Archive for the ‘Teacher Training’ Category

Changing Lives with Care

It’s humbling for us to see that the care and effort of our dedicated school teams brings about tremendous turnarounds in the lives of the rural children we work with.

Banoth Santhosh, a Class 7 student in Redlawada School, belongs to a tribal community. When he joined the school 5 years ago, he couldn’t even speak his tribal language due to developmental issues. His teachers took him under their wing, working patiently with him over the years. Now Santhosh can speak, read and write English too, in addition to his native language!

We really appreciate our teachers for pouring their care into the wellbeing and development of all our students, inspiring them to believe in themselves and succeed! 🙂

Alumni Teachers

(L-R) Raju, Ramesh, Sangeeta, Sravya & Swathi

RDF alumni have always shown themselves to be brand ambassadors of our work. It is a matter of pride for us when our alumni choose to come back and work with us, instead of opting for higher paid positions in bigger towns or cities. It is an honour for us that they have a high sense of social responsibility and are willing to contribute to RDF’s work and vision.

Ramesh, S. Raju, P. Sangeeta, P. Sravya and Y. Swathi are Kalleda School alumni. Inspired by their teachers, the teaching methodology and the quality of teaching in school, all of them opted to pursue a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed). They were offered higher salaries in private schools, but they wanted to help rural children and the cause of rural education. They chose not to work with corporate schools and felt joining RDF schools was the best opportunity to be in service to their alma mater and helping develop rural communities.

They have been appointed as subject teachers based on their specialisation and are enjoying their new teaching roles. Being first generation learners themselves, they fully understand the challenges of studying in a rural area and what kind of support their students need. Just as they were inspired by their teachers, they are being good role models for their students!

A Touching Turnaround

We love to share stories of turnarounds for our students as we believe that a supportive environment in school, when students do not get that care and attention at home, is instrumental in creating this positive shift for them.

Upender came to the Tech Mahindra Foundation-RDF partnership government Primary school in Class 2, from an orphanage. He was visibly mentally disturbed and had no interest in being in school. He would keep running away and be brought back by the local police. He couldn’t read, write and had difficulty grasping subject matter. His orphanage hostel warden requested the school to take extra care of him, which they did.

Now in Class 5 and with the consistent encouragement and patience shown by the school staff, Upendar has become more mellow and balanced. In the process, he discovered his talent in art and craft. He can sit quietly for hours, drawing cartoons, loves to make craft items with waste paper and also helps make clay Lord Vinyaka idols during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival!

Cheerfully distributing snacks

He is mentally differently abled, but with the love and support of the school, he demonstrates a high degree of independence, responsibility and leadership in undertaking various activities. He gets the stage ready for school assembly everyday, he helps serve snacks and sets the ‘walking cones’ for the student queues. He does all this without being asked!

Getting kids in line for lunch, with a smile on his face

We are deeply grateful to all his teachers and school friends who have helped Upender regain a sense of purpose in his life. Their care has helped this young boy feel safe and nurtured which has turned his life around. He will continue to need support in order to become even more fully independent as he grows up. We hope many more will come forward to help him in whatever way they can.

The ‘Power’ of Practical Learning

Contextual learning is the best form of learning. Moving beyond textbooks, when students actually engage with the world on the concepts they’re learning in the classroom, the content becomes much more meaningful. So at RDF, we organise field trips whenever we can.The 2nd Year Intermediate students of the RDF VAPV Junior College went to the local substation to understand the topic of ‘Electricity’ and how electricity is transmitted to our homes.

Umarani and Rajeshwari wrote a report of the experience, produced below:

Listening attentively to the Assistant Engineer at Kalleda substation

“We visited Kalleda substation which is near our college. There we learnt  how the electricity passes from one place to another place. We learnt the value of electricity, and how to use electricity in domestic purposes. We met the Assistant Engineer (AE) of the substation and he explained how electricity is conducted to homes. We spent 90 minutes learning how the substation operates. The AE clarified how electricity changes from DC to AC and how much voltage we have to use. It was a beautiful experience to meet the officials who explained everything so patiently and clearly. We would like to thank all the workers because this is a high risk job. They also gave us tips on how to save power and now we would like to teach our friends and neighbours about how to save power.”

Confident with new learning at the end of the trip

It’s amazing how much students learn and understand in a half day outing! Engaging with the community empowers them with new knowledge, which they are then always eager to share with the greater community!

Co-creating and Collaborating

At RDF, we believe in collaborative learning, for staff and students alike. There are constant channels of communication between the school teams to share and learn from each other. This creates the feeling of being a part of a large family and community that has everyone’s best interests at heart.

A powerful development method that we’ve been following is ‘Inter School Observation’ in which the in-charges and heads of departments for each subject visit the other schools twice per year. Between our four schools, that’s plenty of opportunity to observe and reflect from each school. When a school team visits another school, they examine various aspects of the school such as the school routine, management strategies, teaching strategies, admin functions, building maintenance, communication skills, learners’ interest and much more. Through such detailed study and open discussions, the team learns new techniques, strategies, ideas and resources. It contributes tremendously to their personal and professional development.

The staff looks forward to visiting their sister schools as well as receiving teams from other schools. They truly feel happy about supporting each other and getting better skilled as teachers and managing the schools efficiently. They believe that in this way they are able to co-create a nurturing teaching-learning environment and create great schools!

Innovation Galore!

There’s innovative and interesting teaching and learning happening in so many different ways in RDF schools. Despite running for 23 years, the creativity we see in our classrooms and outside them too, never ceases to amaze us!

The exquisitely cut peepal leaf map

Nikhil sir’s chalk stupa in the news!

In Rollakal School, teacher Nikhil has gained local renown for his expertise in micro arts. While studying  B.Ed, he made 2 oxen with ragadi soil that looked lifelike! He did this project to honour rural India and symbolize that the farmer is the back bone of India. He has also made chalk engravings such as the Stupa of Telangana Martyrs and the 2019 Cricket World Cup. On India’s 73rd Independence Day celebrations in the school, he cut the map of India on a Peepal leaf which looks fantastic! Our students are thrilled to learn these art forms from him & understand how art can also create employment.

Girls, leading & teaching a class

In Redlawada School, the Class 9 students in have created a system to learn independently when a teacher is absent. Two students select the subject and topic, with one doing the reading and the other writing the important points on the board. We are proud of their ability to self organize and take responsibility for their education, engage proactively and feel empowered to lead!

All attention, as students listen to football instructions

In Matendla School, the Class 9 Hindi teacher created a very interesting lesson on Football, which was in the syllabus, by actually organizing a football match for the students! So excited did this news make the kids, that they raised the money to purchase a shiny, new football! The Physical Education Teacher was brought on board to explain the rules and show them how to play. It was a wonderful day of play and learning as the boys and girls played together, learnt about team spirit, discipline, motivation and practice!

The ‘Quick Cleaner’, at work!

In the RDF VAPV Junior College, who knew that studying in the corridor and watching the sweeper try unsuccessfully to clear out the rain water, would lead to a creative burst? This is what happened with Venkatesh who wondered how to create a cleaner that could sweep out the water using less manpower and less time? As an avid Physics student, he drew models for feedback from the Principal. With his encouragement and funding, he quickly came up with a working model which was demonstrated to the teachers and students. With more design inputs, the college now has a ‘Quick Cleaner’ which has made life so much easier. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention!

The staff and students indeed make studying in RDF schools a wonderful world!

Sporting a Bright Future

The rural communities that RDF works with have been struggling in poverty for generations. Hence, we leave no stone unturned to run the best schools we can with good infrastructure, education and training, with help from our committed supporters. Rural children deserve the best, so our schools are like a second home to them!

The Kalleda school team, after the girls’ win

Our students’ sports accomplishments reflect the effort we put into our education model. Harshitha and Spoorthi are Class 10 students from Kalleda School who started learning Archery in Class 8. With consistent daily practice, they won accolades at several National level championships in 2018 in the under-14 and under-17 categories. These achievements have resulted in their selection to the prestigious Calcutta Sports Authority of India (SAI) sports college, a central government initiative.

The Rollakal school team after their win

Similarly, we are also thrilled that 2 of our younger students from Rollakal School, Chinnu and Manoj of Class 4, Rollakal School have got admission into the state run sports school, a tough competition in which students from 33 districts competed for a mere 40 seats!

With complete financial support covering tuition, boarding and lodging, these children can now look forward to full education, a good career in sports and financial stability for their families.