Born and Started in 20th Century
Scientific Nation is presenting a story of a teacher who is a role model for many of his students. Surender Singh Sodhi was born and brought up in Ajmer in a lower-middle-class family of Shri. Avtar Singh Sodhi and Smt. Sulakshana Kaur Sodhi. He is the Youngest and most loving among his four siblings. Since his childhood, he saw his mother and father struggling. His father used to work in the railways and his mother was a housewife. While his father used to earn for the family, his mother used to teach good values and spiritual teachings to the young children. In spite of having low income, the couple managed to provide good education to all four siblings. They used to believe that living a respectable life is much more important than living a luxurious life as RESPECT cannot be bought but it has to be earned through good social values and quality education.
Mr. Sodhi says “My father always used to motivate me to get a good education. My mother and my two sisters gave class X examination together in the year 1979, My mother was trying very hard to get educated and find a job as it was getting very tough to fulfill our needs. The hard work of my mother paid off and when she got a grade third teacher Rajasthan government job at the time when we were in the need of money for my elder brother as he got selected in MNIT Jaipur. I believe that luck favors those who are courageous. People say that parents are like a god but I believe that my parents are god themselves and I am truly blessed to have such parents”.
Surender started his career in 1996 immediately after pursuing his BSc BEd in the same year, he was first appointed as a Senior Teacher(science) in Govt. Senior Secondary School, Pranheda, and then he served as a teacher in many schools like Govt. Secondary School, Gothiyana, Govt.Sr,. Secondary school, Rajgarh, Govt. Secondary School, Peepal ka Kuwan, Ajmer. In 2015, he got promoted to the post of English Lecturer in Govt. Senior Secondary School, Baghsuri and currently he is posted at Govt. Sr. Secondary Schools, Sindhi Delhi Gate, Ajmer. He has been serving as a teacher for the last 24 years and is still continuously shaping young minds. Many students under his guidance have successfully reached their goals. He just like his parents believes that only education can uplift and change society and make it a better place to live.
Early days and getting familiar with Technology.
It was in his school itself that he first got to see and know about computers in the 1990 ‘s. This was the period when computers came to his state. Being a science student he did a 4-year B.Sc B.Ed course from his alma mater, The Regional Institute of Education, Ajmer. During this golden period, he not only made classical music as his hobby but he started engaging himself in the field of sculptures. Due to his devotion, passion, and hard work he organized several exhibitions of his sculptures which were generally made up of chalks. His hard work was appreciated by all and thus he was awarded by “Rajasthan Lalit Kala Academy, Jaipur” in the 8th Art Fair organized by the Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. His interest in arts did not distract him from his academics and so he did a postgraduate in the English language and later did the PGDCA course from NIMS University.
He says “There are many portions and topics in sciences that cannot be shown in reality, such as the movement of planets, the solar system, the neurons, and electrons along with the internal structure of the eye of the heart, and thus I used technology to show these things to my students. Technology can be used in every field and it motivates me.”
He has mostly served as the first assistant and as he has expertise in computers, he was expected to look after the non-academic work of the school but it is truly said that position brings a lot of responsibilities, Surender was expected to visit the district office too and due to which his students suffered a lot. Being favorite among his students, his colleagues were unable to satisfy the needs of his students and so Mr. Sodhi decided to take the help of TECHNOLOGY to help his students.
The Motivation and use of Technology
He says “Technology was introduced in my life only because of my dear students who were finding it difficult to study from other teachers in my absence. I don’t want them to suffer because I noticed that they started loosing their interest from studies. It was then I decided to use technology. I started making powerpoint presentations and recorded my lectures in CDs and pendrives so that even when I am not present, my loving students can study in my manner.”
But as it is said every student is different in its own way. They think differently, they act differently and they learn in a different manner. I faced a similar issue in my class. Some of my students found it more important to know about the working of the equipment and the way the content was prepared rather than learning the content taught. Although he used to share both technical and academic knowledge to them and used to calm their curiosity by sharing technical information.
He Says “I have used almost all the available resources for teaching, whether it be a dinosaur made of clay or a CD player, from a floppy disk to Pendrive, and a TV to a projector or a touch board. I also had the opportunity to record 6 Tele-lessons in association with Rajiv Gandhi EDUSAT, IGNOU, etc. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have an association of respected people like Mr. Ravindra Kumar Sharma, Mr. Gurpreet Singh Ji, who inspired me to learn computers, it was Dr. Yatindra Singh, who introduced me well in all these kinds of stuff. I got the opportunity to work in CIET, RIE, NCERT, SCERT, DIKSHA, ET-CELL, Raj Egyan portal, etc. with great personalities like Dr. Angel Rathnabai, Dr. Mamur Ali, Dr.Aerum Khan, Dr. Arya, and my favorite Dr.M.U.Pailey sir, Further, I believe that only difficulties can teach you something, so I try to do every difficult task”.
He said he greatly owes to his family especially his daughter Sukhpreet Kaur Sodhi and his wife Asha Kaur Sodhi who supported him in every aspect of his life.
Technology, a partner of teacher.
“In today’s world technology plays a crucial role in providing knowledge. Students are getting modernised, they put questions. They want to go into the depth of every portion that fascinates them. Many times, there are some experiments which cannot be performed in a normal laboratory, Many times we have to create a hypothetical situation to understand a topic more clearly and in such matters technology proves itself as a true gift to mankind.” says Mr. Sodhi
He includes “I got a chance to work on DIKSHA Portal. in the roles of Content Creator, Content Reviewer, Book Publisher, and QR Code Checker. Today, in the time of the pandemic, one thing has become clear: how much technical information is required for teachers. To date, all the teachers had kept a distance from it, however, they are improving themselves by getting information about it. Now people have started talking about artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, etc”.
Some newspaper clippings
He would like to suggest to his colleagues that it is just a delay in the first step to start. He adds “It’s tough to change and adapt to a new environment but troubles will make you great in technical knowledge and tomorrow, in the absence of technology, time will never let teachers come close to their students. Being teachers, it’s our duty to keep ourselves ahead of the students, this is the only way to maintain respect. Education is the key to success and only technology can help in providing a quality education. So stay motivated and become friendly with technology, Jai Hind”.
The story has been presented by Arpan Sharma, from Scientific Nation in a collaboration with Technoshala, a non-profit organization. Keep updated to the Scientific Nation because a citizen of a multiverse has a story.