Students at Vidyaniketan working with their team
Every day in a Teach For India classroom is filled with learning, not only through academics but by integrating values and activities for exposure and access to their daily lessons. Here are a few instances when our students learnt within the classroom and outside:
LEARNING IS FUN: Our students at Vidyaniketan Matriculation School, tried their hand at city management and policy making through SIM City 3000, an interactive game which boosts critical thinking, student leadership and enhance their understanding of governance. This resulted in 21,000 SIMs living happily in The City of Joy and high quality group discussions amongst our students!
COLLABORATION WITH CHENNAIYIN FC: After 2 months of practice, students from Corporation schools in Kotturpuram, Nungambakkam, Vidyaniketan Matriculation School, Venugopal Matriculation School and ECI Tondiarpet participated in the Football tournament organized by The Madras Rotary Club along with Chennaiyin FC(Football Club). Coaches from Chennaiyin FC trained students from the participating schools for this event, which culminated in an inter school match. The girls' tournament was won by students from Nungambakkam and the boys' tournament winners were from Kotturpuram. The 'Uber Fairplay Award' was given to students from Vidyaniketan Matriculation School.
MAGIC AT MAYA 2.0: Maya 2.0, a play that was culturally relevant to Chennai, was the launchpad for 25 young children to embark on a journey of self discovery, learning about values, exposure and access to various skills and overall, a journey to reach a holistic educational experience that took them beyond their classrooms and community, by various means like arts, dance, music and theatre.
While Maya 2.0, the play, is the outcome - it is the purpose and process of building transformational student leadership that forms the heart of the whole journey. As our children explore different issues in our communities and the roles through which they could become constructive contributors towards the meaningful lives that could be led by upholding their personal values and driving positive change, they will learn and grow in a variety of ways that will bring out the enormity of student potential and possibilities.
The Maya 2.0 students have shown an increased amount of investment - coming for lessons well ahead of time, practicing their lines and lyrics even during break times, asking for clear agenda, sharing specific feedback etc. - which have been indicators of their understanding of stakes involved and willingness to learn and grow.
As part of their year long training process, the students spent time together at a residential retreat where they explored a variety of questions like: What does leadership mean? What do our values look like? Some of the experiences that propelled students to answering these questions included a trip to the St. Louis Institute for the Deaf & Blind, where our students were deeply moved and inspired by the talent, intelligence, kindness, and bravery these students possess. Students also had an experience of surveying 5 different people in Besant Nagar beach regarding different educational statistics such as: How many children don’t go to school? The results of their survey led them to experience the lack of awareness towards education in our country. In addition to this inspiring retreat, students also rigorously practiced and exhibited what it looks like to be a leader, through their grit and commitment for their final drama performance!
With the start of this academic year, we hope to share more such stories of student leadership with you. Thank you for your contribution!
Vidyaniketan students in their SIM City
Students participating in Football tournament
Maya 2.0 training in progress