Nov 19, 2019

Teach For India Quarter 2 Organization Update

                                                                  TEACH FOR INDIA

                                               2019-20 Quarter 2: Organization Update

The second quarter of 2019 was marked by some key highlights which are detailed below.

A. A decade of Teach For India

Launch of ‘Grey Sunshine’ marked by ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’

We marked a decade of our movement at the Royal Opera House, Mumbai on the 4th of September by launching Grey Sunshine, a very special book authored by Sandeep Rai, our Chief of City Operations. The book is a collection of powerful stories from our 10-year journey. Actress Tara Sharma, along with Theatre Artist, Anahita Uberoi, and former Teach For India student Priyanka Patil, spoke about their connection to the book and read their favorite excerpts for the audience, before launching the ‘Grey Sunshine’ ocially, along with board members and supporters.

The launch was prefaced by ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’, a stage musical conceptualized and created by the Kids Education Revolution (KER – one of Teach For India’s sister projects) team and the children of the Umang Theatre Group. The musical immersed the audience in the stories of our children, the great diculties they encounter, and our brave and hard-working Fellows and Alumni, who work relentlessly to help them. The play beautifully depicted the broken nature of the education system through the metaphor of a circus. The set for the musical was hand-painted by 150 children from the Akanksha Foundation, and the cast consisted solely of children.

 

B. Highlights from the Fellowship

  • This quarter we saw a decline in Fellow attrition. The attrition rate of our Year 1 Fellows was 5.8% as compared to 9.4% last year, indicating a 38% reduction in attrition. While we are still trying to identify the main contributors to the decline, our intentional shifts as part of Project Lion, in recruitment messaging, Fellow role clarity and program support, could be attributed to the lower attrition.
  • At the end of the rst of our four recruitment rounds, we recorded 10,242 registrations, 2291 applications, 589 calls for the Assessment Centre (final interview) and finally oered 179 applicants a place in the 2020 cohort.
  • A number of mid-year retreats were conducted during the quarter for year 1 and year 2 fellows to step back from their daily school routines, engage with other fellows to share learnings and challenges and reflect on the past six months to ensure a more rejuvenated and positive approach towards the next half of the year.

 C. Highlights from the Organization’s Operations

As we continue to measure our progress to transform Teach For India into an Enduring Institution, the following highlights were observed:

  • Funding Goal – From ~66% last quarter we have reached ~90% of our funding goal for the year 2019-20. We are strengthening our Friends of Teach For India, USA Board and looking for an Executive Director. As we expect an economic slowdown and attrition in the corporate funders who have supported TFI for more than 6 years, we anticipate challenges in attaining our goal, for which we are brainstorming newer avenues of funding.
  • Staffing Goal - Currently there are a total of 18 open positions, and stang as on 30th September 2019 stands at 93% as compared to 88% at the end of the last quarter.
  • Staff Goal Setting Rollout - After a strategic exercise with relevant stakeholders, we came up with organization-level goals, measures to identify outcome metrics and a logic model to explain how every individual sta members’ goals contribute to the goals of the organization. Strategy & Learning Team in collaboration with Human Resources integrated this into the Sta Leadership Development Journey portal.
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.

 
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