The Global Teacher Award aims to actively reach out to all corners of the world and identifies and recognises exceptional teachers who have made an outstanding contribution to their profession. This award aims to identify teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching different subjects, shown outstanding contribution to learners and served the community through teaching even outside formal classrooms. The award is an initiative of the Varkey Foundation, initially the Varkey GEMS Foundation, a global charitable foundation focused on improving the standards of education for underprivileged children.
Anjila Bista is the recipient of the prestigious Global Teacher Award 2021. Bista entered the teaching profession in 1996 with the passion to bring about a change in the field of education in Nepal and enable students to become strong and responsible citizens of the country. She is the Principal of Ace School.
In this edition of Business 360, Bista talks about the five things that have impacted her work and life.
Taking ownership of my decisions
I feel all my decisions have been good as I am an individual who completely takes responsibility for my decisions without attributing them to time, destiny, situation or individual. I have an affinity towards all my decisions taken so far. There could be a possibility that some might impact me adversely in future but I know I will learn from them and will move forward. That’s my core mantra. But the obvious answer to your question is getting into the field of education. The decision to return to Nepal to contribute in the field of education after getting some experience in teaching and learning abroad was one decision that changed my life.
My inspiration, my mother
I derive inspiration from the air that I breathe in, the sight in front of my eyes, the prayer flags that flutter in the wind, autumn leaves floating on water, folks selling goods, people gazing out of their windows, a child going to school, morning prayers, off-tune singing of little ones – everything! I get inspired by each one of these little things in life and the person who taught me to take inspiration from every single thing in life is my mother, Renu Bista.
Dew drop on the grass
There’s a famous quote by George Evans: “Every child can learn. Just not on the same day or in the same way.” This is the best teaching advice that I have received and as a facilitator I wish each one of us in the education field should follow this because it’s not that students do not want to learn, they are just not being taught in a way they can learn. So, we need to modify, learn-unlearn-relearn and practice everyday so that each child can benefit in the best possible way.
Life is like a dew drop on the grass. When on the grass, it adds to the beauty of nature. Even when it ends, it either quenches the thirst of the birds or dissolves in the earth giving it moisture and reason to sustain life. I wish my life to be like a dew drop on the grass.
Effective Teaching and Learning
This pandemic has obstructed the multiple prescribed ways of teaching and learning in developing countries like ours. Teachers faced a turbulent year and were forced to consider how technology could be used to keep learners safe and engaged in education during a pandemic. With many schools switching to online modes of teaching and learning, children from marginalised communities and remote areas were unable to continue accessing an education from home.The academic year got disturbed and the adjustment to the new teaching and learning methods took some time to be accepted easily by the learners.
Online classes provide flexibility to learn where children can learn by sitting comfortably at home but too much screen time can adversely affect the children’s eyesight. Although learning happens effectively through both the ways, what I feel is that the social need of young learners is affected and learning through observation cannot happen during online classes. Learners receiving in-person instruction can receive more direct, personalised learning experiences and the connection with the facilitators is better than in virtual classrooms.
I don’t believe that any child could be a difficult learner. What I believe is that a particular child is seeking attention, that child is struggling and is expecting some help from us. I believe in creating an environment where the child can comfortably express themselves and render support in all possible ways.
Women as Leaders
It is the need of the hour that women hold some leadership positions. We can vividly see where the nation is headed towards under the leadership of men – what is the rate of development, state of social justice – these are all so clear and we all are experiencing it. Hence, it is necessary that men and women should work hand in hand. I feel really happy that society is evolving and equal status for women is being felt in all aspects of life.