For more than a year now, online classes are the order of the day because of the sweeping Covid-19 pandemic. However, only those who ideate and innovate stand out from the rest.
One among them is Gurjit Kaur Saggu, a teacher from Billabong High International School (BHIS) in Malad suburbs of Mumbai.
Gurjit, who teaches from Class 5-9, has transformed her home kitchen and mini garden into a home laboratory of sorts to teach students - and the kids are enjoying it.
“Online classes are a challenge and we need to keep the students involved and I found that some small experiments during live teaching sessions are very engaging,” Gurjit told DH.
“Science is better explained when there is a practical experience,” she said.
Gurjit used a unique method to teach physics virtually in the pandemic. She used cooking oil and sugar syrup to make students understand the refraction of light.
Similarly, she used lemon crusher to explain the principle of fulcrum and lever in the mechanics section of physics.
Another experiment, such as the conduction and convection of heat was taught using the pressure cooker and food colour to explain to students.
“The best way to teach science is to relate it to daily life experiences,” she said.
With the help of her mini garden of flowering and non-flowering plants and herbs, she tells students about vegetative propagation, germination of seeds. It’s not only the kitchen; her entire house becomes a laboratory for her students.
Dr Madhu Singh, Principal, BHIS Malad said, “Gurjit has always incorporated innovative ideas into her teaching style. I hope that Gurjit will go ahead and set an example. I take a moment to congratulate her on being shortlisted for this reputed award”.
Expressing happiness over personal achievement, Gurjit said, “Being shortlisted for the dedicated teacher’s award is a proud moment for me and my school. This achievement does not just belong to me, but it belongs to my country as well as my school and my peers who kept on motivating me to develop my skill. At the same time, I also expressed my heartfelt gratitude to the school management, which organises a variety of training programs for teachers, which include Cambridge Online Training and In-house Training for Teaching Methodologies, to make school pedagogy stand out”.
Cambridge Dedicated Teachers Award is organised by the Cambridge University Press. It is a platform that recognises teachers for the hard work they put in every day. This year’s awards are particularly pertinent due to the pandemic. It has highlighted the extraordinary efforts of teachers to continue their students’ learning, even when schools were closed.