- How did you come to know about Bhumi? and what made you become a part?
Facebook, of course. I was looking for a good chance to volunteer, when I came across Bhumi’s facebook page and immediately signed up for the next orientation.
- Why LE Maths?
I believe that a strong mathematics background is a must-have for any person, at all points of life. But sadly, many students these days are made to rote problems just for the sake of passing their exams. And Math exams have been a fear factor for over generations now. The main objective of LE Maths, which is to eliminate the fear and to target primary kids and train them maths conceptually, motivated me to join the project.
- What would you call a major plus of volunteering with Bhumi?
Major plus for volunteering with Bhumi would be the training, of course. Most of the volunteers are college students or IT professionals and they are not professionally trained to teach kids or understand child psychology. And Bhumi does a very good job in bridging this gap. This makes sure that the 4-5 hours a week that volunteers spend is utilized productively. They also provide a good platform to try out new ideas and methods to reach out better to the kids.
- Any specific, special moment with kids you would like to share with us?
There are too many, actually. I usually handle 2nd and 3rd grade kids. One day, during class, I wasn’t feeling well and was struggling to teach place values to a 2nd grade kid. One 3rd grader had been noticing this for sometime. She came up to me and said, “Akka, you go and take rest. I will take it up from here.” I was amused and hesitant, because I had taken places values to her just a couple of weeks back. But she seemed confident and I very badly wanted to see how the session goes. She confidently took the kits that I was using and started teaching so casually, questioning at appropriate moments and checking for the other kid’s reaction as she went on. She was teaching the same way that I used, only a little better. I was so happy that day to see how your effort gets reflected. It was like receiving a personal first hand feedback.
- If you could name one Bhumian as your role model, who would that be? and Why?
I would say, Sriram. As a new comer to Bhumi, he was the one who introduced us to the world of LE Maths. And I also had the chance to volunteer with him at the same centre. He is a very good mentor who sets the path for new comers to follow. There are many admirable qualities in him, such as punctuality, dedication and perfection.
- A note about your personal front
I completed my B.E.,Computer science and am currently working at Tata Consultancy Services. I am to take up a fellowship at Teach for India, starting this May. I am an avid reader and love to sing and paint.
- A special message to your fellow volunteers.
In Bhumi, we get to learn much more than what we teach. Be it from the kids or fellow volunteers or the experience, we get to learn a lot. It is a very good platform to groom our own self. So have the same level of enthusiasm as your day 1 and give your best. You deserve this experience as much as our kids deserve it!