When I first entered ILMA school, the absence of a school leader was one of my greatest concerns. Beginning my journey with the school as a School Transformation Lead, I had so many questions racing through my mind. I was unsure about how to approach the situation and handle the challenges of working in a school with no captain.
ILMA’s partnership with Mantra4Change began in 2018 and it is now a second-year STEP school, which means the focus of the work is towards establishing sustainable structures and strengthening the leadership team. And now, with an essential pillar of the team absent, I was presented with some interesting challenges.
However, my journey with ILMA in the last two months has put all my doubts aside. The sincerity and ownership displayed by the staff members have enabled the school to function smoothly even in times of evident crisis. The school has grown mainly because of the willingness of the teachers to overcome adversity and keep ongoing.
Some of the teachers took up the responsibility of conducting a teacher orientation, where the teachers designed a constitution for the year. Additionally, they volunteered to take up various roles and responsibilities for the academic year.
With ownership at the center of their work, the teachers also went onto host a ‘parent orientation.’ They spoke to the parents about the school’s expectations and even distributed feedback forms to learn about the parents’ expectations from the school.
If you think this is impressive, then, you will be amazed to hear about their initiative to strengthen the student body in the school. The teachers organized the first ‘Student Body Elections’ and set up an elaborate process to elect the students. They supported the students every step of the way, from shortlisting students, campaigning, preparing ballots, taking votes, counting them and lastly conducting the investiture ceremony. It was spectacular to witness the whole thing.
The school also has a ‘Literary Club’ which published its first newsletter in August 2019.
Teachers at ILMA are managing these fantastic projects while ensuring that the quality of the classes is not compromised. If you walk the hallways, you will notice all types of teaching strategies in the classes, from differentiated assessments and homework, work stations, Just a Minute, and behavior trackers.
Every day in the school is a new adventure, which continually motivates me to push beyond my comfort zone. The efforts of the teachers encourage me to explore new avenues to help them and enable them to create a better ecosystem for the students.
Contributed by Sohinee Thakurta, School Transformation Lead, Mantra4Change