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Always do your best. what you plant now, you will harvest later.

Principal's Message

‘ The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights’

(Habakkuk 3:19)

Somerville School, Greater NOIDA which was established on the 2nd July 1998, is administered by the Lott Carey Baptist Mission in India. It has the distinction of being the first School of Greater NOIDA with an imposing building surrounded by a green and sprawling campus of 6 Acres.The school aims at a holistic development of the learners through co-curricular activities, academics and a strong value system.

By the Providence of God, we started the school with 69 students and 2 Teachers on 2nd July 1998, bringing formal education to a place where there were no schools. Being first in the field of education was a mammoth task that we kept together thus far by the Will of God. By the Grace of God, today, we have more than 2100 students, 103 Teachers, 9 Administrative Staff and 100 Support Staff. We at Somerville School, Greater NOIDA shall continue to work together and are confident to look forward to the coming years only because we rest and trust in the Sovereignty of God.

Each year we embark upon newer standards by pushing the finish line further as we go along. Each passing day teaches us that perfection is a moving target. To follow the locus to the point of perfection means being on our toes each minute of the day, while striving for the ultimate best. The path is not one to be tread in a state that tends to inertia, but one that tends toward momentum.

Being on the move is important, because some of the most brilliant ideas remain in its foetal stages only because one fails to act upon it, or were too late to act upon it. Being proactive and realizing a dream calls for sacrifice and co-operation along the way. Willingness to take one for the team and not seeking individual glory catapults us, as a school, towards success. And I can truly say, that the teachers, students, office staff and the supporting staff of Somerville School, Greater NOIDA are doing just that.

"Do We Really Want to Produce Good People?" asks education professor, Dr. Nel Noddings, in the title of a 1987 article. Do we concur with philosopher Martin Buber's conviction that "education worthy of the name is essentially education of character"? Is it the business of the schools to seek to develop in young people the character traits we associate with goodness- traits such as kindness, generosity, compassion, and helpfulness? These are far-reaching questions; and educators, parents and students can be expected to continue expressing different points of view about the teaching of "values" and "morals" in the schools. But in this race to produce “good people”, all of us miss out on the sidelines one quality that actually should be the goal and finish of our earthly sprint. Over and above all the values of Kindness, Generosity, Compassion, Helpfulness and the likes which we seek in the scope of “goodness” in a person is one which has gained maximum attention in the current times - the quality of Empathy.

Empathy may broadly be defined as the capacity to understand or feel what another being (a human or non-human animal) is experiencing from within the other being's frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another's position. Empathy is a skill that experts from many disciplines have deemed important for personal relationship and career success. People who are empathic tend to have better social interactions, academic performance and accomplishments at work than others.

A strong sense of empathy allows children to make decisions that are right for them without hurting others or seeking approval or acceptance. This may strengthen them against negative peer pressure and a range of maladaptive behaviors such as substance abuse, bullying, narcissism, aggression or violence against others. Although some children are remarkably resilient despite abuse, neglect or other forms of mistreatment, studies suggest that these early trauma experiences significantly increase the risk of emotional and behavioral problems later in life.

With newspapers flooded with news of violence and intolerance, negativity is rampant in the young impressionable minds that should be joyful and at peace. Can we turn people who are already out there into “good people”? A near Impossibility. Can we at Somerville School focus on the generation that we have in our hands? Definitely a Possibility.

We at Somerville, seek to strategically raise an awareness of Empathy in students, with the ultimate goal of raising each child’s Empathy Quotient. Learning activities which focus students' attention on the lives and achievements of famous empathetic persons have shown to increase children's desire to be like these people and to take on attitudes and behaviors associated with them (Dixon 1980). People who have been the focus of such learning activities include Florence Nightingale, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Schweitzer, and Mother Teresas, the life stories of which inspire young minds to emulate their behavioral pattern. The world could definitely do with more Mother Teresas and Mahatma Gandhis.

Developing empathy can be a lifelong process. We cannot expect 4-year-olds to master this skill, nor can we expect children to feel empathy when they are in the midst of overwhelming feelings of their own growing. What we can expect is an open and ongoing dialogue between students, between teachers and students and more importantly between parents and students. For only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. It becomes our prerogative to understand the pain in the pinch and walk with him/her.

So, do we Really want to produce Good People?

The Answer is YES. The world needs them more than ever before. And it all begins right here, right now. At Home.

“Coming together is beginning, keeping together is progress but working together is success “.(Henry Ford)


DR. MARY THOMAS
PRINCIPAL