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Vanar Years 

Jayshree Guha Thakurta

Jayshree Guha Thakurta is a facilitator and an educationist with over two decades of work experience. Studied life sciences at Sophia School, Ajmer. She went on to do her Masters in Foods and  Human Nutrition from Mohan Lal Sukhadia Agricultural University, Udaipur. An abstract from her dessertation titled,’Energy intake and expenditure of pregnant women in the 6th and 7th month of pregnancy’ was published in the proceedings of the Fifth Asian Congress of Nutrition held in 1986 in Japan.

She is facilitating ‘Kindergarten’ and ‘Nursery’ for last six years  with Shikshantar. What drew her first to Shikshantar and  makes her continue to be part of the school – is her discovery about how education can be made fun and easy through child centric teaching methdologies. In the process she feels it has broadened her horizon , expanded her thoughts and enriched her professional capabiliites. She believes her biggest strength as a teacher is her ability to communicate and empathize. This helps her to willingly address any concern that any individual may have, and goes a long way in bonding with children in particular.

 

Finding Feets

Soma De

Soma De, BA B.ED, joined Shikshantar in the year 2006.  Being with children fascinates her and she loves their company; perhaps the reason that has kept her in the field of education for the past seventeen years in various schools across the country. Having taught children from diverse cultural backgrounds at various stages of their journey, Soma easily adapted to the philosophy of Shikshantar.

She is committed to social, academic growth and development of every child through various media; be it books or drama, sports or other curricular activities.  Her warm and caring nature creates a classroom atmosphere that is stimulating, encouraging and adaptive to children’s needs.

An avid reader of children’s  literature, Soma enjoys writing poetry. Poetry is cathartic for her; it helps her in understanding children and their world better. She strengthens her connect with children also through singing and dancing, which are integral parts of her personality, hobbies that she has been nurturing since childhood. Through her guidance, she inspires children to develop values of self confidence, mutual respect and cooperation.

She finds her journey in Shikshantar particularly enriching and satisfying as it has helped her grow not only as a facilitator but also as an individual.

Jyoti Sharma

Jyoti has been working in Shikshantar for the past six years. She has always been with young kids and helping them in their understanding of various subjects haa been her passion. She was always fascinated by her teachers and aspired to be like them. Shikshantar provides her the platform to fulfil her dream. She believes that a teacher is instrumental in a child’s overall development, is a person who helps a child in identifying and devising his/her own methods of acquiring knowledge. With each passing year Shikshantar has strengthened her belief and she has become more intuitive towards understanding the needs of children. Having worked with children of different age groups, understanding their needs has made her observations more acute. Working with children with special needs has made her caring and empathetic. Reading books, singing songs and narrating stories of different genres to children and building their imagination give her a sense of satisfaction.

Vatsala

Vatsala’s association with Shikshantar is a long one both as a facilitator as well as a parent. Having been brought up in family of a teacher, she always aspired to be a teacher. This determination grew with passing years as she closely observed teachers and understood their hard work to help children learn various concepts. Being around children makes her happy and want to know their world. Although she did her masters in forestry, a subject which took her outside the class room and learn about nature. However, the idea of sitting in an office and working with files and figures never appealed to her.

In her growing up days she looked up to teachers who would connect with her and encourage her where she needed their help. She had often wondered if there would be schools where a child would enter feeling welcomed.

She believed that a teacher should be a person who is adept at helping the child in devising his/her own methods of learning and organizing the knowledge he or she had gathered. This belief was further strengthened during the induction program and observing various classes before she involved herself with young children and tried to connect her soul with theirs and creating that environment of trust with them.

It is her great yearning to be able to work with children having special needs and learn about their world which is very different from ours. Stories have always interested her. She really enjoys reading and narrating stories. Since Shikshantar encourages good and relevant reading both in Hindi and English, this enables her to evolve as a person and analyze situations that arise in her regular classroom environment with a non judgemental perspective.

Indu Matta

Indu’s involvement with Shikshantar has been a long one. During her college days, she was a member of the National Service Scheme. After college hours, working everyday with children of primary school developed her interest for teaching. Slowly and steadily, she realized the important role of a teacher in nurturing the intellectual and social development of children. Teaching and learning with students gives her an immense pleasure, knowledge, wisdom and a feeling of contentment.

She believes that education is helping children to discover and explore the world around them. She acknowledges that each child is unique and has personal learning abilities, which she takes into consideration most of the times. She believes that love, patience, trust and guidance from a teacher helps children reach their fullest potential. She uses her creativity in providing imaginative and motivating learning opportunities for children. She help her divergent learners to organize their thoughts and acquire skills and knowledge, learning meaningful methods and strategies to enhance the learning environment for children. She has a passion for engaging children in experimenting, analyzing and doing art and craft work with them.

Reena Jamwal

Completed her schooling from St. Xaviers and got enrolled in B.El.Ed in Jesus & Mary College, made a huge difference to her life. She came to understand the difference between merely wanting to be a teacher and what it actually takes to be a facilitator, One who doesn’t teach but facilitates the learning process and also learns along with children.

And Shikshantar has further given her a very deep conviction that each child is special and learns according to his/her own pace, which needs to be respected by all. Here, whether it is choice time, circle time or project time, she has learnt to value & nurture each different and special self with love, trust and respect. She enjoys the process of sharing, discovering, constructing and reconstructing her knowledge with children each moment.

Tania Mankoo

The saying ‘Sometimes you have to look back to see how far you have gone’ holds so true to her career. When she looks back to her previous years, she recalls completing her B.El.Ed and joining Shikshantar. She was keen to learn in an environment that would provide her opportunities to implement the philosophies she learnt.

It’s been 9 years now since she joined the Shikshantar family and have also completed her masters in history. Her aim is to provide a holistic environment where the children grow and learn with confidence, imagination and integrity.

Story telling, role plays, creating songs and poems with children are her new hobbies, which she attained here in Shikshantar. Her learning is happening everyday with the children, as they explore new things everyday. Shikshantar has given her an opportunity to work with children with special needs. It truly helped her to understand and look at ‘the world through the child’s eye’. Today she can say, since she was provided with the space here, she could build up her self confidence, be more creative and be a child with her children!

 

Finding grounds

Shruti Sharma 

Shruti Sharma is an English teacher who gets excited about ideas- literary, artistic and motivational. She has done Bachelor of Elementary Education (B.El.Ed.) from Jesus and Mary College. She is also a Post Graduate in English from Delhi University and has done B.Ed. After teaching Primary, Middle and Secondary School children for twelve years in conventional schools, she moved to Shikshantar in May 2013.  Shruti strongly believes that the spark to learn is inherent in all humans. A facilitator’s skill lies in helping the learner discover it and kindle it. Her love for young learners and her belief in the need to make education meaningful connects her to Shikshantar.
She enjoys being with students and likes to do new things. A compulsive reader, Shruti can read through storm, rain, hail and sunshine, eating, drinking, standing and sitting. This helps her enrich her literature class with stories, anecdotes and extensive extra reading.
She is a sensitive soul, the silent rebel with new causes. Though essentially a dreamer- an idealist, she is pragmatic at the same time; always striving hard to strike a balance between the two.

Sujasha Dasgupta 

Sujasha Dasgupta is a senior art facilitator in Shikshantar. She has been associated with Shikshantar for the last seven years.
An illustrator and graphic designer by profession, her heart turned towards teaching after discovering how progressive education nurtures the learner and helps connect with the inner being, resulting in wholistic development and an integrated personality.
Working with children has proven to be an immensely gratifying experience as each day she discovers their pure spontaneity and vivid imagination. Having struggled to unlearn her own structured thinking, she realises how important it is to encourage the spontaneous and original expression of each child.
She is passionate about inculcating in her students a deep understanding of the intrinsic connection of nature with all forms of creative expression. She believes that awareness, sensitivity, observation and analysis are essential for creativity.