Every day, participants of programs across the Teach For All network demonstrate their leadership and initiative by creating opportunities to expand their students' learning. The following post, originally published in Teach For Pakistan's newsletter, illustrates how three inspiring Fellows are transforming not just their own classrooms but their entire school.
Understanding the importance of going above and beyond traditional teaching, 2012 Fellows Fatima Rizwan, Amna Akhtar and Aisha Gulzar have been hard at work at their placement school, Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) Raana Liaquat, pushing forward initiatives to further their students’ academic achievement and strengthen the school community. Upon arriving at the school, the Fellows found recently donated computer equipment lying unopened in their boxes. Realizing the potential computers could play in supplementing student learning, the Fellows worked tirelessly with the school administration to outfit a spare room to serve as a computer lab and began reinforcing positive behavior in students by allowing them to participate in computer lessons. Beyond students, the Fellows also got to work teaching teachers and staff at the school how to use the new equipment to increase student learning.
Building on the success of the new computer lab, the Fellows also saw an opportunity to gain valuable classroom time during their vacations at the end of the school year. Moving their classrooms to a nearby community center (as their school was to be used for board exams), the Fellows structured their own timetable and activities, focusing on developing key skills and content they found their students struggling with.
As expected, the Fellows also found themselves involved in other initiatives within the school. Although placed as a science teacher, Fellow Aisha Gulzar realized there was a problem in the English department—Class 9 students had fallen behind and their teacher feared they would fail their upcoming board exams. Aisha immediately sprang into action, volunteering to teach the class in addition to her regular class load, and focusing her lessons on key reading, writing, and comprehension skills. Aisha also worked with the regular teacher to strengthen her teaching of the English syllabus, and after six months of hard work found that every Class 9 student passed their English Board Examinations.
Fellows Fatima, Amna, and Aisha have committed themselves to leaving GGSS Raana Liaquat a transformed school from where they found it two years ago. From computer classes to summer camps to ensuring a 100% pass rate in English, all three Fellows shine as an inspiration to Teach For Pakistan of the power of community mobilization and ingenuity in transforming a school environment.