Reading of 7 habits by teachers – Checked
Physical environment speaking of habits – Checked
Spoken environment reflecting the habits – Checked
7 habits for happy kids being read by the students – Checked
Reading The Leader In Me (TLIM) by the team – Checked
While I am more and more enthused by the idea, a few doubts prevail about how to scale it. How to take it to the next level. You see, all the things that the book talks about are in some other part of the world. The Lighthouse schools mentioned in TLIM show how the students in those schools do wonders. But I need to see it to believe it.
And hence I start scouting for some such schools in India. I was interested in knowing if the idea was robust enough to be implemented with Indian constraints. You see, we have a unique set of them.
Huge population meaning huge number of students in schools. First generation learners meaning lesser parental involvement Low social esteem for teaching as a profession meaning our teachers not very motivated to try new things, etc. etc.
While GGIS does not face all these constraints regularly, we still are a part of Incredible India.
Hence, through FranklinCovey, I got in touch with a school in North India that is in the process of getting a Lighthouse status. It is in a rural belt, has more than 2000 students and teachers coming from tier 2 towns. Now, this meets most of my constraints criteria and I had to visit this school!
The next thing you know, I am on my way to The Pathfinders School, Patuadi.
A few notes about my visit –
I was greeted by young students welcoming me to their school with pride and talking about each habit.
The students, in their heavily accented English, were full of confidence and enthusiasm about how the 7 habits were impacting their lives. Two of the middle school girls took me on a tour of the primary section and they knew almost everything about it. Talk of cross-class integration!
Each class had a mission statement and a goal they wished to achieve in the given year pasted right on the board.
Each class had a Score Board that kept a track of various things like notebooks, marks, attendance, etc.
A Synergy wall had artwork on a tile from each student.
A mirror on your way up the stairs encouraging students to see the leader in themselves.
Each corner was used in some way to remind the students about the 7 habits
There was a leadership room where teachers and students got together to discuss and plan various interventions and games.
The students and teachers maintained their goal notebooks and religiously pursued their goals.
It was awesome to see so much being done by a school in small town. I met the Principal and the Director and both were very convinced of how this program was working wonders for their school. They sure faced a lot of challenges and convincing the more senior teachers and leaders was a greater task than new teachers.
But overall, I must say I am convinced of the value this adds to the school and I am sure our school will have its own journey to navigate but our students will definitely come out stronger and more confident.