I met my students again earlier this month in a park in the community they live in. This time, the child who impacted me most was not one of those who met me, but the one who didn’t.
Engineers, doctors, lawyers, bankers, and teachers — all have one thing in common. They all happen to be citizens. Yet, I was able to sail through four years of an engineering course at a top technical university, without giving any significant thought to my citizenship and the intellectual burden it brings. I questioned corruption, but only as […]
This page is a collection of all my memoirs from my two years as a Teach For India Fellow. Some of the articles have, over the years, got significant readership from prospective applicants who want to understand the Fellowship. Moving forward, I hope this page can serve as a one-stop catalogue of my experiences and stories.
Teaching in public schools often fails because of the assumption that the profession involves working just with students. In making this assumption, one forgets the fact that teaching is essentially leadership – and as a leader, you work with the entire ecosystem involving all stakeholders, never just the direct beneficiary.
My two years as a teacher at a municipal school taught me that leadership is based on two simple rules. One, as Teach For India puts it, “Be the producer of your own experiences, not a consumer of experiences others create for you.” The other, as I put it, “When unable to get over a challenge, find ways, not excuses.”
It was a January morning when I finally dared to take up God in my class of nine-year-olds. I do not believe in one myself, and now that I had just four months left with them, I felt expanding their critical thinking to faith was important. But the route was tricky.
Discussing freedom of the press and censorship is not just the media’s business; it’s OUR business. And so is the objectivity of the media: a participative democracy is as much about demanding a free, unbiased media, as it is about seeking honest lawmakers and ministers.
Towards the fag end of my two-year Teach For India Fellowship, I wrote in detail about self-awareness as an important element of excellent education. Observing the real world now for a year and a half since I quit teaching, my understanding of what education must unconditionally achieve for our children has again and again led me back to the same answer: awareness of self and others.
There definitely is a lot to criticize the reservation policy and the related politics, but moaning over the seat that couldn’t be yours is not one of those ways.
It takes a good amount of dedication to go head-over-heels for Game of Thrones and memorize the latest music track, or to sit and watch an entire IPL match out of sheer passion. But to be able to survive a life that doesn’t come even close to taking initiative to create and innovate is a failure of education.
The entrance exam system in its current format gives us aspirants who can become great engineers, except that they end up in the wrong stream.
Having completed my Fellowship with Teach For India, it would be a grave injustice to my work if I do not share the legacy of my learnings with the outside world.