I believe that education is the key to solving all human problems and such education must be holistic. This has led me to actively seek out opportunities that allow me to make a meaningful impact in my community through education.
I was excited to volunteer for the Doorstep School NGO to provide underprivileged students in our nearby community with the education they need. My team and I aimed to teach students Mathematics online by creating resources including audio/video explanations of difficult concepts, pictures of worksheets for practice, and providing immediate feedback on their work. We came up with creative ideas and solutions to make virtual learning more interactive and engaging through activities and quizzes. This was a uniquely enriching experience that involved a great deal of detailed planning as well as anticipating and fulfilling students’ needs.
Our goal was to improve students’ understanding of mathematics by helping them navigate difficult areas of study and give them an opportunity to reflect on their learning with an analytical mindset.
As project leader, my role in this initiative was to collaborate with external teachers and coordinate a team of five like-minded individuals across different grade levels who share the same level of dedication and commitment to making online learning possible and meaningful. As a team, we were able to successfully come up with a clear action plan in response to an authentic need.
A key aspect of our group discussions was assessing the impact of our actions on students. While coming up with engaging ways to enhance their learning experience, we carefully considered the impact this would have on their academic ability as well as their future. What I enjoyed the most from our group discussions was hearing such unique perspectives from each of my team members which, when collated, gave us a holistic view of students’ needs.
One of the challenges we faced included a language barrier which could potentially hinder students’ understanding of concepts. To overcome this, we carefully crafted a teaching schedule that incorporated rotations with Marathi speaking students conducting classes alternatively while the rest of the team worked on skill building and preparing resources. Thankfully, our efforts resulted in effectively communicating with students and the satisfaction of recognizing that our actions truly can make a difference is unparalleled.
I like to think of my community as a symphony of unique individuals with varied perspectives and believe that the ability to appreciate and learn from other people is an important skill that defines a leader. I hoped to do the same through this experience which gave me a chance to collaborate with like-minded people. I feel grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this project which, on a global level, means the education of children in a world where millions are deprived of it. From our fruitful discussions, we came to the realization that the pandemic has put education far from reach for several students as they do not have access to secondary devices. Knowing that some students in pockets of the world are having to face such difficult situations while others remain fortunate to continue their learning online made me feel like I have a moral responsibility and purpose in helping them. It is this thought that continues to inspire and awaken the need to positively impact society in every way that I can.
It was gratifying to know that our students enjoyed learning with us and there was a noticeable improvement in their ability to solve mathematical problems from their respective grade levels. Personally, I see this as the beginning of several such experiences that will give me both fulfilment and joy in serving the community.
Sathviga DP 2