Students Performing dance at Annual Day
All the fellows of Teach For India, work with an ambitious vision derived from the needs of the children, community, and school. With the support and leadership skills that they learn over the fellowship, they are able to bring their vision alive and show some incredible pathway for the students, which are truly commendable and inspiring!
Here is a narrative from our Chennai fellow Juanita about her fellowship journey and vision for her classroom:
How was your journey over the past 2 years?
"My journey the past two years has been like a roller coaster; several moments of triumph and moments of challenges and difficulties too. But the students have shown remarkable interest and growth. They have shown enormous growth. My class vision of living in harmony with each other has been achieved to a large extent. In a community that is known for its violence, these students try to be different. They have realized that dialogue and reasoning are better than violence".
What are the different techniques incorporated in the classroom and how it is reflected in the academic performance of the kids?
"Differentiating the classroom has helped to a large extent. This has helped me cater to different sections of the class and focus on my lower order and boost their confidence. Having regular drills for Math and English has helped set a pattern in class and also helped them understand what they know and what they have to improve on. A rigorous literacy plan for the year has helped them improve their reading levels to a large extent.
The average reading comprehension of the class is at 2.2 and the writing level is at 2.5. There are students at the emergent level. All the students have got above 35% in the Samacheer content papers. Most of the students are able to think and articulate in the English language. They can annotate and write answers themselves from the textbook. 80% of the students are comfortable in performing all the four mathematical operations. This gives them a good foothold to get into high school and deal with rigorous content."
Share some moments of happiness with us -- what are some of the achievements of the kids?
"The students participated in several Olympiads and competitions. 24 students took part in the National Science Olympiad, the National Mathematics Olympiad, and the National Cyber Olympiad. One of my kid participated in the Ekdali essay competition and won the first prize in the national level. 5 students qualified for the NMTC National level exam. The class participated in dance and drama at Chennai Students Kondattam and won the first prize in both the categories. We took part in the Design For Change project and did a project, Save the Earth. We collected waste from school kitchen and used it to convert to manure in the compost pit and made cloth bags out of T-shirts and distributed it in the community."
What are some of the challenges that you faced?
"One of the biggest challenges was working with students from difficult homes because their interest and involvement were clamped due to several personal reasons. They were distractors in the classroom and underperformed. To motivate them, I had special classes for them. This was not only a time to help them where they lacked academically but also a personal space to share problems. This helped to a large extent and they started focussing and directing their energies for the right things."
What according to you is one key lever for student learning?
"I think parent involvement is a key to student learning. All parents were made to get involved by knowing our class vision and actively participating in student reading."
Student led morning meeting