31 January, 2010

Address by Shri. Kapil Sibal Hon’ble Minister of Human Resource Development

“National Awards to Teachers, 2008 Function” on 5th September, 2009

Your Excellency the Vice President of India, Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Smt D. Purandeswari, Secretary (School Education & Literacy), Smt. Anju Vaish, Secretary (Higher Education), Shri R. P. Agrawal, our distinguished National Awardees & members of the teaching fraternity, my friends from the media, Ladies and Gentlemen; Today is a very special day. Special in two senses. First, we celebrate this day as Teachers’ Day in the memory of one of the greatest sons of India, Dr. Servapalli Radhakrishnan; acclaimed educator, scholar, philosopher. A teacher, who came to occupy the highest office in the country, He was the second President of India. He epitomized all the characteristics of an ideal teacher. His life and work are a source of inspiration to all of us. This day is also special to us because of you: our fraternity of teachers, who have distinguished themselves and recipients of the prestigious National Awards for meritorious teaching. You deserve not only our congratulations, but also our gratitude for having nurtured our children through your unstinted commitment. You have invested your precious time in our most valuable assets. These awards are recognition for your hard-work, promotion of excellence and your unique initiatives in the field of education. You represent excellence yourselves and deserve recognition for having nurtured it in our children. Someone pointed out and I quote “A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils”. This is easier said than done. To evoke curiosity, to have the child pursue knowledge and find pleasure in its pursuit requires subtle mentoring. A teacher guides without giving the impression that he/she is doing so. A teacher must have the ability to have the student discover his own genius. A teacher subtly motivates the student to discover both the self and the environment around him/her. At the end, the student must be equipped with the capacity to embark upon a journey to find a place in civil society. A successful teacher prides in seeing the student embark upon that journey. The entire teaching fraternity gathered here is gifted with the rare ability of inspiring our young. Quest for knowledge has always been a part of the ethos of our country. Yet our national education system must undergo rapid change to respond to the emerging challenges of globalization. Our Government is committed to providing quality education to our children. The Eleventh Five Year Plan is virtually a National Education Plan. The Plan allocation for education has been stepped up from 7.7% of gross budgetary support in the 10th Plan, to over 19% in the 11th Plan. In nominal terms there is going to be a five-fold increase in spending on education in the 11th plan. This is an unprecedented increase in financial support for education. While the Government is committed to spending more on education, you as teachers have an important role to play. It’s not just a matter of resources; it’s your dedication, commitment, and motivation that inspires our young, that will ultimately win the day. You can have a school without the necessary infrastructure, but you can’t have a school without a teacher. In today’s knowledge Age, it is imperative to develop an effective life long learning system to provide continuing education and skills up-gradation. This applies to teachers as well, to help them keep abreast of the changing skills necessary to compete in the new knowledge economy. John Dana has rightly observed, “Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” I therefore, urge the entire teaching community, through you, to upgrade your content knowledge and professional skills continuously. I have no doubt that our teachers would rise to this challenge and act as facilitators of change in the way they teach and our children learn. I have the highest personal regard for each one of the Awardees. You are truly leaders, not just in your profession, but also of our society. Each one of you, therefore, is a role model for millions of children of our country. To quote Hendry Adams, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Be a wonderful role model because you will be the window through which many children will see their future. You have all contributed to the development of our nation and I hope you will continue to inspire younger generations. It is often been said that a country is as good as its people. I believe the country’s citizens are only as good as their teachers. Therefore, a great deal depends on you and I salute you, all of you, those who are present here today, and many more who are not here, for your passion, dedication, commitment and contributions. I once again congratulate you all for winning this National Award. I wish you all success in your further endeavors.

Read, Learn & Flourish!

For Your Success & Glory!

Leadership Excellence

By Brian Tracy

As a leader, your job is to be excellent at what you do, to be the best in your chosen field of endeavour. Your job is to have high standards in serving people. You not only exemplify excellence in your own behaviour, but you also translate it to others so that they, too, become committed to this vision.

Leadership Excellence

The key to leadership is the commitment to doing work of the highest quality in the service of other people, both inside and outside the organization. Leadership today requires a focus on the people who must do the job, and an equal focus on the people who are expected to benefit from the job.

The single most respected quality of motivational leaders is integrity. Integrity is complete, unflinching honesty with regard to everything that you say and do. Integrity underlies all the other qualities. Integrity means that when someone asks you at the end of the day, "Did you do your very best?" you can look him in the eye and say, "Yes!" Integrity means that you, as a leader, admit your shortcomings. It means that you work to develop your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses.

Courage, combined with Integrity, is the foundation of character. One form of courage is the ability to stick to your principles, to stand for what you believe in, and to refuse to budge unless you feel right about the alternative. Courage is also the ability to step out in faith, to launch into the unknown and then face the inevitable doubt and uncertainty that accompany every new venture.

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great, the king of the Macedonians, was one of the most superb leaders of all time. He became king at the age of 20, and in the next 11 years, he conquered much of the known world. When he was at the height of his power, he would still draw his sword at the beginning of battle and lead his men forward into the conflict. He insisted on leading by example. Alexander felt that he could not ask men to risk their lives unless he was willing to demonstrate by his actions that he had complete confidence in the outcome. The sight of Alexander charging forward excited and motivated his soldiers so much that no force on earth could stand before them.

Realism is a form of intellectual honesty. The realist insists upon seeing the world as it really is, not as he wishes it were. This objectivity, this refusal to engage in self-delusion, is a mark of the true leader.

Responsibility is perhaps the hardest of all leadership qualities to develop. The acceptance of responsibility means that, as President Harry Truman said, "The buck stops here." If you run into an obstacle or have a setback, and you make excuses rather than accept responsibility, it can mean the difference between success and failure.

Action Exercise

In the end, you become a motivational leader by becoming the kind of person others want to get behind and support in every way. Take time to get to know your staff so you can better understand how to best support them. By knowing everyone's strengths and weaknesses, you can strategize how to put everyone to productive use.

Read, Learn & Flourish!

For your success & Glory!

28 January, 2010

Discipline Without Stress, Punishments Or Rewards: How Teachers And Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning By Dr. Marvin Marshall

Chapter-wise Summary


...shows how to reduce stress and increase effectiveness in influencing others. The chapter concludes with an exercise teaching that life is more successful and has greater satisfaction when attention is given to the positive, when the option of choice is recognized, and when reflection is practiced.


...discusses how people attempt to change others and explains the differences between external and internal motivation. External motivators of telling, rewarding, and punishing (and how the latter two are different sides of the same motivational coin) are explored. The chapter concludes with a discussion of mindsets-those perceptions that drive motivation.


...describes The Raise Responsibility System. The simple-to-implement program raises individual and social responsibility. It is used across the entire teaching spectrum — from small childcare centers to large high schools and from rural schools in Texas to urban schools in New York City. The strategy also can be used in any home or youth setting. The approach employs internal motivation so that young people develop a desire to behave responsibly. A skill is taught that improves relationships between any two people — parent and child, teacher and student, employer and employee, husband and wife. If the use of authority becomes necessary, it is used without being punitive. Imposed consequences are not used because they engender avoidance, resistance, victimhood thinking, and alienated feelings — sometimes on the part of both the adult and young person.


...begins with a discussion of the learning climate. Suggestions are given for improving relationships between the teacher and the class as a whole, among students themselves, and between a teacher and an individual student. Strategies are shared that promote empathy and respect, quality learning, and that reduce the unhealthy striving for perfection. The chapter concludes with specific strategies for managing impulse and anger, resolving conflicts, and dealing with difficult students.

Chapter 5, TEACHING

...describes brain hemisphericity, mindmapping, multiple intelligences, modalities of learning, emotions, styles, lesson planning, levels of intellect, instructional questions, group questioning strategy, choosing key words to frame questions, imaging, stories, metacognition, the senses, suggestions for aiding recall and memory, laser learning, and seminal shifts. A separate section is devoted to classroom management and another to home assignments.

Chapter 6, PARENTING

...includes suggestions for practicing positivity, offering choices, encouraging reflection, using effective questions, listening to learn, limiting lecturing and telling, checking assumptions, focusing on the important, asking for assistance, recognizing implicit messages, fostering responsibility, exhibiting personal responsibility, maintaining standards, using authority without being punitive, letting the youngster lead, teaching procedures to deal with impulses, intervening in sibling squabbles, being aware of gender differences, using acknowledgements more than praise, honoring home assignments, working smarter rather than harder, nurturing your child's nature, and reaping the joy of parenthood.

The Epilogue

...argues that business is a poor model for learning. Using a performance model of accountability for young people's learning is a false equation. It is a practice that has been described by the comic strip character Dagwood Bumstead, who said, "You know, that makes a lot of sense if you don't think about it."

About the Author

Marvin Marshall is an international educator and staff developer who presents for leaders interested in using internal motivation rather than external coercion to influence people to change.

His writings on discipline, social development, human behavior, motivation, and promoting learning have been published internationally.

His professional education experiences include the following:

  • Classroom teaching at the primary and upper elementary grades, every grade 7-12, and full time in teacher education at California State University, Los Angeles.
  • Counseling and guidance experiences as a middle school counselor, high school counselor, guidance department chair, and certification in Reality Therapy and Choice Theory by the William Glasser Institute.
  • Curriculum and instruction as a demonstration teacher, department chair, instructional coordinator, and high school assistant principal of curriculum and instruction.
  • Supervision and administration as an elementary school principal, middle school assistant principal, high school athletic director, high school assistant principal of supervision and control, high school principal, and district director of education.
  • Dissertation at the University of Southern California in the combined areas of curriculum, instruction, and guidance.

After 24 years of service in the above areas, Dr. Marshall returned to the classroom where he developed the Raise Responsibility System. The program is now used across the entire teaching spectrum--in small childcare centers to large high schools and in rural, suburban, and urban schools. It can be used in any home or youth setting.

Read, Learn & Flourish!

For your Success & Glory!

How to Discipline Without Stress, Punishment or Rewards

The following writeup is based on the book “Discipline without Stress, Punishments or Rewards” by Dr. Marvin Marshal.

Young people today come to school with a different orientation than past generations. Traditional student disciplining approaches are no longer successful for far too many young people. For example, a parent related the following to me after a discussion of how society and youth have changed in recent generations:

The other day, my daughter was eating in a rather slovenly manner, and I lightly tapped her on the wrist saying, “Don’t eat that way.”

My daughter replied, “Don’t abuse me.”

The mother had grown up in the 1970s and volunteered the point that her generation tested authority but most were really afraid to step out of bounds. She related that her daughter was a good child and added, “But the kids today not only disrespect authority, they have no fear of it.”

And, because of rights for young children—which we should have—it’s hard to instill that fear without others claiming abuse.

So, how can we discipline students, so we as teachers can do our jobs and teach these young children who refuse to learn?

In many cases we resort to punishment as a strategy for motivation. For example, students who are assigned detention and who fail to show are punished with more detention. But in my questioning about the use of detention in workshops around the country, teachers rarely suggest detention is actually effective in changing behavior.

Why detention is an ineffective form of punishment

When students are not afraid, punishment loses its effectiveness. Go ahead give the student more detention that he simply won’t show up to.

This negative, coercive discipline and punishment approach is based on the belief that it is necessary to cause suffering to teach. It’s like you need to hurt in order to instruct. The fact of the matter, however, is that people learn better when they feel better, not when they feel worse.

Remember, if punishment were effective in reducing inappropriate behavior, then there would be NO discipline problems in schools.

The irony of punishment is that the more you use it to control your students’ behaviors, the less real influence you have over them. This is because coercion breeds resentment. In addition, if students behave because they are forced to behave, the teacher has not really succeeded. Students should behave because they want to—not because they have to in order to avoid punishment.

People are not changed by other people. People can be coerced into temporary compliance. But internal motivation—where people want to change—is more lasting and effective. Coercion, as in punishment, is not a lasting change agent. Once the punishment is over, the student feels free and clear. The way to influence people toward internal rather than external motivation is through positive, non-coercive interaction.

Here’s how…

7 Things GREAT Teachers Know, Understand, and Do to Motivate Students to Learn Without Using Punishments or Rewards.

1. Great teachers understand that they are in the relationship business. Many students—especially those in low socio-economic areas—put forth little effort if they have negative feelings about their teachers. Superior teachers establish good relationships AND have high expectations.

2. Great teachers communicate and discipline in positive ways. They let their students know what they want them to do, rather than by telling students what NOT to do.

3. Great teachers inspire rather than coerce. They aim at promoting responsibility rather than obedience. They know that OBEDIENCE DOES NOT CREATE DESIRE.

4. Great teachers identify the reason that a lesson is being taught and then share it with their students. These teachers inspire their students through curiosity, challenge, and relevancy.

5. Great teachers improve skills that prompt students to WANT to behave responsibly and WANT to put effort into their learning.

6. Great teachers have an open mindset. They REFLECT so that if a lesson needs improvement they look to themselves to change BEFORE they expect their students to change.

7. Great teachers know education is about motivation.

Unfortunately, today’s educational establishment still has a 20th century mindset that focuses on EXTERNAL APPROACHES to increase motivation. An example of the fallacy of this approach is the defunct self-esteem movement that used external approaches such as stickers and praise in attempts to make people happy and feel good. What was overlooked was the simple universal truth that people develop positive self-talk and self-esteem through the successes of THEIR OWN EFFORTS.

If you follow the advice above and the book “Discipline without Stress, Punishments or Rewards” by Dr. Marvin Marshall, you will promote education and social responsibility in a positive learning environment.

To read a brief summary of the book click on Discipline without Stress, Punishments or Rewards”.

Read, Learn & Flourish!

For your success & glory!

08 January, 2010

GOOD TO GREAT - Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't Jim Collins, co-author of ‘Built to Last'

About the Author
Jim Collins is considered to be one of the major American business gurus, who is like "a student of and a teacher for" great companies. He learns: how they grow, how they attain superior performance, and how good companies can become great companies. The author of the bestsellers has written several management books, including Good to Great and Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.

A former teacher at Stanford University, Collins also works as a researcher. He frequently contributes to Harvard Business Review and other magazines, journals, etc.

Book Summary: GOOD TO GREAT - Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

Let me start with the first line of Jim Collins: “Good is the enemy of Great.”

This book explores what goes into a company's transformation from mediocre to excellent. Based on hard evidence and volumes of data, the author (Jim Collins) and his team uncover timeless principles on how the good-to-great companies like Abbott, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Philip Morris, Pitney Bowes, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo produced sustained great results and achieved enduring greatness, evolving into companies that were indeed ‘Built to Last'.

Jim Collins and his team selected 2 sets of comparison companies:
1. Direct comparisons – Companies in the same industry with the same resources and opportunities as the good-to-great group but showed no leap in performance, which were: Upjohn, Silo, Great Western, Warner-Lambert, Scott Paper, A&P, Bethlehem Steel, RJ Reynolds, Addressograph, Eckerd, and Bank of America.
2. Unsustained comparisons – Companies that made a short-term shift from good to great but failed to maintain the trajectory, namely: Burroughs, Chrysler, Harris, Hasbro, Rubbermaid, and Teledyne

What the book tells and teaches?
1. Ten out of eleven good-to-great company leaders or CEOs came from the inside. They were not outsiders hired in to ‘save' the company. They were either people who worked many years at the company or were members of the family that owned the company.
2. Strategy as such did not separate the good to great companies from the comparison groups.
3. Good-to-great companies’ focus on what NOT TO DO and what they should stop doing.
4. Technology has nothing to do with the transformation from good to great. It may help accelerate it but is not the cause of it.
5. Mergers and acquisitions do not cause a transformation from good to great.
6. Good-to-great companies paid little attention to managing change or motivating people. Under the right conditions, these problems naturally go away.
7. Good-to-great transformations did not need any new name, tagline, or launch program. The leap was in the performance results, not a revolutionary process.
8. Greatness is not a function of circumstance; it is clearly a matter of conscious choice.
9. Every good-to-great company had “Level 5” leadership during pivotal transition years, where Level 1 is a Highly Capable Individual, Level 2 is a Contributing Team Member, Level 3 is the Competent Manager, Level 4 is an Effective Leader, and Level 5 is the Executive who builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.
10. Level 5 leaders display a compelling modesty, are self-effacing and understated. In contrast, two thirds of the comparison companies had leaders with gargantuan personal egos that contributed to the demise or continued mediocrity of the company.
11. Level 5 leaders are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce sustained results. They are resolved to do whatever it takes to make the company great, no matter how big or hard the decisions.
12. One of the most damaging trends in recent history is the tendency (especially of boards of directors) to select dazzling, celebrity leaders and to de-select potential Level 5 leaders.
13. Potential Level 5 leaders exist all around us, we just have to know what to look for.
14. The research team was not looking for Level 5 leadership, but the data was overwhelming and convincing. The Level 5 discovery is an empirical, not ideological, finding.
15. Before answering the “what” questions of vision and strategy, ask first “who” are the right people for the team.
16. Comparison companies used layoffs much more than the good-to-great companies. Although rigorous, the good-to-great companies were never ruthless and did not rely on layoffs or restructuring to improve performance.
17. Good-to-great management teams consist of people who debate vigorously in search of the best answers, yet who unify behind decisions, regardless of parochial interests.
18. There is no link between executive compensation and the shift from good to great. The purpose of compensation is not to ‘motivate' the right behaviours from the wrong people, but to get and keep the right people in the first place.
19. The old adage “People are your most important asset” is wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are.
20. Whether someone is the right person has more to do with character and innate capabilities than specific knowledge, skills or experience.
21. The Hedgehog Concept is a concept that flows from the deep understanding about the intersection of the following three circles:
a. What you can be best in the world at, realistically, and what you cannot be best in the world at
b. What drives your economic engine
c. What you are deeply passionate about
22. Discover your core values and purpose beyond simply making money and combine this with the dynamic of preserve the core values - stimulate progress, as shown for example by Disney. They have evolved from making short animated films, to feature length films, to theme parks, to cruises, but their core values of providing happiness to young and old, and not succumbing to cynicism remains strong.
23. Enduring great companies don't exist merely to deliver returns to shareholders. In a truly great company, profits and cash flow are absolutely essential for life, but they are not the very point of life.

Each and every sentence of this book is inspiring. It’s really a must read research work for business students, CEOs, Managers and everyone related with Companies/institutions/organisations.

According to me ‘Good to Great’ is a valuable resource for Edupreneurs, Educational Leaders and Educators. If people related with educational institutions can co-relate and absorb some of the organisational and team building ideas mentioned in this work, our schools and colleges would have a complete turnaround to greatness. This book gives us reasonable answers for many of the ills our institutions face today. I can’t even imagine how our educational institutions would change for the good if we apply ‘Good to Great’ philosophy of Level Five Leadership.

In my November 15, 2009 posting I have introduced a book titled From Good to Great School: What Their Principals Do Well written by Susan Penny Gray and William A. Streshly. This book is a corollary of ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins and his team. You might have read in that posting how public schools and their leaders can use the Level Five Leadership in schools. I strongly recommend all my educator-readers to get the copy of both the books and give a try in your institution and experience for yourself how process management can leap your school to greatness and then to enduring greatness.


Now let me windup with this message: A Competitive world has two possibilities for you: you can lose or, if you want to win, you can change.

To buy online: Good to Great

Read, Learn & Flourish!
For your Success and Glory!

Insights from the past...

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind…the peculiar evil of silencing the ex-pression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error...
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

07 January, 2010

New Year Resolutions For Students

Realistic suggestions for school students to consider:
New Year's Resolutions: how often do you make them? How often do you break them? Most New Year's Resolutions don't last long because they are too difficult and unrealistic. People swear to lose 3 Kgs, exercise for an hour each day, get awesome grades in school, and become a nicer person-- all by March.

You're much more likely to keep resolutions if they are realistic and attainable. Pick a few relatively easy things that will make life better for you and those around you. Here are some suggestions for simple resolutions that may be useful for college students.
  • Whenever possible, get an extra hour of sleep every night.
  • Spend ten minutes every evening straightening up your room.
  • Read at least one book per term just for fun.
  • Work to improve English communication skills.
  • Put more effort to improve emotional and physical well being.
  • Keep up better with the news.
  • Spend a little less time watching TV.
  • Spend a little less time on Orkut or Facebook.
  • Work in extra walking into your everyday routine.
  • Call your mom more often.
  • Help a friend with homework when needed.
  • Do your laundry (at least a part) by yourself before it piles up on the floor.
  • Avoid drama as much as possible, and be kind to your friends.
  • Try to improve your attention span in class.
  • Attend class more seriously.
  • Volunteer for charity or services in your neighbourhood.
  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • If you're religious, spend a little more time observing.
  • Refuse to get involved in relationships that are no good for you.
  • Stop comparing yourself to other students who you think are smarter or more attractive.
  • Cut your "fun" spending by 25 percent.
  • Sew the missing buttons back on your clothes.
  • Help your parents.
  • Live up to the expectations of your parents, teachers and well wishers.

Say time and again to yourself, I can do it! I will do it? Now is the right time to start!

For your success & Glory!

New Year Resolutions for Educator

Be nice to your students, be nice to yourself, and here's a few suggestions for specific resolutions that may help you out. Pick and choose your favourites and resolve to do it.
· Resolve to accept that bad days will happen and that sometimes activities and lessons won't go well. You are not a perfect teacher and never will be, and that's fine.
· Remember what it was like to be a student. Keep this in mind on days when you feel like ringing their necks.
· At the same time, resolve to never let your students push you around. Ever. You're in charge. When they try to push the boundaries, let them know the boundaries don't budge.
· Resolve to say something nice to each of your students at least once a week, if not more.
· Resolve not to let students fall through the cracks. If someone is having problems, make an effort to do all you can do to help.
· At the same time, recognize that teaching is a two-way street. Let yourself accept that after a certain point, you've done all you can, and it's the student's' responsibility to get motivated and get it together.
· Don't compare yourself to other teachers. You can learn from them, but don't beat yourself up if you're not as charismatic or creative or well-liked as that guy down the hall. Just do the best as you can and play upon your own strengths.
· Make an effort to read up on current events, even though you're busy. Incorporate current events into your classroom.
· Resolve to grade papers and exams more quickly.
· Don't forget to take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep.
· Resolve to try new things in your classroom. Be creative, and read up in interesting activities. Look for new ways to present material. If some of these things don't go well, don't worry about it. Keep trying.
· Stop worrying about whether your students like you. You're not there to be their friend.
· Put a little time into your own continuing education. Read at least one article every month about teaching methods, and read at least one article a month about your area of study.
· Learn to say no to "volunteer" duties when necessary. Go ahead and be a little selfish.
· Resolve to leave the classroom behind at the end of the day. Oh, you may have papers to grade, but you don't have to go home with the frustrations of a bad day. Let yourself be someone other than the teacher when you go home.
· Do something nice for yourself, like going to a movie or sight seeing.
· Get to know your fellow teachers better. Give them an opportunity to vent about their classroom problems with you. Offer help if you can. Be the teacher who brings in birthday cards for all the other teachers to sign. Resolve to invite teachers out for coffee. Don't talk about them behind their backs. You're all in this together.
· Try to keep your desk neater. Clean up at least once a week. Improve your file system...
· Stop beating yourself because you think you don't look as good as your students. They're younger than you, and besides, you look great the way you are.
· Incorporate some kind of service learning into your classroom.
· Don't let unwise policies get you down. If you can't change it, live with it and ignore it as much as possible.

Say time and again to yourself,
I can do it! I will do it? Now is the right time to start!

For Your Success & Glory!