Remember those intense formulas that you learnt in school? Or those endless hours you spent studying the history of the world and always wondered, ‘This stuff has already happened! Why am I wasting my life studying this?’ Or “Will I ever really need this formula later in life?” Here’s then thing- the curriculum has been designed in a certain way for a reason. The syllabus aims at holistically grooming you so that you can grow and develop into knowledgeable human beings that can take rational decisions after being well informed and in the best interests of society as well as yourself. Sounds intense, doesn’t it? But what this simply means is that education is not just for personal or social use, but a well-balanced combination of both.
In fact, the history bit is so that you learn from man’s past experiences and the outcomes, so that you know ‘his’ story and make life decisions, big or small based on previous experiences so you have a vague idea of how the world works. Knowledge of history helps you understand the current affairs in the world. Why are people of 2 regions at war? Why are certain political parties more favoured than the rest? It all comes down to a good knowledge of history, geography and civics.
We look at the science formulae and think,” there’s no way in hell that this is going to be useful to us when we’re grown up”, but these subjects have daily applications and practical applications in our day to day life, and we’re exposed to it so much that we don’t even realise the science that’s going into simple things happening around us!
Remember that paper fight you’d have in the class room right before the teacher was going to enter? You don’t know it, but subconsciously you’ve used some practical physics right there. How? Let us show you. You took a flat sheet of paper, crumpled it into a ball and then hurled it at your mate. You didn’t throw it just as sheet because the sheet has a larger surface area, making the terminal velocity lesser. You crumpled up the sheet into a ball with less surface area,then hurled it so that the higher terminal velocity makes It reach your target with speed. Amazing, isn’t it?
This is just one instance! Changing a punctured tyre, lifting heavy weights, driving, designing a house/club/restaurant/fitness space, all these are other small examples of how everything that we learn in school matters. Even simple concepts of biology such as Osmosis can be seen when you water different plants differently and just observe the many concepts and facets of gardening! Opening the door uses force, breathing uses the concept of gases and volume that pushes out the CO2 from your lungs and fills them in with oxygen. Even exercising uses concepts of science- physics, chemistry and biology!
The point here is, that studies and subjects are taught for a reason, that may not be visible right in the beginning, but they have both personal and social use in your life and ultimately play a huge role in moulding you as a human being.
It’s that time of the year. That time, when kids turn to their books like they never have before – one last time, one last hurrah! The feared, the dreaded, BOARD EXAMS! It’s only natural that they feel intense levels of stress during these months leading up to the boards because of the mentality and the sentiments around these exams that have been harboured over all these years.
“IF YOU DON’T ACE THESE EXAMS YOU WON’T GET ADMISSION ANYWHERE!”
“YOU HAVE TO DO WELL OTHERWISE FIND A NEW HOME”
“YOU HAVE TO DO BETTER THAN SHARMAJI’S SON”
After statements like these from Indian parents, you can’t expect children to not feel pressurized when they already have a lot on their plate. It’s kind of natural though, and you shouldn’t blame yourself since this is the norm that has been followed since the past few decades, but NOW it’s time to change that and that change can start from you! Imagine if your child’s mind was at ease and he could focus without a gun to his head, wouldn’t he perform better without the risk of anxiety and panic attacks on the onset?
Here’s a few ways in which you can tackle anxiety and pre Boards stress –
- A calm, composed environment – This one is for the parents. Don’t be angry for small things, and don’t pressurize them to study every hour. Trust us when we tell you, THEY KNOW their exams are coming. Rather than pressurizing them, reassure them and make sure they’re in a calm environment that harbours learning and ensure that they aren’t taking stress.
- Leave the old school ideas behind – This goes for both parents and kids. While it’s important to fare well in your exams and make sure that the marks actually reflect your potential, it’s not just academics anymore that determine how a child’s future will turn out. It’s more about all round development, extra curricula’s and social skills that play a big role too. Telling your child that only marks matter will put him in a state of constant anxiety. Show him the importance of studying with relevant examples, and not simply force him to get good marks. Chances are, he/she will understand why studies are important.
- Be a Support System – Kids need reassurance mentally, to really unlock their true potential and put their mind to studying and not worrying about failure. This is where the parents can act as huge support systems for their kids and stand by them in probably the biggest test of their abilities till date. Talk to them, listen to them, be around for them.
- Know your child’s ability – You as a parent should know your child’s ability better than anyone else and know the marks they’re capable of. Don’t be too hard on them and expect results that they’ve never got in their entire school lives. Know their ability and back them up. Accept them the way they are, every child is special in their own way. Let your child know you’re proud of him, and that you acknowledge all the effort he is putting in, and that you know he can do better.
Sounds fair? These are tips you can inculcate not just during the boards, but for life in general!
Get in touch with us if you are a student who’s stressed, or are finding parenting during this time difficult. We are here for you 🙂
In today’s times, staying updated with tech trends isn’t really a choice that parents have any more. It’s more of a bare necessity and falls under the mandates of ‘good parenting’. Today’s times are pretty tricky from a parenting standpoint. While the advancements in technology have made it much easier and more convenient to learn and imbibe information as kids, the evils lurking have also increased. We’ve often talked about the omnipresent social media and how they affect the child’s attention span, along with the plethora of games and apps that can have a lasting impact on a child’s impressionable mind – both positive and negative. In such times, when a child is not old enough to know what’s good for him and what isn’t, it’s the parent that needs to step in and take that call.
Now it isn’t just smartphones you need to worry about, we’ve come a long long way from that. Today’s kids have more specific demands, seeing the behaviour and usage of their peers and the gadgets that the parents themselves use. Smart watches, VR devices etc. are used by the children in a lot of cases and need to be properly supervised. These watches can run apps from the play store, and the Virtual Reality headsets give you an immensely real feel as if the world around you has changed. In a kid’s case, both these can mould their character in different ways and strict supervision is required to ensure that the apps that the kids are using are age appropriate and will do more good than harm!
But as parents you probably have a lot on your plate already. With jobs, responsibilities, added pressures that keep you occupied how can you possibly stay updated with the latest tech trends and supervise your kids? It’s really not that hard.
The key here is to ‘Get Wet but don’t drown’! What we mean is that keep an eye out for latest trends and developments that are being spoken of, but don’t read just any and every article out there. There are literally a million blogs and websites with information, but only a handful are actually relevant and true. Trust reliable sources and verified portals for your reviews and then form a judgement. A quick 5 minute internet search takes care of 90% of your task!
Find your Tech Whisperer! It can be anyone, a friend or family member that has a lot of tech knowledge, an online personality you meet at a forum or even a trusted blog that you can follow. Reach out and don’t be afraid to ask questions and queries and get your doubts cleared! Better to know something than be afraid to ask and stay in the dark.
Reach out to us for any queries/comments you’d like to leave and we’d love to get back to you. Cheers, and happy parenting!
Board examinations are a rather stressful time for all students. These students are geared to score well, and prepare religiously as the marks often determine the next step. It is common for students to get stressed before writing their exams, and often even while writing the exams! Over the years, I have noticed some common mistakes that students make in their mock up exams leading to their boards, and often, even their board papers. I am noting them down here along with solutions-
1. Misreading and missing instructions – students are often in a hurry to finish their paper as soon as they get it. Every subject paper in a board examination provides choices to the candidates. I have come across so many instances where students have attempted an extra question thereby leading to a time crunch, or even left a question because they didn’t pay enough attention…or simply forgot to turn the page! It is very important to be completely alert and scan the paper during the reading time, and plan out all that you’re going to attempt.
Here’s how I approach the 10 minute reading time – first, skim through the paper quickly in a couple of minutes and read all instructions. Next, read each section carefully and see what you can attempt, and plan your answers out. Always check and understand whether you have to attempt all sections, or only a few!
2. Time crunch – Always keep a check on time! I’ve often noticed that students spend too much time pondering over answers, and sometimes too little time and thereby making mistakes. Balance it out – decide the amount of time you will take to tackle each section. Do not be anxious and hurry up – be patient. And if you can’t find a solution, skip to the next question and come back to this right at the end.
3. Following a hierarchy – It is essential for students to be mindful of the marks that each section and question carries. Look at where the long answers are, and look at where the short ones are and weigh it out in terms of time. Usually, short answers are attempted first before hopping onto the section with long answer questions. Be brief, and to the point, and don’t ramble when you don’t need to!
4. Copying the question wrong – this is another common mistake among most students. The only way to control is to not be anxious or in a hurry. Be patient, read every question carefully, and double check to ensure that you’re copying it right.
5. Diagrams – Diagrams are often marked on their neatness and how they are labelled. Make sure that you are not drawing and redrawing – and don’t get frazzled while attempting diagrams or geometry and graphs in your boards. Leave ample amount of time for your diagrams and make sure that they are neat, precise, and well labelled. The hack to being efficient is to once again, be patient and systematic while drawing diagrams.
Studying can be rather tedious and takes up most of the student’s time – and is often, undesirable by students. It thus comes as no surprise that teachers have stringent rules about homework! Over the years, I’ve understood that there are a few hacks that make studying quicker, and easier – these are essentially hacks to improve your concentration while studying. I tell my students about these in my classes too, and would love to share it with everyone here too.
Here are some tips that will help students focus on studying-
Study out loud – you are 50% more likely to remember what you read out loud as opposed to reading the same paragraph again and again. Another tip is to play teacher and student – and explain the subject matter to yourself, solving your doubts, and raising questions to make yourself understand the subject matter better.
Create mental associations – The ability to make connections is not only an easier way to remember information, but it’s the fuel of creativity and intelligence. Creating these mental associations are an easy way to connect ideas by creating a visual overview of different connections (example- an easy way to remember the first 20 elements of the Periodic Table is to make a mnemonic) You can also draw diagrams to memorise.
Re-energise yourself every few minutes – Do not sit in a place for a prolonged period of time. Walk every 20 minutes and keep yourself well hydrated while studying. This will make you active and more interested in your topic.
Take power naps – If you are studying for long hours, do not beat yourself up or drink coffee or energy drinks to keep you up and about. If your brain has to concentrate consistently for hours at a time, it loses processing power and your concentration levels slip. Power naps work very well, and help you look at all the subject matter completely refreshed.
Do one thing at a time – Do not get ahead of yourself or take the easy way out; and don’t attempt to kill two birds with one stone. Not only does this leave you scattered and distracted, it makes your memory strained – i.e, you forget everything very easily. Instead, focus on one topic at a time and ensure that you understand it very clearly.
Meditation, a long term solution – Seek and practice guided meditation. It is a great tool to sharpening your senses and improving your focus in everyday life. It also improves both mental and physical health.
These are some basic hacks that help students improve their focus and master concentration while studying. I do hope that this is useful!
How important is a Digital Detox? And how relevant is one when it comes to students and that age group of society? This article aims to tell you just how important technology is, and how an absence of it is even more important. Today we live in a generation of Social Media and the internet, where everything that happens is done online and what happens online, stays there forever. In a time when online media and the internet has such a big part to play, it’s really a very powerful tool in terms of influencing the mind of a teenager or a student, positively and negatively.
Disconnecting from technology has a plethora of benefits not just academically, but generally too for the well-being of a budding young student. A student can in fact do really well if he or she is isolated from the distractions of technology. Students today are addicted to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to such an extent that they need to check their phone every 5 minutes and as a result, have the attention span of a 2 year old.
Besides helping teens focus and pay attention to the task at hand, a digital detox also helps increase social interactions – a phenomenon that seems to have gone extinct in today’s times. Social interaction is something that is necessary, because the more they interact and are exposed to real time surroundings, the better they get at dealing with them, and the more of help it’ll be to them in a few years when they’re faced with real time obstacles and scenarios at their workplace, in their personal life, etc.
Another thing that the detox will help your kid with is that he won’t take as long to study and exams won’t really be a task if he isn’t distracted the whole duration of his school time or even before the exams. He has time at hand, along with the necessary focus and can get done with his studies and get a good night’s sleep before the exam.
Social media gives many of us an unrealistic impression about life. It is important to give the real picture to your children, instead of letting them think that everyone’s life on social media is perfect. It is easy to fall into this trap with social media, and it is necessary that a check on reality is consciously maintained at all times. This in turn works wonders for mental health, as you want your child to be happy and focused.
As parents, you should emphasize the need to find the right balance and avoid extremities when it comes to exposure to digital platforms and their effect on the performance of the student. Make it a priority to teach your children the importance of DISCONNECTING from the internet world.
When it comes to taking the next step the education cycle, it’s always a question for the parents whether or not to send the child away to a hostel. Even the children are apprehensive at the thought! Well, you can’t blame them for not wanting to get out of their comfort zone, it’s human nature after all. No one wants to leave the comfort of their homes and move out to a new place. But going away to a hostel to study has its own pros which outweigh the cons by a huge margin. Let’s discuss these further-
The good part about going away to a hostel is that you get exposed to a whole new world, a whole new lifestyle. Till now, it was not just you but your entire family involved in almost every choice you that you made. Hostel life means brings about a new level of independence! You learn how to take your own decisions, you learn how to own up to your mistakes, and most importantly you learn how to watch out for each other. Hostel life teaches you team-work and leadership in ways you couldn’t even imagine!
Another good part about living in a hostel is that it isn’t just you who’s going through this period of change and transition from the pampered life to the solo life, it’s a whole lot of like-minded people of the same age group, experiencing similar feelings which helps you bond with each other and find a family away from your own. It’s no replacement of course, but it makes life that much easier to deal with and a little more enjoyable.
Hostel life gives you a sense of belonging, and a sense of attachment to your peers. These people come to care about you, since you’re practically living with them and learning, eating and growing together. You have people looking out for you, people to interact and grow with and ultimately you guys learn through each other’s experiences and mistakes.
Hostel life also teaches you one very important life lesson – Money Management. Living in a hostel means living in a budget, and not running to your parents every time you want to eat, drink or buy something. It teaches you to budget and plan your finances and spend your money judiciously.
All in all, the hostel life is one that every kid should experience for at least a few years, and take as much learning from it as possible, so that they can continue molding themselves into able, responsible students that know how to find the right balance in life!
Every parent wants to raise successful children, and we are all constantly trying to find newer and better improved ways of doing so. Today, we are here to give you the answer. We are here to tell you that the largest success booster there is, that’s is the presence of a parent.
To a child, the most important people in the world are his or her parents. Typically, a child spends 6 hours at school, a few hours at classes or playing with peers which still leaves the maximum time in the day with his/her family. At home, is where most of the learning takes place. The child depends on this place for his emotional well-being.
A trait common to all human beings is seeking attention. Whether the child actively asks for it or not, trust that he or she needs it. As a parent, one needs to show active interest in academic and school progress, social peers and buddies as well as in the emotional state of mind of the child.
Studies have shown children who come from an open flow of communication in the home space are more likely to participate and succeed at various activities. Similarly, children who are termed as badly behaved or troubled, usually are trying to attract the parents attention.
A few ways a parent can consciously help a child are :
- Set aside time – in our daily lives, we don’t always get time with our loved ones as everyone is caught up in their schedules. There could be a structure set of having weekly or daily family time, whether the parent and child bond or talk to one another and share.
- Small everyday actions make the largest impact – Don’t wait for your family time to bond with your child. A passing smile, pat on the shoulder or even a compliment can go a long way. Remember your child is never too old to be told how amazing he or she is, or to be given a bear hug. At first, it may seem awkward for both parties but eventually it will become natural.
- Have the hard conversations too -The harder it may be to have conversations that make you uncomfortable or that you think will make your child uncomfortable, the more important they are too, as nobody else will have these with your child. The answers and reactions to these questions will also give you an in depth idea of the company, mentality and habits of your child.
- Address with love – While bonding or giving attention to your child, there may be certain topics you may not be comfortable knowing, or that make you angry. It is important that you do not show this anger at that point but deal with it calmly as otherwise your child may never confide in you again.
The bottom line is great parental investment leads to satisfied and happy children! In all and every situation, remember you are in this together and no matter how old, mature or independent, your child always needs you!
At Vidya Mandir, our mind set is very different to other educational institutions. We do not believe in comparing students, but simply focus on imparting education to each of our students in a way that is comfortable for them. Here, we believe in promoting Growth Thinking and broadening the horizons of the minds, so that our students can tackle any situation at hand and face whatever comes their way.
The training methodology is such that it challenges their brain at every step, forcing it to evolve and take their thinking to the next level through rigorous tests, revisions and discussions that reinforce the topic in the student’s mind without making it a tedious task that requires last minute studies and mugging up, like most pre-exam scenarios.
We promote Critical Thinking and analysing the situation to take the best possible route to get to the solution. For this purpose, a lot of the learning at Vidya Mandir happens through group exercises and group projects. Why does this help? This helps mainly because when you’re working in a group you learn a lot more as compared to when you’re going solo. You have a broader outlook to the problem at hand, because it’s not just your analysis of the situation that is considered, but that of your teammates too. You interact, discuss and then take action after weighing the pros and cons.This is a practice that is also very helpful in daily life, since it ensures that you’re on the best possible track! Not only this, but through group activities, you learn through your doubts as well as the doubts and mistakes of your teammates.
Here there’s no limit to learning, we harbour an environment for positive thinking where mistakes are encouraged and seen as opportunities to learn rather than something to put students down for. They should keep learning through trial and error and keep progressing, since stagnation is the enemy of growth!
Our method of teaching has proven to be successful, and so many names on our success stories are proof of that. At Vidya Mandir, your child is well taken care of, where his mistakes are not only corrected, but also encouraged, where positive thinking is the only way of thinking, where group studies form relations and also lead to better understanding, where critical thinking not only prepares the students for an exam, but for life.
Are you ready to be a part of our ever growing family?
Today Social Media has changed the world phenomenally and it has taken over our lives in such a way that things are never going to be the same again. Social interaction may have increased by ten-fold, but how much of that is human face to face interaction is a question that is best left out of the equation. People might be in the same room today, but still living the moment through their smartphones and viewing the world through their screens, not their eyes. You might be wondering how this is relevant to education or parenting in today’s times. Well, the fact of the matter is that social media is harming your child’s education and no one is aware of it.
Let’s start with the basics- validation! Social Media validation is something that has become of prime importance in the millennials mind and has reduced his attention span drastically. Today a child is exposed to social media from a very nascent age, because smart phone exposure almost directly results in social media exposure where being on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram is seen as a necessity and if you aren’t on at least one of these websites then you’re titled a ‘Loser’ or an ‘Outcast’ in society. From the age of 10 and 11 children get into the habit of browsing through their smart phones and scrolling through social media platforms, not realising that they’re conditioning their minds to something that is going to affect their academics and life state in a very negative way.
Today’s generation wants instant gratification in every sphere of life, whether it’s food delivery, mobile recharges, buying clothes, shoes or even social life. Why take the trouble of calling up a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and asking how they’re doing, when you can simply scroll through their profile and stalk them or just drop a simple ‘Sup’ in their inbox within a few clicks? While this may sound a lot more convenient at first, it isn’t really human if you think of it. I mean if the person does matter that much then why not take the effort and time to connect properly? The same extends to different spheres in their life especially education.
Now what this conditioning for instant gratification does is that it reduces the attention span of a student majorly, and he’s so used to reading a couple of words and scrolling through that sitting down to read and study an entire paperback text book seems almost impossible for him. And while that’s extremely necessary at that point in his life, you can’t blame the student for not being used to this old fashioned format that our generations have been following since the beginning of education.
Also, life looks extremely perfect on social media. Children are exposed to fabricated lives of celebrities and famous people on social media. This makes them have unrealistic expectations in life, and these rose-tinted glasses are extremely tough to take off! Research also suggests that social media exposure is a leading cause of depression and other mental health issues among youngsters today.
Here is where the role of us as parents comes in. While it is important to keep our kids safe and provide them with the best we can, a filter needs to be there as to what is good for them and what isn’t. A smartphone is necessary considering safety since today almost all the kids have tuition, and extra-curricular activities to attend. But there needs to be a constant check on their activities and limiting their usage of the smartphone so that it doesn’t consume them completely, nor hamper their ability to pay attention when necessary and affect their ultimate potential.
Social media also exposes children to activities and occurrences from around the world, breaking boundaries. This is both good and bad, since a child’s mind is a blank canvas and can very easily be painted in any way depending on the kind of news it is exposed to. Here again it becomes absolutely essential to monitor and check what kind of activities the children are partaking in so that the balance is maintained and they stay well on track.
With a little bit of effort and guidance from the parents, the best of social media can be absorbed by the kids, and the worst can be averted. While you cannot escape social media, you need to make sure the use of it is controlled, at least while your children are in school/colleges.
Education as a value system is one that is built on the ideal of effective communication. Right from the time of the Indian Gurukul system, where oral tradition of passing on knowledge from one generation to another occurred, to modern times, where content is delivered on online platforms for students to access worldwide, talking and delivering as well as listening and receiving, form imperative parts of the process of learning. The only way forward is to channel this communication to make the process most effective and useful.
Feedback is a relatively new concept, being used by teachers and students alike in order to identify and keep best practices and strengthen areas of development. While teachers/mentors/parents need to keep in mind that feedback must be constructive, specific and action oriented, the same applies for the approach of the person on the receiving end.
Following are a few tips that will help you make the finest use of feedback and create the best version of yourself.
- Trust the process and people
Understand that the person giving you feedback are ones with experience and learning in the field. There are no vested interests or partiality here, all is said and done for your betterment. Keeping this in mind, and trusting that you are being helped, will allow you to open your mind and thus facilitate learning and progress.
- Communicate and resolve any doubts
If you have been given feedback you don’t seem to understand, or feel is misplaced, take the time out to resolve this with your teacher/mentor/parent. Approach them with an open mind, so as to understand the context of the feedback and the reason behind them making a statement. When you do this, you will better know the place from which this feedback comes from and will allow you to change your mind. Incase you feel the feedback is not constructive, communicate this.
- Create an action plan
There is an effect of feedback only if an action to act upon that feedback is taken. Analyze the feedback given to you, and perhaps discuss it with your mentor in terms of next steps. If you have been given appreciation for a particular area, identify how you can keep your successes. Similarly if you are given suggestions on areas of development, try to plan a way to strengthen them. An easy and effective method for the same is backward planning. Look at the feedback, and set a goal with a timeline. Then break it down into small goals, and targets with smaller timelines.
- One step at a time
Set achievable and realistic goals. Talk to someone if you don’t feel prepared to set these goals. Remember, things don’t turn around in a day, nor can everything be fixed in one go. Take one thing at a time, and focus on your current priority. Even if feedback is given for various things to be worked on, choose what you think is most important and go for it!
- Review your feedback after a while
Somewhere down your timeline and action plan, go back to feedback. Check for progress. Approach the person who gave you feedback, and look for change. If you are still stuck with the same feedback, you need to tweak your plan.
- Celebrate yourself
When you receive feedback, human tendency often makes us stress on the things not in our favor and we tend to forget the successes. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, their life, context, strengths and weaknesses are vastly different. Look at all the progress you have made. Applaud your successes, however small they may be to motivate yourself and keep going.
Together, we can be better!
We often have an existential crisis not knowing about what’s going on or what’s going to happen, or even if the decisions we’ve taken are the correct ones or not. Have I chosen the right subject? Have I opted for the right stream? What if I change my mind? What if I can’t do this in a few months? Pause. Take a break, and allow us to tell you that you are ABSOLUTELY FINE! The good thing about this feeling is that it is completely normal and it’s in fact natural to second guess your choices and doubt the direction you’re heading in. We’re bringing you 4 tips that will help you realise that you’re doing alright! –
- It’s been a learning process – Whatever you’ve done, whatever choices you’ve made, it’s been a learning process that has helped you become what you are today. You have made mistakes and learnt from them, and never repeated them again. You have been a part of some successful venutres, and the confidence has helped you learn a lot more about yourself. The most important thing in life is to be grateful for what you have or what you’ve become, because only when you do that can you truly move forward and realise your potential.
- You’ve always bounced back – To err is human, they say. And you’re no exception! So don’t worry about the mistakes you’ve made, or the ones you’re going to make because you’ve always bounced back and kept fighting through it. ‘Grow through what you go through’ is something that’s more relevant now than ever, and the most important thing to remember is never to stop trying simply because of the fear of failure!
- You are ready to Forgive – You’ve gotten past whatever’s happened and you’re mature enough to move on, forgiving all those that have wronged you. You may not realise it now, but in the long run the lesser baggage you carry, the freer you are to explore new horizons with nothing holding you back! Breathe in, forgive and forget!
- You can make your own choices – Now that you’re mature enough to understand what works and what doesn’t, you can make your own choices. Right or wrong, only time will tell but what matters is that you possess the courage to take that call of making a choice for yourself and not thrusting that responsibility onto others! You are able to make your own choices, and that’s a big deal in itself. You’re fine!
So it’s okay to feel low and confused, take time off and answer these 4 points, and you will realise that you’re doing just fine. No matter what stage in life you are at, you;ll sail through. Just keep these 4 points in mind 🙂
When it comes to studying and exams, everyone seems to drown in chaos as time passes by swiftly, and the deadline edges close. But it doesn’t always have to be last minute study sessions and hasty, selective learning to pass! We’re bringing you 5 simple but proven study tips that work and get the job done, provided you utilize them!
1 – Take short study breaks and go for a walk – Sitting in one place and trying to absorb knowledge can get very irritating, especially if you’re someone with a short attention span ( which is the case with most millennials) or someone who fidgets a lot. Rather than forcing yourself to sit in one place while your mind wanders away, take short brisk study breaks. Walk a little to refresh your mind and get the blood flowing to all the parts of your body so both your body and mind can wake up, and get back into study mode!
2 – Teaching someone else – You might have noticed this, but nothing gets an idea or concept firmly planted in your head like when you’re explaining it to someone else! You can’t really teach someone else a concept unless you completely imbibe it yourself, and in the process of brushing up to teach someone you end up revising and rehearsing it for yourself, which is basically a win-win!
3 – Shuffle Subjects – You should always make the best use of your surroundings and what you have at hand, and this couldn’t be more fitting than in the case of studying. When you get too saturated with Math you can switch over to English for a refreshing change and still keep the learning going, or when you’re too bored with Science you can switch over to the enthralling tales of Indian history and still keep the learning spirit up!
4 – Get Good Rest – This is probably the most important tip and pretty self-explanatory too! To stay in the best shape both physically and mentally you need to get at least 6-8 hours of sound sleep every night. Rest, sleep on time so that you can begin your day fresh and stay alert and attentive throughout.
5 – Take Tests – And last but definitely not the least, take more tests! The lesser the gap between each test, the fresher the content stays in your memory and you’re able to revise and remember what you learn again and again. When the big exam day comes, you merely need to peek back into your mind and the answers will flow involuntarily!
Try these the next time you are studying for an exam, and you’ll realize you don’t need to wait for a deadline to appear before you’re well versed with your syllabus!
At Vidya Mandir, students excel beyond expectations and go on to realise their true potential…but not without good reason.
We utilize a few fundamental techniques and concepts on which the basis of ‘teaching’ was founded and carried out but later on forgotten somewhere in the advancements and commercialism of modern times. We prefer keeping it simple, but highly effective!
Here are a few of the techniques we use to engage our students and keep them active –
- Work together in Groups – Group learning and group assignments are a great way to foster team spirit, coordination and effective learning through the mistakes and experiences of team members. We encourage our students to participate in learning in groups and harbour this positive learning environment whenever the situation is ideal. The results speak for themselves.
- Using Practical Examples – Nothing gets information into a student’s head like a well thought practical example that he can relate to easily. The perfect example of what we mean is the “2 trains travelling at x and y km/hr” question in mathematics to explain to us the concept of Distance, Time and Speed! Now imagine if every complicated question had a similar simple practical example to understand the basic concept and then apply that to the sum? Would make life much easier, wouldn’t it?
- Regular Tests and Revisions – Tests and revisions are a great way to gauge a student’s progress, but at the same time should not be used as a weapon into threatening them to study. At Vidya Mandir, we use tests and revisions very often after the commencement of every topic to ensure that the student imbibes that which has been taught to him and doesn’t forget it the next day. We encourage revisions as a form of staying in touch with what you learn, so that exam preparations are more of a formality than a task!
- When in doubt, ask! – We encourage our student’s to ask questions and doubts for their sake and for others! We believe that the more doubts you ask, the more effort you’re making to grasp the topic. With the intent there, it’s only a matter of time before you master the task at hand. For all the clarifications, our able teachers are more than happy to help with the doubts and queries!
Told you, we believe in keeping it simple, yet highly effective.
At Vidya Mandir teaching isn’t just about taking a class or sitting for a lecture, it’s much more than that. We believe in the true spirit of teaching and learning beyond the means confined to classrooms and buildings. Our ideology at this institution stands for something more meaningful and something deeper than just preparing students for a single examination or an oncoming test.
We believe in combining teaching and education in such a way that the students grasp knowledge in a solid, permanent manner through rigorous tests and discussions so that it stays with them in the years to come and helps them grow and improve at every step, so that they progress not just academically but overall as well. We discuss practical applications of the concepts learnt, and believe in preparing the student for life outside the classroom.
The teacher and student aren’t meant to share a relationship like any other service provider where once the service is given, the job ends. It’s a more intimate relationship that molds someone’s character and shapes a future.
At Vidya Mandir the teacher is also a mentor, a guide, a friend and a tutor who makes sure that the student has grasped what is being taught to him/her before moving on to the next topic due. He/she waits for the student to understand what is going on right now and become comfortable before moving to the next step. Our teachers don’t believe in rushing through topics just to get done with the syllabus. If a student hasn’t understood a concept even after several rounds of explanation, we encourage a private dialogue between the student and teachers. Our teachers will never proceed to the next step leaving children is doubt, and we can guarantee you that.
If you’re looking for a holistic education experience that ensures results by relying on the fundamentals of learning, then look no further! Come join our family 🙂
The biggest question that both students & parents have is that while it’s easy to stay in touch during the academic year, how does one keep the ‘Nerd Mode’ on during the vacations?
Once school is shut for the break (like the Diwali break now), the books take a back seat, collecting dust as they sit on the topmost shelves of the study tables. Opening them after the holidays are over feels like you’re opening them for the first time, which means that all the effort spent before the break goes down the drain if you don’t manage to keep in touch. Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it?
Well, it’s really not that hard and all you need is a little streamlining and planning with which you can have fun during the vacation as well as gain an edge above the rest of the students in the vacations in terms of staying in touch with the syllabus.
The method we’re going to tell you now is a top secret that most scholars have been using but never spoken about, but since you’re the lucky ones we’re going to be telling the ultra-successful mantra to staying motivated during the vacations – Pick one or two study partners and have a group study session every alternate day or every day for even an hour, and follow a timetable.
The good thing here is that you have no exam to prepare for so you don’t need to study under pressure. Pick one or two friends that are like minded or who’s company you enjoy so that study sessions aren’t boring or demotivating and treat the study more like a game, ask each other questions in a friendly quiz and set up a weekly score card where the winner gets ice cream or lunch from the loser. If you manage to make it fun and give just an hour of your day every alternate day or everyday depending on your schedule, you can easily keep in touch with all the subjects and revise what you know, forming a strong base for the coming term.
Try it, and study to learn more and not just for marks…you might actually end up enjoying it!
At Vidya Mandir, Mathematics isn’t just another subject one has to study in order to pass their exams. Mathematics is much more than a subject we need to study; it is a way of living. Allow us to explain. We’ve all known people who’ve been scared of maths, or we ourselves have suffered from the fear of numbers, and given up at the idea of doing well in Mathematics saying, “I can’t do it” or “It’s not my cup of tea” But is it really the case? Or are we just too afraid to look beyond the initial layer and get into the depths of the subject?
At Vidya Mandir, we believe that anyone and everyone can learn to love maths, if only they give themselves a chance to open up to this fear.
At Vidya Mandir, we believe in understanding the subject before preaching it to our students. The reason that so many people have a problem understanding maths is that it is a subject different in nature to the more conventional subjects like languages, history or social sciences. Not being able to score well in maths leaves student with a feeling that they are not good enough. If you’re reading this, we want you to know that this isn’t true! You are all very intelligent, you just need to find what you’re good at, and work towards being happy. As far as mathematics is concerned, do not worry. We request you only one thing- come to us with an open mind, ready to accept failure, and ready to learn from it.
Personally, I see the relationship each student shares with maths. Those who love it- I discuss problems and solutions with them. Those who do not- II still do the same! The point is to treat everyone a equal; it’s just that someone who doesn’t understand a problem might take longer to learn compared to someone who is scientifically inclined. That’s not a problem, I make sure my students leave only once they’re confident of what they’ve learnt. It might take an hour, 2 hours, maybe 5 classes even, but I have the patience to make sure you love my favourite subject 🙂
We ensure our students not just excel in maths, but fall in love with numbers and understand the joy one can experience by solving puzzles and arriving at the correct solution! Numbers aren’t all that hard to understand as long as you understand the pattern behind them so that you can experience the thrill of solving each problem!
The good thing about studying is that as long as there are students that are willing to give their 100% our teachers make sure they leave no stone unturned to get the concepts across to the students/ Through regular tests and in-class discussions the teachers ignite the flame of curiosity in the student’s mind where they actually WANT to solve the problem and don’t attempt it simply because they have to.
You don’t really have to fear Mathematics, come to Vidya Mandir and develop a new relationship with your arch enemy and who knows, it could be a love affair of a lifetime!
As philosophical as it may sound, the key to everything is happiness. Think about it, why do you
study so hard, do what you do, go forward with your hobbies, or even eat your favourite foods?
Because at the ground level it makes you HAPPY, it gives you joy and that’s why you choose to do what
At Vidya Mandir, we understand the importance of academics and marks but at the same time we
believe in a fulfilling life that gives you satisfaction at the end of the day, and we want to see our students smile.
We focus on marks and exams, but we focus more on learning, education and an overall sense of satisfaction. We want to
build a world where all that matters is happiness, and all those who are a part of the Vidya Mandir family will agree with this.
It’s for this reason that we encourage our students to strike the perfect balance between academics and extra-curricular
activities so that they can follow their passion and realise their potential in whatever field they
We’re extremely proud to put forward some of our extraordinary students that were excellent in
Math and Science, securing 90% and above, and still chased after their dream of doing what made them happy:
Kamakshi Rai follows her passion for singing and music.
Chandana Phadkule is an extremely talented dancer besides being exceptional academically.
Natasha Gracias is a pilot! Soaring through the skies is her passion.
Maitri Ravishankar is another bright spark, having completed her degree from NID, Ahmedabad!
And these are just a few of the many multi-talented individuals that we nurture to get the best out
of them so that they can follow their passion and live life to the fullest so that they can be truly
HAPPY! These students could’ve followed the road most commonly taken and gone onto become
Doctors or Engineers, but they chose to do what makes them happy.
That’s our end goal at Vidya Mandir, to ensure the students are well equipped for the exam of life, so that they HAVE THE CHOICE to
do what they want, that could be engineering or even biking!
They say that ‘Failure is a stepping stone to success’ and you’ve probably heard a lot more motivational stuff out there talking about how failing isn’t the end, but merely a means to get to the finish line. Well, that stuff isn’t just motivational mumbo jumbo but in fact a tried and tested method to scale new heights and excel in whatever you put your heart and mind to! The reason they say ‘Fall down 7 times, get up 8’, is that the first 7 times while you may not have succeeded, you learnt a valuable lesson in success and what it means to NOT GIVE UP and do what it takes to get to your goal.
This is the ideology we at Vidya Mandir follow too, making sure that our students learn to accept failure, and learn from it. As we have told you previously, we do not take tests to see if someone passed or failed, we take these tests so that children understand how much they have imbibed, and most importantly, they realise where they went wrong. We encourage students to look into their mistakes, and make sure they question us, and themselves, and learn how to go about it the right way next time around.
Not everyone succeeds initially, but you’re crossing out the ways to fail one by one until success is the only option left. They say you can’t defeat someone who never stops trying – That’s a lesson that failure aims to teach you, and teaches you better than any book or teacher ever can. You learn through your experiences and grow through what you go through.
More importantly, failure teaches you the value of success so that when you finally do succeed you don’t take it for granted. It teaches you the value of what you’ve earned, and how to stay humble no matter how big you may become.
People who embrace their failure are the ones who go on to do great things. They’re open to learning new things and improving themselves, and aren’t afraid to fall in the process. You think when Einstein was working on his theories he got them right in the first go? Of course not! But that never stopped him from pushing towards the answer and ultimately, creating history.
You may not have theories to work on, but in life there’s just one theory to achieving success – embracing your failures and learning from them. That’s the best way forward, no matter what you strive to achieve!
At Vidya Mandir, just like any other institution, the focus is on ensuring that our students do well and get exceptional results in their examinations. And we believe in keeping our promises, and hence boast of an exceptional track record year after year, consistently churning out board toppers that excel in their examinations.
With our surprise tests,weekly tests, mock tests, examination schedules, and vigorous revision, the majority of learning AND revision happens at the classes itself, thus minimizing the home work but maximizing the results. Over the past few years, we’ve had an exceptional record of students scoring 100’s in math and science, with majority of our students pass with distinction!
In the tenth standard board examinations, shining stars such as Anoushka Tyagi secured 100 in Math, while other talented students such as Ipshita Ghosh scored 99 in BOTH Math and Science! Khushi Gupta also scored an amazing 98 in both the subjects in her tenth board exams.
The story isn’t much different for the 12th Standard boards, where our students Agrima Sahore, Karen Hudlikar, Mariyam Ahmed and many more scored a blistering 99 in Math, while others like Aravind Bhardwaj, Vaibhav Sethi, and Supriya Aiyer scored upwards of 95 in Physics and Chemistry! It’s no surprise that not one but so many of our students have made their mark on the score cards, via a new and interactive way of learning that actually helps them learn their work and not just mug it up!
For the entire list of students and their marks in the 10th and 12th standard board exams, visit the following links :
To change your future and take a step in the direction of success, join us at Vidya Mandir and sign up for a brighter tomorrow!
At Vidya Mandir, the words ‘TIME MANAGEMENT’ are more than just a jargon expected to solve all your problems. It is in fact a skill that we look to impart in our students, via the various teaching methods and programs conducted so that they learn to balance their academics and manage time well enough to fit in all that’s necessary, without leaving anything neglected. Most importantly, we teach them effective time management keeping in mind that this is a skill required for life.
This is why time management is important, not just for school, but for life too-
- Lesser Stress: When you know that everything is taken care of, or scheduled to be taken care of, the feeling is unlike any other. A student feels light, care free, and can focus his energy in the right direction towards something productive, rather than constantly panicking or fearing that something has been left out or the guilt of not being able to make time for what’s important.
- More ‘Me’ Time: Better time management means you know exactly where your time is going, which basically frees up the time you were wasting to spend on something that actually needs it – YOU! More ‘me’ time could be whatever you want it to – extra football practice, music classes, whatever you want!
- Better Organizational Skills – The students may not realise it now, but later on in life this training to get your time management skills on track will get you places, in whatever field you choose to pursue, and help you stay organized and spend your precious time judiciously.
- More Self Confidence – Better Time management means you know what you’re doing and what you need to do, you have everything in place and you’re in control of your life. Nothing is left to chance and there are no ‘if’s on whether you’ll be able to do something or not. It’s planned for, and gives you a certain sense of confidence about yourself.
People often underestimate the importance of time management, especially at the school level which is the very base of a person’s identity and if learnt at the right time, will stay with you for life and make it comfortable. We understand the importance of this, and make sure our teachers inculcate this habit into our students’ lives.
At Vidya Mandir we use the most lethal weapon that the educational arsenal consists of – Tests. But there is a lot more to it than what meets the eye. We do not believe in conducting tests just for the sake of judging how much our students have learnt. We believe in doing things differently. Read on to know what we mean.
The tests we conduct are not meant to differentiate the smart students from the weak students or as a means for some students to show off, and brag about marks. We use our tests as a tool to accurately show where our students stand in terms of preparation and understanding of the subject matter. The idea behind the tests is not to rule out answers based on right and wrong. We don’t believe in “right” or “wrong” answers.
Confused? Continue reading.
Our tests show us how much our students have understood a topic. Instead of concentrating on how much has a student scored, we concentrate on the student finding out WHY he went wrong. This way he/she understands his roadblocks, and learns how to solve them. We believe that simply telling them they’re wrong won’t serve any purpose, and will only scare the student away.
At Vidya Mandir, every class starts with quick fire verbal tests that increase the tempo and energy of the class, and this way we make sure that the students have remembered and absorbed what was taught in the previous lesson. As a student we believe you don’t need to go home and study a lot, as long as you’re on your toes in our class you’ll be on top of your game throughout the school year!
Once the corrected answer sheets are handed back to the students, there is an open discussion as well as an individual discussion of the papers to see where each student went wrong. Problems are approached on an individual level. The open discussions address common doubts where questions are encouraged and students can learn through each other’s weak points too.
Here, we encourage our students to learn with examples rather than just mugging up the theory. When they leave our doors, they know a concept through and through well enough to explain it to anyone simply using apt examples from things around him. Once you know the concepts well, the battle is as good as won!
We are sure you want your children to study in the best institutions with the best faculty, and understand that the hunt for the perfect coaching class must be a difficult one, seeing how it plays a large role in shaping the future of your child. We focus on a lot more than just a Board Exam. Read on to know more.
5 reasons Vidya Mandir is More Than Just a Regular Coaching Class
We focus on making learning fun
If we see that a student isn’t enjoying what he’s learning, we take out time to understand the personality of the child and gauge what his learning style is. This way we can make learning fun for him. Our ultimate goal is to see our children happy.
Instead of preaching science to our kids, we open their minds to newer possibilities.
We do not propagate one line of thought when it comes to choosing streams. While certain subjects are important for school & the students have n option other than to ace them, we make sure we encourage our children to learn newer things and explore new opportunities for the future.
We don’t coach them for Class 10 or Class 12….
We coach them for life. We teach our students how to be responsible, successful and happy individuals. We teach them the importance of leadership and time management. We share tips on productivity. We believe these skills can be useful for the rest of their lives, and not just a temporary Board Exam.
We encourage our students to embrace their weakness
We know that perfection isn’t human, and we want our students to embrace this fact too. It is not possible to be the best, but it is important to understand what’s stopping us from being the best, and slowly work towards it. We teach our students the importance of learning life lessons through failures.
We do not want our students to run after scoring marks…
We want them to learn things for life. Marks are temporary; we want them to leave with lessons that will help them climb high in life.
We are a fun, happy family. Because we’ve always believed that happy people are successful people. Our results prove this. Our students are in touch with us even after a decade of passing out. Our students are successful, independent, happy individuals and this is what makes us proud.
At Vidya Mandir we don’t believe in putting aspirants through rigorous examinations in order to further prepare for rigorous examinations! If that was the case, you could probably prepare by yourself. We’re here to guide you and help you excel, no matter what your current academic stance is with two important qualities deciding your admission to our institution – curiosity and the determination to work hard.
Isaac Newton didn’t discover gravity while he was sitting for an examination; he discovered it sitting aimlessly under a tree, questioning the happenings around him. We believe that true learning stems from the fundamental drive to know more and stay curious and more importantly to gather knowledge because one WANTS to, not because one HAS to.
Over the last few years, exams have developed into the know all and end all of one’s mental capabilities. Society tends to judge individuals based on their academic prowess, often forgetting that some of the biggest names in the corporate world today such as Mr Bill Gates didn’t even complete his education! While that might be a one off case, the point is that the drive to know more and learn genuinely is far greater than simply mugging up knowledge and vomiting it out on a piece of paper – something that most students end up having to do in the examinations that are going to define their life.
Here we believe in something greater, something that will actually impact your life positively and guide you to succeed the right way! So if you do have the fire of curiosity burning within, and the urge to succeed and genuinely learn, then there’s no better place to be.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking about your career, wondering what will the first job feel like, or what direction of work should you choose in the first place. What if you make the wrong choice? What if you’re stuck in the wrong job? What if you can’t figure out what you want to do while you’re still in school? We understand that all of this can be stressful and send some long days your way.
We want to share with you these four tips that can help you not only with deciding a career path, but in every other aspect of life.
Don’t be bogged down by failure, it’s a necessary step.
As you have heard everyone say, as you were growing up, failure is required to make you a stronger and better professional. Not only does it teach you techniques and methods to be better at your job, it also trains you to have a keener eye when proofing your work. It makes you more diligent and motivates you to put in more effort.
Just like it happens in school with your teachers, your mentor, or boss, will know that you shall fail at some point and has definitely taken it into account when hiring you. This of course, does not mean that failure will keep you out of trouble. The best thing to do is take it in your stride, apologize, LEARN and fix the mess.
The most important thing here is to reflect on what exactly went wrong, and figure out steps to avoid this in the future. This is applicable to those math problems, that first job, that relationship, and every other phase of life.
Ask for help when needed and build relationships.
No matter how smart you are, it isn’t possible for you to know everything, and nobody at your workplace expects to either. You must trust that people higher up or who have been there longer know the process and are there to support you. This is the same as how it works in school too; when you don’t understand something, you ask a senior or a teacher. Simple, isn’t it?
This also helps to build relationships in the office, which is always of good use. The better your relationships with various stakeholders in your work life are, the smoother and happier your journey will be. Go out of your way to help people, and they will do the same for you.
Have a five year plan, and break it down to action plans
Most of us have a vague idea of where we see ourselves in five years. It’s a good thing to plan. Obviously, this does not have to be sacrosanct, and you will have to keep alter this plan as you go. Don’t forget to think of personal goals and integrate them into this plan.
Make sure, when you do have a five-year plan, it is broken down into smaller one-year plans. These plans include actionable steps of what and how you will achieve these goals. The more broken down these plans are, the more achievable they will be.
In an ideal sense, backward planning works best. You have a vague five-year plan; detail it for the next one-year, by creating a timeline monthly. As the months approach, create goals per month.
The most important thing while planning is monitoring your plan. Check if things are going as planned, if not you need to revisit your goal, see if its achievable and realistic, then revisit your approach, what can you do to make things more efficient?
Now apply this to your short-term plan of scoring good marks in your Board exams, and see how it works?
Understand there is no perfect job
No matter where you reach, how successful you may be, there will never be a time where all days in the year are brilliant, productive and exciting days. Ups and downs are a part of life and work.
Even in your dream job, two days out of five maybe bad, boring, monotonous and sometimes you may not want to get out of bed.
The important thing to see is that the other days are still putting a smile on your face, challenging you to push yourself and making your brain tick. Use this to motivate you to go back to work the next day, clean slate ready to take on the world!
As long as you’re in school, preparing for the exams throughout the year, it’s quite normal to forget everyday routines that can help you stay strong while you charge ahead. Teachers will focus on assignments, parents will focus on results and you’re left striving extremely hard to make everyone proud. While that, of course, is the ultimate goal; you cannot expect great results if you’re physically and mentally weak.
“I don’t have time for fitness”
“How does physical fitness even matter now?”
“At this age, what can I do to keep myself fit and active for studies?”
Allow us to explain.
- Eat Healthy
While you might be tempted to gorge on junk food, especially during those long study hours, we suggest you refrain from those fatty foods and focus on eating clean instead. Even eating a lot of home-cooked meals works. The idea is to avoid junk food. Junk food tends to make you feel uneasy, and also makes you feel drowsy and sleepy. Plus it will lead to unnecessary and drastic weight gain. But make sure to fuel up with food also because your brain needs glucose to function well.
- Drink a lot of Water
Not drinking enough water will lead to headaches, sleepiness and fatigue. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times, and drink whenever you can. Keep a reminder around you to drink as much water as possible. It will help you stay alert and fresh too.
- Sleep Well
Preparing for exams usually means a child is sleeping late and waking up super early to study and revise. The child thus misses out on the healthy, recommended 6-7 hours of sleep, which in turn leads to headaches, sleepiness, mental fatigue, irritation, hunger pangs, forgetfulness and weakness. So how does one sleep AND study? Start preparing well in advance! Make a time-table keeping in mind your sleep schedule too. You don’t want to be sitting in the exam hall staring at the question paper wondering what the answer is, because you’re too sleepy to remember.
- Take time out for Entertainment
This does not mean you go for movies and parties every day. Dedicate an hour every day to some sort of activity that you enjoy, preferably outdoors, since a change of scenery will refresh you and help you study better. Allow yourself one day a week where you can go out for 2 hours instead of only 1, but make sure you earn those 2 hours of stress-free living. “I will watch the movie only if I complete 5 chapters of this book” sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? This way you will also be motivated to study more. Plus taking time out for entertainment will recharge your mind.
- Express Yourself. Reach Out.
Do not be scared to express yourself. If you do not understand something, ask your teachers. If you do not like a subject, let the teacher know (the teacher won’t be able to remove the subject from your reading list, but will definitely help you with techniques to make you learn better) Reach out to your loved ones if you feel stressed and troubled. Discuss your exam fears with your parents. Talk to teachers and parents about your life plans. Talking will help you ease the stress. Give it a try and you will know 🙂
These tips sounds extremely simple, don’t they? But you’ll be surprised to know how many people ignore the basic habits because of exam tension. Do not let it get to you, children! We’re here to help you prepare yourself for life. Reach out to us, and let’s work together to build a solid foundation for you 🙂
Choosing a stream right after your 10th boards is one of the trickiest decisions that you’re required to make, with a very limited idea of the options available. The stress around this decision is maximum, since the subjects you select in standard eleven and twelve are studied in depth – and you would like to be wary of making the wrong decision. Of course you can change your path once you’re done with Class 12, but even studying something you don’t want to for 2 years can affect your learning curve in a negative way. In fact you might lose the will to study too! Don’t stress, while you’re with us, you don’t have to worry about your education because we help you make the choice that makes YOU happy.
While the options have been laid out clearly – Science, Commerce and Arts, the choice you make directly affects the path you choose for further studies. While it is important to make the most ideal decision, it’s equally important to know the tools to minimise your stress and be more confident of your choice. Here’s how you can go about it. Knowing what you DON’T want is also important. It is important to narrow down your options with reference to your interests and your grades. While this basic education for about 10 years is just a small step to dig into something deeper, pick out the subjects that interest you. Remember that there’s nothing wrong in being unsure of the subjects that interest you – it could be a cross disciplinary choice as well, but it’s important to gauge your interest in terms of how your mind is involved while studying these subjects and whether you make an extra effort to be more involved with them. Eliminate your weaknesses if you can’t identify your strengths – and make the choice accordingly. Check your grades, check your interests, or eliminate the options that don’t work for you – that’s the ideal concoction to making a wise choice.
Research career prospects At the age of 15, you’re rather unsure about the everyday life of any career prospect that may interest you – whether it’s a chemical engineer, an investment banker, a researcher, or a graphic designer. Remember, at this age, with the limited knowledge and exposure, it is impossible for you to wholly understand the job roles of any professional or artist. Don’t let this stress you out; instead, consult people from different fields and ask them more about what they’re required to do at work every day. Of course it isn’t easy to understand their job roles even after you learn about it from them, but a vague area of interest is important. Remember that your mind is going to evolve a lot in the next five years, and that is completely dependent on the choices you make.
Understand who you are from your parents, teachers and mentors Understand your strengths and weaknesses from people who are close to you. It’s important to take in another perspective while making life choices. You may be interested in journalism – for example, there’s much more to the field than reporting and current affairs. It’s important for you to understand if this job interests you – if you’re actively interested in reading, current affairs, and you’ve got strong people skills and research skills. These skills may exist at a very nascent stage, but make sure you consult your parents, teachers and mentors and take in their opinions as well.
Remember that in the end, you know best. You will not be an expert since the beginning, but the next two or three years are just a training for you to dig deeper and understand what direction you would like your life to be headed. It’s not easy to make the choice at the age of 15, with limited knowledge, but remember you know yourself, and you’re surrounded by people who are looking out for you – you are going to make the best possible decision.
When I started Vidya Mandir, my goal was not merely to help students increase their grades, or aim at marks – but to establish a connection with them, in a way that they would learn more about themselves, and about life, through the process of studying at Vidya Mandir. I believe that there’s a lot to learn about yourself as you’re grasping information that’s new to you – the way you look at it, whether you question it, your interest in a specific method, or if you think it’s of no use to you. Yes, how you treat new knowledge has a lot to do with how your life shapes up!
To me, it has always been important to not just impart education in terms of scoring better in the sciences, but to help each student get more in touch with themselves through this process of learning. I’ve seen students transform from being shy and passive for two years, to being confidently curious and scoring better marks because of the change in the way they grasp the classes at Vidya Mandir.
We’ve always been friendly and less authoritative, and we’re mentors to our students if they want us to be. Education at Vidya Mandir is focused on the individual, and their personality development – and for this reason, we choose to apply the teaching methods that we do. This includes assessing students, their personalities, their friend circles, and how they perceive their environment. This process includes a fair amount of perception of the students by the teachers themselves.
I would never want to approach teaching in a technical form – where students are simply taught subjects. I would always prefer to look at teaching as an ongoing, dynamic process that moves beyond the subject matter to the larger philosophy of life. It’s heart-warming for us to be contacted by our ex-students when they cross important milestones of their lives and remember us. We’re touched by a phone call by a student who would once be the most talkative and naughty child in class, telling us about his most recent career accomplishment.
I wish the best for every pupil who comes my way – and always hope that our lessons here are more than just Mathematics and Science to them. A class is always ready for discourse, but we do aim at finishing portions and reaching targets for students as well. Somewhere, the specialized time we assign to our students makes our institute different from schools and colleges, where our time with our pupils is highly limited, and our focus, centered. Somewhere, in this short journey with our students, I look at them more than just a pupil, but an individual with different perspectives, and different sensitivities. After all, there’s so much a teacher learns in his experiences as well.
The doors of Vidya Mandir are always open to those eager to learn, and even more so, take back more than just subject matter understanding – great friendships, teacher-student relationships, and learnings for life.
Education is the quest for knowledge, and over the years I have come to realise that it is the teacher’s duty to make sure that his or her students perceive it that way. Only when one looks at life as a never ending quest for knowledge can the thirst for learning never die, and that constant growth through constant learning can still be possible. In the end, we’re all students in this game of life.
The process of learning begins from the time a child can be able to perceive intelligible information and make something out of it, and it continues till a person’s last breath. While formal education is imparted through school, and later through college, one must not forget to constantly observe, pick up on signs, and learn from them.
Take for example a tea bag. It gives you the best flavour only when immersed in hot water. Similarly, hardships bring out the best in everyone. Look at a pencil. It writes well when sharpened. It teaches us that we need to sharpen our skills to do well. A cricket game tells us that winning requires team work. A bee shows us how organization can work if you put in hard work.
The clearest example of this can be demonstrated by each and every one of us in our personal lives – we’ve picked ourselves when we have fallen. The learning from all the lows is to understand the root causes for it, and ensure that we’re wiser to tackle a similar situation in the future. I do believe that time heals everything if you allow it to – and if you experience life as a child, constantly questioning, observing, perceiving, analysing and learning.
Learnings can show up in different forms with your relationships with your family and your friends, or your professional relationships with your colleagues, or even through momentary and unexpected instances and interactions. We must not forget that every person we interact with has something to offer that’s different from how our own mind functions. It’s the key to understanding and accepting the world you live in.
A lotus only grows in marshy areas, or a still pond that’s dirty – only from a hardship or unfavourable situation can a beautiful or happy situation arise. There is no happiness without sadness, and no yin without yang. It’s important to acknowledge and tackle all the little hardships and conflicts in your life, so that you can emerge from it and get yourself back to a positive space. While in the game of life, a student must absorb all that he perceives like a sponge, and release it meaningfully by applying it to his or her life. We have lessons to learn every day, if only we keep our eyes open!
It’s important for those with the power of imparting knowledge to be responsible about how they perceive that information. In historian and philosopher Voltaire’s words we can sum that up as, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
As a teacher, I have realised that it’s imperative for a teacher to gauge their student – to understand their personalities, their ability to perceive, their inhibitions; a teacher must be an observer. Only once the teacher perceives their student, can they create a conducive learning atmosphere. For example, teaching method acting to students who are shy can be quite a challenge – it is possible that while an exercise requires the student to impersonate someone (or something – it’s dramatics!), it could come off as an attempt to challenge the student and his skills in front of his peers. He withdraws into his shell. While you thought getting him to speak in public would slowly make him confident, you have pushed him further deep into the rabbit hole. What he needs is attention, and what he’s getting is threats to his personality.
This brings us to the fact that students below the age of 17 are very impressionable, and have very strong views that a teacher is also responsible in moulding. Students in school are also easily and constantly affected by their social circle, and their mannerisms often reflect the same. All these traits influence their ability to grasp and learn – and it’s rather tricky for a teacher to analyse these traits and put forward the ideal solution for each student.
Taking from this, we must understand that each student has a unique perception, and is a unique permutation and combination of different traits. Thus, standardisation in teaching methods is necessary – because it is not humanly possible for a teacher to hold a class for fifteen students, and attend to each one’s needs individually. However, approaching a solution to a problem put forward by a student must be done taking into account the student’s perception of the problem. I thus find it easy to get into the student’s shoes, and try as hard as I can to empathize and provide a rational solution that will be perceived in the most ideal manner by my student.
Right from the moment a child enters Vidya Mandir, and till he leaves those gates, I make sure I know him/her really well. I do not believe in a factory process; I want to invest my time and energy into each and every individual who enters the sacred gates of Vidya Mandir.
Over the years, I have realised that every child has a different capacity to learn – while some may be fast learners, others may be slower or more passive; some students appear more curious while others seem silent, but attentive and aware. At no point do I want to impart education in a manner that only applies to the strain memory of the student. Thus, a creative solution to each problem becomes important. It is important to balance a predefined norm or technique with a unique and personalised method of teaching.
I conclude with the thought that teachers are the foremost opinion holders in a child’s mind – opinions and learnings that find them in their most vulnerable stage and will stay reappear, challenge them, or remind them at later stages in their lives.