“My son doesn’t wear a label, he owns it.”

When I embarked on this journey of becoming a special educator, it was because of my son. Early on I realised he was slightly different from others, even his own brother. His differences were not so apparent in the early years where academics is not a focus but as soon as he hit grade two and his grades started dropping I figured something was “non normal”. That he needed to be handled differently was evident and once I got on board with who he was instead of who I wanted him to be, I began to set his goals accordingly. Since then I’ve figured out a label for him but it’s never mattered because my son doesn’t wear a label, he owns it.

Children with special needs can be a challenge, there is no debating that. But as with many challenges in life you can ride the wave to fortune or let it drown you at the tide. My learnings have been many as a facilitator for these children and I share them in the hope that life will be made easier for those parents and teachers who are lucky to have them in their lives. Remember always that Life is more meaningful when it poses challenges and pushes our heart and minds to embrace them.

As a mother of one such amazing child, here goes my two bit of learning:

Children are like rainbows… A spectrum with many colours, each with its own hue and beauty. Children with special needs are one of those many colours…. Do not expect red to be yellow.

Do not be afraid to set boundaries because they need them more than others…. The earlier you get started with structure, the more beneficial it is for them.

Stop worrying and start doing what’s best for your child. Figure out the small steps and the big ones will fall in place by and by.

Stop hiding from the world. Differences are good. We are all part of the natural diversity of nature. You don’t make fun of diabetics or think them odd for having the condition. Special need requirements are no different.

Trust that the world will accept your child as soon as you do. Because your acceptance is the first step towards integration. More often than not, what parents perceive as rejection by outsiders is in reality a reflection of their own inner turmoil.

Pretending that special requirements don’t exist is the worst possible harm you can do to your own child. Get on board and start rowing… You’ll be surprised how far your child will get with just your help, forget about others.

Connect with the special needs community and trust me it is a large one… The more dots that are joined, the stronger will be the community support for our kids.

It’s not the easiest of journeys but there is lots of adventure on the way, so look forward to the ride… It might turn out to be the best one you have, with the right attitude.

Teaching, Technology and Education

Many a times we are coerced and cajoled into a profession we may be least interested in. But somewhere down the line, this abominable profession becomes our passion and one learns to excel in it.

What was once considered as a housewife’s profession has resurrected itself as the most challenging and demanding job. From coping up with the needs of the family and delivering classroom instructions, teachers have embellished way beyond one’s apprehension.

Apart from this, teachers and teaching have flourished incorporating technology into teaching. Teachers’ secrets to success have been in planning and implementing these instructions into their teaching which has paved a path for prosperity for the learners.

This unreasonable and impossible job of igniting the young minds of the learners lies on the delicate, yet sturdy shoulders of teachers. The whole and sole ambition of teachers lies in the aim to spark the lamp of learning and quench the thirst of gaining knowledge.

Thus, teachers have turned to the aid of technology. Technology is a FORCE MULTIPLIER for the teacher. Instead of the teacher who at a point of time was the only source of help in a classroom is no longer the sole bearer of the burden of teaching and learning. Technology is equated to a TEACHER LIBERATOR. But before this, the novice (teachers) have to master their skills (technology). In fact to re-establish the role of teacher, inculcating values within and outside the classroom, teachers and technology have to formulate a collaboration, a partnership which helps to create a community which nurtures, encourages and supports the learning and teaching process.
Technology makes the classroom, learner-centered. It strongly encompasses methods of teaching that shifts the focus of instruction from the teacher to the student. Keeping in mind the multiple intelligences present in a classroom situation, technology unfolds many new methods of learning. Be it linguistic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, logical, mathematical –technology has an appropriate response to all.

Technology has the ability to enhance the relationship between teachers and students. Teachers effectively integrate technology into subject. Teachers grow into roles of advisors, content experts, and coaches. Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun.

Technology stimulates the Teaching and Learning process. Technology provides the teacher with numerous tools that they can use. Technology also has the power to transform teaching by ushering in a new generation of teaching skills. Technology links teachers to their students and to professional content, resources, available in various forms to help them improve their own instruction and personalise learning in and out of the classroom. Technology augments student learning process which is the key to success.

The role of educational technology in teaching is of great importance because of the vast and immense information and communication technologies present with the ever evolving technology which is adamantine. Distance education, satellite classrooms is also made possible due to technology. The Internet teachers and the internet students have opened doors to the inaccessible class and mass of learners.

The VIBGYOR Group of Schools has always believed in providing the best to the best. Under the aegis of our dynamic and vivacious Chairman Mr Rustom Kerawalla and the relentless efforts of our very own irrefutable and indubitable Vice Chairperson Ms Kavita Sahay, and the entire intransigent VIBGYOR family, the group like technology is ever evolving with time and experience. We have implemented the latest, state of the art technology in all spheres of our work. Without a doubt, technology has been the scaffolding to the success of VIBGYOR Group of Schools and we wish to transfer this success to our future – the learners at VIBGYOR.

The Power of Pinkathon

How many of us are aware of the fight that multitudes of women have to prepare for every year? The fight for life, for freedom, for being an empowered, healthy individual – this is a battle that’s estimated to involve over 1797900 Indian women by the year 2020 against a single, looming threat – Breast Cancer.

This illness is the most common cancer among women all across the world, and the leading cause of death among those afflicted by it in our country. It’s time for all of us to come together, break through the stigma that surrounds it, spread awareness, and work towards the betterment of women’s health in India through solidarity and positivity. This is exactly what Pinkathon aims towards by focusing on physical and mental self-care through organising of women’s marathons all across the country. VIBGYOR is proud to be the Knowledge Partner of Pinkathon 2017 in Pune.

“VIBGYOR believes in the holistic development of students and the community, and Pinkathon is a platform where we can help the society bring awareness among the community. That’s why VIBGYOR is a Partner,” said Ms. Medha Nair, Principal of VIBGYOR Hinjewadi.

Pinkathon - VIBGYOR Team

The marathon took place on the 26th of November at Mulik Ground, with over 5000 women irrespective of age, interests or ability taking part in this movement. The event saw the involvement of mothers carrying babies as young as 2 months old, elderly cancer survivors who were present as Pink Sisters, children from the Blind School, as well as the participation of students, parents, and teachers from VIBGYOR schools in Pune. The venue was packed with energy on this day, with participants gearing for the various runs, or getting pumped up with Zumba routines.
Pinkathon - Parents

“What’s important is spending a little bit of time for yourself. It’s about realising your dreams, and removing the limitations that you have,” said Mr. Milind Soman, Founder of Pinkathon. “I believe that all of us must set a good example, and children today need to see people doing things that add value to life. Rather than telling them what they should be doing, we need to show it; so I’m very happy to see VIBGYOR parents running with their children.”

Success and happiness in the face of breast cancer begins with good health, personal understanding, and self-love. It is this inclination towards overall growth that makes VIBGYOR incredibly proud to be associated with Pinkathon this year. “It’s an honour for VIBGYOR to have joined hands with Pinkathon for such an important reason, i.e. creating awareness among women about breast cancer. I thank the parents, kids, and staff for taking part in this event wholeheartedly,” said Ms. Kavita Sahay, Vice-Chairperson, VIBGYOR Group of Schools.

With steady progress in spreading awareness about the importance of fitness, we hope to see a greater change in our society as we move towards women’s empowerment across communities.

5 Lessons You Can Learn From the Spirit of Childhood

Have you ever caught yourself dreaming about the days you were a child? Ever wanted to go back to those carefree, fun-loving days? Whether it is boldness, a spirited nature, or looking forward to a new day, there are various qualities that we attribute to children and reminisce about. Here are 5 life lessons that we can learn from our childhood days as well as the kids around us, and imbibe in our daily adult lives.

1. Believe that nothing is impossible

Children are always looking forward to venturing into something new. We’ve all been there – the constantly changing life dreams from being a rockstar one day to an astronaut the next, nothing seemed impossible, and we never confined our dreams. As adults, however, dreams and accomplishments are closely tied to expectations, self-judgements, and the loss of hope that we may not be good at something new. Let’s learn from the young ones around us and believe that nothing is impossible. Want to learn that new dance or study something new? There’s always a way to do so. Say yes to your dreams! There’s nothing stopping you

2. Make yourself laugh

Children have a wonderful way of being amazed or finding humour in the things around them. It doesn’t matter if things aren’t going their way; it doesn’t affect their ability to be positive or find joy in little things such as making stones skip over water or playing with bubbles. Let’s learn from this light-hearted nature of children around us. Step away from the things that cause you stress, and spend some time making yourself smile. Whether it’s watching a funny cartoon or playing with dogs, there’s always time for laughter and fun.

3. Ask silly questions

“Mum, why do we have so many fingers? Are butterflies just small birds? Does Santa wear his hat while sleeping?” Have you ever watched a kid talking nineteen to the dozen with innocence and keenness to learn? For some reason, as we grow older, we start worrying about asking questions that may seem silly. But the greatest discoveries arose from questions that were initially deemed nonsensical. So let’s stop questioning ourselves and start being curious about things that happen in the world as there’s always something new to learn

4. Show compassion

There’s an abundance of lessons to be learnt from children when it comes to showing compassion and empathy. Their innocence and soft-heartedness are incredibly prominent. They are quick to feel upset when they see an animal in distress and ready to help someone who needs it. As we grow up, we tend to be preoccupied with our own problems and don’t give much thought to the issues of the people around us. Let’s learn from the goodness of young children, and be kind to others, whether it’s assisting someone cross the road, feeding a stray animal, or donating to charity.

5. Every new day is a fresh chapter

The final school bell rings and there’s the sound of feet running down the corridor. Bags are tossed aside as some of them run towards the playground, and others gather around making plans for the evening. That difficult test and the scolding from the teacher are all forgotten. As a fresh day dawns and children get ready for school again, they begin to look forward to new possibilities, new adventures, and new friends. They don’t carry problems from one day to the next. Every day is a fresh chapter, and with the end of the day, ends all their troubles. Let’s learn from this attitude and look forward to each new day as a world of opportunities!

There are a great many things we can learn from children that can make our lives happier and more fulfilling. Implement these in your daily life and see the change that occurs!