Mr. Shiv Kumar has been teaching children as a home tutor since 1973. He believes that he is a born teacher and every day with his students confirms that belief. He signed up with Vidyanext, combining his expertise with proven learning technology, and is changing the way Indian students learn.
Here is an inspiring interview on what makes him special.
VN: How do you contribute to your students?
SK: I teach all class and boards-ICSE, CBSE, IGSE, PUC-all! I have created my own notes in maths and science. Using these, my students can get a condensed version of their syllabus, without missing out on anything. This makes the life of my students very, very easy. This was my plan! I have devoted 10-100 hours to each and every chapter, so that my students can grasp it in just half an hour to one hour. My aim was to create notes in such a way, that once a student goes through them, he does need to ask me for clarification even once.
VN: What do you look for, to improve your skills?
SK: With Vidyanext, their worksheets, evaluation, interaction with the teacher and parent-I feel it is magical!
VN: What are the differences you see in today’s children and the way they learn?
SK: Students have not changed. They are all very intelligent Very responsive. Now the modern world is technology driven-through TV, through computers, through the internet, they have already acquired a lot of information. So when I talk about any animal ,or natural science, they add some information and they interact well. They can’t be fooled. They are able to substantiate and agree with you. It is very exciting. Teaching has become more conversational. More visual. Everyone’s individual styles of learning are becoming more important. I cater to all these things.
I also find that it is easier to teach with technology.
VN: What advice do you have for tutors?
SK: I find that skill development is too emphasized in India. Skill is important, but concept learning is more important. We are still teaching and learning in the way that the British implemented. Our questioning technique is horrible. It is all memory based, not application based. The fact that we can predict what a question paper will be, is telling. Every paper should be unique. Even at the college level, our style of questioning tests memory and not understanding. It should not be about memory. Students should be able to think and answer. For example, students learn 2+3. Even if we question them what 3+2 is, we’re making them think. And teaching should not be about memory. Students should be able to think and answer. This is an attitude we need to address.
VN: What are the challenges you face?
SK: I find the individual evaluation of every student that Vidyanext makes us do, quite challenging. Specially someone like me, who teaches such varied students of such different levels. Evaluation was the only thing lacking in my own system and the Vidyanext system has made it complete.
VN: What is your strength?
SK: When a student comes to me, I don’t need to prepare for a chapter. I can teach a tenth grader, and then a twelfth grader ten minutes later. And, I immediately know when a student has understood or not understood a concept – I just have to look at their faces. If I see a glow, I know they’ve got it. If there isn’t one, they look a bit sulky, they haven’t understood. And, I can teach at the level of a high-performing student as well as a low-performing one. I keep changing my methodology until the child gets it. And, I never get irritated!
The commuting is difficult-that’s the only difficulty.
What would you like parents to know?
What is your biggest reward?
VN: How has Vidyanext helped you?
SK: The Vidyanext Videos are very good. Explanation has become much easier. And, it provides further learning. They can learn more at home and further. The Vidyanext Worksheets helps them work at their leisure and get benefited.
One thing I tell my students-What mind is better than 100 minds? So many experienced minds have contributed to this content, there is so much input, that my students get the benefit of 100 minds!
VN: What is your biggest reward as a tutor?
SK: When a child learns from me, he will be better than me. He has his own knowledge plus mine: his intelligence is X and mine is Y, so his knowledge and intelligence is actually X + Y!
When that happens, and he is better than me, I will be the happiest person!
VN: Anything you want to add?
SK: Just give me ten students from the 10th standard and Vidyanext and I am sure I will get all of them a rank!