Sravani Rao: Instilling Fundamental Indian Values That Set the Core of Life

A safe learning environment is one in which students are not afraid to ask questions and where every syllable spoken by the teacher or an adult is accompanied by a why, what, and how, as this is how the child learns. The safest learning environment is one in which no question is forbidden and all questions are encouraged. And in a classroom, a child should not be self-conscious. Therefore, whether he or she is studying at home alone or in a classroom, the environment should be the same," says Sravani Rao, the Principal of DPS International School.

For more than 60 years, Delhi Public Schools have served society in the field of education under the slogan `Service Before Self'. There is currently 200+ schools under its administration, both in and outside of India. In 2003, the DPS Society established DPS International in response to the increased demand for international education in India. Sravani has been a member of the DPS family for 22 years, beginning as a math teacher, progressing to Vice Principal, and now serving as Principal.

Innovative Learning Methodologies
One of the innovative ways used at DPS International to teach students about teamwork is to get each class to stage an event for the parents under the supervision of their teachers. The students are required to take into account every aspect of the presentation while keeping a limited budget in mind. Sravani discovered that this evolved into a complete management exercise that involved team building, conflict management and so much more. To make the program a success, the students have had to learn management skills on the job.

Sravani has been a member of the DPS family for 22 years, beginning as a math teacher, progressing to Vice Principal, and now serving as Principal

Effective & High-Quality Leadership
Sravani believes that one of the most important things for teachers is to be able to collaborate with all of their colleagues. Explaining her leadership journey Sravani adds, "Today, this is where leadership shines the brightest because getting teachers to work together is a difficult task. As everything is interwoven, every child's future is intertwined. Then there are the more routine aspects like timetables, exam schedules, or just working together daily. So, as teachers, we are responsible for bringing them all together into a coherent group that works well. And there are always ego clashes because everyone of us comes from a different discipline and subject. Thus, getting everyone to work together is a difficult challenge, and it is the leader of a school's responsibility to do so in terms of the workforce. And, when it comes to children, each has its unique set of skills and weaknesses; it is the administrator's role to bring out the best in each child across all disciplines. That's where we gather together, and we have a lot of discussions about each child and where the youngster needs to be supported. Therefore, for me, this is where leadership comes into play".

Maths Olympiad
As a math teacher, Sravani prepares her students for Math Olympiads at various levels held by different organizations. She believes that as a nation that values math and students, parents should encourage their children to strive for such achievements. "We should be challenging students to strive to accomplish more. I believe that as adults, we will all be amazed to see what children can do. Again, challenge to me means directing students towards goals that might not be visible to them yet. This is where the role of a teacher and a parent is crucial in giving direction and providing support. We should always keep in mind that our goal should be creating a responsible citizen who is an asset to India and to the world," Sravani concludes.