Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Teach for India to startup : How, why, what?

I write this on one of those nights when sleep eludes. Despite multiple attempts, drifting off to a sound sleep is looking like a far fetched dream tonight.

Lying in the dark waiting for the sleep to take over is not my favorite pass time. But interestingly this acts as a perfect setting for contemplating and finding some answers.

One of the questions that has been asked many a times and definitely demands answer is why did I startup after Teach for India fellowship? To an outsider, this might look like an outcome of severe mood swings but as the person closest to this decision I can put forth my very valid case.

Teach for India is not just about teaching. It's a life transforming experience. And this statement is not an exaggeration at all. There is not just one being whose life is transformed but many because teaching for India is a collective effort.

When I entered my class of 60 students for the first time, I was quite confident as I was armed with a training. Two weeks in the fellowship and you realize that the training just got started. Every single day, every uneventful moment was a steep learning curve. 60 different characters to understand and manage at an age where their character is getting moulded. In hindsight I think it was a huge responsbility. Good thing that the magnitude of this responsibility did not struck me back then otherwise there would have been a lot of baggage to work with, which is never good. In a pretty disguise, this responsibility tagged along and the bliss of the ignorance led to creativity, dreams and reaching for the stars : not alone but with a spaceship full of 60 odd 10 years old.

What my kids achieved in two years indicates that I proved myself to be useful but what they did to me is invaluable. They made me patient, empathetic, team player, leader, teacher, dreamer, believer, achiever and a better human being.

I say this a lot in many of my conversations that my kids equipped me with all the valuable lessons, I needed to learn and all the necessary skills, I needed to have to startup. I never did an MBA, I don't need to and yet management comes naturally. Starting up was the most natural choice.

Inspiring, brainstorming, finding solutions, getting a team together, implementing while being resourceful and creating a dent in the universe is the order of the day.

I didn't give my 2 years to Teach for India, it gave me my 50 years.


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