Tag Archives: Growth

Why every school is important to us!

June – The month where we from Report Bee buzz the most! With the fresh start to a new academic year, we have our happiness team welcoming the existing schools back, wishing them all the very best for the year; Creation team introducing new features, enhancing the existing features to make sure our users, the teachers enjoy the product even more! And Growth trying to connect with more number of schools and sell our product. After all, June is the peak time of sales!

As a member of the growth team, I am well aware of the entire process we go through to implement Report Bee. To me, it is the toughest job. Our product speaks for itself, so you might wonder what is there to convince. Let me take you through the entire process.

When a new school even remotely expresses their interest in Report Bee, we grab that opportunity. We call the concerned person at school and try and schedule a demo with the Principal.

A Principal, is the Prime Minister of the school. Starting the day at 8 AM or even earlier at times, they have meetings throughout the day. Principals to me, are super human beings. Try waiting outside their office and in a minute, you will find atleast 5 people who walk in and walk out of their room! So, imagine how difficult it can be for us to just get an appointment to talk about Report Bee.

After all the follow ups, we finally manage to fix an appointment. Even though a time is agreed verbally over phone, it gets postponed, no doubt! Working with over 400 schools we completely understand the life of the principal. I guess that is why we end up having a personal connect with almost every principal we talk to, irrespective of whether Report Bee is implemented or not. By the end of our follow ups, we have our moments together sharing what we eat for lunch!

I could say growth is an energetic team with a never say die attitude, but another reason for all the follow ups we do with every school is the target we aim to achieve by the end of this year. With a humungous pressure on us, every positive moment with a school only gives us hope. So, if you were a principal of a school who has shown interest in Report Bee, you can imagine the follow up phone calls you would get from this team. We use strategies to even call them at specific days and timings. The only thing constant is our smile and the talk we have with the principal.

Finally, after all the follow ups, the principal agrees to give us time for our product demo. The product speaks for itself, so the demos generally end on a high note. The colourful designs, the instant graphical representation, the user friendliness of the software are all the key reasons why a school agrees to implement our product.

But no. The story does not end there. A decision for a school to implement Report Bee not lies only with the principal but at times, also with the higher management. Phew!

After giving a demo, I am generally on a high. But when the principal says that she will get back after consulting with the management – my high drops to low! One drop instantly. Need to wait again.

After countless follow ups again, the school finally sends a confirmation email saying they have agreed to implement Report Bee in their school!

That is the moment we from Growth wait for! All our effort in closing one school to just receiving this email, gives us more energy to march towards our target for this year.

With a huge happy heart, we from Report Bee invite all the new schools to the family. We know your time is precious. Our service will be top notch to ensure your school, a member of our family is always happy and will never have to go through this process of finalizing another product software such as ours!

Reflections: There’s More than Meets the Eye

 

A teacher’s concern, love, thoughts, and actions that nurture children are rarely ever ‘captured’. Goes without saying that stories have forever been instrumental in moulding cultures and societies! Reflections- Teachers’ Stories in their own Words, launched in February 2015, is a space where teachers can speak their minds, share tales from their lives and their classrooms so that everyone can appreciate what they do and learn.

Why Care?

  • Teacher-to-Teacher Connect: Personal stories foster learning from each other’s examples, enable exchange of ideas and establish deeper connection with teaching.
  • Adds depth: Researchers get in-depth knowledge. We can perhaps hope to get a more representative realistic image of the teachers.
  • Improve PTA Experiences: Parents could appreciate what some teachers do. It is heartening to learn that some teachers do go to great lengths to ensure a joyful learning experience.
  • Surprise for everyone else who has any pre-set notions about teachers.

Come to think of it, there isn’t quite anyone like the teachers! Teachers are the frontrunners in our education system; the progresses our children make in schools (and beyond) are solely dependent on the quality of our communication with them. They have a huge task and tremendous pressure under which to deliver upon their responsibilities. Yet we know so little about them and their views. To top this lack of knowledge, little do we know that there are heroes and role models in the teaching fraternity who successfully defy the prevalent wisdom of the day, which portrays teachers as overburdened, de-motivated and passive recipients of information. It is only reasonable for us – educationists, researchers, parents, individuals, civil society- to know the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of what they do:

How to Capture these Reflections?

That’s a good question! Teachers have no time; why would they care to share their stories with us, that too via a medium (technology) they don’t much like? Hence, the apparent challenge was in getting ‘the powerhouse of knowledge’ to write. With minimal chance of receiving even a handful of stories, we doubled the challenge by launching Reflections at the worst possible time- Final Exams!! Thankfully, this round was a pilot. We were so sure of receiving a scanty response that we were thrilled with just about 10 odd entries!

Lo and behold, they just kept trickling in by the dozen. Reflections stopped at 52 beautiful stories/essays from teachers’ lives, written by them. No, these were not just from the English language teachers but also from the teachers of Hindi, Sanskrit, Maths, Chemistry, Social Sciences, Geography, and Biology.  Obviously, we were overwhelmed and encouraged by their beautiful stories.

The stories were then evaluated to arrive at the winners (remember, it’s a writing contest). Nectar is proud to publish these unique stories under a special sub-category for them, obviously by the name Reflections. It is as heartening to read each of these real stories from real teachers, as it is to read some fantastic comments by other teachers. This is the true power of technology! It makes boundaries non-existent, renders physical connect obsolete in the path of learning and paves the way for a virtual community from the so-called tech-averse group.

Day 1 of Result Announcement: 3 of top-10
Day 1 of Result Announcement: 3 of top-10

 

In summary, Reflections:

  1. Gets us some great stories of change: Everyday problems need simple actions to solve; teachers do that all the time; we just don’t know what they do. Story of Little Johnny, of ALICE, passion for Psychology, compassion for slow learners, their appreciation of exam fevers, and of little innovations, use of technology to name just a few.
  2. Offers a platform for the Teachers to speak their minds, inspire and network: Healthy constructive communication among the teaching fraternity implies a deeper connection with the process of teaching.
  3. Helps empathise with the Teachers: Gives us a glimpse into their minds and lives so we can see what drives them or the challenges they face (for those who care).
  4. Enliven moments and live forever, in the hearts of others!
  5. Shows how savvy the teachers really are! The real handicap is lies around the right motivation.
  6. Shows their sense of commitment: They deliver on their responsibilities by sometimes going out of their way.

Teachers, keep sharing! We love your stories.

 

An Insider’s Account of the Culture at Report Bee

At Report Bee, we have an interesting organizational structure. There are three teams: Growth, Creation and Happiness. Each team has specific goals and the different projects taken up by the teams help them in achieving their respective goals.

Growth team is responsible for taking Report Bee’s products to more schools, thereby impacting the lives of more students and eventually bringing in cash-flow to the firm.

Creation team is in-charge of envisioning and developing the core products of Report Bee that are in line with our vision of making data more useful in schools.

Happiness team’s responsibility is to make sure that the schools and our partners love to use Report Bee’s products and services.

(More about the team structure and the thoughts behind it, to follow in a separate blog)

I’m a part of the Growth team and manage partnerships among other things, here at Report Bee. Along with it, I handle a customer school of ours’ as well. This is typically a responsibility that falls in the hands of the Happiness team. Handling a school involves setting up the school structure within the Report Bee software initially, then training the teachers to use the various modules within the software and being in constant touch with them to ensure that their lives are made easy.

Recently, we came up with this idea where we decided that each of us at Report Bee will handle one of our client schools and work closely with the teachers to make sure that each of us understand how a teacher uses Report Bee and the role of Report Bee in a teacher’s life. This in turn, enables the team to have a better perspective on how our product is being used and in turn make our internal discussions far more productive and relevant. Creation team will be able to better understand the needs of a teacher and the everyday constraints that she faces and inturn be able to develop a product that the teachers and the schools love. Likewise, we at Growth team can clearly see the value that the schools find in using Report Bee and inturn be able to communicate that effectively to other potential customers.

I’m loving this experience, of being loaned out to the Happiness team on a regular basis. I’m learning the challenges faced by a teacher, the pressures that she has to handle from the school and from parents and in a lot of cases, the extreme passion that she has towards teaching and moulding the budding lives of the kids whom she teaches. What started out as an added responsibility has transformed into a source of pleasure and fulfillment. Looking forward to more encounters with passionate teachers and education leaders.