An Empowering Friday with Kumar Thapa
I have great admiration for teaching profession and passionate teachers. Behind most successful students there is a teacher who believed in them. I would not be the person I am today without the support, encouragement and guidance from my teachers. I am always grateful to all the teachers in my life. Right from the teacher who had held my hand and taught me how to write my first letter to the mentor who trusted on my abilities, I am deeply thankful to all of them. Besides, every passionate teacher is my inspiration.
I was quite excited to know about Empowering Friday sessions at King’s College. A platform where passionate teachers gather to share their best classroom practices. Last Friday morning, May 27, we were all set to listen to Mr Kumar Thapa, Principal at John Dewey Higher Secondary School. In 2011, Kumar Sir also taught us Principles of Management (POM) in BBA first semester and he was also our coordinator back then. He was so friendly, full of energy and a great teacher. I was looking forward to this session.
At the beginning of the session he introduced himself. In no time he became the in-charge of the class. All the teachers in his class volunteered to role-play as his students and greeted him as he walked in the class once more. It was great fun to witness teachers as mischievous and cool students! The class was oozing out with positive vibes and energy.
Firstly, he briefed the class about the activities we would carry out. He divided the class into three segments. At the opening he would presented his teaching assumptions, then discuss his model and lastly he would open the floor for feedback.
His Teaching Assumptions
We were divided into pairs and each pair was given a handout where they had to complete the sentences. The activity required a lot of concentration. Later, he explained about the technique which is called cloze. Cloze is a procedure where every ninth or eleventh word is omitted and the student has to fill in the blanks.
According to Thapa, “Brain activities such as cloze is non-dominating, engaging and help students grow independently.”
He believes that teachers and students can together co-create knowledge by having curiosity and openness.
In the next phase, he presented us with a handout that consisted of three cycles that represented the process of different service organizations. After observing the cycles, we had to label the three cycles as the best, average and worst cycles. Then in groups we had to analyze and present why it was a success model or a failure model.
Lastly, in the final segment the students offered feedback about the class. In this session the teachers raised questions and discussed on how to overcome the teaching challenges.
After the session was over most of the teachers were discussing on how different classroom methods and techniques could help students learn better. Narottam Aryal, Executive Director at King’s College said, “I believe that it is the core responsibility of college administrators to know what is happening inside our classrooms.” According to him it is a huge challenge to make sure that every teacher treats all the students equally without any bias in the class and the students are engaged in the learning process.
Overall, last Friday morning for me was truly empowering. To be in a room full of intellectuals who had the zeal to bring a positive change in their field was a fantastic experience. I am grateful to King’s College for conducting Empowering Fridays and Umes Sir for inviting me. Educationists and stakeholders should give priority to platform such as Empowering Fridays.
Guest blog by: Abhilasha Rayamajhi
The author is a journalist and the Concept Director of ‘Youth in Entrepreneurship’, a radio talk show.