Dr Priti Ojha- An Inspirational and Compassionate Educator

Dedication, hard work, empathy, astuteness- these are some of the essential characteristics, which make a successful principal. Excellent principals, who want to make a difference in the education system treat every student, teacher, and staff equally. They are driven by the zeal to uphold education and to ensure the academic, career, and personality development of every student.

Inspired by the same goal, Dr Priti Ojha marches ahead towards transforming the education system and nurturing the students effectively. She is a mentor, passionate facilitator, co-learner and teacher coach. Starting her career as a primary teacher and today serving as a principal, is a journey with endless stories of two decades. She is a graduate and postgraduate in Computer Science from Pune University; Dr Priti went on to complete B.Ed., M.Phil and Ph.D in Computer Science in her zeal to acquire the theoretical moorings of training and teaching.

A Journey Filled with Challenges

Dr Priti travelled throughout her childhood to different states. As a student, she changed nine schools pan India. Her school life was a challenge for her; she could manage the academic rigour of schools but adjusting to the weather, culture, peer group, language was a huge task for her to accomplish. And when she was almost settled, her father would announce a new state to travel. The multiple emotional waves within Dr Priti as a child used to shake her. However, eventually, as she started growing with age, she started accepting these changes as a wonderful opportunity to observe different cultures, languages, weather, foods, modes to commute, and of course, friends. Dr Priti started nurturing amazing abilities, which has now become her strength. She became more resilient, a better learner, a team person, communicator, go-getter, tech-savvy, empathetic, strategist, traveller, and above all, she started accepting the changes in life without any resistance.

Exploring New Grounds

Dr Priti completed her graduation and postgraduation in computer science. This led her to pursue the profession of computer coding. However, she felt that coding was not allowing her to shape her career as per her will. She soon applied for a teaching vacancy in a school in New Delhi and since then there was no looking back. Dr Priti breathes teaching and loves to be with children, parents, and her colleagues. She feels that pursuing this profession is like a dream come true. What she wanted to accomplish since her childhood eventually became her career and passion.

Dr Priti believes that her life has been extremely blessed with wonderful educators and mentors. While teaching, she realised that her subject is a tool to strengthen the concept and engagement to learn other subjects. Her school promoted Computer Aided Learning Lab, called CAL for teachers and students. There, she realised the potential of teamwork as teachers and changed the dynamics of classroom sessions. The interrelated subject curriculum helped her to realise that all subjects which we teach in school are interrelated for a child to experience when observed in real life.

While recreating these lab curricula she realised the need to have customised assignments for children as an extended learning which should have less theory and more of thinking, problem solving, recognition, puzzle, and practice questions connected to real life. The most essential component was to complete the task in the limited lab time and to make this happen she wrote books from grade 3 to 7.

A Benevolent Mentor

Since 2002 till date, Dr Priti has worked in four schools and has gained a diverse experience as a teacher, leader, and a co-learner. Her strength has been to always keep changing the teaching–learning pedagogy, which she effortlessly designs and plans with her team. Dr Priti’s forte has been to resolve issues of children and teachers. She has always agreed upon student-centric teaching which she feels can only be possible if a teacher has the freedom to teach.

A Recognized Educator

Dr Priti has been connected with the community and has been working towards new innovations in teaching for two decades. Owing to her dedicate endeavours, she has accomplished many feats.

Some of her achievements and awards include the Global Women Changemaker Award from UN Peace ambassador, among the 50 women identified globally. She has been awarded with the Most Progressive Principal in National convention of Edu leaders, Most Promising Principal by Global leader’s foundation, and the LINKEDIN SPOT LIGHT 2019.

Dr Priti was awarded as the Most Innovative Leader 2021 by Education Excellence Conclave supported by Ministry of AAYUSH and FIT India. She received the Maharana Pratap Bravery Award by Oxford eduserve. She was awarded and felicitated by then President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam for the year 2003 – 04. Moreover, Dr Priti was felicitated as the British Council School Ambassador, received International Coordinator Award numerous times from British Council, and was recognized as Top Learner in “Communication skill” by the organization ETMA. Recently, she was felicitated as the Global Peace Ambassador by Asia Africa Consortium.

Opinions about Leadership

Dr Priti has continuously assessed her own journey as an educator. After carrying out in-depth research, she has realised that leadership in schools demands a different approach. Accordingly, concerned authorities must proactively work towards mediation and orientation for all the stake holders.

She has been planning and conducting workshops for teachers, students, and parents, while ensuring that she receives feedback. Dr Priti says that the key to work in a team is only through consistent communication. She has always been initiating collaboration locally and globally among students, teachers, and parents. This helps to respect and develop empathy with different cultures and value systems.

Focused on Students’ Development

Dr Priti is always driven by the motive of nurturing the students and to ensure that they grow academically and professionally. She joined as the Director of a girl’s residential school in Kurukshetra. The transition from a day school profile to a 24×7 profile, which also included administering the girls’ hostel was a beautiful learning experience for her. Dr Priti identified the strengths and reforming areas of children and rigorously promoted skills that demonstrate students’ strength such communication through theatre, cooking, quilling, recycling paper, and above all sports for physical fitness. She is till date connected with the school as the vice president of their trust.

Spearheading with Confidence

Dr Priti is currently serving as a Principal in Delhi International School. The school follows a progressive approach and continuously updates its processes, pedagogy, and policies for the benefit of the students and teachers. It emphasizes on essential pillars of education starting with connecting with the stakeholders, professional development of teachers, consistent academics rigour, local and global collaboration, strategizing facility for children to demonstrate save environment, and so on. Dr Priti prepares a well-planned yearly calendar to maintain balance between emotional and physical health of all the stakeholders. She specifically focuses on strengthening emotional and physical awareness in primary school.

Dr Priti believes in the words of Haim Ginott- “I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a student’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a student humanized or de-humanized.”

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