Teach India – Week 3!

This Saturday was the 3rd week in my teach India program and I was really looking forward to meeting my kiddo’s again.
A girl from Kotak education foundation called me to confirm what time I would like to come. I was surprised that I had a choice of timings and told her I would prefer the 3.30 to 5.30 batch provided I get the same children. She assured me that I would get the same kids that I have been teaching for the last two weeks.
I was all set with my armor of books to teach the kids. (By the way…I had taken the lap top with some nice English video’s to show the kids last week!..will write about that experience subsequently)
When I reached Kumud school at 3.30 instead…I realized that there was some confusion and my original kids had already come and left! I was quite disappointed and kind of irritated with the Kotak people for giving me wrong information….I had half a mind of going back home!
But then I though to myself since I have anyways cancelled all my other plans for the day and come all the way…I might as well stay back and teach the kids who come now..and I stayed back!!
I had 8 new children to teach this week!! The first batch had 4 girls and the second batch had 4 boys!!
I missed my old batch of kids..but the new ones were also really cute..teaching 8 new kids was quite stressful but fun! Now next week I may do a 4 hour shift in teaching cause I wanna be with the kids I have spent time with!
For all those of you’ll who have not registered you’ll are sure missing something! Looking forward to next Saturday!!!


Filed under Teach India

4 responses to “Teach India – Week 3!

  1. Anand.U

    Bravo…on walking the talk for the 3rd successive week…
    Good to know about your presence felt out there…
    btw…What was the S.M.A.R.T plan did you put together for those kids…
    How many of your whole brain thinking ideas bounced over them ?
    hav fun !!!

  2. Sudha

    Hi shilpa! This is yet a new side to u! My congratulations!

    I would like to know more about this teaching programme. My email id is: bullu59@gmail.com

    Thanks. keep up the good work. 🙂

    Sudha Jayakumar (PNB)

  3. Shilpa

    Thanks sudha and anand for posting comments…!
    Check out this blog for more on teach India


  4. JesseAlred

     I am a veteran teacher in Houston seeking a dialogue with Teach for America teachers nationally regarding policy positions taken by former Teach for American staffers who have become leaders in school district administrations and on school boards. I first became aware of a pattern when an ex-TFA staffer, now a school board member for Houston ISD, recommended improving student performance by firing teachers whose students did poorly on standardized tests. Then the same board member led opposition to allowing us to select, by majority vote, a single union to represent us.

    Having won school board elections in several cities, and securing the Washington D.C Superintendent’s job for Michelle Rhee, Wendy Kopp’s friends are pursuing an approach to school reform based on a false premise: that teachers, not student habits, nor lack of parent commitment or social inequality, is the main cause of sub-par academic performance. The TFA reform agenda appeals to big corporations who see our public institutions as inefficient leeches. This keeps big money flowing into TFA coffers.

    The corporate-TFA nexus began when Union Carbide initially sponsored Wendy Kopp’s efforts to create Teach for America. A few years before, Union Carbide’s negligence had caused the worst industrial accident in history, in Bhopal, India. The number of casualties was as large as 100,000, and Union Carbide did everything possible to minimize its responsibility at the time it embraced Ms. Kopp. TFA recently started Teach for India. Are Teach for India enrollees aware of the TFA/Union Carbide connection?

    When TFA encountered a financial crisis, Ms. Kopp  nearly went to work for the Edison Project, and was all but saved by their managerial assistance. The Edison Project sought to replace public schools with for-profit corporate schools funded by our tax money. Ms. Kopp’s husband, Richard Barth, was an Edison executive before taking over as CEO of KIPP’s national foundation, where he has sought to decertify its New York City unions.

    In 2000, two brilliant TFA alumni, the founders of KIPP Academy, joined the Bush’s at the Republican National Convention in 2000. This was pivotal cover for Bush, since as Governor he had no genuine educational achievements, and he needed the education issue to campaign as a moderate and reach out to the female vote. KIPP charter schools provide a quality education, but they start with families committed to education. They claim to be improving public schools by offering competition in the education market-place, but they take the best and leave the rest.

    D.C. Superintendent Michelle Rhee’s school reform recipe includes three ingredients: close schools rather than improve them; fire teachers rather than inspire them; and sprinkle on a lot of hype. On the cover of Time, she sternly gripped a broom, which she presumably was using to sweep away the trash, which presumably represented my urban teacher colleagues. The image insulted people who take the toughest jobs in education.

    TFA teachers do great work, but when TFA’s leadership argue that schools, and not inequality and bad habits, are the cause of the achievement gap, they are not only wrong, they feed the forces that prevent the social change we need to grow and sustain our middle class.. Our society has failed schools by permitting the middle class to shrink. It’s not the other way around. Economic inequality and insecurity produces ineffective public schools. It’s not the other way around.

    Ms. Kopp claims TFA carries the civil rights torch for today, but Martin Luther King was the voice of unions on strike, not the other way around. His last book, Where do we go from here?, argued for some measure of wealth distribution, because opportunity would never be enough in a survival of the fittest society to allow most of the under-privileged to enter the middle class.
    Your hard work as a TFA teacher gives TFA executives credibility. It’s not the other way around. Your hard work every day in the classrooms gives them the platform to espouse their peculiar one-sided prescriptions for school improvement. I would like a dialogue about what I have written here with TFA teachers. My e-mail is JesseAlred@yahoo.com.

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