Come January first week, Teach For India will be hosting 60+ participants from 14+ countries across the ‘Teach For’ network, in Mumbai for a Synergies Global Workshop. Some of the participants have been posting questions for Teach For India fellows and I present some of them here:
What has been your biggest challenge? And how did you keep your sense of possibility whilst trying to overcome this challenge?
Also I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about the resourcefulness of the Teach for India participants – what is the one thing you couldn’t survive without (be it an object, person or characteristic) and what is the one resource you really wish you had?
I have been teaching in Mumbai since June this year and I find ‘changing mindsets’ to be the biggest challenge in School and the community. Starting from the Children, the other stakeholders don’t have the strong desire or belief that my kids can work hard, study well and get the same opportunities that other kids with privileged backgrounds get. While facing this challenge every day, I do remind myself of the countless struggles undergone by TFA fellows, who eventually succeed in making the students achieve the (what everyone thought as) impossible. Also, I tell myself that, for me these 2 years is teaching and a fellowship, but for these children, it could mean the difference between success and failure in life. This keeps my sense of possibility and relentless focus alive.
(Btw, for this unit (November December), I find absenteeism and “gaav (village) gaye hain” to be the biggest challenge)
I won’t be able to survive without my yellow hat ! Unless I have this sense of a bright future, that strong sense of possibility, it would be impossible to face the everyday austerity of living in this Mumbai city + teaching 5 hours in a low income school while working very hard.
I really wish I had a projector in my School. Across 4 TFI classrooms in my School, we have 120+ kids. A projector could be so useful in our classrooms !