Our Stories

Our stories. Of fall and climb. Of trial and errors. Many, many errors. Of looking beyond those errors. Straight from our classroom.

 
I am Himani Sanghvi, a 2011, Teach for India fellow. I teach full time at a low income government school in Sewri called Sewri cross Mumbai Public School.  I’m a teacher (Or a didi!) to 37 incredible 5th graders. Almost all of them come from the surrounding community that runs along parallel to the habour line railway track. Most of them have never stepped outside their community except the few occasions when I’ve taken them for a field visit.  And so I have decided to bring the world to them, into the very own classrooms of my 37 students and the 230 other students who study at Sewri Cross by setting up a computer centre for them.  For this I need your help. I need 8-10 laptops/netbooks which I aim for my students to utilize, make aware and teach them about the world around them. I cannot accept desktops due to space constraints in my school. Though I can accept second hand laptops/netbooks, provided they are in workable conditions.  I do plan to buy the laptops or netbooks if I fail to procure them through donations. 
 For this I need a budget of 1.5lakhs. Average netbook cost – Rs. 16,500.
16,500 x 9 netbooks = Rs.1,48,500
Rs 1,500 – Cabinet where the netbooks would be stored. 
 And this is where I need you to help me and my students. You can donate any amount that you feel will help all of us at Sewri Cross School and our dream of a Computer Center.  Believe me when I say, EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS.  If you think you can and want to contribute to this little project of mine, please get in touch with me on himani.sanghvi2011@teachforindia.org  You will need to draw a cheque in the name of Teach to Lead. 
*The donors would be provided with a tax exemption certificate and a receipt if asked for.

 

I am Himani Sanghvi, a 2011, Teach for India fellow. I teach full time at a low income government school in Sewri called Sewri cross Mumbai Public School. 
I’m a teacher (Or a didi!) to 37 incredible 5th graders. Almost all of them come from the surrounding community that runs along parallel to the habour line railway track. Most of them have never stepped outside their community except the few occasions when I’ve taken them for a field visit. 
And so I have decided to bring the world to them, into the very own classrooms of my 37 students and the 230 other students who study at Sewri Cross by setting up a computer centre for them. 
For this I need your help. I need 8-10 laptops/netbooks which I aim for my students to utilize, make aware and teach them about the world around them. I cannot accept desktops due to space constraints in my school. Though I can accept second hand laptops/netbooks, provided they are in workable conditions. 
I do plan to buy the laptops or netbooks if I fail to procure them through donations. 


For this I need a budget of 1.5lakhs. 
Average netbook cost – Rs. 16,500.

16,500 x 9 netbooks = Rs.1,48,500

Rs 1,500 – Cabinet where the netbooks would be stored.


And this is where I need you to help me and my students. You can donate any amount that you feel will help all of us at Sewri Cross School and our dream of a Computer Center. 
Believe me when I say, EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS. 
If you think you can and want to contribute to this little project of mine, please get in touch with me on 
himani.sanghvi2011@teachforindia.org 
You will need to draw a cheque in the name of Teach to Lead.

*The donors would be provided with a tax exemption certificate and a receipt if asked for.

Meet the very beautiful Sabah from the Urdu section of my school. She used to study in English medium (With my kiddos!) till 2nd grade. 
Here she is with Kehrunissa after school. Wants to stay around and learn with my kiddos. 
We recited numbers, added them, she wore her hijab, asked me if she can come again and then left. 
Pic- The’ bye didi. We drop you to the taxi’ moment. 

Entered my school after 7 missed calls and  ‘Please didi, you have to come. We go home. No study. Everyone beating’
Fiza and Mehek were at the gate and ran towards me. They were panting and told me that all the kids have been taking turns and acting like they’re heading to washroom and peeping through the window to check if I’ve come to school.
They know I’m there. Everyone’s running, hugging, holding. My 2 hands had 10 palms holding it.
They tell me that they were abused today by the watchman.
Ammar was slapped.
They were given 2-15 tables to be written 5 times as school work.
Nida’s mother has been sending halwa for me.
Fiza ‘s mother might change her school as there are no teachers in this one. She had the most terrified eyes that moment.
Shoeb suggested that we all go to the ‘government office’ and request them to let their didi teach. Everyone screamed a ‘YES!’
Sajida wouldn’t say a word. She looked at me with her teary eyes and left.
Everyone’s screaming their stories. I’m trying to swallow it along with my tears. 
Shafat- Chalo didi, badam todte hai.
I- Aree no Shafat. I can’t climb. I was in 3rd grade when I used to…
Shafat - *swiftly climbs the tree and hands me this raw fruit and runs away* 

A picture taken in one of the gallis of a slum feels like a library to Shoeb. 

What we need and maybe you can help?

Why I need them?

The plan is to divert my kiddos energy into something more productive. I’ve been thinking ways to control the hyperactive 9-11 years old during recess and before/after school. The school is still under-construction and we’ve had so many cases of small and big injuries. Also,violent fights and abuses hurled on the kids by the much older and stronger other medium kids who study in the same building. This will keep them in the class and also make them positively competitive. And it so exciting and fun at the same time! :)

Please contact me at himani.sanghvi2011@teachforindia.org if you can help me with any of the things mentioned below. 

1) 4-5 chessboard

2) Snake and ladder

3) Ludo

4) Pictionary

4)Taboo

5) Any other board games you have and would nicely donate to us? 

Why it matters.

I’ve come to the frightening conclusion

that I am the decisive element in the classroom.

It’s my personal approach that creates the climate;

it’s my daily mood that makes the weather.

As a teacher,

I possess a tremendous power

to make a child’s life miserable or joyous.

I can be a tool of torture,

or an instrument of inspiration.

I can humiliate or humor,

hurt or heal.

In all situations

it is my response that decides

whether a crisis will be escalated

or de-escalated

or a child humanized

or dehumanized.”

( Haim Ginott )

Look at those smiles. And the mess. But, THE SMILES. :D 
Sweet words from Sajida Shaikh. 
An experiment 
The thinkers are watching the story ‘Shoemaker and the elves’ with subtitles. I could see many of my middle order kids who would switch off while reading text, struggling to read the highlighted words and then eventually even enjoying it. This occurred to me after reading this very brilliant article. ( http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/22/let-a-billion-readers-bloom-how-bollywood-teaches-literacy/) The whole idea here was to increase literacy by putting subtitles to Bollywood song. Something like karaoke? :)