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.
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.
After close to six years of being in some kind of a leadership role, I recently found myself in a position where I felt I was “one-among-many”. Here’s what I learned.
During that trip to Uttarakhand, I admired the patience of the locals… until that same placid pahadi patience, thanks to some elephants, nearly cost me my train back home.
On this date, seven years ago, I had nothing to do, and I started writing my first piece of recreational creative writing. That turned out to be the last time in life when I had nothing to do.
It was July 10, 2015. It was my last day at Teach For India, the organization I fell in love with and still love. It was the place where in June 2013, I was very aptly welcomed by someone saying “Welcome Home!”
At the end of May 2015, I went on another long break from News That Matters Not. Pratul Bagri and Rakshit Ranjan, the new editorial heads, three months into the role, were doing pretty well. Here is the email (slightly edited) I wrote to them before going for the break.
Looking back, through Facebook posts.
This post was written during my second year in the Teach For India Fellowship. A collection of my memoirs are filed here. When Teach For India lays down its vision, “One day all children will attain an excellent education,” people usually get fascinated by the word “all”: friends of Teach For India Fellows often post comments about […]