी सम्मान(RESPECT)के अधिकारी होंगे और ईमानदारी और सम्मान को साथ लेकर चलने पर ही हम जीवन की सच्ची खुशी प्राप्त कर सकते हैं|ऑनलाइन कक्षा में बैठने वाले एक बच्चे के पास झूठ बोलने के सौ बहाने हो सकते थे, फिर भी उस बच्चे ने सज़ा की परवाह किए बिना, या सब क्या सोचेंगे, की परवाह किए बिना सत्य का मार्ग अपनाया और कक्षा में देरी से लॉगिन करने का कारण बताया कि वह देर रात तक अपने अभिभावकों के साथ बैठ कर चलचित्र का आनन्द ले रही थी| एक छोटी सी सीख भी हमारे जीवन की काया पलट कर सकती है |

ईमानदारी या सच्चाई वह नहीं जो हम दूसरों के सामने दिखाएँ परन्तु ईमानदारी और सच्चाई वह है, जिसका पालन हम तब भी करें जब हमें कोई देख न रहा हो| दूसरों में सुधार लाने से पहले क्यों न हम स्वयं में सुधार लाएँ| दिल पर हाथ रख कर बताइए कि क्या हम शत प्रतिशत सत्यवादी हैं? ईमानदार हैं? अब बताइए क्या हम अपने जीवन में शत प्रतिशत सम्मान के अधिकारी हैं?  एक किस्सा सुनाती हूँ |

                                                                                    यह कहानी है गाँव के एक छोटे से विद्यालय में पढ़ने वाली छठी कक्षा की एक भोली-भाली सी बच्ची विद्या (काल्पनिक नाम) की  जो सिक्के के दो पहलुओं के साथ जीवन में आगे बढ़ ही नहीं पा रही थी | सिक्के के वो दो पहलू थे- घर का सीधा- साधा वातावरण जहाँ यह समझाया जाता था कि प्रकृति और ईश्वर, सत्य और असत्य सब ऊपर से बैठा वह मालिक हर समय देख रहा है और दूसरी ओर विद्यालय का माहोल जहाँ साथ के सहपाठी प्रतियोगी बन कर साम,दाम,दंड और भेद की नीति के साथ हर समय अपने को सिद्ध करने के लिए प्रतियोगिता के लिए तैयार हैं |  बेचारी विद्या से धीरे-धीरे हर चीज छिनने लगी | उसका आत्मविश्वास , आत्मसम्मान , उसकी पढ़ाई , सब कुछ!!! धीरे- धीरे भागमभाग की इस दौड़ में विद्या कहीं खोने लगी और ऐसे लगने लगा कि क्या सच में सच्चाई की राह इतनी कठिन है कि हँसती-खेलती , फूलती-फलती एक बगिया यूँ मुरझा जाएगी ?? क्या बचपन से असत्य पर सत्य की कथा कहानियाँ जो सुनी वो सब बेकार हो जाएँगी ??

पर कहते हैं न कि ईश्वर भी सदा सत्य का ही साथ देते हैं, और सत्य ही सम्मान का जन्मदाता है |

जल्द ही विद्या के जीवन में एक नया पन्ना जुड़ा | विद्यालय में एक नई अध्यापिका आईं जो दूसरों की नजर में सिर्फ गणित की अध्यापिका थीं परंतु विद्या के लिए नव जीवन दात्री के समान बन कर आईं| चाहे कोई बड़ा हो या छोटा , शिष्य हो या गुरु, प्रधानाध्यापिका हों या चपरासी , वह केवल ईमानदार का ही पक्ष लेती थीं | विद्या की और उनकी राहें विद्या को समान लगीं, इसलिए धीरे-धीरे वे दोनों एक दूसरे को समझने लगे और विद्या फिर से एक बार मुस्कराती हुई बगिया के जैसी खिली-खिली सी हो गई |

“ एक सच्चा रिश्ता जल के समान होता है – न उसका कोई रंग और न स्वाद परन्तु फिर भी जीवन के वहन के लिए अति आवश्यक है | वहीं  सच्चे रिश्ते भी सम्मान पाते हैं जहाँ रिश्तों में ईमानदारी होती है | ” 

Proudly created by the inspiring team of Triumph DGS @ The Doon Girls' School, Dehradun - Prachi Jain, Mansi Sondhi Arora, Ritika Chandani, Shalu Rawat, Mohini Bohra Chauhan and Prachi Parashar

Honesty and Respect - Flyers DGS

Honesty takes birth where there is trust, respect then follows in. However, the question we all need to ask is, what are the circumstances that lead us to dishonesty? And that's what will make one introspect, further on, it would also give an adult food for thought, that what leads the child to dishonesty?

It is often very easy to preach about honesty and respect to a child, but does that always mean the one preaching about honesty is also honest with the child? Let's understand a child's perspective about the same through a story!

The above mentioned story is an eye-opener for every adult and a teacher; the values of honesty, truth and respect were instilled appropriately without humiliation and in a fair manner.

ईमानदारी एक ऐसा गुण है जिसे सभी लोग अपनाना चाहते हैं और हमेशा ही प्रशंसा करते हैं कि वह व्यक्ति ईमानदार है ऐसा करने से उस व्यक्ति को सम्मान मिलता है, अतः हम यह कह सकते हैं कि ईमानदारीऔर सम्मान दोनों ही एक सिक्के के दो पहलू हैं जो एक दूसरे के साथ स्वत: ही जुड़े हुए हैं।अपनी गलती को स्वीकार करने की क्षमता प्रत्येक में नहीं होती है हालातों केअनुसार बेईमानी करने पर हम मजबूर हो जाते हैं,परंतु स्थिति केअनुसार निर्णय लेते हुए स्वयं को दोषी ठहराते हुए,जो कदम किसी के द्वारा उठाया जाता है वह व्यक्ति वास्तव में महान हैऔर सम्माननीय भी है।

Once honesty deeply sets itself in our heart, soul and mind then the person becomes virtuous. For each one of us, honesty and respect is perceived differently and to understand perspectives of different human beings could make the world a better place to live in.         

Children are the shadow of adults around them and they follow, learn and observe every little thing, the onus of a child’s future and behaviour is on the adults around them, so if mistakes and lessons are learnt with honesty, trust and respect the chances of dishonesty, distrust and disrespect is squared down to zero!

Graphics created using Pixton: FREE Comic, Storyboard & Graphic Novel Maker

Written happily by – Flyers DGS @ The Doon Girls' School, Dehradun - Vijaya Jugran, Vandana Goel, Urvashi Uniyal, Nandini Arora, Bhumika Vyas & Ritika Tyagi.

इंटरनेट आज की जरूरत - सुरेश सिंह नेगी

आधुनिक समय की सबसे उपयोगी तकनीक जो न केवल हमारे दैनिक जीवन में बल्कि पेशेवर जीवन में भी हमारी मदद करती है। शैक्षिक उद्देश्यों के लिए, इसका उपयोग व्यापक रूप से जानकारी इकट्ठा करने और विभिन्न विषयों के ज्ञान को जोड़ने या अनुसंधान करने के लिए किया जाता है।

इसमें कोई संदेह नहीं है कि इस आधुनिक युग में हर कोई अपने प्रश्नों, समस्याओं या संदेह के लिए गूगल  को पसंद कर  रहा है। क्योंकि यह  कुछ ही समय हमें  में सूचना  प्रदान कर देता  हैं। इसमें ज्ञान का अपार भंडार  है जिसे कभी भी खोजा जा सकता है। 

आज इंटरनेट शिक्षा में बहुत महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभा रहा है।जिस  प्रकार से सभी विद्यालय आभासी कक्षाओं का संचालन कर रहें हैं वो सब इंटरनेट की वजह से ही संभव हो पा रहा  है। शिक्षक गूगल कक्षा में  अपनी शिक्षण सामग्री भेज करके इसे एक शिक्षण उपकरण के रूप में उपयोग कर रहे हैं। शिक्षक छात्रों का ध्यान खींचने के लिए एनीमेशन, पावरपॉइंट स्लाइड, वीडियो , और थिंग लिंक का  उपयोग कर रहे हैं। आप  शिक्षा संबंधी सामग्री इंटरनेट से डाउनलोड कर सकते हैं।  यहां तक कि परिणाम, एडमिट कार्ड, विभिन्न पाठ्यक्रमों के लिए आवेदन फॉर्म इंटरनेट के माध्यम से उपलब्ध हैं। अब तो सभी विषयों  किताबें भी ऑनलाइन उपलब्ध हैं। 

यह छात्रों को सीखने की प्रक्रिया में मदद करता है क्योंकि यह ज्ञान को सरल बनाने में मदद करता है। इसके अलावा, आप इंटरनेट से किसी भी प्रकार की जानकारी को प्राप्त कर सकते हैं।

आज इंटरनेट लोगों के लिए लाभदायक साबित हो रहा  है, जिसका उपयोग पूरी दुनिया में किया जा रहा  है। इसलिए, इसका उपयोग अच्छे उद्देश्य के लिए किया जाना चाहिए। यदि यह बच्चों के विकास स्तर को पूरा करने वाले उपयुक्त तरीकों से उपयोग किया जाता है, तो वे इंटरनेट से बहुत सारी चीजें  सीख सकते हैं।

सुरेश सिंह नेगी, The Fabindia School <>

What is important for Success? - Bharti Rao

Everybody wants to achieve their goal and success in life. Nobody dislikes it. But to achieve success is not so easy. Always remember that failure only helps us to achieve success. The first step to achieve success is to keep in mind that we should never be discouraged by failure. Learn from your failure to achieve greater success in life.

Destiny has a role to play in life, but it is beyond our control. Hard is in our reach and that we should never abandon it. Hard Work is the key to success. Without hard work success, no success is possible. If we work hard, if we perform our duty well, even God will have to reward us sooner or later. Lord Krishna has said in his preaching in the Bhagavad Gita that “Do thy duty unmindful of the reward.”

Today in this materialistic world money is important. But always remember that money and materialistic success cannot give you real happiness.  If we run and aim for materialistic success it leaves us tensed and in stress all the time. True success lies in our happiness. Money should always be secondary. We should have that much money which will help us to lead a comfortable life. Aim at the success which will give us happiness, contentment and attain it by hard work and from selfless deeds. Don’t try to attain success through wrong ways and at the cost of others.

If you want success to believe in yourself, work hard, keep on trying and learn from your flaws. I would like to quote the words of Bob Brown “Behind every successful man there’s a lot of unsuccessful years.” So stay focused, keep patience and go on.

Bharti Rao, The Fabindia School <>

Gratitude - Ajay Vijayvargi

                                                   Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude,
 Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness,
Thankfulness may merely consist of words,
Gratitude is shown in acts.
 -David O McKay.
In today’s time, we are so busy and self-centred, meeting the deadlines of professional and personal commitments that we often forget to practice basic human values.

Thanks to the pandemic which has given us the time to rethink and practice the old value system – respecting and caring the elders, self-control to stay home with our families, rebuilding communications with old friends and relatives, being generous to help poor and needy in whichever way we can help them, preserving atmosphere – less travelling to and fro from workplaces, visiting places in our own or other means of transport (reducing pollution).

While observing the above, one thing that we all have realised is being thankful for this life and everything around- this virtue is called 'Gratitude'. 

Gratitude is the highest form of appreciation for the kindness of others. Just imagine people in our surroundings – maid, sweepers, driver, milkman, cab driver … we never ever bother or think about our lives without them, women can understand the misery if in the morning the maid rings up and informs that she won`t be able to come, milkman or news hawker do not deliver milk or newspaper on time, sweeper not cleaning surroundings for two or three days.

During the pandemic, we understood the importance of our health workers –medical and paramedical staff, lot many visuals and video on social media show our gesture of thankfulness to them. 
Being grateful need not require any monetary involvements necessarily- a simple `thank you` with a smile will make the day of the recipient and who in turn will make the day of many others. It is a chain and we simply need to start or be a part of it by continuing it.

We should always be grateful to others and necessarily put it in actions-a simple gesture is enough –Try it once.
Gratitude can turn negative into positive
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
And they will become your blessings.
Ajay Vijayvargi
The Fabindia School

Happiness and Tolerance - Dr Mona Khanna

Photo Courtesy The Doon School Weekly  August 25, 2018, Issue No. 2510
 “The key to happiness is the tolerance of those who do not do as you do." ~ Jeanette Winterson.” 

We argue the most with the people most important to us, our family. As children, we are blissfully unaware of parental duties and oppose so many decisions that our parents make for us. As parents, we try to impose those same expectations on our children. 

In today’s world, the generational gap is becoming increasingly evident and prominent. A member of Generation X, I am seldom in sync with the beliefs held by my Gen Z children. There are so many similarities and differences between their upbringing as compared to my own. Over the years, I’ve adjusted and adapted to their ideologies and principles as they have to mine. True happiness can only be achieved via harmony and mutual respect. Tolerance goes a long way in arriving at that harmony.

My son, Shiven, turned 20 years old recently, and I looked back at his critical decisions. It doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree with those decisions as long as he is satisfied with them and is making the most of his time. All my life has gone into studying and then teaching mathematics. My father was a civil engineer, my brother studied engineering while my daughter is pursuing medical. Safe to say, we are a science family. 

Ever since a child, Shiven shared my interest in Maths and Science. It hardly came as a surprise when he opted for PCM, post his 10th results. His career path was structured, and I was happy that he knew what he wanted to do in life. Fast forward two years, and I was stuck at a crossroad, I had never imagined myself to be facing. Shiven had given the IPMAT exam for IIM Indore’s 5-year dual degree program. The exam was supposed to be a back-up, and we weren’t expecting him to clear without preparing. So when he got through and then decided to accept their offer letter, I was not ready.

For ten years, we had shared a vision. It was really tough to let go of that dream and drastically switch careers. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision Shiven to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree. Unprepared and confused, I sought counsel from many people on the program and curriculum. Shiven was adamant about joining, and I had to agree that the course was promising. Conflicting emotions led to unnecessary arguments that took time to mend. 

It was a crucial point not just for him but for me as a parent as well. I was going to have to learn to tolerate and accept some of my children’s decisions. I am a staunch advocate of the philosophy, ‘‘Live and Let Live.’’ I have lived my life on my own accord, making my own decisions, many of which haven't panned out the way I expected them to. It is incredibly challenging seeing your loved ones make mistakes, even more so if you could help prevent them.

As Shiven enters his 3rd year at IIM Indore, I marvel at what he has been able to achieve over the last two years. We are never going to get everything that we hoped for. Nor is everyone going to follow your principles or listen to your advice all the time. If that were the case, the world would be deprived of different talented individuals and lack creativity. 

Happiness and Tolerance go hand in hand. Keeping others happy, especially the ones you love, goes a long way towards your own happiness. At times, that requires tolerance, patience, and the ability to compromise. 

Ambiguity is a ubiquitous part of life. A student may spend his entire two years preparing for the course without knowing if the search will be in vain. He may stare at an abstract painting on a gallery wall, uncertain if the vague shape is a bicycle or a product of his own imagination. The tendency to view ambiguous and uncertain situations as appealing versus threatening is known as ambiguity tolerance (Frenkel-Brunswik, 1949; Budner, 1962) or uncertainty intolerance (Freeston, Rhéaume, Letarte, Dugas, & Ladouceur, 1994). People who are more tolerant of ambiguity report being happier (Bardi, Guerra, Sharadeh, & Ramdeny, 2009), more motivated to learn (Tapanes, Smith, & White, 2009). As teachers, we should be prepared to be more tolerant of ambiguity and be flexible to tap the best potential of the child and allow them to be risk-takers, creative and make the world a happier place for themselves. Tolerance doesn’t just make peaceful coexistence possible, another advantage is that being open to other ways of thinking can help with personal development.

Teaching children about tolerance is the best gift that you can give them as teachers. Children shouldn’t grow up with feelings of hate and suspicion. Children who grow up with hate and jealousy of others turn into unhappy people. And children who are forced to believe certain opinions will develop into people who aren’t free or independent thinkers. Tolerance can help shift the attitudes toward others, leading us to a more productive and happy life.

- Dr Mona Khanna, Vice Principal at Unison World School, she has joined the PLP Cohort for the Joy Of Learning Program at the John Martyn Memorial School in Salan Gaon near Dehradun, India Dr Khanna's professional profile - 

Photo Courtesy The Doon School Weekly August 25, 2018, Issue No. 2510

Happiness And Tolerance - Aspiration JMMS

The first thing one observes in the playground; a boy aged six dancing obliviously to his surroundings. At times boys would kick him to stop him from dancing or pull his shirt, but he does not get bothered.

As one enters class 1, he comes jumping, “Good morning ma’am. My Name is Siddharth Sharma”.

While taking the class, Siddharth was everywhere. Jumping on the bench, drawing on the blackboard, talking non- stop and disrupting the class. 

His energy could not be contained in the class. Siddharth’s classmates also got irritated with him. He was frequently hit and bullied by them. Teachers and his peers were constantly complaining and blamed him if anything went wrong and he was excluded from their games.

We created an action plan along with the parents. Principal ma’am arranged counselling session for Siddharth and for his parents. She along with the specialist helped the parents to understand the ‘Down syndrome’ disorder. A workshop was organized for the teachers on special needs to build up their understanding. In the class, extra help was provided; to support the teacher.

Siddharth’s mother was advised to come to the school, so she can observe the class and help him in the class and then follow it up at home.  

In the class children were told stories on friends, environment, animals, accepting differences and problem-solving etc. they were asked open-ended questions such as, (a) what would you have done in his place, (b) how can you make a difference, (c) what other things can happen. These open-ended statements allowed the children to think and come up with suggestions. More probing questions were asked and they came up with more answers. We related their responses to the classroom situation. Sometimes a child would narrate a specific incident that had occurred with Siddharth and him/ her. It was then discussed in the class and they came up with positive suggestions on, ‘how their responses can be positive and help him’. 

Siddharth was given small responsibilities in the class with supervision. His positive qualities such as friendly nature, sharing ability, dancing, and singing were brought to the attention of the class. Gradually, we started feeling the difference in the class, as the children accepted him as he was.

They started to display acceptance towards Siddharth and gave him space to be himself. 

The teachers’ positive tolerant attitude towards inclusive practice reflected in the teachers’ behaviours and it was passed on to the children. The results suggest that tolerant inclusiveness in the classroom practice influenced happiness of the class as a whole, and as an individual. The children picked up additional values such as to be patient, helpful, problem-solving, understanding, caring and to think differently. It was the collective learning of both teachers and the students in the class. By bringing in inclusiveness in the classroom, the parents, students and teachers learnt to work together.  They participated in the design, delivery and monitoring of education; and inclusive education happened as a shared responsibility.

To be tolerant is a great quality, but to pass this value one needs to set an example.  It has to be a choice made and not a compulsion. It is a teachers’ attitude, which helps children to imbibe this quality. By bringing intolerance; it paved a way for inner happiness and contentment in our class. 

Our journey of making ‘inclusive classroom’ led to instilling patience and generating happiness in us and around us. 

अगर हम  सहन करना सीखे तो अंत में खुशी  पा जाते हैं।

मौन मन की वाणी सीख कर हम खुशी का संसार पा जाते हैं।  खामोशी है जीवन का आईना, जुबा मौन है तो अपनों को साथ खड़े पाते हैं।जीवन में सहन किया कुछ तो, अपने दामन में खुशियां पाते हैं, खुद भी हर्षित होते हैं औरों को भी  हर्षाते है।

एक बार हमारे स्कूल में एक बच्चा दाखिले के लिए आया।वह 9 साल का था। उम्र के हिसाब से उसका दाखिला कक्षा चार में हुआ। वह बच्चा यूपी केकिसी  गांव से आया था, इसलिए उसको ठीक से हिंदी लिखनी और बोलनी नहीं आती थी बच्चा अक्सर खुद को असहेज महसूस करता था, और किसी नाकिसी बहाने से कक्षा से बाहर निकल जाता था। सभी शिक्षक इस बात से परेशान थे, फिर शिक्षकों ने जब उसके पास बैठकर उसका पिछला काम देखातो, पता चला कि बच्चा कक्षा 4 की पढ़ाई के लिए असमर्थ था।

उसकी इस कमजोरी को ध्यान में रखते हुएहमने कक्षा एक से शुरू किया सबसे पहलेउसको अक्षर ज्ञान दिया फिरमात्राएं और शब्दका ज्ञान दिया। इस काम से बच्चे को बहुत हिम्मत मिली और पढ़ाई के  प्रति  उसका रुझान बड़ा और धीरे धीरे वह वाक्य बनाने लगा।अब वह बच्चा सभी बच्चों से दोस्ती करने लगा, और बच्चे भी उसकी पढ़ाई में मदद करने लगे। उसकी इस सफलता कोदेखकर बच्चे के  माता पिता बहुत खुश हुए उन्होंने बच्चे पर घर पर भी ध्यान देना शुरू किया। बच्चे में यह बदलता बर्ताव देखकर सभी शिक्षकों और बच्चेके मित्रों को बहुत खुशी हुई। उस बच्चे की सफलता को देखकर शिक्षकों को इतनी खुशी मिली जिसका शब्दों में वर्णन करना मुश्किल है। इसे केवलशिक्षक ही महसूस कर सकते थे। शिक्षक की खुशी का अनुभव जिसका शब्दों में वर्णन करना मुश्किल है। इसे केवल शिक्षक ही महसूस कर सकते थे।शिक्षक की खुशी का अनुभव कोई दूसरा नहीं कर सकता था।

Photos from Madhuban हिन्दी व्याकरण संबोध and use of Google Search. Our story of a child with special needs is original.  We built-up our understanding by reading some articles on the net.

- Aspiration JMMS @ John Martyn Memorial School, Salan Gaon, Dehradun - Renu Raturi, Sandhya Thadani, Sonali Sharma and Asha Bhandari

Happiness And Tolerance - Tarang JMMS

A mind is like a parachute it doesn’t work if it is not open. The parachute may have to go through some intolerant weather but it knows that a little push of the air of happiness will help it reach its defined destination. 

What is happiness?

“It is not about how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness “- Charles Spurgeon. 

Happiness is the emotion we feel when we are content. When we start to appreciate and acknowledge what we have, we are bound to be happy. Every person feels happy in a different situation. A person who enjoys life start to appreciate it and eventually lives a happy life. Happiness does have an important role in our lives and it can have a huge impact on the way we live our lives.

Tolerance is permitting others to practise their beliefs and make their own choices. You don’t have to agree with them it’s a matter of respect for individuals as fellow humans. When we practise tolerance, we accept others ideas and beliefs. If you respect someone’s opinions – even if you disagree you display tolerance.

Here is a story by one of our group member where she tells the importance of happiness and tolerance.

The boy studying in her class was a little shy and had some speech problem because of which he finds it difficult to express himself and usually remained quiet in the class. The boy used to get angry and frustrated when he felt that other students are ignoring him or not understanding his thoughts. He used to scribble on others notebooks and even tore the notebooks out of frustration. Other students also distanced themselves from him because of his behaviour. The teacher also noticed this and was worried about his behaviour.

The teacher discussed the issue with other teachers and decided to have a meeting with the child’s parents. The parents informed that the child was advised by the doctor to have regular speech activities in order to better the speech. But the boy didn’t interact much in the class so the teacher then decided to conduct an interaction programme every day in the class where the boy was given more chances to interact with other students so that he could overcome his inhibitions and also his speech can get better.  It also helped other students to get to know one another and also get closer to the boy and thus understanding him in a better way. The programme really helped the child though he didn’t get fluent in his speech his behaviour changed towards others, he became more polite and tolerant as now he felt heard and accepted.

Tolerance and happiness are necessary for every species. As humans, we are very diversified and different so we need to tolerate one another in order to move forward in our journey of evolution. Happiness is not only in achieving the goal one can be happy during the process of achieving it. Your happiness is in your hand try to grab every moment that makes you happy.  

The story is based on the experience of the group members. The photos are taken as reference from Google images and are drawn by the members.

 - Tarang JMMS @ John Martyn Memorial School, Salan Gaon, Dehradun - Neelam Bhardwaj, Shalini Gurung, Dolly Pharasi, Laavanyaa Joshi

Happiness and Tolerance - Achievers JMMS

Happiness is something which we can’t describe in words, it can only be felt from someone. It is the feeling that you have been honest with yourself. Happiness is the feeling which satisfies our within. Small things can make us happy. I think a child should understand the value of happiness so that he or she makes a happy society. Every day we see or meet someone who is happy and tries to spread happiness in his or her surrounding. The things that make a teacher happy is seeing their students happy and sharing their problems with the teacher. A teacher and student have a relationship where a child tells about his problems and a teacher tries to solve it. Teachers and parents are the best guides for the child to put the value of happiness and tolerance in the child. And to make him live in an environment where he has to face different things.

Tolerance is important which helps people to live together peacefully. It means patience, understanding and accepting anything different. Tolerance is the attitude of openness and respect for the differences that exist among people. For example teasing, bullying and disrespect are the negative behaviour in children so it is important to teach tolerance from an early age. In students life, tolerance is necessary because when a child learn to be open-minded and learn about various cultures, food, people and faith surrounding them, it will be easier for the child to accept them when they get younger. 

Tolerance a Path to Happiness    


In the middle of the term, I got an admission of a girl who likes to stay all alone in the class as well as outside the class. She was not able to mix up with the class. It was in her that she doesn’t like to share her things with others. In the recess time also she uses to sit alone and eat her lunch. she was very quiet. She was not able to make friends. 

We as the teachers tried to find out the problem that girl was facing. We decided to take the survey to her house and talk to her parents regarding their child. When we met the parents we found that a child got affected with her surrounding where the neighbours don’t even talk to each other neither the other children like to play together.

We decided to put the value of sharing in the girl as well as in the students who are a bit similar to that girl and arranged the little potluck lunch of the class where every child got something from their home. They all shared and enjoyed. By seeing this the girl also shared her lunch and enjoyed with everyone. She now made new friends in the class. This is how the tolerance of the class, as well as the girl, change into happiness.

 “ It’s within us to change tolerance into happiness."

The story is on the experience of all the members that they have gone through. And the pictures in the story are taken from Google images search, including Shutterstock and are not drawn by the teachers.

- Achievers JMMS @ John Martyn Memorial School, Salan Gaon, Dehradun - Sweta Thapli,  Jyoti Joshi, Meena Kukreti and Nisha Pundir.

Happiness And Tolerance - Visionary JMMS

If someone asks, What’s Happiness? The answer for that would be Happiness is something which is around us; we just need to have the real eyes to realize that feeling from within. And if we’ve to draw happiness children would be the best portrays of happiness. Oscar Wilde one of the known authors has said  
“Happiness depends upon us", in Hindi “प्रसन्नता हम पर ही निर्भर करती है|”

The word tolerance means to be patient, have the willingness to accept the differences around you. To recognize, respect and embrace the diversity that’s tolerance for us. This tolerance can intake our actions to contribute, to create a healthy and happy life.

A teammate of ours who says,” tolerance sometimes builds among these children at an early age which eventually bring us at a blissful state.” Her story fits into these two values.

Tolerance Promotes Happiness

A girl joined grade 2 in our school in the midterm session of the academic year. She was confident, quite artistic and loved to participate in outdoor activities. After a week one of her classmate complaint that she never carries the lunchbox and has lunch of other students. A teacher asked her the reason she smiled and replied “madam my lunchbox is with my brother”, on that the teacher thought she might have her lunch early. Next day during the lunch break the helping staff noticed her lunchbox was empty and her friends without creating a fuss were happily sharing the lunch with her. Later the helping staff find out the reason and told the whole story of that girl to the Class teacher.

The girl had a younger brother in the pre-primary section and both the siblings use to leave home early for school along with the other students of their neighbourhood. They use to come to school by walking which took almost an hour. Most of the times they skip their breakfast which makes the younger brother felt a bit cranky with hunger and he troubled his sister on their way to school. She simply tolerates his behaviour, to reach school on time she let him have her lunchbox which worked as a result of gratification. 

On the other side, her classmate who had grumbled with the girl's behaviour was now happily sharing the meal with her without expecting anything in return. Its proved that if we spread happiness without expecting anything in return it’ll always pay back to us. The school principal also gets to know about this incident. And this thing compels the school to realize there could be other students too who might be missing out their breakfast or not bringing lunch because of some reasons. As the students in our school are underprivileged, our school then took the decision of providing the students with a morning snack just before the assembly as well as offering supplement lunch in the school. 

Sometimes we just need to have the ability to sense our pure thoughts, and then we have to implement it through our action and those actions will reach the perfect state of happiness. We as an adult get to learn to a lot from these children. Although they don’t have a clue as to what they are doing, unknowingly and without a clue they allow us to explore to do things. The girl displayed her tolerance by love and care towards her younger brother and her classmates accepted her behaviour of not carrying lunchbox by sharing their food with a desireless state of mind. Tolerance always helps to create a balanced environment which peacefully allows us to gain happiness. Hence, it's true to say “Tolerance promotes Happiness.”

-: Visionary JMMS @ John Martyn Memorial School, Salan Gaon, Dehradun -  Ambika Gurung, Parineeta Negi, Manmohan Kaur and Bharti Dangwal  

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