“How could I choose a single defining moment at summer school? How could I choose an interaction with a child when every child meant the same? How could I pick a pearl which shines the most amidst the glitter? However, how could I not tell you the joy of watching bright smiles on the first day? How could I not tell you the little victories in the battlefields of phonics, fractions and multiplications? How could I not tell you about the day when my silent stars, Aarti and Revati cracked 100%? How could I not tell you about the day, when my rockstar, Nagraj would plead me to have his share of biscuits? How could I not tell you about the day when my popeye the sailor man Chetan captained his side to the sight word’s victory without knowledge of alphabets? How could I not tell you the day when Prashant contemplated changing his life dream from cricketer to teacher? How could I not tell you the day when Gayatri spoke an English word for the first word and swore at home to master it one day?
No I cannot, I definitely cannot do poetic or lyrical justice to the moments I share with each an every one of my children. In the moment of truth that I have the power to share lives forever, comes the burning drive and pursuit of excellence. With that glitter from summer school dawns an even humbling truth that ‘Every child can be…Never give up’.”
Tarun Cherukuri is a Chemical Engineer from Mumbai working with Hindustan Unilever Limited when he decided to apply for the Teach For India Fellowship