For 14 long years, National Hill View Public School (NHVPS) has been hosting what can only be defined as a pioneering concept in school events – a teachers’ quiz. The event is always scheduled to take place between the first and fifth of September, as it is meant to be a celebration and commemoration for Teachers’ Day.
The quiz was held on September 1, 2017. A massive 89 teams took part in the quiz, which meant that almost two hundred teachers congregated at the school on a Friday morning to enthusiastically take the challenge of testing their knowledge. Always the one for sending a message, the school had set this year’s theme for the event as ‘Empowerment’, an idea all teachers are familiar with, a concept the whole world is trying to excel at. The theme was chosen keeping in mind the empowering nature of every teacher in her/his student’s life, the need to empower the future generations, and the importance of truly empowering your own selves.
As it was rightfully mentioned by the Principal Ms. Rama Ranganathan; an exceptional and empowered individual in her own right; quizzing is a symbol of empowerment, because it helps the participants and audience empower themselves with knowledge, even if just by being silent observers of the event.Ms. Rama Ranganathan, principal of NHVPS addressing the gathering
The participating teachers came from schools across the city, to enjoy a day especially dedicated in recognition of them. Because of the popularity of the event and its unique nature, many teachers take part enthusiastically, preparing and studying for the quiz months in advance, which was very evident in the prelims. Hosted by Rashmi M. Furtado of Team Greycaps, the prelims were powered through with a level of excitement which was beyond measure. In teams of two, the teachers eagerly awaited the twenty questions that would determine the six teams that would enter the finals. Throughout the round, there was a quiet murmur across the hall, teachers thinking, plotting and analysing their answers. The air was thick with excitement, an almost childlike fervour within each teacher. Frequently, the teachers rang out for clues, the others protesting the call for answers. Many times, through the quiz, the teachers would exclaim in excitement if the questions were easily cracked by them. The energy in the room at the time of prelims was infectious with every teacher taking part whole-heartedly, a sentiment which seems to be reflected across all participants.
Ms. Poornima from Rajarajeswari English School was a first-time participant. “This is my school’s first time here and it is wonderful. It is not only a good event, but more than what we expected. The quiz was thought provoking and I had a lot of fun.
”Mr. Yelsin, a physics teacher from RVK school, also a first-timer found the experience refreshing. “I just hope that maybe next time there are more fun games for the teachers and we can interact more”. The quiz was new for him and he enjoyed it thoroughly.Final round of the quiz
Mr. Shivakumar S. G. V., a high school biology teacher from National Hill View Public School has been taking part in the event for the last nine years. For him this is a celebration of the teacher community. “This is a festival for us where the monotony of our daily lives is broken, making the day fun and relaxing. There are newer ideas, ways and methods of teaching every day. Such interactions on a frequent basis would help us communicate and make the education system better.” Mr. Shivakumar has been the finalist for the quiz twice and believes in having fun rather than just competing with fellow teachers.
Middle school teachers from Sishu Griha, Geetha Viswanathan and Madhulika Chandrakumar, were finalists on stage and have been participating as a team since the inception of QWIZ. They revealed light-heartedly, how quizzing for them is to keep off the age and to test themselves against the younger crowd that participates.
Started in the year 2003, the Teacher’s Quiz was a fruit of two thoughts. While having a discussion with quizmaster Pickbrain, Ms. Rama Ranganathan voiced her wish of creating a platform exclusively for the teachers, something which would engage teachers, bring them together from different areas of the city and give them a chance to get to know each other, in a fun-filled atmosphere. Pickbrain then came up with the idea of a teacher’s quiz that could be an inter-school event, and the rest, as they say, is history. Over the last fourteen years the quiz has seen many teachers who participate and take away memories of being part of something that is more than just any quiz or workshop, an entity which is not around or about the students or the regular push-and-pull of classes, lesson plans and time-tables. This is a one of its kind initiative started by the National Hill View Public School for the teachers. The day is teachercentric, where the quizzing is for them, the competition and the nail-biting and the enthusiasm, that is generally reserved for the student, is now for them. They take a different route, moving beyond the structured paths of the subjects they teach and learn something new, study something more than the ‘syllabus’ and engage in a knowledge give and take.
The preparation in advance is not just by the participants. Teachers of NHVPS too, prepare for this event wholly. Everything from the decorations across the very large hall of the school, to the stage setup, the performances and the mementoes which are given to all the teachers who attend the event, are all done and created by NHVPS teachers by themselves. The mementoes and the stage decorations are handcrafted by the school’s teachers and senior students. Every year reflects a different theme, and is accompanied by a thoughtful and useful gift at the end of the day. This year, the mementoes handed out were potted, medicinal plants with a knit rope for hanging the pots as decorations in homes.Bharatanatyam performance by NHVPS teachers
The event this year saw the most number of participants from across the city. It began with a Bharatanatyam dance by the teachers of NHVPS beautifully portraying the showing the life-cycle of a teacher. It was followed by a heart-felt speech by the school captains who thanked the teacher community for their efforts and hardwork. Ms. Ranganathan mesmerisingly articulated how empowerment of students occurs through teachers and vice versa. Sri Ayyappan Nair, the chief guest for the day, added to the Principal’s words by speaking about the empowering symbol that a teacher becomes in the lives of his/her students, and the ‘SANGAM’ or the convergence of ideas and ideals. At the end of it, the teachers from BGS National Public School emerged as first-time winners, leaving behind seasoned participants from Sindhi High School and Sishu Griha.
The event is a truly innovative and pioneering concept in the genre of school events and the emphasis it places on offering something for the teachers and not just the students, is commendable. National Hill View Public School and Ms. Rama Ranganathan have truly created something wonderful, an annual event that has become a day to look forward to for most teachers in the beautiful city of Bengaluru as a forum for them to enjoy themselves and learn in perfect harmony.