By SUJITH KRISHNAN
The achievements of Ms Sonu Sarda in her distinguished teaching career epitomize the success of an ambitious educator who has successfully managed to strike a balance between work and family obligations. She has won several accolades in the field of education in different parts of the world, the most recent one being the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in the domain of economics at the University of Ballarat.
Ms Sonu is immensely creative in her approach when it comes to teaching and emerges from a rare breed of teachers who believe teaching is all about ‘mediating learning’. She envisages a strong rapport with her students as the key to inspiring a ritual of two-way communication in her lessons, and to good effect. “I try to empower my students who come from diverse backgrounds to interact during lectures, and encourage them to be confident about voicing their opinions,” says Ms Sonu. “Most importantly, I expect and constantly receive regular feedback from the students regarding the techniques applied in class, which helps me evolve as a teacher and also helps keep the students engaged with their studies,” she adds.
In regards to the teaching methods that her students approve of unanimously, Ms Sonu explains, “I explain economic concepts verbally to highlight the intuition and reasoning at work, graphically along with mind maps to summarize the relationships for visual learners, and mathematically in the context of an example from everyday life.” She goes on to assert saying, “I want my students to not only learn the analytical tools of economic theory, but also how economists use these tools to frame and solve problems in the real world.” Ms Sonu motivates herself to come up with modern methods of teaching depending on the subject and also creates various factual situations in class for better awareness. Without doubt, Ms Sonu is a gifted teacher who instantly captures the pulse of her students, as is clearly evident from what some of her students had to say about their beloved teacher:
“Thank you very much! Economics is now easy to understand for us students. Your teaching style and the way you encourage us is excellent. After a long time I actually found a teacher who is a Guru…hope everyone adopts your teaching style.”
“Sonu is the best one for teaching business economics. I still remember economics because she teaches difficult concepts in a simple way”.
An inspirational teacher to the core, her message to readers is, “If you persevere and do your best, there is no reason to hold back. Every change brings challenges, and every challenge must be faced with perseverance