Can I Teach For India?

Sunday, July 26, 2015 0 Comments


This post was originally published here-

Soon after I got into Teach For India (TFI) fellowship program, I started making my online presence stronger than ever. Why - to simply yet rigorously spread the TFI virus that made me go head over heels with the fellowship lately!

(Credits to the TFI training where I learned the hard way - "Sharing indeed is real joy!")

Since then, I have been getting lots of questions from various friends, friends of friends, foes and so on to learn more about the fellowship. Just like me an year before, they are clueless if this fellowship is a right career option decision (I will discuss this term in the article later) for them; if it offers them with a challenging platform equivalent (or better) to that a corporate offers; if this place will actually take them closer to their dreams or away from it; etc.

That led me to summarize my understanding of the fellowship in a write-up once and for all. Let me start with quoting one of my recent experiences with you-
"The first day I entered into my classroom, I felt as if I was back into the black and white era of 60's. A place filled with an unbearable odour from nearby washrooms, orthodox bulbs, broken walls, and a huge space crunch to fit in most vivacious eyes of about 100 bunch of cute little girls that looked upon me - with immense love and hope!

I remembered what they said during the training that there would be tough times; all you need is to keep that hope alive!

After waiting for about two weeks outside the principal's office, before and after school, every day, I managed to get a new classroom for my kids. For them, it was a huge transition from a place where they were struggling for mere space, fresh air, comfortable sitting to a neat and clean classroom that they can boast about now. For me, it was like a dream come true! I had a deep sense of relaxation and joy within!"

Coming back to quench your thirst on the various aspects of the fellowship -
Well, my stint at TFI has been too small to comment on how life of a fellow looks like. I am sure I will keep having ups and downs just like any other place I will work in. But one thing I am also sure of is that I don't have to work to please anyone anymore. I am not going to be part of a senseless race of perks, hikes, promotions etc. I am going to be me every moment from now on.. And this realization is worth living the experience!

If you wonder whether this fellowship is right for you, here is a list of questions you can ask to yourself to understand the fellowship better-

If you are ready to make a lifelong commitment instead of a career option for two years-
If you are ready to get inside the gutter to clean it-
If you feel mad about the idea of inequity on so many things-
If you creep out about bad governance, corruption, false practices, policies etc-
If you want to see lives impacted by your work instead of some binary codes on a monitor screen -
And most importantly,
If you WANT, then you CAN, Teach for India!
Good luck with your application journey!
And trust me, the question is not - if the fellowship is right for me! It's indeed- if I am right for the fellowship!


Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.