22 November 2012

From the Director's Desk

One of the presentations at this week’s school assembly by Form 9 was on the use of technology, especially Facebook.  In the quick survey which was done it was clear that almost every secondary school student, some in the primary school and almost every teacher is on Facebook. Until it is replaced by a newer version therefore, Facebook is a part of everyone’s life, whether we like it or not.  For many parents – many of who have FB accounts  too – there remains a big discomfort with the way your(usually teenage) child is using it and using technology.
 The assembly seemed a good time for students to reflect on how we are to live life in a Facebook world and I am using this newsletter for the same purpose. I shared with students how as a teenager I was often in trouble with my parents for endlessly being on the phone with friends.  Facebook allows  sharing and chatting with friends – but in a somewhat different way. A phone conversation is public – ie everyone can see you are on the phone and this makes it controllable by parents. But on FB, a  parent or an adult can be fooled into thinking that a child is completing homework or doing an assignment on the laptop. The ‘chat’ window can be quickly minimized to create the wrong impression of hard work.
Challenges of Parenting
This is why it is so essential that we develop in young people the self- discipline to monitor themselves. Because the freedom given by blogs and wikis and social networking is also its biggest challenge. Adults can only supervise and discipline to a limited extent. If a student does not understand the importance of concentration for quality, he or she will always have a chat or comment on status in the midst of writing an essay. And there is no way parents or teachers can prevent this.
It is therefore more important than ever before for us to focus on creating a sense of personal responsibility, of self- monitoring. To understand that it is fine to be on FB but also sometimes to not log in. In other words it has become very important is for a young person to understand how they learn, what helps their learning and what restricts it.
Our Learning Culture at Pathways
It is for all these reasons that we focus on teaching self- discipline and also self -reflection.  Parents of Form 6 and 7 will soon receive an invitation to the Student Led Conference in December. The primary school one follows later in the academic year. Throughout the school students write reflections on learning areas or on their own progress. They are encouraged to set personal goals and targets for themselves. I would be interested in hearing back from parents and students on any thoughts you have on this subject. Please feel free to email me at shalini.advani@pathways.in
Events Past and Upcoming
It was wonderful to see a number of Pathways families at the Kahaani festival. Over the two days there were over two thousand people at the various events. We hope to promote culture and performance on an ongoing basis at Pathways.
On our children’s day celebration, I was proud to see the care with which our senior students organized a special event for the children of Hazipur village school. This included sharing lunch with them and a sports events at which prizes were awarded.
The Inter School tennis event gave an excellent focus to this sport. This week we are happy to host the District Level Inter School Squash tournament.  Meanwhile inter-house soccer tournaments are beginning. 
Also beginning next week is the Readathon, a way of encouraging reading for a cause. And today we are looking forward to welcoming the Australian writer and illustrator Frane Lessac who is part of Bookaroo and is coming to school to talk to students from Form 5, 6 and 7.
A reminder to please fill in the form for the Parent organized Food Festival on 20th December, if you are able to participate. Our students thoroughly look forward to being spoilt and fed by their parents!
Shalini Advani
School Director