Aum Tshewang Choden Wangdi is a household name when education is a matter of discussion. She is the former and the incoming Principal of Druk School. 'Former' because she had spearheaded the administration of Druk School for eight long years before she left for her sabbatical break for two years (2016 and 2017). The school could achieve in many folds during her leadership. Off and on record accolades and achievements speak volume of her contribution to the school. Read more here.
Druk School was acknowledged with Triple Star certificate by the Ministry of Education (the certificate was received in 2012 for securing top position for three consecutive years: 2009-2011). Thus became the first school in the country to receive the honor. What Druk School is today, in many ways, is unanimously credited to her dynamic leadership as the Principal of the school and also an inspirational mentor for the teaching faculty. What Druk School will achieve in the years to come is also anchored in the golden hands of our Principal Aum Tshewang Choden Wangdi.
She has her own style of executing her role as the administrator. An aura in her personality inspires many to follow her path for ‘Perfection’ come rain or sunshine. She is very much an open minded person but quality cannot be compromised. A Perfectionist in her work ethics, visionary in planning and coupled with dynamic leadership traits: That’s our Madam Principal.
Aum Tshewang Choden Wandgdi had this vision to introduce Drama (professional) skills to create an avenue for our learners to explore their talent. She also wanted to use it as a tool to help make learning more fun. This ‘million dollar’ dream and a sincere vision could be actualized by inviting Charmi Chadda to facilitate drama lessons to the students of Druk School back in 2014. This modest initiative later got propelled to National Level in the form of National Drama Festival due to the support and the equal acceptance of its significant role in education shown by Our Honorable Sherig Lyenpo Norbu Wangchuk. Miss Charmi Chadda will agree with me to accept that Druk School is the genesis of the Drama fever in the country! Aum Tshewang is the Architect and you were her god gifted special agent! In 2018 we have to work together to make the magic possible again!
Before Aum Tshewang Choden Wangdi was the DEO of Thimphu and had rendered her leadership in school administration as an able Principal, she was a Course leader at Samtse College of Education. As a farsighted professional, she knew that her teacher graduates needed to upgrade their qualification. Thus she initiated the Distance Education Programmes at Samtse college of Education almost two decades ago. The institution was then known as the National Institution of Education. And Today I pen down these lines from room number six of Boys hostel located beside the old counselling block where I will be staying for next twenty one days to complete my winter prog. to upgrade my teaching certification.
As the Principal of Druk School she had recruited 27 fresh graduates in 2012 academic year. She took the risk to employ them as she wanted to infuse new ideas, high level of energy and create vibrancy in her school education system in her capacity as the leader and the administrator. I was one among the group of 27 fresh graduates though I had two years of prior teaching experience. To equip us with tricks of the trade, we were given training in Transformative pedagogy funded by the school in March 2012. That’s four years ahead of Ministry of Education rolling out the training programme for entire Sherig Family.
That faithful night when the whole school teaching and the support staff gathered in the ‘Simply Bhutan’ restaurant inside the YDF compound to bid you farewell in December 2015, many of us promised a lot of things to you as a parting gift for nurturing Druk School to the level it is today. We assured we will all work hard and keep the flag of Druk School flying high. Among the long line of staff prepared to say a line or two I was one among them.
Well I cannot make judgements and declaration about others. For sure I can recall for myself what I have been doing of which I had solemnly promised on that faithful night. I had promised to work harder and to bring every possible initiatives for the betterment of the School. With full support from my teacher colleagues the followings were possible. And interestingly these listed items were briefly discussed in person (between Madam Principal and me) but left unfinished.
1.Many promotional videos of our school were produced.
2.Flag day (was initiated because Druk School Must always lead, Druk School Must not be Led)
3.International Literary Day was observed with Digital Book Review competition.
4.School Magazine was published.
5.Update regarding school events on School Facebook page and through my own blogspot.com site.
6.Did a small yet sincere Action Research on IB lesson planning and methodology to initiate for IB certification of school in the future( Which is one of Aum Tshewang’s long cherished dreams)
When we were made known officially that Madam Tsewang Choden Wangdi is coming back to join the school as the new Principal of the School, I was first to stand and speak my mind. I said Druk School can’t get better experienced and professional educator then her. She knew the inside out of the system and she had given her heart and soul for the betterment of the school. We can’t imagine to have someone totally new to fill in. After all Druk School is one the finest educational institutions in the country and we cannot afford to dilute its ethos with some alien system and policy of administration.
If educating the Nation and administration of an Educational Institution was a Beauty Pageant Contest, she is the Beauty Queen, if it was a war, she is the Commander in Chief and if it was colossal darkness, she is the light in the end of the tunnel. Epitome of knowledge. Spark of inspiration. The hope for the hopeless.
After 20 months of sabbatical break...she shall join us in 2018.
In fact the journey with her has already began with planning meeting for next year …That’s Miss Tshewang Choden Wangdi for you. The planning meeting began day before yesterday on 19th December. The teachers involved in the planning received and welcomed her. A ‘Labsang’ was also arranged for purification of body, mind and speech so nothing obstructs Druk School Family to soar higher. And the faculty of Druk are also informed to report to School on 22nd January 2018 for extensive planning and organization of the school before the commencement of 2018 academic year from 1st of Feb.
Don’t smug of your 20 or plus teaching experience….Don’t think you know everything regarding education…A day’s work with her will answer you a lot. And don’t conclude quickly here! She is more than my description because I believe my limited language competency failed to adequately illustrate and elaborate her rich life experiences, 30 plus years of service in education and exceptional career as an educator fulfilling her duties in various capacity.
The intention to write this piece is to celebrate your comeback Madam. It’s also an act of humble submission to work and earn (one’s living and experience) under your dynamic leadership. Show us the way again to confront this tricky job of educating children of this high-tech modern world. It’s has always been and shall always be an honor to work along with you because we can busk in the rich experience that you have and also learn from your experience each day as we teach. Welcome Home Madam!