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New York to Canada, Delhi govt school classrooms are now going places

PUBLISH DATE 6th June 2019

 New York to Canada, Delhi govt school classrooms are now going places

To develop a professional community of teachers across the globe, teachers in Delhi government schools are spearheading a movement to bring more educators — from government and private schools — to social media.  

The classroom of a physics teacher in a Ne
w York school is connected to one in a Delhi government school through Twitter.As students in their senior years in the Brooklyn, New York school sit at their tables, Manu Gulati (36), a mentor teacher with the Delhi government, helps them practice mindfulness — a key feature of the Happiness Curriculum — via Skype.

To develop a professional community of teachers across the globe, teachers in Delhi government schools are spearheading a movement to bring more educators — from government and private schools — to social media.

And it’s had some positive, albeit unintended, effects. The physics teacher in New York, Seth Guiñals-Kupperman, saw a Twitter conversation on the Happiness Curriculum and got in touch with Gulati to replicate it in his classrooms. Gulati, who recently won the Martha Farrell award for promoting gender equality and women empowerment, and Murari Jha (34), another mentor teacher, recently attended a workshop at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, where they floated the idea of a Twitter community for teachers globally. Over the past four weeks, they have spearheaded conversations around the Class XII results of government schools in Delhi, training for in-service teachers, and on technology in education.

As the #LetsTalkEducation hashtag started getting traction, a Canadian organisation working on gender got in touch with Gulati. “We are now working on a project where our students will interact with their counterparts in Canadian schools via video conferencing to understand each other’s challenges, have a cultural interaction and meaningful conversation. We will have 15 girls, between the ages of 13 and 15 of one school — probably a School of Excellence — take part in the exchange. The Canadian students will take part in the conversation from their homes and our kids will be in school because of the time difference,” said Gulati.

“This is also a way to keep teachers motivated. Earlier, there was a narrative that government school teachers were lazy. These Twitter conversations, where we showcase our work, are helping dispel that myth. We also get to build a community of teachers where each is seen as a resource one can learn from. While one talks about how to teach algebra better, another about the use of different software for an interactive classroom,” said Jha.

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