VOLUME V CHAPTER V

WALK THE ROAD NOT TRAVELLED

In this connection it will be useful for you to think of the Blue ocean strategy propounded by W. Chamkin and Renee Mauburgne of the Blue ocean strategy Institute of Insead – one of the most respected Business Schools of the world.

            According to them you are more likely to succeed if you concentrate on a new area (of educational activity) where competition does not already exist, than look at an area where there is marked competition  (red ocean) already; because in the later case it will be an uphill task for you to break the existing barrier that is well entrenched. But if you enter a new uncontested area-virgin field, then you will have the advantage of the first mover. You will define the parameters, raise the foundation for the parent’s perception. And also fix the fix. The initial price value as the International schools did.

            This strategy will be successful only if you adopt value innovation to keep the momentum- something new which will add to the image frequently. This add-on should be something that makes meaning to the parents and something for which they won’t mind paying more.

            When you are getting in to you a new area, it will be useful to develop an entrepreneurial eco-system consisting of two parts wiz “Open network” through which you can get in touch with parents, vendors and other supporters and a “Closed Net – work” of people with whom you can share your ideas, plans, worries, concerns and get your ideas validated.

            Prof.  Julia prats of IESE Business  school Dept. of Entrepreneurship in Holland has much to say on this. You can use the internet to learn more from him.

                                                                                            ~~~~~

 

VOLUME V CHAPTER VI

THE SCHOOL PANTHEON

BE THE INVISIBLE POWER BEHIND ALL ACTIVITY

In Hinduism there are several gods. And also one over arching divine force. Each god has his/ her well defined role. One is in charge of creation; another of preservation; another of destruction; another of dispelling all obstacles; another fountain head of all knowledge; another a provider of wealth; another happiness; another for youthful vigour; another for beauty; another as treasurer; another as time keeper; another a model of devotion, another a role model of tactful management; another for the practice of ethics and dharma; These can be found in our heritage temples. In the rural area in our villages we have the village deity at the entrance to the village which is suppose to safe guard the person and property in the village.

            While apparently there are many divine forms, all act in unison and perfect coordination under the leadership of the supreme power, each carrying out the allotted duties punctiliously. Without any need for a remainder or supervision.

            So also the Principal is like the supreme power. In big schools with thousands of students and hundreds of teachers with several campuses one rarely can have a look at him-very rarely, perhaps only when he comes on a visit or in a meeting- enshrined in a high pedestal and quite inaccessible. There may be section heads, pre primary, primary, secondary, higher secondary or wing incharge, heads of different activities, subject heads, finance officers, physical education director, arts and music director, director of maintenance services, public relation officer, examination incharge, time table incharge etc., each has the duties defined. Each reports to the Principal at regular intervals.

            When a school is started the Principal acts like an all-in-one (Ekanthapuram) station master – he issues the tickets, waves the flag, places the points on the line, rings the bell – so like that at the beginning the Principal attends to every item of work, looking after every requirement of the school. The whole school knew him and he knew the whole school. The radius was small, so the circle was also small. Every one could approach him easily and freely, with their personal and professional problems. And he was there readily available to provide his shoulder on which they could lean for solace and comfort, or his hands was always ready for a warm shake or his mouth ready with a nice word when something was achieved,  however small or big it may by a student or a staff.

            But in course of time the school that was started in a thatched hut or a light roof shed grew beyond recognition – a huge student body. A large staff team, many multi-storeyed buildings spread over several acres.

            The irony is that the principal still wants to be in full control. He wants everything to be done with his knowledge – purchases, recruitment etc., he feels worried he has only 24 hours!

            So how can we help this poor principal? He has to be advised to divest his authority. He must learn to share it, create persons endowed with authority to do specific things, give them freedom to take decision, provide administrative support –  make himself felt rather than be seen.

            Indra Nooy, CEO of Pepsico controls the world wide operations. She allows the national, sectoral heads to plan and execute. At the same time she sees to it that they operate within the overall vision and mission statement of the company. She allows but she knows. She keeps her fingers on the pulse.

            The Principal, likewise, should see that all the various heads work independently but within the school’s philosophy and values. He will plan the strategy but will leave tactics to the Heads. There may be diversity of approach and action but all functioning within the institutional unity on basic principles. He need not fear that this will create multiple power centres and Machiavellian manoeuvrings. While retaining over all control he should not erode their trust. Because that will cost the disappearance of loyalty. Without a loyal committed group you will find it very difficult to take the school to great heights.

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ONE WHO KNOWS (VOL 5 – CHAPTER V & VI)

– Dimensions of the Life and Work of a Principal –

 

467) One who trains the students in the discipline of learning what he doesn’t know.

468) One who asks his staff to design their lessons to impart knowledge, skill, abilities so as to simultaneously create a climate for ethical behavior.

469) One who brings clarity to the student’s value commitments, promotes tolerance and discourage dogmatism.

470) One who makes the students discuss,

  • Moral concern about certain business practices
  • Double standards in people around him
  • Treatment of socially weaker sections at home and school

471) One who makes ethics a meaningful educational movement, a powerful force to build peace in life.

472) One who advises his staff  each one to be a ‘Swami’ – Swam- ami.

473) One who rules over himself.

474) One who keeps his mind and body under control.

475) One who advises his staff to be like a football fan- who remembers every footballer’s Jersey number, height , goals etc and remember everything about each student.

476) One who advises his staff not to enhance their students without themselves – just like taking  a Maruti 800 and trying to drive it on a formula II track.

477) One who asks his staff themselves a big question when doing something – am I functioning from my highest possibility or lowest possibility.

478) One who tells the students that they can hold their teacher’s hand: but they can’t hold on to him.

479) One who advises his staff that even when they are silent, there should be so much talking and even when they are talking there should be so much silence.

480) One who (as a teacher ) knows,

ஒன்றோடு ஒன்று – Teacher and student

ஒன்றுடன் ஒன்று – Teaching and learning

ஒன்றுக்குள் ஒன்று – Teachers enters the pupil and vice versa

ஒன்றில் ஒன்று – Teacher and student inseparable

481) One who knows (as a teacher) that sometimes his class should sparkle like stars strung together, hung like a decoration and some other time acquire the sanctity of the lamp glow.

482) One who knows that even if we take the teacher out of teaching, we cant take the teaching out of the teacher.

483) One who tells his staff that the teacher in them should be well integrated with the leader in them.

484) One who tells the students that thinking on their own does not mean being cheeky or disrespectful to a parent or teacher.

485) One who asks his staff and students,

– Do you change when you are in a group? (or)

– Can you remain yourself and influence the group?

486) One who asks his staff:

-Do you want each on of your student to be like a John Lobb shoe?

– If it takes years to perfect the art of stretching a John Lobb shoe, then how much time you should take to tune a student’s mind?

– It calls for 300 hand movements and 50 man hours to make a pair of John Lobb shoes, if so how many thought movements and how many years you should take to make a thinking student

– As they design each shoe in John Lobb, can you design each student in a different style and form?

487) One who tells his staff that they should bring balance and rhythm in their teaching, bring in a particular example, an ancenote, a teaching and or a question just at the right moment and even when they close a lesson they should make the end so elegant that they bring out in that one moment the character on that lesson.

488)One who tells his students that when the teacher and God are both before him, he should pay respect first to the teacher as it is he who has led him to God.

489) One who tells his students,

If you don’t stand for something

you will fall for anything.

490)One who tells his staff.  What you teach is , according to his direction, but in the presenta.

491)One who tells his staff:-

You should not choose teaching, Teaching should choose you.

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Where there is faith, there is love 
Where there is love, there is peace, 
Where there is peace, there is truth, 
Where there is truth there is bliss 
Where there is bliss, there is God. – Baba