In conversation with Sanjana: Once an Akanksha student, now an Akanksha teacher.
1) Can you please share your experience when you were an Akanksha student? Can you also mention any pleasant memory you have with Prachi Didi?
I became a part of the Akanksha family when I was two and a half years old and stayed for good eleven years. When I started my journey with Akanksha; Prachi Didi and Geeta Didi were my teachers. For me, Akanksha was a place where I was free to learn anything. It provided me an opportunity to build my personality and empowered me with the communication skills to express my opinions freely. The best part however was the annual field trip.
I would love to share one incident from my school days when I was in Grade 4. I was talking to my friends in English and my Principal heard me speak. She was very surprised to see a student from a Marathi Medium school speak in fluent English. She called my father to school. Initially he was worried but when he met my principal, she spoke highly of me in front of my father. This was possible only because of Akanksha.
Prachi Didi has been a very special person in my life. I remember she put in so much efforts to convince my grandmother to send me to the centre. For Prachi Didi, it is imperative that every child must learn and I absolutely love this quality of hers.
2) How was your experience at Ed-ventures? Which was your biggest takeaway?
Ed-ventures was a significant learning experience. It taught me how to plan a lesson and the key elements a teacher needs to be mindful of in the classroom. My biggest learning was that every student is at the core of our job and all our actions and efforts should be directed towards the growth and learning of a student.
My stay at Ed-ventures is another story altogether. I am a BSc IT graduate and my grandmother wanted me to continue working in the same field. Also, I had never stayed away from my family and Ed-ventures being a residential training program I had to leave home and stay away for a while. However my grandmother wasn’t ready to let me stay away. I told Prachi Didi about this and informed her I won’t be able to attend the training. Didi told me it was an essential learning experience and at no cost should I miss it. She also sent Aurene Didi (social worker from our school) to talk to my grandmother. Aurene Didi explained everything to her and convinced her to send me for Ed-ventures.
3) Once a student, now a teacher with Akanksha; how is the feeling?
As a teacher, I want my students to excel at everything they wish to do in their lives. I want them to make informed decisions and do what they love to do. I want them to realize that no job in this world is small and if you put in your heart, soul and effort; nothing can stop you from becoming successful.
4) Sanjana, what are your dreams for your students?
I never thought I would become a teacher. The idea was to get a job in the IT sector. However destiny had different plans and I met Prachi Didi and she told me there is a vacancy in the school and I applied for the position. I gave my interview and teacher demo and I was selected as a teacher. As a child, I would get inspired and motivated looking at my teachers and now I believe I must be that inspiration and motivation to all my students. It was always on my mind that I had gotten a lot from Akanksha and it is my way to give back to the organization who has been like a family to me for so many years. Being a teacher I feel more mature and responsible. I’ll always be thankful to Prachi didi for giving me such a great opportunity which will also help me to not just learn and grow but to also inspire and empower lives.