Our quest for outstanding educators continues, and this time we are lucky to have India’s Most Outstanding Teacher awardee: Dr. Dheeraj Mehrotra, an educationaldepartments innovator par excellence. Join me in welcoming him and learn a thing or two from his wisdom shared with us through this Q/A:
LIN: As one of the pillars in Indian Education, what made you decide focusing your time, skills and the like on education, technology, teacher training, among others?
I wanted to stimulate the future generation to become life long learners, I have values which I feel I should contribute to the society – that, what I have learnt and experienced over the years. By doing this I will be paying back and fulfill my desire to make difference to the future generation. I believe education is an empowering process that allows students to develop holistically. Moreover the satisfaction I get by investing my time in my passion is far better than or would reward me more than anything else would.Thus I chose to go in for teacher training among any other profession. I believe in sharing my knowledge to others for the sake of learning to learn. My objective of life is “The more we learn, the more we earn, in terms of honour, respect and recognition.”
LIN: What, to you, is the 21st century teacher? learner?
I believe in the fact that the 21st century teacher is a teacher who is prepared to Learn, Un-Learn and Re-Learn. The one who uses technology and its power to empower self and others through experiential learning. A new learning has emerged with technology. The shift is from education to learning. Secondly it is consumption of learning to participation and thirdly thinking. In today’s world students have a rich learning environment. The teacher for them is a facilitator, a coach, a mentor and a mediator.
LIN: Elaborate on the essence of education toward achieving excellence in life, career, success, etc. of individuals? How about the fate of a nation or world in continuous changes in economy, politics, environment, and technology. What is the role of education on aforementioned aspects?
Education is the part and parcel of one’s future. It makes man and literate person to earn a living. It is the power in oneself which explores other powers of our senses and provides wisdom to our living. The career is directly related to our moves in education. The nation is in requirement of future literate citizens who in turn shall make the things possible in time to come. The country’s economy hence forth needs a greater emphasis towards investment in education of its children. Nothing is possible without the literacy of the hour implemented via technology and to understand and explore technology one has to have the power of learning. Education is all about learning and developing your abilities to their full potential. It gives the knowledge and skill they require. One cannot say that they do not need any further education no matter how smart they are because the quality of education is always improving. With the standard of education getting higher, an organization’s demand for an individual’s level of education is also getting higher.
LIN: Do you believe giving awards to teachers as motivator to more effective/efficient teaching? If so, why?
As a National Teacher Awardee myself, I believe in recognition of the teachers as one of their life time achievements. The awards to the teachers give them the pride to work for them and the society in a better framework and above all it also gives a narration to the others to do their best. I feel recognition given as a mark of achievement will always be motivating. And by awarding the teachers, in a way one motivates them to perform better and feel appreciated for all the hard work he or she puts in, throughout her life to get the best out of someone else’s life.
LIN: Have you heard about Global Teacher Prize? Sort of seeking for outstanding teachers around the world to qualify for a million dollar prize. What is your take on this? And if you were one of the judges how would you rate shortlisted teachers with outstanding qualities to get the most deserving among them? Would you rely on the given criteria or would you risk choosing a finalist over the rest through gut-feel?
I have not heard about this earlier. It is certainly a great recognition to the teachers’ community globally. I believe the companies and other establishments must come together under Corporate Social Responsibility and join for the common cause towards the recognition to this community of TEACHERS who are the only blessed creatures after GOD to dwell a product which is a living being into another refined product as a RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN of the nation in particular. Well I checked on the criteria and I believe we would also add on to some more conclusions viz. PUBLICATIONS/ CLOUD PRESENCE/ COMMUNITY OUTREACH/ INNOVATIONS. Adaptation to change, ability to engage and inspire in students independent and original thinking and how does he or she handle children with different learning abilities can also be the add-ons in https://educationaldepartments.com/.