WHAT DO TEACHERS MAKE?
“Keeping students in schools is one aspect, the bigger challenge is to keep them meaningfully occupied”
A teacher supported at our Shikshaantar program in Delhi (ITEI-Dilshad Garden)
Working with first-generation learners is not something any textbook or training can prepare one for. However, it is the challenge that occupies the days and nights of Azharuddin. It is the myriad issues that first-generation learners face that he seeks answers to.
“I have had students who were about to drop out because the challenge seemed too intense. Honestly, I was not so worried about their academics as much I was worried about the choices they would make if I let them slip.” He explains during a training session at ITEI-Dilshad Garden. One of the most significant reforms in education at the primary level was the universalisation of elementary education. However, how does one ensure that a system with so many moving parts-teachers, students, syllabus, deadlines, expectations, parents, society, law-keep working?
Well, the answer is simple. Every day, a child chooses to come to school, and they decide to go forth with their journey as a learner. The presence of their teacher creates the most meaningful impact in the classroom. While external factors such as an adverse family situation cannot be ruled out, research has proven that student-teacher interaction has the biggest impact on the academic performance of students.
“Keeping students in schools is one aspect, the bigger challenge is to keep them meaningfully occupied” he reasons. To this effect, he credits his participation in the training sessions to have boosted his morale. “I have accepted that each day will surface a new challenge. However, I need some support to go on – a place to recharge my batteries, if you will.”
The wealth of experience that he brings to the classroom is a resource for everyone. Azharuddin is the kind of champion who can win any war. As the systemic struggle to enhance the quality of primary education in India continues, it is upon crusaders such as him to show us the way!