Enabling Teachers for the brave new world – and how Social Media is helping

“Every teacher more enabled, more inspired!” this simple, yet powerful motto is the driving force behind everything that the  The Teacher Foundation does. TTF was founded by  Maya Menon. I have known Maya for over three decades now, and she is a teacher par excellence, and has earned qualifications to enhance and improve the skills of teachers all around the world.

The TTF vision statement says ” In our country, we continue to largely view students as entities who need to be educated mainly through compliance and conformity. Students are therefore required to do exactly what is asked of them and any deviance from this is discouraged or even punishable.

Teachers, sadly, are as much victims of this system as they are perpetrators. There aren’t many opportunities for teachers in India to grow professionally and personally.Teachers need training, hand-holding and active support to become brave counter-forces that can transform schools into gentler, more sensitive learning environments. We need to create non-threatening, collaborative and participatory learning environments where the teachers’ existing skills are upgraded, honed and even transformed.”

This is precisely what TTF has set out to achieve. At all levels- the school, the school management and the teachers. What impressed me the most was that TTF perhaps is one of the early adopters of Social Media to spread their message, and engage with its constituents. Apart from having presence on Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, Jumo, Google Buzz, Blogger, they have learnt that this presence also enhances their Search Index.  Statistics show that almost two-thirds of their blog and website is through a Social Media site.

Their Facebook page is now a forum for the teachers they have trained to interact. “We understand that it is very important for us to interact with people who follow us. We have also learned that just talking about what we do will not bring a lot of interaction on our profiles. As the next step of managing our social media presence, we are looking at creating opportunities for discussing the realities of our school education system”, says Maya.

It is just extraordinary how a desperately needed reform in our schooling system is taking effect and is spreading across the length and breadth of our country. Social media is surely enabling more and more reforms in our non profit sector as well.

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