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Oct 28, 2019

Fellow Shugeeth's journey in the Fellowship!

Active learning ecosystem in the classroom!
Active learning ecosystem in the classroom!

2019 Fellow Shugeeth shared his reflections & learnings for the past 5 months in his classroom as a teacher:

"Teaching has always been my passion and I am thankful to Teach For India for giving me this opportunity to live that passion. It will be difficult for us to function without the sincere and consistent support of donors and supporters, so I express my most sincere gratitude for supporting us. Heartfelt thank you.

Though I started working with passion, I was hit hard by the harsh reality of inequality in the education. I have taken necessary steps to observe the class and its requirements so far. I have students coming from a varied spectrum of society and understood that a single mode of delivery of content will not suffice to justify education to them. I am looking forward for the next term, to provide better opportunities for them to learn in different ways possible.

For the past one term, the best I have accomplished is to create the thirst for knowledge in my classroom. The students have created an interest to learn and listen to mathematics and science classes. I can positively say that my ‘Introduction to New Materials’ sessions are comprehensive -- all 43 students in my class not only listen but also participate in the classroom session. They are getting more curious every day and this has improved their academic performances. They still face problems in formulating their ideas into statements in exams, this will be worked on priority in the second term.

The students are exposed to a wide variety of activities and competition. The class motto is “to understand our voice and let it be heard by the world. Winning or Losing doesn’t matter”. On that note, we have worked to get students compete in competitions and have encouraged them to participate without thinking about results. This has enabled them to see how the society functions outside the school and the many challenges they have to face once they leave school.

Few of the projects and competitions that we have been a part of this term are,

Go Laadli(Lead like a girl) – This is college scholarship opportunity for school girls. The girl student identifies a girl/woman-centric problem prevalent in India or in her community in particular and proposes a solution to address it. 5 girls from our school have been trained by us in Problem Identification, Root cause analysis and Decision making to help them create the right mindset to address and solve any pressing woman-centric problems in their community. We have presented their solutions to Go Laadli and are waiting for the results. Problems and solution vary from ‘Creating community centers to support girls in education’ to ‘addressing high numbers of alcoholic fathers’.

Lets Read Campaign - Let's READ is United Way Mumbai's nationwide initiative, which aims to nurture a love for books and reading among children who cannot afford access to books of their own. We had them conducting a session in reading and log keeping of what has been read. The highlight of the session was the STORY NARRATION by KadhaiSolli VIKRAM. It was amazing and my students enjoyed it a lot.

Olympiad Exams by SOF(Science Olympiad Foundation) - The Olympiad exams are competition for students of class 1 to class 12 in Math, Science, General Knowledge, English and Cyber. It is conducted by Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) with the aim of identifying and nurturing future scientists, technologists and IT talent at school level. We have trained them for their various exams and they are going to write the GK Olympiad exam at the end of the term I.

Wings To Fly – Wings to Fly is a Rotary Club of Madras East (RCME) initiative. Every year they take up either science or Language and conduct competitions to identify the best qualifying students in the city. This year it is Elocution (Speech competition), and we have trained 3 students and have presented them as our school candidates. The city-level winners will be decided in the competition that happens in the second term.

My most exciting moment in the class has been sometime in the mid of the term when I saw my least active students in the class participating in the class lectures and answering questions. The Montessori way of teaching says that once we trigger the child’s curiosity the child learns on his/her own. Hence I consider this as my first victory. In order to create this inclusiveness I had to design my class lectures differentially, it always had something for the higher order kids and everything for the lower order kids."

Oct 15, 2019

Where 'Each one teaches one'!

Kunal teaches English and Social Studies to Grade 9 students in Government High School Durgabhavani. A few months into his Fellowship, he witnessed an unusual yet wonderful scene unfolding in his classroom. After finishing the classwork assigned to them, a few of the gifted students started to help those around them who were struggling. Kunal noticed how Pooja, Akhila, Ashwini, and Sirisha explained the topic they were studying without a hint of impatience and observed them slowly and carefully answering the questions of their peers. Happy to see his students help one another he assumed this was a one-off incident and thought nothing more of it. But, it happened again the next day and the next and the next.

Kunal wondered if it would be possible to accelerate the learning in his class with the help of these students. The students had put this into motion but maybe with his guidance, he could help maximize the results of their initiative. He decided to appoint the students who were eager to help as ‘Mentors’ clearly because they were driven by the need to providing ‘individual attention’ to each student in the classroom. These students strongly felt that with consistent support, each child can become as good as the rest. The four students chose a topic of their choice each day that they would thoroughly study & research. They then taught that topic to the group assigned to them in class the next day. After having this system in place for a few days Kunal noticed that leadership in his class had increased not just amongst the gifted students but amongst the other students too. Many of the children were more confident about clearing their doubts and no longer hid it when they didn’t understand something. Slowly he started to see his students thrive simply because each one was able to get individual attention, which was otherwise impossible when there are fifty children in the class with different learning abilities and only one teacher.

This initiative called ‘Each one, teach one’ is truly unique as it is entirely student-led, created by the students, for the students.

Aug 22, 2019

Teach For India Organization Update

Student Leaders - Classrooms
Student Leaders - Classrooms

A. Fellow Leaders

  • Recruitment and Selection:

We successfully campaigned around the country to recruit young professionals for our Fellowship program.

In 2018-19, we received 12,367 applications and after multiple rounds of the Selection process, 815 Fellows were oered to join the Fellowship program. Teach For India maintained a selectivity rate of 6.6% (slightly higher than 6.1% from 2017-18) while screening the applicants. We welcomed 448 Fellows to Institute with an increased matriculation rate of 54.7% as compared to 53% from last year.

  • Institute

We trained 448 Fellows at the Institute 2019.

Institute is the first step of the Fellowship program. It is a five-week long training process as part of the induction of Fellows onto their Leadership Development Journey and takes place at summer schools in Pune. These Fellows took their first stride towards educational equity in the rigorous 5-week residential training program. Institute 1 saw active participation from Student Interns, or as they are called, “The Fellows of the Future”! We met the reading comprehension growth goal of 0.5 at the Institute. 3% of the Fellows dropped out during the course of the training in Pune.

 

B. Alumni Impact

  • TFI Connect

TFI Connect is our digital community platform with 3000+ Fellows, Alumni, Staff, and Partners of the Teach for India Community.

In quarter 1, the platform experienced an average of 850 visits per month and posted over 200 new jobs which had 800+ applications; around 3000 messages were exchanged on the platform. The team also conducted their first mentorship track where 6 Fellows leading projects in their regions were matched with Alumni with skills and expertise in that domain.

  • InnovatED

We innovate to multiply our impact in the system through entrepreneurship.

We opened out the applications for InnovatED 2019 Cohort in May and received 31 applications from 17 women and 14 men, across 12 regions in India, representing 8 Teach For India cohorts. After a rigorous selection process In June, InnovatED selected 8 Entrepreneurs to its 2019 cohort with a selectivity of 25% this year.

 

C. Innovation Cell

  • Firki

Firki continues to build strong content and make it accessible for all.

This quarter, Firki added 2600 new enrolments and secured partnerships with Code to Enhance Learning, and Life Lab – these partnerships will enable the creation of expert cocreated content in various formats. Audience engagement has been consistently high and attendance rates have also risen thanks to communication that focused on increasing registrations and their conversion to attendance. Another interesting update is that over 14 courses have been translated into 5 regional languages making it more accessible.

 

  • TFIx

TFIx focussed on enabling skilling and cooperation for Alumni.

One of our strategies for supporting our Alumni was through Regional Hubs. Our aim is to launch two hubs – Bihar (recently launched) and North India. The idea is to provide an ecosystem of support for our entrepreneurs by bringing in different stakeholders, including other entrepreneurs. The team also conducted 2 Alumni webinars – while one of them focused on inspiration and passion (for the cohort of 2018), the other focused on the technical aspects of running a fellowship (for the cohort of 2017). We received positive feedback on these webinars.

  • Kids Education Revolution

KER team ensured cross-functional collaboration to   focus on student leadership.

Some of the big wins for KER this quarter were investment of staff team for the track at Institute, clear communication with Students, Staff, and Fellows, designing strong learning experiences for the students and integration of this track at Institute 2020. The KER team collaborated with Firki team to finalise the 6 themes they wanted to work on for the Firki courses and a draft of their first course, ‘Safe space for voice’, is ready. Inspired by our KER, Teach For Armenia held its first Kids Education Revolution National Summit in May 31st. 20 kids from 5 regions participated in the event at Vanadzor Technology centre, North Armenia.

 

D. Organizational Updates:

  • Project Lion

We have taken concrete steps in our pursuit towards making Teach For India stronger.

Project Lion aims to make Teach For India a stronger organization that honours and protects our people's right to safety, fairness, and support in the workplace.

We wanted to address not only the complaints, but also the blind-spots in the organizational health.

For the latter, a diagnostic was planned and executed in phases:

We collected new data from a revamped Fellow Engagement Survey, a survey intended to measure overall Fellow engagement levels.

We conducted focus groups across cities for a more profound qualitative discussion on culture. We reflected on our values by undertaking the Barrett Cultural Values Assessment Test. Besides, the Senior Leadership Team took individual leadership assessments designed by the Barrett Values Centre to understand their unique strengths and areas of development, and worked with a coach to know how their leadership tied to organizational culture.

Following this, we shared a synthesis of insights, actions and next steps with our leadership team, and then with our Board to validate it. Finally, we distilled all of this into this report so that our community could also see the journey we’d undertaken.

Post the diagnosis the following changes have been implemented:

1. We have strengthened our policies after consulting multiple stakeholders and have begun implementing them in various degrees.

2. We redesigned the ecosystem of support for Fellows and Program Staff and clarified the role vision and expectations.

3. We have refocussed our Phase 3 vision around leadership development and redesigned our planning process to enable greater clarity.

4. We have also appointed child protection officers across cities to ensure the safety of our students.

Fellow Leaders - Institute
Fellow Leaders - Institute
Knowledge
Knowledge
Values
Values
 
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