A Closer Look - Teachers Who Make A Difference

Good teachers are at the heart of any great school. Robin Walden, our Sponsorship Coordinator, had the pleasure of talking recently with two such wonderful teachers at the Sri Ramana Maharshi School.

Mr. Rajkumar is a Chemistry teacher who has been at the school since 2011. A 2002 graduate of the school himself, he told me that his grandparents once owned the land that the school is built on.

Mr. Rajkumar

Mr. Rajkumar teaches 2 sections of 10th Standard students (A & C). He explained his approach to teaching as follows: When he sees a student struggling or doing something the wrong way, he tries to correct it in a friendly way. He's careful not embarrass students, preferring to pull them aside and speak with them privately if needed.

He knows the situation of most of the students. When he thinks it would help, he visits with the parents at their home to encourage them to be supportive of their child.

Mr. Rajkumar always tries to be positive. He thinks appreciation is very important. When students do well, he gives them recognition. He uses his own money to buy pens or some kind of gift that he passes out at assemblies. He also asks students for feedback about his teaching methods, and uses that feedback to improve his methodology. He smilingly told me it took him 4 years, but now his methodology is very good.

Mr. Rajkumar with some of his students

Mr. Rajkumar with some of his students

The second teacher I met with was Mr. Arulnehru, who teaches Tamil. He started teaching at the school in 2006. His father was a Tamil teacher and that is what inspired him to be a teacher as well.

Mr. Arulnehru teaches 3 classes: one 9th Standard, one 11th Standard and one 12th Standard. The classes are 45 minutes long. He says that preparation is very important. He prepares for at least one hour for each class, and plans ahead of time for how he will manage struggling students. Mr. Anrujnehru tries to come up with lots of real-life examples, to make sure that his students can understand and relate to topics. The content for the 9th and 12th Standard has changed and new topics have been added, so that adds additional preparation time as well. Although he officially teaches Tamil, he actually covers all kinds of topics including Science, Technology and Health. He really likes learning about new things and passing this knowledge on to students. He especially enjoys Science and enjoys going online to search for information to share with his students.

Mr. Arulnehru says that his biggest challenge as a teacher is to build the confidence of students. He encourages students to read as much as possible and to learn how to learn. If students have personal problems, he will talk with them outside of class. He says it happens often that students will come to him with problems. In that sense, he is like a parent to them.

Mr. Arulnehru says he is a strict teacher. He doesn't let students get away with not working. He expects them to pay attention. He doesn't stand in the front of the class and lecture. He moves around the classroom when he's teaching.

Mr. Arulnehru and his daughter, who is in the 3rd Standard

Mr. Arulnehru & his daughter, who is in the 3rd Standard

Connecting, caring and encouraging - the teachers at the Sri Ramana Maharshi School know they are making a difference in their students' lives.