I am an educationist and hold a master’s and a management degree in education. During my 40 year career, I have been the Principal of the New Era School, Activity High School and Maneckji Cooper Education Trust School at Juhu. I am now the Principal of Gopal Sharma International school, Gopal Sharma Memorial School and Chandrabhan Sharma Junior College. (A group of GSM Schools). In addition I am on the Education Committee of Vanita Vishram School. In my spare time I am an active Rotarian and have held senior district positions in the Rotary for the last 20 years.
Tell us about any current projects you are working on
Currently I am gearing up a team of eight teachers on a literacy project to Nagaland (Northwest India). The objective of this team is to train the teachers of Nagaland and build their skills and expertise in the profession. I have also initiated classes for the underprivileged to integrate them into regular school.
What made you take up teaching as a profession?
What brought me into this teaching fraternity is a million dollar question! I think I was born to teach. I grew up with the passionate desire to be a teacher. As a child, teaching little friends and neighbouring kids was my pastime and a mode of relaxation. A lot of good teachers and principals came into my life in my formative years and so the passion grew stronger and my goal was firmly set to finally reach my target to become a principal and here I am – a dream fulfilled. It’s been years now and I must have turned out thousands of young boys and girls who are now holding high positions in life. This is my reward and ultimate satisfaction.
Are there any shortcomings in Powai that affect your school?
Gool Ghadiali: Gopal Sharma Group of School stands tall amidst the lush green lora and fauna in one of the most beautiful suburbs of Mumbai i.e. Powai. Thus the population and the noise of these places has not yet touched the sanctity of the school. I see no problem or hazard with the strong support of our Managing Trustee Mr. Prashant Sharma, we have a beautiful building and a lovely infra structure with all the possible modern amenities. We are also blessed with a band of lovely and well qualified staff. What more do we need? Powai has a perfect ambience for a lovely school. I see no shortcomings as I am too positive in my outlook and see no negativity.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
One of the major challenges faced was converting vernacular (non-English) schools to English medium schools. But with self conviction and collective team efforts, we undertook an uphill task. Thanks to dedicated efforts, persistence and perseverance, we were able to complete the project successfully.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
The awards which I have received over the years as a teacher and for my work at the Rotary at various levels only have been milestones for me to achieve much greater heights. Some of my
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
I would have been in social service and training with corporates.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My father, who was in the armed forces, instilled in me discipline and leadership at an early age. An attitude of ‘never say die’ has helped me all along which I got from him.
My other inspirations have been my own Principal from my own school where I studied. Also fellow colleagues at various schools and society at large through various experiences.
What does the future hold for you?
My thirst for learning does not stop and when I see my students achieving greater heights I am inspired to do more and more.
My message to working women is: A working woman makes a better wife and mother and a strong family member. She has a strong sense of time management, adaptability and endurance, more so in the Indian context.
This article was provided by WeAreTheCity Mumbai Committee Member, Tejal Gandhi.