Teacher Story Contest

Congratulations to Winners of Teachers Day Contest

Congratulations to Winners of Teachers Day Contest

In the month of September, we ran a Teaching Success Story Contest where we invited parents and teacher to share their story. Some of you participated as well. The response was encouraging and we were excited that 700+ people have so many innovative and interesting stories to share.

Out of all these, 6 stories stood out from the rest. Lets hear them.

Story One
Winner of Rs. 10,000
Anita from SBGUPS in Basai Bhopal Singh village in Neemrana district in Haryana
Word Pitara
My kids were unable to learn new words because most of their parents were illiterate so they had no help at home. I asked my students to collect English words and make a ‘pitara’. Chits of paper with words and their meaning was added by the kids in the ‘pitara’, who then shared the correct spelling and meaning of the word with the class. Every week, students would randomly pick up words from the pitara and share its meaning and spelling with the class.

Teachers in India

Teachers in India

Story Two
Runner-up of Rs. 1000
Pushpa from Satya Elementary School in Tena village in Jodhpur district in Rajasthan
Fun with Phonics
My students were finding it difficult to understand and recognize the sounds of different alphabets. So I made index cards for all the alphabets and rotated the cards amongst the students every week making sure each student gets to keep the card at least once a week. Then all the children were asked to call each other by using the sound (alphabet) assigned to them and not their names.

Story Three
Runner-up of Rs. 1000
Ural, a Teach For India fellow in MCD School Nigam Pratibha, in Delhi
Clay Play
Most of my Class 2 kids could not write or recognize alphabets and numbers. I started teaching Maths with a lot of activites like using matchsticks and beans to teach them multiplication and division. I also used clay to teach them measurement. Partners were given clay, asked to make two snakes. They compared lengths, which helped reinforce the concept and develope their critical thinking.

Teacher in IndiaStory Four
Runner-up of Rs. 1000
Himanshu from Government Inter College Simalkha in Nainital District in Uttrakhand
Math Park
I started and founded a CLUB named “Innovative Maths Club”, which is helping me a lot to make maths easy. My innovation is to associate ‘Maths CLub’ activites with the activities of ‘Eco Club’. According to the theme of NCF2005 I used the open air environmental for making a joyful and practical oriented implementation of Mathematical theories like about angles and height with the help of trees and shadow.

Story Five
Runner-up of Rs. 1000
Sunita from Holy Faith Higher Secondary School in Paracity in Harda District in Madhya Pradesh
Artsy Environment
I teach Environmental science and I like to use drawing and cartoons to teach good morals and concepts. In one of my lessons, I draw identical pictures side by side and ask kids to point out 10 differences. The differences would be missing animals, birds, trees etc, things which are endangered and/or eliminated. I use this to then explain how we can make our environment better.

Teacher in IndiaStory Six
Runner-up of Rs. 1000
Vivek from Adhunik Vidya Mandir Public School in Natli in Palampur District in Madhya Pradesh
More with Less
I have very little resources in our school and not able to get smart class from any company. So, I put a table in the class and put my monitor on that table and started showing Math and Science videos to my students. It took little effort but it helped me teach my kids. One video had animals and my kids not only learned multiplication, they also learned different animals because they discussed and asked and answered questions themselves.

Education: A skewed perception of literacy or something more?

I’d never given much thought to Primary Kids Education. I had no recollection whatsoever of my early years schooling and my impression of their education was limited to a separate sleeping time (I admit, I was jealous) and the famous ‘A’ for Apple, ‘B’ for ‘Ball’ song. Imagine my surprise then, when I joined Magic Pathshala, an entire Research and Development division focused solely on educating primary students.

Primary Kids Education

Education in Rural India

Early years education is today, perhaps, one of the most researched fields among educationist and it’s quite easy to understand their fascination. The human mind is at it’s utmost potential, an untapped, labyrinth resource till the age of six, the “absorbent” mind, as theorists would call it. But having understood this rather widely accepted point, some very disturbing questions have plagued me. Those of us who live in the sanctuary of our cosmopolitan, gated colonies might have high-end access to pre-nursery institutes, day-care facilities and primary schools. But what about the dilapidated, forlorn outskirts that we so easily pity for, and at the same time mercilessly neglect?

Literacy is not a privilege”. We’ve heard all of them say it, ministers, actors, philosophers, even spiritual gurus. The innumerable number of schemes that the government of India has come up with have been thoroughly criticized either on the basis of the ineptness of their implementation or on the basic ideology behind them altogether. But they must be credited for the kind of statistical progress they have undeniably helped the country achieve. The census in 2011 showed a whopping 9.2% growth in Literacy in a decade. It is a matter of pride and without a doubt a huge leap forward. Further, the TOI survey in the same year showed that 96.5% of all children aged 6-14 years were enrolled in schools. But are these statistics enough? The sad truth is that no one tried to look beyond. The vision of the nation was blurred by statistics as common men and leaders, alike, never understood that merely going to a school did not mean that kids were being educated.

Testimony to the same are the various news channel exposes, which show that Sunday’s new spelling is “S-A-N-D-E” according to a teacher in Bihar or simply the fact that there are fewer committed teachers and an absolute lack of proper text books and learning material in the schools. Hidden behind the ‘average’ figures that paint a rosy picture of universalisation, retention and attendance, is the actual stark reality. Student attendance figures are quite worrisome at a mere 65%. It’s quite understandable why students wouldn’t show up in a class when one takes a look at the teacher attendance which itself ranges from 62%-80%.

Majority of India still lives in villages and so the topic of rural education in India is of utmost importance. It has been talked and debated over, bashed about perhaps a million times. But what is most important remains surprisingly neglected. The process of education itself needs to be made interesting. Schools must make learning not just a factually informative space but also a place of fun, nourishment, interaction and an avenue for expansion of horizons and imagination. Everyday the child goes to school should be an adventure, which he might not find anywhere else. Aiming to achieve the same is Magic Pathshala, an online depository of frequently updated material that can be used by teachers, parents and students to make learning an altogether different experience in contrast to the mundane classroom. It’s interactive, kid-friendly and frankly, lovable characters made me laugh, sing and dance along, as I wondered if schooling could actually be reinvented in a way that parents would not need to drag their kids out of bed everyday.