Article by Krithika Sukumar( MSc Software Engineering 2011-16)
Teach For India, a project of Teach To Lead, is a nationwide movement of outstanding college graduates and young professionals who commit two-years to teach full-time in under resourced schools and become lifelong leaders working from within various sectors towards the pursuit of equity in education. Believing ‘Every child deserves an excellent education’, it strives to open as many school doors as it can, to pave way for a better society. The intervention program that it does at the school level generally caters to classes as early as in 2ndstd or 3rdstd and extends up to class 10.
Replacement of the crew happens every 2 years, which in turn allows the kids to develop holistically in academics, values, mindsets, as well as exposure and access. In such process, not only the young bloods but also the fellow teachers, gain huge experience and learning. They understand the ground realities and impact the society through their activities as alumni after the two years span.
The TFI crew goes on to different sectors making a commitment. TFI @ Chennai now, aims at bridging the gap that differentiates the private schools from that of the Chennai Corporation ones. It recruits the fellow members through a rigorous process and places them in such low income phrontisteries that operate for the under privileged.
Being a teacher is one of the challenging tasks. They handle multiple stakeholders all at the same time – Each student, their parents, the community, teachers and principal of the school along with the program managers – who come from different classes of society. Their action inspires and motivates others and brings a huge difference to an individual’s life.
All that TFI asks for is to realize the change the society had always dreamt of, from the most promising youth of the country. A chance to give back what the society has given us, but deprived a lot of the young and struggling ones from. So why fit in when you were born to make a difference?
Our alumni Niveditha Purushothaman(MSc. Software Engineering, 2008-2013) and Sethuraman (MSc. Theoretical Computer Science, 2008-2013) have established the paradigm.
Niveditha, who used to work as an associate engineer at IBM, set foot to do her chapter for the society. Teaching is one of the noblest professions she has always respected. TFI presented the right platform at the right time and she chose it. Having always found a fascination to work with kids, she finds an immense sense of satisfaction after each day at school. Presented with new experiences each day, she has grown herself into a sensitive person. The whole new perspective of seeing the world through those little one’s lenses has taught her how to appreciate each kid’s needs and unique strengths.
‘When two roads diverge in the yellow woods , I wish you would take the road not taken, for that will eventually make all the difference’ she quotes.
Sethuraman, former business technology analyst at Deloitte, also took his step to make a difference by committing to TFI as a teacher. Being with the kids gave him happiness. As a member of Rotaract club, his first experience happened with the special children around his area. An idea to cause a visible and meaningful change to the society through actions drove him. And then TFI fellowship happened. A teacher is a pivot to a kid’s life who can inspire and make a huge difference, he believes. What looked like a complete chaos on the very first day, changed with time and helped him blend in with the kids in accordance to their change in moods. Empathy, patience and being gritty are the few things he feels to have learnt so far.
At the end of each day the two of them, as teachers, find satisfaction and inner peace. There are little moments that make them smile, those that push their thinking. It changes the whole perspective and gives a new dimension to many things. This fellowship filled them with a sense of possibility. Every day, it helped them solve deep rooted social problems through intervention in school. Each and every kid went special and the more they tried to inspire them through the actions the more they got inspired by them.
If you’d like to give a hand, drop by and help for conducting any exposure lessons in the area of your interest for the kids (Age 10-11). Experience teaches you a lot about life. 10 years down the lane when you look back, it’s better to say “I am glad I did this or I regret why I did that” than to say “I wish I had done this then”.
A step to permute starts with you, with us.
KRITHIKA SUKUMAR (MSc Software Engineering 2011-16) thinks more, worries less, passionate about Harley’s and Enfield’s and is easily annoyed when things seem quizzical.
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