Teach for india fellowship essay

Anu Aga, who heads Thermax, gives an insight into why and how corporates decide to engage with education. Most reports recount individual success stories of bright, young professionals who work out of dingy government school classrooms to make learning a worthwhile experience for children. In this frenzy for adulation are we forgetting to pause and ask some simple, but pertinent questions about the program? Reflecting critically on some aspects of the program might provide a context to start a dialogue between the different stakeholders and perhaps even enrich it in coming years.

The context As the Indian scene of elementary education is on the brink of new changes, it would be meaningful to see Teach for India within a wider context of educational reforms sweeping through the country. The RtE promises to ensure that elementary education will be an inalienable right free and compulsory for all children from 6 to 14 years. However, it is not an Act merely on schooling.

The RtE then is trying to create a professional cadre of teachers through such reforms. In order to successfully implement the RtE, the various systems and processes created by the District Primary Education Program DPEP and the SSA urgently need to be further consolidated at multiple levels — centre, state, district, schools and not just the classroom. The question of long-term sustainability of impact not just within individual classrooms but also within the larger system is dubious.

Teach for India – Selection Process – The TFI Method – A fellow's Journal

What is the nature of change that TFI hopes to bring about within the public education system given the context of the RtE? Who: The fellows TFI claims to have an intensive selection and recruitment process. The advantage, probably, is that more motivated and dynamic individuals enter the classrooms as teachers. After merely five weeks of training, the Fellows are put into classrooms as full time teachers.

How far does this help to qualify them as good teachers? With minimal understanding of theoretical perspectives and absolutely no internship, as classroom teachers, a lot of their pedagogy tends to be experimental. Often, there is also a vast socio-cultural gap between these young teachers and their students. While most of them are sympathetic to the needs of the learner, sensitivity towards diverse socio-cultural backgrounds often develops only with time. As a result classroom management issues and other problems end up being dealt with in intuitive ways.


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While experimentation may not necessarily be a bad thing, there could be adverse effects of frequent over-use. Experience, they say, is the best teacher. Will this time frame allow the Fellows to learn adequately from their mistakes and improve their teaching methods? What is the impact of this teaching especially in the first year where the teacher and learner learn at the same time?

Where exactly does TFI aim to make an impact?

Teach For India Fellowship 2018

How will individual success stories within classrooms translate into a bigger positive change within the system of public schooling? What we need now is neither a quick fix solution nor a long drawn conclusion to problems of access, pedagogy, and assessment. What we need are sustainable, practical, economic, and working solutions. Restricting good work to four walls of the classroom will only set up a parallel stream within the larger system. TFI can be evaluated as an invaluable program only if it succeeds to make inroads into the existing system of public education and affect systemic changes therein.

How: The processes Independent of media hype, it must be admitted that good work is being done by Fellows in some classrooms. But are interesting innovations merely languishing within the dingy classroom? How is the government teacher within the same school as the TFI fellow benefiting?

Are such innovations passed on to other classrooms in the same school? Can these innovations rise above the din created by tabloids and be made available to people who may actually be able to use it purposefully? Compiling their learning into an easily accessible document could go one step towards helping and supporting quality teaching practices across the country.

Students are made to perform on various tests for Language and Math throughout the year. Is the program too achievement-driven?

Step 2: Pre-assessment Centre Prep

Does this sometimes result in Fellows losing sight of the fact that education must not be only about teaching a skill s that will ensure employability in the future? More importantly is this aiding student learning? While the differentiated support the Fellows make available in the classroom is a good practice it is necessary to think about how such a practice can be changed into a sustainable feature within the public system of education.

Comparisons between TFI Fellows and the achievement of their children versus government teachers and students are probably inevitable. But it must be noted that certain factors are not constant; the most important being time and resources. The Fellows have the willingness and time to spend extra hours with students within and outside the classroom. TFI strongly endorses remedial teaching after school hours to help children achieve their goals.

Is this something that can be expected of all teachers in all contexts in our country? These issues are forgotten when we draw easy and often misleading comparisons between TFI Fellows and government teachers. The TFI promises to get bigger and reach more schools in its next phase. In light of such a project for expansion there are some questions we must think about,. If the designers and implementers of TFI ask these questions of themselves and of the stakeholders they are attempting to influence, they are more likely to initiate a meaningful change within the field.

The writer works with a Mumbai based organization, Muktangan, which works with municipal corporation schools in Mumbai. She can be reached at jennifer. Shaheen Mistri is the CEO and one of the founding board members of Teach For India, a nationwide movement with the mission to build leaders who will eliminate inequity in education. She has been working on the idea of Teach For India since , and in formally established the movement after successfully adapting the widely acclaimed Teach For America model to India.

Shaheen is also the founder of the Akanksha Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to impact the lives of less privileged children, enabling them to maximise their potential and change their lives. Akanksha works primarily in the field of education, addressing non formal education through the Akanksha centre model and also formal education by initiating school reform. Can you give us a brief background on the Teach For India movement?

Teach For India is a nationwide movement of outstanding college graduates and young professionals who commit two-years to teach full-time in under resourced schools and who will become lifelong leaders working from within various sectors toward equity in education. The idea was developed in when I and a group of people working to reform education in India came together to seek an innovative solution to end educational inequity in the country.

Seeking to adapt that model to the Indian context, we engaged with various stakeholders within the government, at academic institutions and at corporations and were encouraged by the favorable response we received. The study concluded favorably and at the end of the process, a plan to place the first cohort of Fellows as well as a plan to grow the movement to scale for the next five years was put in motion.

The program has been very successful in America as well as in the UK. What makes you sure it will see the same success in India? I believe the basic concept of recruiting outstanding and motivated young leaders to drive change in the education sector through working at the grassroots level is bound to make an impact in any country. I am confident that the Teach For India program will achieve the same success in India because of the five-pronged model we follow to ensure effectiveness and impact.

The elements of the model are:. Talent Sourcing : Teach For India recruits the most outstanding college graduates and young professionals to teach in low-income schools for two years. Fellows go through a rigorous selection process where they are evaluated for academic excellence, demonstrated leadership, a commitment to the community, critical thinking and perseverance, amongst other qualities. We believe that these core competencies are required to drive student achievement and to become life-long leaders who effect systemic change.

Talent Development : Prior to and during the two-year Fellowship, Teach For India provides Fellows with the training needed to make them successful teachers in the classroom and to drive positive and significant student achievement. Fellows are also given adequate leadership training to ensure that they are successful leaders in any field once they complete the Fellowship. Talent Placement : Teach For India places Fellows for a minimum of two years in full-time teaching positions in under-resourced schools where impact on student achievement can be maximized.

Fellows have clear accountability for their classrooms, and are responsible for ensuring that their students reach their ambitious academic goals. Alumni Support : Teach For India builds partnerships in all sectors to ensure that participants have a clear path to leadership after the two year commitment. Measurable Impact : Teach For India has set up systems to drive and measure our short-term impact on student achievement, as well as our long-term impact in the development of our Fellows into life-long leaders who can eliminate inequity in education.

How is the program in India different from those in other countries? While other Teach For All programs recruit only fresh graduates, we recruit young and experienced professionals with experience in diverse sectors ranging from years. Teach For India aims to expose Fellows to information about potential career tracks and provide professional enrichment opportunities to aid their career decision-making and bolster the strength of their job and graduate degree program applications.

Teach For India Fellowship Dates 2018

The Action Curriculum consists of 5 optional courses which Fellows pursue in the second year, to learn about how to effect change from within any given sector of interest. Each substantive course includes theoretical and practical elements and consists of monthly gatherings supplemented by independent work. Over an 8-month period, each course is designed to help guide career decisions and prepare Fellows to succeed in the field of their choosing. By designing, implementing and managing a small-scale project within the school community, Fellows build upon their leadership and project management skills, and develop an understanding of the barriers to student achievement and educational equity.

One of the other differences in the Teach For India program involves the teaching responsibilities of the Fellows. Teach For India Fellows teach all subjects and serve as class teachers in the school they are placed in while their Teach For America counterparts teach a particular subject in different classes. Featured Deals. Admissions Consulting.


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