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Inspiring Changemaking: Interview with Mentor Pankaj Rathore

By Raquel Armendariz Sucunza, Global Schools Project Lead (Communications)

In our mission to celebrate educators, once again, we want to recognize the Mentors of the Month for their constant and tireless efforts to create a support system for the advocates of the latest cohort. With that in mind, in this interview, we want to highlight the work of Global Schools' former Advocate and Mentor, Pankaj Rathore. During his mentorship, he did a fantastic job connecting with advocates about pedagogy for promoting people and the planet.

Interview with Pankaj Rathore

A teacher who believes in creativity and analogy is Mr. Pankaj Rathore, Headmaster of Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Lucknow, India. Pankaj holds an M.Sc in Biotechnology, and B.Ed, and an International Diploma in Special Needs Education.

He has won several awards for his accomplishments, such as receiving a letter of appreciation from the Ministry of HRD for outstanding results in Chemistry & Biotechnology or being a proud recipient of the Most Innovative Teacher Award in the year- 2019 by IESA incubated at IIT- Patna. He also received an Outstanding Leadership Award from IEA in 2019 and won the Adobe Brand Ambassador Title in the same year. He has been a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and a trainer for the last five years. Most recently, Pankaj was recognized amongst the Top 10 Educators of India with the National Brilliance Award. He currently represents his country as a former Global Schools Advocate and Mentor.

Tell us more about your Mentoring role and what it means to you.

Mentoring is a beautiful relationship that exemplifies the power of relating, inspiring, and imparting. A competent mentor must make sure that their mentees have well-defined goals. The cycle of learning, unlearning and relearning never ends. Spreading positivity should be one’s aim to take their team forward with well-defined SMART goals.

The Global Schools Program (GSP) gave me this wonderful chance, and I firmly believe it was a success. The nicest aspect was that I could see in all of my mentees that they had an innate desire to connect, work together, create, and contribute in order to advance the Sustainable Development Goals best. Therefore, I think that the four Cs—Connect, Collaborate, Create, and Contribute —are the fundamental slogan for achieving Mission 4.7 and Agenda 2030.

How are you helping Mentees in their advocacy journey?

One of the most effective techniques for raising public awareness of the 17 SDGs is social media. Therefore, I urged my mentees to post their amazing work in this area on the Global Schools Facebook group so that we may all learn from one another and use these best practices to implement SDGS globally.

What are some things you learned from your Mentees?

That it requires grit and determination to create wonders even without resources. The only way to achieve SDG targets is through students, and teachers are the ones who hold the magic wand to produce global citizens with a better sense of civic responsibility. It’s important for us, as a parent, teachers, or role models, to bring in them the feeling of empathy and coexistence.

What are some challenges that may arise, and how can you overcome them?

Every difficulty begins with the mind; if one approaches any program with a pessimistic outlook, undesirable outcomes will follow. But nothing is impossible if one begins to believe that a single person can influence society. I am aware that choosing the proper road can be challenging at times, but one should keep in mind the adage, "If you're walking down the right path and you're ready to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress." Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character, as Dr. Kalam once said. There is harmony in the home when there is beauty in the character. Order reigns in the country when there is peace at home.

What achievements are you most proud of?

Being a teacher by choice and not by chance is my greatest accomplishment.

How and where do you find inspiration for your SDGs-related activities/work as a GS advocate and Mentor?

In my opinion, if people choose the righteous path, they will be more likely to spread happiness to others, succeed in their own endeavors, and improve the status of their household. This will, in turn, improve the happiness and uplift of the entire society and help to solve many social issues like crime, corruption, resource waste, lack of empathy, and the rise of terrorism, among others. As a result, I am adamant that every one of my students and mentees must be able to distinguish between what is right and evil. My motivation comes primarily from my students, who serve as constant reminders of my enormous responsibility to save the world.

Similar to this, we must remember that a prosperous individual can only lead to a prosperous society, which in turn will result in a prosperous country and unquestionably improve the quality of life on Earth.

What is one thing you wish to tell current and future Global Schools advocates?

There is plenty in this world to meet everyone's needs, but there isn't enough to satisfy everyone's greed, which is something I would like to share. Thus, achieving the goals of Agenda 2030 is challenging, but if we all work together, we can bring about the change needed to save our one and only planet. One should bear in mind the advice to "enjoy your duties rather than your roles."

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