- EDUCATION MEANS LEARNING ALONGSIDE STUDENTS, AND NOT JUST TEACHING BEFORE A CLASS
Tanya Chawla, a fresh graduate of B Com (H) from Maitreyi College, Delhi University is 7 months into her Fellowship and finds that her lesson plans and teaching allow her to take back as much as she gives.
She says- “Learning together with my 100 girls who are curious to learn and grow, who are very strong and enthusiastic- has been the best part of the Fellowship for me till now. I’ve met students who are leaders in their own right, well aware of their surroundings and eager to do something about the problems they see within their own communities. Seeing their inclination to transform the system makes me feel happy about my decision to be here.”
Tanya teaches Social Science and English to 8th and 9th Graders at Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, New Seelampur in Delhi. She joined the Fellowship for self-growth and the opportunity to work with a diverse set of stakeholders- two goals, that she says are effectively being met. “I have got many opportunities to learn from diverse people- be it from the other Fellows, Staff, Students, and people from different communities. I have been able to acquire and assimilate knowledge and skills which will help me in every workspace or any sector I’ll work in.”
She strongly believes that every child has pristine innocence and wonder in their hearts which inspires her to continue creating learning spaces full of love, where everybody is uplifting and learning from each other.
- IDEAS ARE LIMITLESS
Yamini, a graduate of B Com (H) from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Delhi University. In her journey as a Teach For India Fellow, Yamini has seen an enhanced level of exposure and access to the grassroots of the education system in India, which has opened up a new realm of ideas and innovative solutions towards creating a better world for our nation’s children.
She says- “Teach For India’s inclusive working environment where ideas are always welcome and the acceptance of people coming from different walks of life has been the highlight of my time here. The most important thing I have learned is that while working with different people, ideas can emerge from anywhere and everywhere. While we may not have reached every kid in this country yet, our collaborative efforts and openness to fresh solutions will one day lead to the eradication of education inequity. I’m sure of it.“
Yamini teaches Maths and Science to 8th Graders at a Municipal Girls School in Vikaspuri, New Delhi. Her motivation to join the Fellowship was the willingness to take the road less taken and to work towards understanding and improving the education sector of India.
Today, that initial vision clubbed with her real-world experiences as a teacher and mentor to students from various backgrounds, has inspired her to endeavor to make our system bend more towards the interest of students in classrooms.
“When we look at education for the betterment of students, we need to allow them to showcase the best of themselves beyond the concept of a pen and paper test. We must focus more on their leadership skills and personality development.”
- CHANGE TAKES TIME, BUT IT’S WORTH THE WAIT
Shubhkiran Kaur, a Bachelor of Arts Graduate from Maitreyi College, Delhi University. She worked as an intern with Teach For India and was immediately inspired to stay connected with the movement as a Fellow. In her experiences, as both an intern and a Fellow, she understood the magnitude of the Education Crisis in India.
“I learned that the challenge is large and daunting, and can only be solved by people who really want to build excellent education for our nation’s children while building leadership experiences for themselves. Teach For India is a movement that gives me the opportunity to do just that. “
In her day to day experiences, she believes that a new lesson is unlocked for her at every step. Shubhkiran is humbled by the learnings and spirit of collaboration she experiences every day in her classroom- and while these may not be red-letter changes, they are essential to a large scale transformation.
She says the following of her biggest lesson- “Change takes time. It’s often invisible, and can even seem like a lost cause on hard days. On the days when the class just won’t listen, or when parents won’t understand why giving an exam is more important than going home to the village- you need to persevere. Never give up, because after 100 days like this, one day all children will attain an excellent education. I believe that.”
- SELF EXPRESSION IS ESSENTIAL FOR GROWTH
Chetana Jain, a graduate of English Literature from Daulat Ram College in Delhi University was skeptical about working in the social sector before she joined the Teach For India Fellowship. However, a presentation by the organization in her college sparked an idea- she discovered that she could find alignment between her love for literature and her burgeoning will to make this world a better place. Today, she loves the experience of being a ‘Didi’ to her class of students.
“The biggest highlight of being a Fellow is that I am welcomed to school every morning with 80 smiling faces whose eyes would light up after seeing me, there’s no better motivation to do the work I am doing, no matter the challenges- than those smiling faces. It has helped me find a new source of power within me.”
Chetana teaches in a Government Girls Secondary School in Chabi Ganj, New Delhi. She strongly believes in the uniqueness of individual and collective stories as well as the importance of diverse ideologies in shaping a person’s narrative. This drives her to focus on fostering multiple perspectives through literature reading and discussions in her classroom.
“My students feel great when they are heard in the classroom and are courageous enough to question or criticize anything they want. Though it has been a long road full of challenges with these 80 curious minds, it has been worth spending hours researching excellent content and new teaching strategies,” says Chetana, about the impact of these discussions.
Currently, she is working with a city-level project called Kaksha which aims to build a love for reading by curating classroom resources and teaching plans for novels. She believes love for reading can spark critical thinking skills in students- “This is the change I look forward to in the modern scenario of the education system. I aspire to see a curriculum revision in English that can foster a love for learning as well as the aesthetics of language and literature.”
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