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Diary Of A Teach For India Fellow : Learning from West, Empowering Young India

By Pranav Sukhija

Twenty two years ago, a strong-willed and empathetic woman declared her vision for America- that every American child, irrespective of poverty, will receive an excellent education, and that many outstanding college graduates would choose teaching over other lucrative professions if they are provided with an excellent opportunity, a support system and recognition. This led to the formation of the widely reputable Teach For America (TFA), which creates, and has been creating over the years, movements of excellent teachers and leaders who strive to solve the puzzle of educational equity in their country. Over the years, TFA fellows’ have grown into becoming important change-makers in the education sector by serving as senators and government officers, school leaders and classroom instructors, founders of renowned charter school systems like the KIPP, et al. Wendy Kopp, the woman who started it all, is truly inspirational.



So is Shaheen Mistri, the founder and CEO of Teach For India (TFI), which was formed in 2007, after Kopp founded Teach For All, which inspires and supports educational leaders from various countries to start movements like TFA in their countries. Suitably adapted to meet the educational and developmental needs of an Indian child, the TFI fellowship programme places highly qualified and skilled leaders as full-time teachers in under-resourced schools, who teach the way teaching should be done, with special emphasis on understanding every child within and outside the classroom, building and maintaining strong relations with their family members, investing in and supporting the school staff in improving their teaching abilities, planning for and excellently executing lessons, regularly assessing student understanding and analysing student data to improve effectiveness, and providing ample opportunities to students to broaden their horizons and realize their biggest dreams in life.



The TFI movement started in 2009 in Mumbai and Pune. In 2011, TFI expanded its presence in the national capital region. 2012 was a landmark year for the movement, as two southern states, Hyderabad and Chennai, were also included in the list of cities TFI currently functions in. A lot of effort is being put in by people up high in the organisational ladder to partner with different state governments across the country and share the gift of knowledge among all children.

As TFI grows on to play an even stronger role in the educational context, there is a need to acknowledge the support and benefits it is getting from TFA and the Teach For All network, in terms of their existing experiences and knowledge in education, placement of highly skilled personnel as training experts in TFI, support mechanism to the organisation to expand reach within the nation, networking opportunities for fellows with other Teach for All programmes, support in curriculum planning and problem-solving, sharing of information about conferences and events, etc. It is also providing opportunities to people from both the countries to work with each other as a collaborative, understand where each one is coming from, and learn from each other.

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Pranav Sukhija
Pranav Sukhija is a Teach for India fellow, a prolific writer and an explorer of everything that the world offers. When not working, he spends most of his time thinking about his kids and school and strives hard to give them a high quality education. He is a people's person and gets along well with most people. He loves taking out time to connect with friends and acquaintances and derives energy and power from them. He'd be very happy to connect with you, too. Please write to him at pranav.sukhija2011@teachforindia.org.

 

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