Friday, October 2, 2009

Are you ready for a challenge?

Dear ONE,

Whether you’re considering the TFI Fellowship because you want to give to others or because you want to gain for yourself - it doesn’t matter here – you won’t gain without giving to others and you can’t give without gaining for yourself. That’s what has sunk in deeply and the more I observe, in and around me, these expressions of giving, not only towards my class of 59 third graders, but towards the school and the fraternity on the whole, I realize that what I have received from them is much more and it is unalterable and immeasurable.

And yet, complacent as we can be, in the knowledge of this seemingly perfect karmic logic – the truth is – it is a struggle - in the classroom, in the Principal’s office, in the community, with the parents; trying to shift mindsets, to establish that each child can learn, to tackle this daunting mission of every child receiving an education that he is worthy of. What did the children learn today? Are they learning anything? Which actions of mine are contributing to better behaviour in the classroom? How else can I do this so the whole class gets it? These and more are the questions that’ll loom large long after you’ve gone through your Student Achievement Tracker and you’re wishing that your mind was as tired as your body, so you could sleep those last few hours before morn.

And you will want to stand up for everything that’s right and do it the right way! Whether it is a mother smacking her own child or the child who didn’t come to school because ‘maataji’ had taken possession of her mother or the child who slept in class because the tuition teacher made her ‘murga’ for 2 hours or the child who flinches when you want to just pet her cheek…education neither begins nor ends in the classroom. And you’ll notice that the divides run deeper and longer – superstition and apathy leave behind scars, which, you will struggle to deal with let alone heal. And then finally you wake up each time with the thought that they probably don’t know any better and it is up to you to CHANGE one step at a time, mindful of your own locus of control.

Like a parent watching the first baby steps, which come after many attempts and practice, I have had HUGE teacher moments watching my children take their first baby steps towards speaking English, writing English and expressing themselves in various ways. These are the moments that shine on and cast their soft glow on my life. These are the moments that’ll add up to that day when they’ll run out into the world on their own, making a place of their own. These are the moments I want to look back upon!

Best regards,


Class Teacher – Standard 3

Holy Mother’s English School

For questions:

first deadline: Oct. 11, 09

“One day all children will attain an excellent education”