Feature: Teach For India program application

Applications for the 2017-19 Fellowship program close on 21st March, 2017

India is currently facing one of the worst educational crises in the world. Today, less than 10% of our children graduate from school and enter college. Our nation is dramatically held back by the fact that most of our children do not have the opportunities to do what they want to do and be who they want to be.

Teach For India is a non-profit organization that believes in an excellent education for all children and is striving to end this problem of educational inequity. To address this challenge, we run a highly selective two-year Fellowship program that provides an opportunity for India’s brightest minds to serve as full-time teachers to children from low-income communities in some of the nation’s most under-resourced schools.

The Fellowship program is rigorous, challenging and provides Fellows the opportunity to develop themselves as leaders and simultaneously transform the lives of the children under their care. Fellows get exposed to the grassroot realities of India’s education system and begin to cultivate the knowledge, skills and mindsets necessary to attain positions of leadership in and beyond education and identify their role in building a wider movement for educational equity in the country.

One of our own alumni, Dhruv Kamath, a fellow from 2015-16 batch of TFI recounts his experience.
“My journey as a fellow began the very first day I stepped into my class in Pune, with 62 kids shouting and screaming in glee as a very scared and disheveled collab of four nervously inched their way to the front of the class. By the end of the day, the four of us felt like warriors, having braved what we thought was the worst and most difficult bunch of prepubescent children.

Little did we know that in 3 weeks time, we would become closer to them than we could imagine. Having stayed at their house, eaten with them and done cool science experiments, we were both a bawling mess on the last day when we had to finally leave.

Never did we imagine that we would meet someone like Chirag, who is an electronics prodigy, who can barely speak a word of English or do a math sum, but is the electronics repairman of the area, responsible for fixing old TVs, mixers and fans…   

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The Pune journey successfully over, I looked forward to starting my Mumbai one. I was in for a couple of surprises. I realized that I would have to teach not one, but 3 classes, two TFI classrooms and one non-TFI. 

Then in the first week of my fellowship, our 9th class was suddenly bumped to the afternoon shift. This meant that I would have to do an awkward double shift- from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening.  The first 3 months of the fellowship were tough- I had to learn to cope with a class of violent 14-18 year olds, some of who were as tall as I was, and wider.  They would start a fight with the slightest provocation and a lot of my classes would begin with the ritualistic throwing of the paper balls. 

One of the interesting students in this class was Amir, a boy who showed prodigious talent at his age. An amazing artist, and a skilled worker with his hands, Amir has developed some of the most interesting toys I have ever seen. These include a device that can pick up and discard trash, a working periscope and a traditional musical instrument called an Ektara.IMG_20160722_103854

On the whole, my journey with my students has been an emotional and self-discovering story. It has led me to grow immensely as a person, realizing strengths of patience and forbearance I never realized I had and also pushing me to be of a more forceful disposition- in order to tame these kids. I have realized a lot of thing s wrong with the lives of these kids and discovered that beneath their violent exteriors and tiny homes, each and every one of them has an amazing story to tell”.

Our classrooms have been much more developed because of Teach For India Fellows. They are even guiding our teachers on teaching methods! says Mrs. Kamat, Principal – Maharashtra High School.

Informed by their experiences and insights, many of Teach For India’s 1500 Alumni work towards effecting systemic change within the education sector as teachers, teacher-trainers, school principals, education policy researchers or even education entrepreneurs like Lewitt Somarajan who co-founded LIFELabs – an initiative that aims to foster creativity and a love for science among underprivileged children. Several others choose to support the ecosystem surrounding the education sector as journalists, lawyers, health experts, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. “I believe the Teach For India Fellowship gives you key leadership skills for the future: setting a vision, creating a strategic roadmap and motivating people to get there while managing crisis on a day to day basis. Godrej loves to hire Teach for India Fellows for this reason!” says Nisa Godrej, Executive Director – Godrej Group.

Teach For India currently has 1200 Fellows impacting over 42000 children in more than 320 schools across Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

Why Should You Apply To Be A Teach For India Fellow?

  1. You’ll play a big part in solving India’s ed crisis. The Fellowship will enable you to give children the opportunity to change their lives and deepen your understanding of what’s required to attain educational equity.
  2. You’ll develop into a strong, caring and effective leader. The Fellowship uses the classroom and community as a lab of leadership where you practice vision, planning, execution and problem-solving, reflection and other key leadership skills.
  3. You’ll become a part of a growing network of change makers. The Fellowship will facilitate life-long partnerships and relationships with thousands of Alumni and partners who will support you and deepen your impact as an Alumnus.

In our endeavor to find outstanding candidates for the 2017-19 Fellowship program, we’ve received over 12,500 applications from across the country and have an estimated 500 prospective Fellows joining!However, we’re eager to serve as many children as possible and have many classrooms that are still in need of Teach For India Fellows. Every additional classroom we place in can change the lives of about 30 children.

Build the nation and your future! Applications for the 2017-2019 Fellowship program are now open. To apply, go to http://apply.teachforindia.org/

Final Deadline: 21st March, 2017.

For more details on the Fellowship and Teach for India, log onto www.teachforindia.org/become-fellow. If you’d like to learn more about the Fellowship or need help in making your decision, please write to us at apply@teachforindia.org and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.

– Content from TFI organization

 

 

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