VOLUME V CHAPTER VII
HAVE A MENTAL PICTURE BEFORE YOU START PAINTING
Your ability lies in making your school a canvas of experiences through which you enable your students to see the world.
Be like an artist who has a vision before he starts on his creative work. He has a well defined plan before he begins his project. It is very essential for you to organise your ideas before starting. You should know that Barrack Obama would not throw his words without prior thinking or Da Vinci would not have imagined first in his mind the paintings he had done in the Vatican or Michael Angelo would not have carved out in full the statue in his mind before taking the chisel in his hand.
All successful people have realised that time, people and a host of problems will impinge on their work. You have to deal with all of them and return to your original plan with renewed vigour.
The best aid for a successful day at work is to work out a list of half- a dozen most important things you have little extra time to complete it. If those items may occupy a little more than the time at your disposal, then you cut your coat according to the cloth available. The secret lies in getting your thoughts into focus and chalk out a plan before you start. This will make your work a pleasure for you.
VOLUME V CHAPTER VIII
BALANCED REPORT OR ROSY REPORT
What you are is revealed, when you take one shot at a time, when you persuade your team through communication that reaches them; when you realise your three roles – idea generating role, functional support role and controlling role.
The CEO of a company once told a management consultant that he felt he was always surrounded by sycophants. The consultancy told him, “That is the bane or being a CEO. You are like a king who has a sword in his hand. Everyone is afraid that the sword may touch their neck any time-so to save their skin they lie and flatter you. Only you have created them by being the chief. It is only your thoughts and minds that determine their behaviour”
Suppose you have to present a report at the management board meeting the next day and you are worried as how to present and impress, If my report is nice he should not think that I am a dreamer. If I say some negative aspects then he may consider me as a pessimist, at the same time his correspondent was musing “everybody tells me only things which will please me. None tells me about the thorns in our working so that we can remove them”,- different perceptions.
As a Principal what you are is your intention to give a balanced report. But what you have is your rosy report. The fact is how the people in authority think and act – that colours, the thought and behaviour of the subordinates.
VOLUME V CHAPTER IX
OPEN THE PETALS AND UNFOLD THE CURLS
In the staff meetings, the author found initially some doubt and difference in the minds of the staff to open out. But, as they slowly understood the author’s real desire “for 100 flowers to bloom” for many ideas to float, then choose on for action after discussion, they started unwinding.
Be sensitive to your power over your staff. Realize you are responsible for their behaviour. Understand that if they always say ‘yes’, it means you don’t welcome disagreement. Time you change. Your meetings must help the staff to discuss the problem freely and fearlessly and not make them dance to your tune.
When you assume charge of a school, delegation is a big issue. You should put the moot question – not the ‘why and how’ – because they are constant. But, it is the ‘what’ which is the cry of the issue because it is a “variable”.
You may find your former peers in school working with you now. You have to realize that relationships have to change. At the beginning, it is good to consult and decide instead of adopting the steam rolling Napoleonic approach. You must learn to be hard on issues and soft on people.
This is the “Leader assimilation process” as Michael Watkins calls it in his book “Your next move”. In a “ Cafeteria Conundrum”, he poses a question “ when you enter the cafeteria will you sit with your former peers or new peer?” If you sit with the former, the latter will think you are not able to get out of your cocoon mindset. If you sit with the latter , the former will think you have forsaken them out of fear of the latter. Either way you are at the receiving end.”
In one factory he visited, the author saw during lunch time all get into the cafeteria and sit where space is available. The GM / MD comes in adopts a nice balancing act. He sits with the shop floor worker one day and sits with an officer the next day. This way he keeps all with him.
You want to be nice. You want to understand. You want to judge the truth about a person. Then remember what Albert Einstein said, “ whoever undertakes to set himself of as a judge of truth and knowledge is a ship wrecked by the laughter of the Gods”.
Making the staff unfold is a delicate and difficult task. David Lloyd George, a British politician and a former Prime minister of UK said, “ one should not be afraid to take a big step; you cannot cross the chase in two jumps”
Difficulties, road blocks, hurdles all will greet you on your journey. You may feel disheartened sometimes. Dejection, disappointment, delusion may envelop you but remember what Sean Connery who played the role of James Bond said when he received the American Film Institutes Lifetime Achievement Award:-
“ Though my feet are tired,
My heart is not”
ONE WHO KNOWS (VOL 5 – CHAPTER VII, VIII & IX)
– Dimensions of the Life and Work of a Principal –
492) One who warns his staff that certain things in teaching can never be influenced, compromised or changed :-
Integrity, character , competence
493) One who tells his staff that their students should say :-
– Teaching was never so beautiful and interesting until you taught
– Your teaching is poetry in motion
– You have made teaching a way of life
– It is not every day one sees a legend in flesh
– As long as teaching is alive, your memory too will continue to linger among us.
– There are just two kinds of teachers sir and the best
– Before you came we told among ourselves that like others too will also be made of skin and bones, but we learnt at the end of your first class that we were wrong
– We refuse to classify Mr. X as a teacher he is above that
– After listening to you we were convinced that your were not born on the same planet as the rest of us
– He was always the greatest simply flawless, always smiling and up beat, never seen him bad tempered he loves being X
– We sometimes feel as if teaching was invented for this magical teacher
– He was the only teacher who surpassed the boundaries or zone
494) One who tells his students :
The will to win; the desire to succeed; The urge to reach your full potential: These are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
495) One who says,
I facilitate thinking
I engage minds
I listen to questions
I support struggle
I cultivate dreams
So I teach!
496) One who tells his staff;
School is the chariot
Principal is the charioteer
Teachers are the horses
Teachers, college – stable
Teacher education – Horse training
497) One who tells his staff that they have to be seen as educators capable of independent judgment and meaningful collaboration.
498) One who always writes on the blackboard (13) first as soon as he enters the class – meaning O! Children! I belong to you!
499) One (being a music lover) who tells his staff that they should have the,
Confidence of Sudha
Calmness of Sowmya
Clarity of Nithyashree
Humility of Priya sisters
Pleasantness of Ranjani, Gayathri
Expertise of Snajay Subramanian
Divinity of M.S
500) One who advises his staff to
Respect each other
Learn from each other
Grow with each other
501) One who quotes John Steinbeck to his staff:
“If there is a magic in teaching and I am convinced there is, No one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed on from one person to another”
502) One who tells the history teacher that he should be an intelligent compassionate guide to his moment in time, bringing depth and nuance not just to the events that he teaches from the text book but seek beyond to those that are neglected like the Bengal Famine.
503) One who knows that he has to trigger the imagination of the students, to discover the unknown, unconstrained by time, space or discipline being pursued.
504) One who remembers James Winner’s observation that a violin is made of several varieties of wood:
Spruce for the top arch
Maple for the sides
Ebony for the neck
Rose wood or blackwood
Like so many types of wood in one violin, many different types of pupils in a class.
From all these woods, the artist has to produce music.
From all these pupils, the teacher should produce good citizens.
If the arch of the top has not been carved properly, it won’t sound good
If the tow plates have an imbalance because of poor sanding, it won’t sound good.
If you use a synthetic adhesive instead of a hide glue, you will spoil the wood.
Why, as little as 25 grams in varnish weight can affect the instrument tonally and structurally.
The child has a head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, feet and heart.
You have to see that each one is nurtured properly to make him a good citizen.
505) One who knows that when he reviews a class he must be compelling in his observations:
To be critical without wounding
To be appreciative without fawning
To be knowledgeable without being pedantic
To be a detached yet involved observer
506) One who knows that he should have the mindset of an adventurer and the techniques of a swordsman.
507) One who remembers against one’s words
I found Rome a city of Bricks
I left it a city of Marble
And tries to transform his school like that!
508) One who likes Richard Branson, keeps challenging himself, see life like almost one long university education and learn something new every day.
509) One who knows that it takes 20 years to build a reputation and just 5 minutes to ruining it.
510)One who knows to become an inverted,
M (Me) – W (We)!
511) One who knows to distinguish between credible for test and manufactured dissent among staff.
512) One who knows that in conclusion there is no conclusion.
513) One who knows that ACR does not mean only Annual Confidential Report, but Accept – Change or Remove.
514) One who knows that daily he has to review the work of his five Dept heads – Brain, Eyes, Ears, Nose & Mouth:
Did I think properly with clarity?
Did I think ill of other or harming anyone?
Did I think of helping anyone or lifting them up?
Did my eyes glow with happiness at someone’s success?
Did my expression exude Anger, Hatred or Jealousy?
Did my ears hear any gossip?
Did my mouth speak well / ill of anyone?
Did my mouth say any soothing words?
Did my mouth speak negative words?
Did I thrust my nose into someone’s affairs?
He knows he has to do this self- review before he reviews other’s works.
515) One who knows that his staff should feel that he is near them even if they don’t see him and that he is with them even if he is far away and that he should not become a ‘Bahaari’ – outsider.
516) One who knows that maturity is a mystery and that it requires experience and awareness which have to come into play at the tight time when he is dealing with a situation.
517) One who knows that,
Life will extract a price for immature behavior
Immaturity is a major cause for strained relations
Maturity has to be developed consciously
Maturity can’t be learnt in a seminar
Maturity is won only in the school of life
One can’t always mature painlessly
Immaturity has a tendency to see hidden negative meaning in every harmless statement
Emotional control is basic to maturity
A mature person is not infallible or perfect
Maturity doesn’t mean being a super man!
518) One who knows that he will not be punished for his anger, but he will be punished by his own anger.
519) One who understands the meaning of the wise words of Elizabeth Kubler Ross that people are like stained glass windows which sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed and that one always shine only if there is light from within that he should structure his speech into definite opening, a body with not more than 3 points and a conclusion.
520) One who tries continuously to shape his school to become like the following famous schools:
Stone school – U.K
Scripps college, Claremont, U.S.A
Druk white lotus school – Ladakh, India
Trinity college – Ireland
Floating school – Makoko – Nigeria
521) One tries constantly to be a ‘Pavithran’ – of Pristine purity and also tries to make all his staff to be so.
522) One who knows that in the initial stages he gets name and fame because of the school, but later on he should bring name and fame to the school.
523) One who knows that when he talks to the staff it should run as a discussion and not as argument.
524) One who tells his staff that a teacher should be an embodiment of:
“Swadhyaya Pravachanam” Learning and teaching and must be
An eternal student
An enlightening teacher
An ennobling teacher
An Elevating teacher
Mine, not thine, this sense of greed is the root of all evil. This distinction is applied even to God!- my God, not yours! Your God, not mine! – Sathya Sai Baba