Posts Tagged ‘motivator’

Ankit Vyas, a 2011 Teach For India Fellow, is a 4th grade teacher in a low-income classroom in Mumbai. 

There are rough days and then there’s 30 June 2011. The day conformed with Murphy’s fundamental law- If anything can go wrong, IT WILL. It was a day on which I was abused by a kid, told cheekily by one that he would take me to the Principal for not allowing him to go to toilet during a test. A day on which I had management issues with 10 kids who were staying back for an extra-class because they thought it was a punishment. There were kids who were crying for missing their tuition because of the extra-class. That’s when I decided to tell them bluntly why they were here. I wrote the word ‘MAKE’ on the board. None of them could read it. I said, ‘That’s why you are here.’ It was cold but it was effective. My co-teacher devised a game where the first one to reach 10 points could go home. One by one they went home until there were just 2 of the weakest remaining. Finally they made it to 10 points and I told them that they could go. That’s when they said in one voice, “Bhaiya, one more sum”.  It dawned on me then that all kids want to learn but only when they feel they are learning.


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This is what I wrote answering a question in a recent survey:

What do you most enjoy about the (Teach For India) Fellowship experience?

1. The intensity of the experience
2. What it teaches me about the most important challenge facing India (educational inequity) I am fighting this challenge every single day.
3. The children, their innocent, unconditional love and the progress (often inch by inch) that I see in them.
4. The wonderful people who I got to know through the fellowship and the continued association with them.
5. The transformation that I have undergone since May and the constant reflection and questioning of myself. What mattered so much earlier does not matter anymore to me and what never mattered is ALL that matters to me now and I often am astonished at myself for that.
6. That I am able to contribute to building the movement in ways beyond the classroom, while maintaining my work in the classroom as a foundational centre point.
7. How the fellowship has enabled me to continuously seek excellence in everything I do.
8. Beginning to understand the immensely interesting, complex, creative and important role of teaching and how gradually ‘Teaching as Leadership’ starts making sense.
9. How I am able to better appreciate and celebrate what my mother did for me and brother. Every single struggle and failure reminds me of her own when she tried to give us the education that would break the cycle of poverty.


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Srini Swaminathan is the TFI blogger of the month! He gets our very special

Seal of approval!!

Seal of approval

Having spent a few months in the classroom (and TeachForIndia) now, I can conveniently classify my life as BTFI/ATFI (before joining TFI and after joining TFI). ATFI could also mean After the Fellowship at TFI, but then, I’ll write about this in 2012. Right now, it is too early to say anything about my post-fellowship plans !

So, BTFI, I used to work in the Oilfield , where most workers are on call 24 X 7. I often spent more time traveling to the wellsites than the actual work. Once I got to the rigs, depending on the work, I could be awake anywhere from a few hours to days. The longest has been 2 weeks of intermittent sleep. SO much loss of sleep and hardwork. But, more than the fat invoice and bonus, it was the satisfaction of completing a really challenging job that often brought a smile when we “rigged down” and went to sleep, sometimes even without eating anything. Sleep was more important than anything else.

BTFI, I used to think that the fellowship might not keep me as busy as before and I ll be able to spend a lot of time in doing things that aren’t related to work. And I must admit that I was way off the reality !  I could start rattling off the oh-so-many things to do as a Teacher and a TFI Fellow but then I don’t really want to bore you with all that right now. It is 1:31 AM now and all I want to write here is the sudden thought that struck me when I was in the train today – I am often spending more than 13 hours out of my apartment. In Mumbai, where traveling takes up most of one’s time, this just means School + a meeting + dinner + back home. Nothing fancy.

At TeachForIndia, there are regular training sessions, meetings, leadership forums, sharing sessions and debriefs. I had a debrief today. About yesterday’s class that was quite a disaster (oh well, that is another story !Will write about it soon). After that, I traveled all the way from Parel to Parle (Just one shuffle of alphabet but so much of travel !) to pick up digital cameras for my class kids. An acquaintance was giving them to the kids for them to take home and shoot their home, family, friends and surroundings and give it back to us to see what the kids liked to click. Today was the cameras. On other days, it is something else.

Amidst all this, it is quite a challenge to try and maintain even a semblance of your life BTFI. Meeting friends, catching up a movie, going for a run or a swim or whatever that you love to do and need time might actually become a challenge if not impossible. I love running and cycling and still find time to do these in this crazy maximum city.I find time to get that coffee at a CCD, watch a movie, go to the beach or just relax at home listening to music. I even managed to go home twice !

Yet, this life is not for the weak hearted or those who easily give up. A Teacher is a juggler. A master juggler. With the To-do s constantly hovering over one; head, a Teacher needs to prioritise everything, manage time effectively and maintain a balance between strengthening what is already going well in the classroom while thinking/researching for ways and ideas to implement that would accelerate learning. But, as I can tell you now, it is the end of a really long, tiring day. I am going to sleep with a smile. I am hungry though! 😀

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“Sometimes, we a nation of billion people,
Think like a nation of million people.”

“A.P.J Abdul Kalam”

Our nation has a population of over billion people but still we are lacking in many field .The fault is within us that  we are unaware of our immense potential. For a nation to rise the role of youths is very important. We have to come forward and take the charge from those shaking hands. The young generation should understand their responsibilities in every field i.e.  social ,political or economical.

Don’t be like a tourist in your own nation, come out, out of the luxuries you are in, be a real Indian. Gandhi and Bhagat were the real Indians, they came out and worked for the nation and now it’s our calling .  We should make some principles for our life and try to follow them in adverse condition also. Living on principles is the best and the most difficult thing. Make them for your life, work according to them. It is difficult to follow them in the starting but as the time passes they prove to be beneficial, try to present a quintessential in front of other, so that others might follow you .Treat your critics as your best motivators.

Everyone in our nation praises Gandhi or  Bhagat, have you ever thought that if they would see our deeds what would be their response.

Act in respect of your ideals. Bring a change, “PARIVARTAN” is what the nation needs today.

But this can be done only by the active participation of youths in every  field of society. It’s our call and we have respond.


“No start is too late, if started today”.


“Service before Self”

– Love Prakhar Bhartiya

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