My answer to: (To vote and comment on Quora, visit the link here.)
I have tried a number of times to write something about the most fascinating experience of my life. I have always stopped short because I always felt words couldn’t do justice to it.
I have answered a question before,. Please go through that answer too. Institute has these aspects:
- Technical training: Most Fellows have had scarce to nil experience of teaching prior to joining. Many haven’t had much experience with kids either. To make them ready to join school and meet the kids and their community is a task that requires a lot of training. To fulfill this requirement, Institute spends over 4 out of the five weeks training you on curriculum, children-based teaching methodologies and teaching aids, and behaviour management of children.
- Exposure to communities: Many Fellows haven’t had any experience with underprivileged and low-income communities. Since interacting with children’s community will be a major task that will define your two years, it’s important that you are exposed to it during these five weeks. Community visits are a part of Institute, where you open up your mind and start understanding these communities better.
- Sinking in the Teach For India culture: Institute is where you get immersed in the wonderful work and peer culture of the best NGO to work for in India. Understanding the movement is something that helps new Fellows feel part of the movement. Right from Day 1, you come across so many thrills and excitements that you will never realize you’re going through 18-hour workdays day after day. Teach For India’s core values are going to replace all values you have been taught through life, and the sheer length and intensity of the Institute ensures that you’ll be a positively different human being when you go back to your friends and family.
- Making new friends: At Institute, you make new friends who despite the diversity, share one similar mindset as you: selflessness. That’s why they’re here. That will reflect in everything you and they do. These friends will be your emotional support in the tough days of the Fellowship.
- Opening up and exploring avenues without the feeling of being judged: The wonderful culture here marks the beginnings of new things for introverts, in a healthy way. There were times when I danced and sang loudly songs which I knew no lyrics of, like crazy at Institute, which I’d not have imagined doing anywhere else. Many other Fellows discovered themselves at Institute in interesting ways.