“Microsoft has provided all educators with a global platform to ask or share one’s query. To one’s surprise, the help comes pouring in.” – Mona Mehra, India
Growing up in a Punjab, India village, Mona Mehra knew early on that she was destined to be a teacher. In fact, her grandmother predicted it. Now a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (part of the 2012 class), Mehra takes the responsibility of shaping young lives very seriously, just as the teacher who inspired her did.
Mehra teaches in a Microsoft Showcase School, where she applies the latest education philosophies – like the flipped classroom – to great effect. One of her projects, Let the Trees Breathe, combined math, science and environmental activism to deliver practical lessons about the “concretization” of her city, Ghaziabad. The project was recognized not only by Microsoft, but also by India’s Central Board of Secondary Education on World Education Day and by the Goethe Institute.
“Life is constant growth,” Mehra says. “Growing and changing with time, trying out new avenues in the field of education, taking challenges as learning objectives, involving young minds in decision making and problem solving, and ultimately exchanging ideas, creates a two- way learning program. I take every possible step to update my students with whatever I know and bring them to a global platform with all the available resources.”
While Mehra has received broad recognition for her efforts (including being named a finalist in the Pearson Teaching Awards), it’s the impact she’s having on students that matters most to her. The fact that she received the most popular teacher award for three consecutive years offers strong evidence she’s having a significant impact, indeed. Here’s today’s Daily Edventure with Mona Mehra.
Why is education important to you?
Education transforms one’s way of perceiving things and making informed decisions. It enables an individual to realize one’s potential and work towards it. It connects a person with others in terms of empathy, concern and ethos. A strong character is built when there is lot of learning coupled with values we gain through education. Therefore, a person’s way of life is completely in cohesion with harmonious balance of his strengths and weaknesses.
Can you describe the teacher who most influenced you?
One of my school teachers always used to encourage me and tried to understand me. She knew that I was a person who would always understand her lessons but never could cram them. She was my math teacher, Ms. Neelam Sahi, and today it is because of her that I, too, am a math teacher.
Describe the most inspiring day you’ve experienced as an educator.
Each day is an inspiring day for me. Every morning I get up with the sprit that I have to take up a challenge and give my best working towards it. Students bring up problems to be understood, and I feel contented to see them working collaboratively to solve them. The eagerness to learn is very inspiring, and it motivates me to share ways and means by which they can maximize their learning.
How can other educators facing similar challenges implement what you’ve learned?
I feel that challenges are learning opportunities. Microsoft has provided all educators with a global platform to ask or share one’s query. To one’s surprise, the help comes pouring in. I share whatever I do with the other educators and help them out in whatever possible way I can in my own school.
What is the best opportunity for innovation in education?
Inclusion of all segments of society, and the sharing of hard, as well as soft, resources.
What advice would you give a new teacher?
I would suggest they join the Microsoft Educator Network and see for themselves that opportunities are endless.
What is your greatest hope for the future of education in your country?
That in the future, my country will be 100 percent literate.
About Mona Mehra, Math Teacher, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert
Uttam School for Girls
Uttar Pradesh, India
- Birthplace: Punjab, India
- Educational background: BA Hons, B.Ed, MA
- Website I check every day: Microsoft Educator Network, State Education site, Facebook
- Person who inspires me most: My father, who was an epitome of honesty, truthfulness and sincerity.
- Favorite childhood memory: My grandmother often used to say that Mona will become a great teacher one day.
- Next travel destination (work or pleasure): Mount Everest
- Favorite book: Ignited Minds by APJ Abdul Kalam