City updates - Chennai:
Chennai Students Kondattam is the largest Fellow-led event organized by Teach For India - Chennai. With an annual participation of 3000+ students spanning over the two days, it was a remarkable success this year.
While the stage was set beautifully by all our stakeholders, our students leveraged the opportunity well to maximize their learning and to showcase all their incredible talents.
Teach For India’s Response To COVID-19:
Our Staff, Fellows, and Student communities have been tirelessly working during these tough times. Over the past 3 weeks, through sustained and dedicated effort, our Fellows, have managed to get in touch with 70% of our students and their families. We have been looking to understand how these families are doing in terms of physical health, availability of essential supplies, housing, finances and access to learning. We are continuously working to identify the families most in need of assistance so we can use our emergency fund to help them. We are also preparing for the possibility that schools may remain closed for some time, and so we are working on a plan to help our children learn virtually.
Anantharaman and his school team identified the requirements in North Chennai Cluster and got onto to grounds in distributing food packets and essential kits (in collaboration with Yein Udaan). Immediate financial and medical needs of the community was attended to. Families in need of help for paying rent were directed to external support system.
Fellow Narrative from Mr. Srinivas Subramanian:
As the academic year comes to an end, I take this opportunity to extend my deepest gratitude from the bottom of my heart. The last term whizzed in a flash as the students were filled with all-round activities right from their academic calendar to extracurricular activities like their yearly ‘Chennai student Kondattam (CSK)’ . As they
were rigorously preparing for their term end exams to finish their year on a high, things halted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic taking over the globe.The focus shifted primarily towards working on the enhancement of the students reading and writing skills as they are moving to their 9th grade. Students indulged in systematic and consistent practice of reading various books apart from their school texts and were in the process of mastering their abilities to write a book review.
They have made considerable progress as it is evident from the tracker they use to record their reading routine, and they are better organized when they write their book review. Based on the tests they have taken
for mastering their other subjects, there are 30% students who fair between 65-85%, 30% students who fair between 35-65% and the rest have been working to the best of their abilities and have shown their ability to
pass their papers.
One of the big milestone which the student indulged in for enhancing their access and exposure was through their participation in rural-urban exchange program that took place between our school and Anna Gem Private school. Students from both the schools got the opportunity to visit each other's school and they got to learn a lot through academic and cultural activities organized at both the schools.The visit also allowed them to build their perspective about the country's education system in general by comparing the education system in both a public and private set up. They went on to expand their friends circle as children from both the schools went on to become friends by the end of the program.
In continuation to enhancing their reading abilities and develop a love for reading, the students took on an additional responsibility to help their peers in 3rd grade primary school by sharing their knowledge about
reading words and whole sentences. As the project kicked off the students shared additional skills with their buddies in 3rd grade by teaching the art, colouring and painting. They also did some craft work together by sharing their knowledge of making a bird nest which they had learnt in their previous term. The children also
helped their little buddies in making them realize the etiquettes that needs to be maintained in a classroom to allow a wholesome learning experience both for the teachers and the students. The students took their buddy role responsibly, and it was visible from the interactions they continued to have during their break hours apart from the regular weekly visits during which they met. Our children on the other hand began to grow in terms of responsibility, maturity and ownership.
Taking career guidance coaching for students of 8th grade was something that was exciting and thrilling for me to conduct during this term as it was unique and the whole of our 8th grade together for this. No day was fixed and the situation necessitated for us to be on our toes, ready to innovate and enhance to keep up with
the uncertainties that was throwing up. We could get through this as a result of combined efforts we put up as a school team including other teachers like me!