A mother of 2 daughters, 42-year old Kanchan Arora has many years of teaching under her belt. She has spent the last 5 years serving at the Government Middle School, Kanwarsika.
“I am not doing this for myself but for my students.”
Wherever Mrs. Arora is posted, her students are her priority. She tells us that she enjoys spending time with the students at Kanwarsika. In the short time we were at the school, Mrs. Arora laughed and joked with them, and despite us not knowing Hindi, the smiling faces of the students showed us she was well-loved.
Months ago, Mrs. Arora was selected to participate in the Reinventing Education (RE) programme, a teacher training programme that equips government school teachers with better skills to facilitate enhanced inclass learning. She took it to be a great learning opportunity, repeatedly saying that the experience was really good, “it feels good to sit in the same classroom and study (again)”, clearly appreciating how the RE programme had allowed her to become a student again.
“It feels good to study (again).”
“I always wanted to make my lesson more interesting. Now I am able to plan an activity myself and I feel good about it too.”
Of the teachers we had interviewed, Mrs. Arora held the most positive outlook about the future of her lessons and her students. In particular, the RE programme has brought to her a breakthrough in the way she conducts science lessons. The programme inspired her to be flexible, to improvise and overcome the limitations of the school. The day before our interview, Mrs. Arora had prepared a model of a human jaw with her students. As clay was not available, she turned to flour. She was so proud of her students, boasting that they had made the model so exceptionally that 4 different shapes of teeth could be seen. Even without clay.
The changes she has brought do not end with her math and science lessons. Her type of positivity also spurs those around her to take charge of their lives. Her students too “feel they should change and do something about themselves”.
“Just like how I feel I can change myself, my students too feel they should change themselves.”
When asked what else RE has helped her with, Mrs. Arora candidly says that it was the first time she had seen a (computer) mouse, despite her years. She shares that she learns alongside the younger children of 4, 5 and 6 years, who are diligently learning to use the computers under IBM KidSmart. She is certain “(she) will eventually learn if (she) keep(s) trying”. She closed with words that all of us should heed: Your learning journey never ends. You will have to keep learning as long as you’re alive. And in terms of change, one can start from anywhere.
“Your learning journey never ends. You will have to keep learning as long as you’re alive.”
Issue 22 – Get to hear the aspirations of the 3rd batch of beneficiaries from the Electrician Training Programme under the MRVP. Don’t miss our interview with a graduate of the programme to learn how this project has benefitted him.
Issue 23 – Look out for pictures on how the Support My School programme under MREP has transformed 8 schools in the Rewasan, Tapkan and Rehna school complexes, making the environment safer and more hygienic for students.