teach for india essay questions

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The teach for india fellowship is an opportunity for india’s brightest and most promising talent, stemming from the nation’s best institutions and firms, to serve as full-time teachers to children from low-income communities in under-resourced schools. , contact us at [email protected] if interested in learning more., *please note only indian citizens or individuals with an oci are eligible for the fellowship., teach for india's fellowship is a powerful two-year grassroots immersion program. having worked with students, and forged first-hand critical relationships with principals, parents, and public institutions, fellows emerge as informed, invigorated, and empathetic future leaders in the social sector.  tfi fellows then graduate and become a part of our alumni. 77% of the alumni stay in the education and social sectors, creating a movement of leaders and leveraging the multiplier effect to collectively build a vibrant continuum towards educational equity..

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Home » editorials » CEO's Corner » Every role, including internships, at Teach for India is a leadership opportunity – Shaheen Mistry, Founder & CEO, Teach for India

Every role, including internships, at Teach for India is a leadership opportunity – Shaheen Mistry, Founder & CEO, Teach for India

Listening to her, voice brimming with passion and excitement, its hard to believe her when she tells you that she herself was a shy and nervous child growing up who could never walk upto strangers and ask for a favor. From there to dreaming about impacting lives of 320 Million children in India – the journey has been nothing short of a dream. Read on…

1. You are one of the fortunate ones who discovered her calling early in life (at the age of 12 in Indonesia?) and have pursued it for last 30 years. Have there been moments of self doubt about the goal or the path you have chosen? If yes, what has helped you overcome these doubts? There has never really been any doubt about the mission that I have chosen. Because there is so much evidence you see when you work with the kids on how quality education can be the game changer. I do have moments of doubt about my own ability to do justice to the cause. We are trying to solve a large complex problem of reaching every child in India and I, from time to time, wonder if I can do everything or if I should be doing things differently. What helps in these moments of self doubt is to look around and drive inspiration from small things. I see my team members solving challenges every day and these little success stories inspire. I log into facebook and there are so many narratives, photos, anecdotes from classrooms posted by our fellows which lift the mood up and reinforce the belief that what we are doing is making a difference. 2. During your college days (St. Xaviers, Mumbai), what kind of a student were you? Was your primary focus on studies or were you actively involved in extra-curricular activities too? I was never an exceptional student but I was hard working and diligent. I always did my homework on time because I used to rationalize that eventually I have to do it, so why not do it now. I was very shy, nervous kid who did not want to be seen doing wrong things and hence I always focused on studies. I also believe that I had a blessed childhood studying in different foreign countries that did not emphasize on rote learning – education was holistic and fun. 3. You went for a very specific Masters Program (Educational project planning for developing countries at University of Manchester) after you founded Akanksha. What prompted you to seek a formal degree in the field and how much did it help? It was more of you just had to get a Masters degree because that was the norm and the expectation from the family and I did not really question it. However, it was helpful because I was the youngest in the class which was filled with middle age people who had lot of different experiences to share that I learned  from. Personally getting away from Akanksha for a year and coming back to it after the program helped me revalidate my belief that it was something I really wanted to do. 4. There appears to be an evolution in your thought process when you moved on from Akanksha (after-school centres) to Teach for India (developing leaders in field of Education) while the earlier plan as per this Outlook article in year 2000 was to set up a Residential college. What led to this change in approach? Change in the direction happened at Akanksha itself. Every year at Akanksha was a painful reminder of how much more needed to be done before we could do justice to our own expectations of the quality of life we wanted the children to enjoy. For example, I used to wonder if any of the kids studying at Akanksha, would ever get to go to the same college or university that I did and answer was no . We realised that we needed to do much more that what we were doing at Akanksha and the after school 2-3 hours a day model was not going to help us meet our own goals and we moved to ‘running schools’ model where we get to spend 8 hours a day with a child and can have a bigger and holistic impact and this model is going to be the future of Akanksha. Personally the reason to move away from Akanksha was the belief that for an organization to grow, the founder should not be in the driving seat always and should make way for the 2 nd rung of leadership – that is the true test of the team that you have built and the values that you have nurtured. Coming to Teach for India, while working at Akanksha, my aspirations grew and vision became larger where I wanted to reach to every child in the country. Other than Akanksha, I came across a few more great NGOs which were doing excellent work in Education sector but in pockets. I was not sure if this model could scale and impact every needy child. I came to believe that problem of Education is problem of lack of leadership. And if we can develop individuals through our fellowship program who are committed to solving the problem of Education and who would become leaders in different professional spheres after fellowship experience; be it Politics, Media, Corporate; we have a much better shot at solving the problem. That is how Teach for India came into existence. 5. Teach for India has been modeled after Teach for America program. What key differences have you found that exist between the two because of different Socio-economic conditions prevalent in two countries? Now 25 countries are part of Teach for Network and in every country the program is customised as per local needs and set up. However, there are a few founding principles such as working for marginalised low income children, fellowship being a 2 years program, extensive support and training to our fellows that all 25 countries have agreed upon. In India, some of the innovative aspects that are different than Teach for America program are – the extensive community focus and engagement and ‘Be The Change’ project that our fellows undertake in 2 nd year of their fellowship. In this project, they take up an initiative in addition to their regular classroom teaching, which will have a wider impact on school. It can be to set up a library, design a program for community engagement etc. Other key difference is that while in US, almost all the fellows are recent graduates from universities, in India 50-60% of our fellows come from corporate sector. 6. I have friends who applied for Teach For India fellowships, got selected but later joined ‘safer’ career options (one went to a B-School and another took up an i-Banking job) because of societal pressure. Do some of these aspiring fellows reach out to you for counseling and what do you advise them? We don’t really try to influence them in joining the fellowship as we believe eventually it has to be their call and not ours. What we do is speak a lot with them and provide them with as much information as we can about what this program is or is not about. Very often we connect them with current fellows who were in similar positions themselves a year or two ago and can answer these aspiring fellows’ queries from their own first hand experience. For example, recently at IIT Bombay a student approached me and told me how he wanted to pursue IAS and wanted to know if the fellowship experience would help him get there. Instead of saying “Oh yes, it will”, I connected him to a fellow who himself wants to pursue IAS after fellowship so he can share his first hand experience. Different students have different concerns or constraints; the key is to identify that for a particular student and address that. It could be making them speak to our Board members, or provide them with Media kits on the fellowship which they can show to their parents to educate them. I, myself, have spoken to number of parents over the years. But yes, it does take a level of courage and self belief for one to sign up for the fellowship. 7. Two batches of fellows (~200) have already graduated and have landed with some really remarkable career options with many joining world’s leading B-schools such as Harvard, Kellogs etc. Do you foresee a risk where more aspiring fellows would want to get into fellowship because of the glamor associated with it and not necessarily because they feel strongly about the cause? Yes, I think the risk exists and we need to make sure that our selection process is stringent enough to weed out such candidates. I don’t think it’s wrong for it to be one of the reasons for someone to join fellowship but this can not be the primary motive. The core reason has to be the passion and commitment to the cause of Education. Because if the passion is not there, the fellow would not be able to survive into the program for 2 years because only passion can sail you through the challenges you would encounter during fellowship. And we give this message loud and clear in all the fellowship recruitment drives to ensure we get the right candidates. 8. After being selected, the fellows go and teach in Govt and low income private schools for 2 years. How receptive the community, the existing teachers, principal etc. have been of these ‘outsider’ fellows? While there have been couple of examples of strong resistance that we faced in two schools that we eventually had to pull our fellows out of; by and large our experience has been very positive. When we started the program, we went in with lot of negative bias, but have found more acceptance than we had first imagined. Some of the schools have been extremely welcoming and supportive. A lot of it also depends on the fellow himself/herself. Learning to adapt to this new environment, building relationships with people who have a very different thought process and come from starkly different  backgrounds, influencing change while still being respectful, are great leadership moments and learning experiences for every fellow. We also provide extensive training, mentoring and support to the fellows (there is an experienced Program Manager for every 17 fellows who acts as a coach and mentor and is reachable 24 hours) 9.  Given the magnitude of the problem you are after (reaching out to 320 million students in India), you envisage Teach For India fellow alumni to play a critical role. Is there a concrete action plan developed around how would you keep them engaged and/or how would they contribute? Oh, absolutely! Everything we do at Teach for India is centred around our alumni because that is the core idea. To develop people who would take up leadership roles in different spheres of life once they graduate from fellowship program. We have well defined action plan for our alumni on how they would contribute to Education sector. We define priorities, chart out career paths, connect them with people to walk on the path, and provide mentoring all along. And we are seeing the impact. At the time of joining, ~5% of our fellows indicate willingness to continue in Education sector but 2 years later after having gone through the fellowship experience, ~60% stay into the education sector. Only other day I received an email from a fellowship alumnus who is now at Kellogs on how he has been invited to be on the Board of Chicago Charter School – a network of low income schools of marginalised kids in Chicago. This is an example of how our fellows continue to contribute to the cause of Education even after their stint at Teach For India is over. There is another alumnus who has started a chain of schools and plans to have 100 schools running in next 5 years. 10. Based on regular interactions between Teach for India and Internshala, it appears your organization gives lot of importance to internships. What is the primary objective? To get a meaningful project done in a cost effective manner or to excite a bunch of young students about Teach for India to prepare a funnel of future fellows? I think both the objectives are true. Given there is always so much to do, we are always short of staff and interns fill that gap. At Teach for India, we believe every role is a leadership opportunity and even if an intern does a good project and does not join us as fellow later on, that is still a great value add for us. It also helps us to expose young students to Teach for India early in their academic life so that they can develop an understanding of the mission, the work culture etc. and may consider joining us as fellows once they graduate or later in their lives. I do not have statistics handy on how many interns have joined us as fellows upon completion of studies but that would be a great metric to  look at. 11. Finally, from your 21 years long journey in the world of social entrepreneurship and education for underprivileged kids, if there is one principle or individual trait that you believe has stood the test of time and you would like to share with students; it would be? Focus on what you can do and not on what others can or can’t. At Teach for India, we often use a phrase, ‘Holding up the mirror’ which is about taking personal responsibility. There would always be things that would not be right, people who would not do what is right, luck might not be in your favour etc. but if you reflect upon what is it that you can do and take personal responsibility of doing that rather than bemoaning things that are beyond your control – that is what makes the world a much better place.

To know more about Teach for India and its fellowship program, visit www.teachforindia.org. If you would like to do an internship with Teach for India, apply here and here (15th October 2012 is last date to apply).

Are you an employer looking for interns? Hire interns through Internshala; it’s free and hassle-free.

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A Graduate from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, a civil engineer by education and a business analyst by profession. It took me a while to realize but building stuff is what I like the most. It may be a 3 storey departmental store, a blog, a business or a statistical model - the kick, of creating something from scratch which is out there for everyone to see and admire, is what drives me through the day!

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teach for india essay questions

How Teach For India founder Shaheen Mistri built a network of education leaders impacting millions

India today got talking to teach for india founder and ceo shaheen mistry, who started off on her journey to bring equity in education across india at the early age of 18. she spoke to us about her vision, the impact through various organisations, and the prestigious teach for india fellowship..

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How Teach For India founder Shaheen Mistri built a network of education leaders impacting millions

Growing up in five different countries can significantly change the outlook of your life. This is what sparred a teenage Shaheen Mistri, the CEO of one of India’s largest non-profit organisations Teach For India, to build an education leadership community like never before.

Moving back and forth between India and the US showed her the sharp contrast between the haves and the have-nots when it came to education and sparked a revolution in her.

“That contrast is what made me truly question why I had so many opportunities that others did not have, and that question fuelled the need to do something about it,” Mistri says in an interview with India Today.

She was just 18 when she birthed her first brainchild, Akanksha Foundation. It started with 15 children and a group of volunteers from St Xavier's College who used to get together to teach children. Now it has 23 schools serving close to 10,000 low-income children, with a near-100% graduation rate.

teach for india essay questions

Follow this link to get a Physical and state-wise Map of India

My Favorite States from India are as follows –

Rajasthan itself has a glorious history. It is famous for many brave kings, their deeds, and their art and architecture. It has a sandy track that’s why the nuclear test was held here. Rajasthan is full of desert, mountain range, lakes, dense forest, attractive oases, and temples, etc. Rajasthan is also known as “Land Of Sacrifice”. In Rajasthan, you can see heritage things of all the kings who ruled over there and for that, you can visit Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Chittaurgarh, etc.

Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh is bigger than a foreign (Italy) country and smaller than Oman. It also has tourists attractions for its places. In Madhya Pradesh, you can see temples, lakes, fort, art and architecture, rivers, jungles, and many things. You can visit in Indore, Jabalpur, Ujjain, Bhopal, Gwalior and many cities. Khajuraho, Sanchi Stupa, Pachmarhi, Kanha national park, Mandu, etc. are the places must visit.

Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir are known as heaven on earth . We can also call Jammu and Kashmir as Tourists Paradise. There are many places to visit Jammu and Kashmir because they have an undisturbed landscape, motorable road, beauty, lying on the banks of river Jhelum, harmony, romance, sceneries, temples and many more.

In Jammu and Kashmir, u can enjoy boating, skiing, skating, mountaineering, horse riding, fishing, snowfall, etc. In Jammu and Kashmir, you can see a variety of places such as Srinagar, Vaishnav Devi, Gulmarg, Amarnath, Patnitop, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Lamayuru, Nubra Valley, Hemis, Sanasar,  Anantnag,  Kargil, Dachigam National Park, Pulwama, Khilanmarg, Dras, Baltal, Bhaderwah, Pangong Lake, Magnetic Hill, Tso Moriri, Khardung La, Aru Valley, Suru Basin,Chadar Trek, Zanskar Valley, Alchi Monastery, Darcha Padum Trek, Kishtwar National Park, Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary, Nyoma, Dha Hanu, Uleytokpo, Yusmarg, Tarsar Marsar Trek and many more.

It is known as the ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala is a state in India, situated in the southwest region, it is bordered by a number of beaches; covered by hills of Western Ghats and filled with backwaters, it is a tourist destination attracting people by its natural beauty. The most important destinations which you can see in Kerela are the museum, sanctuary, temples, backwaters, and beaches. Munnar, Kovalam, Kumarakom, and Alappad.

India is a great country having different cultures, castes, creed, religions but still, they live together. India is known for its heritage, spices, and of course, for people who live here. That’s the reasons India is famous for the common saying of “unity in diversity”. India is also well known as the land of spirituality , philosophy, science, and technology.

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‘Where We Are’: A Photo Essay Contest for Exploring Community

Using an immersive Times series as inspiration, we invite teenagers to document the local communities that interest them. Contest dates: Feb. 14 to March 20.

A group of friends sitting on an orange picnic blanket in a sun-dappled park, surrounded by green grass and trees.

By The Learning Network

The Covid-19 pandemic closed schools and canceled dances. It emptied basketball courts, theaters, recreation centers and restaurants. It sent clubs, scout troops and other groups online.

Now, many people have ventured back out into physical spaces to gather with one another once again. What does in-person “community” look like today? And what are the different ways people are creating it?

In this new contest, inspired by “ Where We Are ” — an immersive visual project from The New York Times that explores the various places around the world where young people come together — we’re inviting teenagers to create their own photo essays to document the local, offline communities that interest them.

Take a look at the full guidelines and related resources below to see if this is right for your students. We have also posted a student forum and a step-by-step lesson plan . Please ask any questions you have in the comments and we’ll answer you there, or write to us at [email protected]. And, consider hanging this PDF one-page announcement on your class bulletin board.

Here’s what you need to know:

The challenge, a few rules, resources for teachers and students, frequently asked questions, submission form.

Using The Times’s Where We Are series as a guide, create a photo essay that documents an interesting local, offline community. Whether your grandmother’s Mah Jong club, the preteens who hang out at a nearby basketball court, or the intergenerational volunteers who walk the dogs for your neighborhood animal shelter, this community can feature people of any age, as long as it gathers in person.

We encourage you to choose a community you are not a part of for reasons we explain below, in the F.A.Q.

Whichever community you choose, however, it’ll be your job to interview and photograph them. Then, you’ll pull everything together in a visual essay, which will tell the group’s story via a short introduction and a series of captioned photographs.

Your photo essay MUST include:

Between six and eight images, uploaded in the order in which you’d like us to view them.

A short caption of no more than 50 words for each image that helps explain what it shows and why it is important to the story.

A short introduction of up to 300 words that offers important background or context that complements and adds to the information in the photos and captions. You might consider the introduction the beginning of your essay, which the photos and captions will then continue. Together they will answer questions like who this community is, how it came to be, and why it matters. (Our How-To guide offers more detail about this.)

At least one quote — embedded in either the introduction or one of the captions — from a member of the community about what makes it meaningful.

In addition to the guidelines above, here are a few more details:

You must be a student ages 13 to 19 in middle school or high school to participate , and all students must have parent or guardian permission to enter. Please see the F.A.Q. section for additional eligibility details.

The photographs and writing you submit should be fundamentally your own — they should not be plagiarized, created by someone else or generated by artificial intelligence.

Your photo essay should be original for this contest. That means it should not already have been published at the time of submission, whether in a school newspaper, for another contest or anywhere else.

Keep in mind that the work you send in should be appropriate for a Times audience — that is, something that could be published in a family newspaper (so, please, no curse words).

You may work alone, in pairs, or in groups of up to four for this challenge , but students should submit only one entry each.

Remember to get permission from those you photograph, and to collect their contact information. Learn more about this in the F.A.Q. below.

You must also submit a short, informal “artist’s statement” as part of your submission, that describes your process. These statements, which will not be used to choose finalists, help us to design and refine our contests. See the F.A.Q. to learn more.

All entries must be submitted by March 20, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time using the electronic form below.

Use these resources to help you create your photo essay:

A related Student Opinion question to help you brainstorm ideas before you begin taking photos.

A step-by-step guide that uses examples from the Where We Are series to walk students through creating their own.

Free links to the “Where We Are” Collection :

1. The Magic of Your First Car 2. At This Mexican Restaurant, Everyone is Family 3. Where the Band Kids Are 4. In This Nigerian Market, Young Women Find a Place of Their Own 5. At Camp Naru, Nobody Is ‘an Outlier’ 6. For Black Debutantes in Detroit, Cotillion Is More Than a Ball 7. At This Wrestling Academy, Indian Girls Are ‘Set Free’ 8. In Seville, Spain, These Young Rappers Come Together to Turn ‘Tears Into Rhymes’ 9. For a Queer Community in Los Angeles, This Public Park Is a Lifeline 10. In Guatemala, A Collective of Young Artists Finds Family Through Film 11. On a Caribbean Island, Young People Find Freedom in ‘Bike Life’ 12. At This Texas Campus Ministry, ‘Inclusive Love’ Is the Mission 13. For Young Arab Americans in Michigan, the Hookah Lounge Feels like Home

An activity sheet for understanding and analyzing the Where We Are series.

Lessons on interviewing and taking photographs . While these two resources were originally created for our 2022 Profile Contest , each contains scores of tips from educators and Times journalists that can help students learn to interview, and to take and select compelling photographs that tell a story.

Our contest rubric . These are the criteria we will use to judge this contest. Keep them handy to make sure your photo essay meets all of the qualifications before entering.

Below are answers to your questions about writing, judging, the rules and teaching with this contest. Please read these thoroughly and, if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, post your query in the comments or write to us at [email protected].


What is a photo essay? How does it differ from just a series of photos?

A photo essay tells a story through a series of images. These images work together and build on each other to explore a theme of some kind. The photo essays in the Where We Are series, for instance, focus on the themes of community and coming-of-age, but each through a different lens, as the three images published here illustrate. Together they are beautiful examples of how visual collections can investigate ideas by illuminating both the “big picture” and the tiny, telling details.

How do I choose a good subject for this?

Our Student Opinion forum can help via its many questions that encourage you to brainstorm local, offline communities of all kinds.

Can I be a member of the community I photograph?

You can, but we encourage you not to. Part of the point of this contest is to help you investigate the interesting subcultures in your area, and expand your understanding of “community” by finding out about groups you otherwise may never have known existed.

But we also think it will be easier to do the assignment as an outsider. You will be coming to the community with “fresh eyes” and relative objectivity, and will be able to notice things that insiders may be too close to see.

If you do choose to depict a community you are a part of, we ask that you do not include yourself in the photos.

I’d like to work with others to create this. How do I do that?

You can work alone, with a partner, or with up to three other people. So, for example, in a group of four, two people might act as photographers, while the other two interview community members. When you are ready to edit your material and write up what you have discovered, the interviewers could use their notes to handle the short introduction, while the photographers could edit their shots into a meaningful visual sequence, and help collaborate on the captions.

Please remember, however, that you can only have your name on one submission.

Do I need permission to photograph the people in this community?

You do. It is good journalistic practice to tell the people you are photographing why you are taking pictures of them, and to ask their permission. They should also know that, if you are a winner, their image and name may appear online.

Though you do not have to have a signed permission sheet from every participant, if you are a winner and we publish your work, we will need to be able to reach those depicted, so please get their contact information before you take their pictures. (If you are photographing young children, this is especially important. Secure a parent or guardian’s permission first.)

An important exception to this: If you are taking photos of crowds in public places, such as at a sporting event, a community meeting or a local fair, you don’t need to worry about permissions, as it would be impossible to get them from all attendees.

I don’t know where to begin! What advice do you have?

Once you’ve chosen a community to photograph, begin by introducing yourself to ensure the participants are open to your project. Then, devote a bit of time to just observing, noticing how and where the members of this group spend time, what they do together, and how they relate to each other.

When you’re ready to start documenting what you find, our step-by-step guide will help you take it from there.


How will my photo essay be judged?

Your work will be read by New York Times journalists as well as by Learning Network staff members and educators from around the United States. We will use this rubric to judge entries.

What’s the prize?

Having your work published on The Learning Network and being eligible to be chosen to have your work published in the print editions of The New York Times.

When will the winners be announced?

About two months after the contest has closed.


Who is eligible to participate in this contest?

This contest is open to students ages 13 to 19 who are in middle school or high school around the world. College students cannot submit an entry. However, high school students (including high school postgraduate students) who are taking one or more college classes can participate. Students attending their first year of a two-year CEGEP in Quebec Province can also participate. In addition, students age 19 or under who have completed high school but are taking a gap year or are otherwise not enrolled in college can participate.

The children and stepchildren of New York Times employees are not eligible to enter this contest. Nor are students who live in the same household as those employees.

Why are you asking for an Artist’s Statement about our process? What will you do with it?

All of us who work on The Learning Network are former teachers. One of the many things we miss, now that we work in a newsroom rather than a classroom, is being able to see how students are reacting to our “assignments” in real time — and to offer help, or tweaks, to make those assignments better. We’re asking you to reflect on what you did and why, and what was hard or easy about it, in large part so that we can improve our contests and the curriculum we create to support them. This is especially important for new contests, like this one.

Another reason? We have heard from many teachers that writing these statements is immensely helpful to students. Stepping back from a piece and trying to put into words what you wanted to express, and why and how you made artistic choices to do that, can help you see your piece anew and figure out how to make it stronger. For our staff, they offer important context that help us understand individual students and submissions, and learn more about the conditions under which students around the world create.

Whom can I contact if I have questions about this contest or am having issues submitting my entry?

Leave a comment on this post or write to us at [email protected].


Do my students need a New York Times subscription to access these resources?

No. Students can get free access to the entire Where We Are series through The Learning Network . (All 13 photo essays are listed above, in our Resources section.) In addition, our related student forum , activity sheet and “how to” guide are also free, as are everything they link to.

However, if you are interested in learning more about school subscriptions, visit this page .

I’m not an art teacher. Can this work for my students too?

Yes! Though this is a new contest for us, we chose it in part because the theme of “community” is such an important one in subjects across the curriculum. In fact, we hope it might inspire teachers in different curriculum areas to collaborate.

For example, students in social studies could investigate the role of community locally, learning about the history of different influential groups. An English teacher might support students as they interview and craft their introductions and photo captions, while an art teacher could offer tips for photo composition. And, of course, a journalism teacher could guide the full project, or work with other teachers to publish the most successful results in the school paper.

How do my students prove to me that they entered this contest?

After they press “Submit” on the form below, they will see a “Thank you for your submission.” line appear. They can take a screenshot of this message. Please note: Our system does not currently send confirmation emails.

Please read the following carefully before you submit:

Students who are 13 and older in the United States or the United Kingdom, or 16 and older elsewhere in the world, can submit their own entries. Those who are 13 to 15 and live outside the United States or the United Kingdom must have an adult submit on their behalf.

All students who are under 18 must provide a parent or guardian’s permission to enter.

You will not receive email confirmation of your submission. After you submit, you will see the message “Thank you for your submission.” That means we received your entry. If you need proof of entry for your teacher, please screenshot that message.

Here is an example of how you might submit a photo with a caption and a photographer credit (Ashley Markle is the photographer):

If you have questions about your submission, please write to us at [email protected] and provide the email address you used for submission.

teach for india essay questions

The Fellowship

As a Teach For India Fellow, you will have the opportunity to impact the future of India's children while gaining the leadership experience to find your purpose and fuel your career.

  • | Why be a Fellow?
  • | Who are our Fellows?
  • | The Fellowship Experience
  • | After the Fellowship

Shaheen Mistri

Founder & CEO, Teach For India

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Meet our Fellows Sharanya and Abhijat and discover why they joined Teach For India.

Why be a Fellow?

The Fellowship will help you do more and be more:

Find your purpose: Develop an awareness of how poverty and inequity impacts children in India; and your role in it.

Become a leader: Build concrete leadership skills such as stakeholder management, planning, envisioning, execution and reflection in challenging environments.

Connect more

Join our movement: Become part of a movement of 4,500+ Alumni across India and countless more globally and find lifelong partners in this work.

Drive change: Don't just talk about the India you envision. Build an India free of poverty and filled with love.

Who are our Fellows?

140,000 people have applied to the Fellowship, and 4,500+ have completed the two-year programme. Our Fellows come from diverse backgrounds, streams and age groups spanning over 500 colleges, universities, and over 300 companies.

Recent graduates and postgraduates from diverse degrees and Institutions:

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Professionals pivoting from Corporate jobs :

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Some of the diverse institutions that recent Fellows come from:

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Some of the companies that professionals come from:

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Our Fellows are carefully chosen through a rigorous selection process. Apply to the Fellowship if:

You are someone who believes in an equitable, excellent education for all children.

You demonstrate leadership potential and openness to learning.

You are not afraid to set bold and ambitious goals.

You demonstrate courage and problem-solving abilities.

You work in collaboration with diverse people towards shared goals.

The Fellowship Experience

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Where you teach

You will be placed as a full-time teacher in an English medium government or affordable private school.

You will be located in one of 8 cities: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai or Pune.

You will be placed in a grade 1-10 classroom and teach between 40 and 80 Students.

You may be a class teacher, teaching all subjects, or a subject teacher teaching specific subjects like English, Maths, Social Studies or Science.

The medium of instruction will be English.

What you do

You will learn and practice leadership as you serve your Students and navigate the very real challenges of India's inequity.

As you work closely with other teachers, parents, school staff and your Students, you will learn to listen deeply, empathise, and build strong relationships.

As you envision a bold, new future for your children, you will learn to dream big for yourself and others.

As you plan for students at different levels with a wide range of needs and interests, you will learn advanced planning, organisational and time management skills.

As you learn to teach Students to learn in ways that meet their varied learning styles, you will discover a range of communication, management and team skills.

As you see your Students' progress, you ask what you might have done better in and beyond class. You will learn to reflect deeply and make meaning of every challenge and opportunity.

Your Fellowship Journey

teach for india essay questions

Your journey starts with a residential training Institute , where you learn the skills and mindsets to be teachers equipped to teach in an innovative, reimagined way.

You are then placed as a full-time teacher in a school that serves Students from low-income communities.

You learn through experiences in and beyond class. You reflect on your experiences alongside peers and your Program Manager, who supports you and on-the-ground training.

After your first year, you can choose to do a summer internship where you explore a new dimension of educational equity.

In year two, you continue to teach and learn. You also build entrepreneurial skills through a Be The Change project, where you focus on a barrier in education that you would like to solve.

Towards the end of your journey, you engage with a  career fair , where you are supported to find a job at the intersection of your purpose, passion and educational equity.

After the Fellowship

Our Alumni study and work across India and around the world. See a few examples of the diverse careers Alumni work in below:

teach for india essay questions

Jigyasa Labroo, Slam Out Loud, Delhi Sahil Babbar, Samarthya, Delhi Richa Gupta, Labhya Foundation, Delhi Seemant Dadwal, Meraki, Delhi Hemakshi Meghani, Indian School of Democracy, Delhi ‍ Tabassum Khan - Judge, Delhi ‍ Soniya Agarwal - The Print, Delhi

Kushal Dattani, Samait Shala, Ahmedabad Juhi Garg, Lend A Hand India, Ahmedabad Chandrasekar Selvaraj. Riverside School, Ahmedabad

Subhankar Paul, Barefoot Edu Foundation, Mumbai Rizvi Aquil Abbas, Voyage Educare Foundation, Mumbai ‍ Sharukh Taraporewala , HDFC bank, Mumbai ‍ Shruthika Jadhav - Dasra, Mumbai ‍ Daniel Lobo - BecauseYOU, Mumbai

Saurabh Taneja, Akanksha, Pune Soumya Jain, iTeach, Pune Madhukar Banuri, Leadership for Equity, Pune ‍ Mrinmayi H - Akanksha Foundation, Pune Shrinidhi Mahishi, Sahyadri School (Krishnamurti Foundation)

Sai Pramod Bathena, Alokit, Hyderabad Ashna Mehta, Catalyst, Hyderabad Sahithya Anumolu, Inqui-Lab, Hyderabad ‍ Swati Nandy , Shrodinger, Hyderabad

Adhishree Parasnis, Global School Leaders, Bangalore Santosh More, Mantra4Change, Bangalore Swetha Guhan, Key Education Foundation, Bangalore, Shekhar Hariharan, Shifting Orbits, Bangalore Saahil Sood, Colabx, Bangalore ‍ Reuben John -Byju's, Bangalore ‍ Nilakshi Kar - Akshaya Patra, Bangalore

Sneha Shankar, Madhi Foundation, Chennai Rebecca Swittens, Educational Initiatives, Chennai T. Nathaniel Seelan, Vidyaniketan, Chennai Nisha Subramaniam, Kanavu, Cuddalore ‍ Murali Mallikarjunan - JPAL, Chennai

teach for india essay questions

230 Alumni Ayushi Arora - SEWA Cooperative Federation Irfan Lalani - Code to Enhance Learning Pallavi Ganju - Red Bricks Schools Sahil Ratra - Adani Wilmar Ltd. Tejas Mehta - Central Square Foundation

320 Alumni Anmol Agrawal - Binocs.co Anna Maria Geogy - Lead by Design Neeraj Doddamane - Shikshalokam Pushpa Thantry - Akshara Foundation Sitara Chandran - Christel House

450 Alumni Arun Maruthi Selvan Ramasamy - Stir Education Bharadhwaaj Lakxminarasiman - Ramana Vidyalaya Kassanndra Rasquinha - Zoho Corp Maya Kizhakkekalam - Navadisha Montessori Foundation Murali Mallikarjunan - The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab

1190 Alumni Akanksha Ghai - Education Initiatives Rupika Chahal - CMIE Fellow Sanya Sagar - Global School Leaders Tabassum Khan - Delhi Judicial Services Vipul Goyal - Faculty of Management Studies

480 Alumni Amarapali Sharma - SVP India Nilanjana Choudhuri - NewGlobe Education Sai Pramod Bathena - Alokit Santosh Dinne - Svatah Foundation Sriharsha Ganti - Kakatiya Governance Fellowship

Palak Chandak - The Education Alliance, Bhopal ‍ Shaan - Wedu, Bhopal Smriti Gupta - Aspirational District Fellow, NITI Aayog, Chhatarpur Upasana Sachdeva - Peepul, Bhopal

Jagnoor Grewal - Punjab Govt., Punjab Roopala Saxena - Government of Haryana, Chandigarh

920 Alumni Manasi Mehan - Saturday Art Class Harsh Swaminarayan - Freelancer Dhruv Pandey - The Education Alliance Shalini Datta - AfterTaste Sharukh Taraporewala - HDFC Bank

990 Alumni Adhir Garg - Citibank Nupur Hukmani - Jawahar English Medium School Rachana Kaur Gothra - Bansuri Foundation Sohan Mutha - Raintree Foundation Tiasha Banerjee - Adhyayan

10 Alumni ‍ Anandita Roy choudhury , KPMG Asmita Sarkar , Transform Schools, People For Action Ketkee , Ekalavya Foundation Dipon Deb , EkTara Hiranya Riju , LEAD School, KPMG

Jesmine Kalita , Guwahati - Porisoi NTR Swamy , Madurai - Shiv Nadar Foundation Prahlad Chakma , Changlang - Indian Foundation For Education Transformation Shireen Rizvi , Lucknow - Medhavi Foundation Venkatesan Krishnamurthy , Vilupuram - LEAD School

Rahul Jayaprakash , MMM 2022 Candidate at Kellogg School of Management Aarushi Singhania , Geneva - World Economic Forum Poonam Shukla , Kathmandu - Sattva Nepal Vidushi Manarya , London - University College London Rigzen Wangmo , Cambridge - Harvard Graduate School of Education

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teach for india essay questions

What is Presidents Day and how is it celebrated? What to know about the federal holiday

Many will have a day off on monday in honor of presidents day. consumers may take advantage of retail sales that proliferate on the federal holiday, but here's what to know about the history of it..

teach for india essay questions

Presidents Day is fast approaching, which may signal to many a relaxing three-day weekend and plenty of holiday sales and bargains .

But next to Independence Day, there may not exist another American holiday that is quite so patriotic.

While Presidents Day has come to be a commemoration of all the nation's 46 chief executives, both past and present, it wasn't always so broad . When it first came into existence – long before it was even federally recognized – the holiday was meant to celebrate just one man: George Washington.

How has the day grown from a simple celebration of the birthday of the first president of the United States? And why are we seeing all these ads for car and furniture sales on TV?

Here's what to know about Presidents Day and how it came to be:

When is Presidents Day 2024?

This year, Presidents Day is on Monday, Feb. 19.

The holiday is celebrated on the third Monday of every February because of a bill signed into law in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Taking effect three years later, the Uniform Holiday Bill mandated that three holidays – Memorial Day, Presidents Day and Veterans Day – occur on Mondays to prevent midweek shutdowns and add long weekends to the federal calendar, according to Britannica .

Other holidays, including Labor Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day , were also established to be celebrated on Mondays when they were first observed.

However, Veterans Day was returned to Nov. 11 in 1978 and continues to be commemorated on that day.

What does Presidents Day commemorate?

Presidents Day was initially established in 1879 to celebrate the birthday of the nation's first president, George Washington. In fact, the holiday was simply called Washington's Birthday, which is still how the federal government refers to it, the Department of State explains .

Following the death of the venerated American Revolution leader in 1799, Feb. 22, widely believed to be Washington's date of birth , became a perennial day of remembrance, according to History.com .

The day remained an unofficial observance for much of the 1800s until Sen. Stephen Wallace Dorsey of Arkansas proposed that it become a federal holiday. In 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law, according to History.com.

While initially being recognized only in Washington D.C., Washington's Birthday became a nationwide holiday in 1885. The first to celebrate the life of an individual American, Washington's Birthday was at the time one of only five federally-recognized holidays – the others being Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.

However, most Americans today likely don't view the federal holiday as a commemoration of just one specific president. Presidents Day has since come to represent a day to recognize and celebrate all of the United States' commanders-in-chief, according to the U.S. Department of State .

When the Uniform Holiday Bill took effect in 1971, a provision was included to combine the celebration of Washington’s birthday with Abraham Lincoln's on Feb. 12, according to History.com. Because the new annual date always fell between Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays, Americans believed the day was intended to honor both presidents.

Interestingly, advertisers may have played a part in the shift to "Presidents Day."

Many businesses jumped at the opportunity to use the three-day weekend as a means to draw customers with Presidents Day sales and bargain at stores across the country, according to History.com.

How is the holiday celebrated?

Because Presidents Day is a federal holiday , most federal workers will have the day off .

Part of the reason Johnson made the day a uniform holiday was so Americans had a long weekend "to travel farther and see more of this beautiful land of ours," he wrote. As such, places like the Washington Monument in D.C. and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota – which bears the likenesses of Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt – are bound to attract plenty of tourists.

Similar to Independence Day, the holiday is also viewed as a patriotic celebration . As opposed to July, February might not be the best time for backyard barbecues and fireworks, but reenactments, parades and other ceremonies are sure to take place in cities across the U.S.

Presidential places abound across the U.S.

Opinions on current and recent presidents may leave Americans divided, but we apparently love our leaders of old enough to name a lot of places after them.

In 2023, the U.S. Census Bureau pulled information from its databases showcasing presidential geographic facts about the nation's cities and states.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the census data shows that as of 2020 , the U.S. is home to plenty of cities, counties and towns bearing presidential names. Specifically:

  • 94 places are named "Washington."
  • 72 places are named "Lincoln."
  • 67 places are named for Andrew Jackson, a controversial figure who owned slaves and forced thousands of Native Americans to march along the infamous Trail of Tears.

Contributing: Clare Mulroy

Eric Lagatta covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at [email protected]


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