In their second year, Teach For Malaysia Fellows are expected to start initiatives or projects that address problems within their communities. Here, 2013 Fellow Alina Amir describes her second year initiative, Blok A:
"Tough Young Teachers,” a documentary series produced by Victory Television and BBC Three with the support of Teach First, is giving audiences in the UK an unprecedented view of the challenges and triumphs new teachers experience. The series, which premiered on January 9, follows the journey of six Teach First trainees through one academic year working in schools in low-income communities of London.
I–like most of us, I imagine–am inspired by the pursuit of a vision where one day ALL CHILDREN will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. Sometimes, when we take time to reflect on all the systemic reasons that is not happening, that vision can get pretty overwhelming.
More than anything else, here’s what gives me more energy, optimism, and conviction that we can do this:
“When I first got into teaching I thought success was 85 percent on the state test. Within just a short amount of time I realized that was so flawed. My students are more than a score, they are more than a number and that can’t be the measure of success.”
Taylor Delhagen (Teach For America, 2006) reflects on the importance of empowering your students to critically examine the world around them, rigorously explore values and exercise the perseverance needed to overcome failure.
“I think the work of transforming education starts with the mind. Children need to feel empowered to think that they can move up, to think that they can achieve their dreams.” – Flor Yabar, EnseñaPerú
I teach in Samokov, Bulgaria, a beautiful little mountain town with a population of 30,000. The community is small and the people in town are very open and welcoming. I believed that teaching interesting topics affecting every citizen—such as "What are my rights?" and “What is freedom?”—would intrigue students and motivate them to grow as responsible, democratic citizens.
I was wrong.