Subject-Specific Teaching Sessions For Teachers

The project was aimed to train teachers on specific subjects so they can deal with the transition of online teaching during COVID.
Sushmita Chaterji
Doon Girls School - Coordinator (Daughter works with Tata AIG General Insurance)
Dehradun, India

With16-years of experience as an educator at Delhi Public School, Sushmita moved to Dehradun and is now working as a coordinator at Doon girls school. Being associated with the teaching fraternity once again post the pandemic, along with the experience of giving back to society without expecting anything in return, was what she was looking for. Once she was made aware of Proengage by her daughter, she took up this project as she could use her skills and passion for teaching as her first Proengage project.

Kanyakumari Moulick Roy
Spouse of an employee - Tata Consultancy Services
Madrid, Spain

Kanyakumari is currently located in Madrid, Spain, and has been a PGT at Army Public School when she was in India. She has always looked for teaching and educating opportunities, as she believes that they are a great way of keeping one’s self updated with the nuances of the field. Her sister is a Proengager and introduced her to the platform. She wasted no time in picking out a project where she could help as an educator and meet her passion of being an educator. This was her first project with Proengage.

Committed Communities Development Trust (CCDT)
Deepak Tripathi, Project Coordinator
Mumbai, India

Committed Communities Development Trust (CCDT) is devoted to taking forward the national and state agenda of equal opportunities for all children and safeguarding their rights to live with dignity. Aligning its initiatives with the Sustainable Development Goals set down by the United Nations, CCDT works on a rights-based and need-based approach. Their mission is to facilitate community action enabling children and their families into being self-reliant along with the principles of Child Rights, Equity, and Justice CCDT implements a comprehensive residential care program that restores a wholesome childhood to children in crisis, that are orphaned and vulnerable, through health and nutritional care, psychosocial support, education, sports, recreation, family life values, and personality development. The program facilitates opportunities for the healthy growth and development of these children until they are 21 years of age or either reintegrated into the community. Therefore, we envisage mainstreaming these children in the national building by providing care, support, and protection in our Residential Care Program.


The Project

The residential care program that the NGO provides has a number of children who have never been to a formal school setting. As the primary caretakers of these children, the duty of imparting education to them has landed on the NGO. The lockdown made it very difficult for the teachers and students alike to adjust to the new mode of learning. When the NGO noticed that the teachers were losing interest in teaching, they posted this project to give them a break from the monotony and introduce them to new and engaging teaching methods.

The Journey

The initial communication with the volunteers gave them a sense that they had to educate the teachers on the various chapters but at a later stage when the project coordinator changed, they were told that they had to motivate the teachers to continue teaching despite the challenges they might face. This clarity was what helped them work in accordance with the expectations of the NGO and the teachers. 

The volunteers met online every Thursday to brainstorm ideas and strategize their best way forward. Their sessions were held every Saturday, and the volunteers divided among themselves and took an equal number of sessions. Their strategy to tackle the task was to come up with ideas that were out of the box. They discovered that an activity-based method was a good fit for the teachers. There was a point where lack of feedback from them demotivated the volunteers a little, but they gave assignments to the teachers on an individual-need basis to solve the issue. The use of engaging activities as opposed to the route they had initially taken, a “black and white” approach, was what got the teachers more involved in the program and made it fun for the volunteers.  

The wonderful coordination they had among themselves clubbed with the positive feedback received from the teachers for their innovative and proactive approach was what kept them motivated till the completion of the project. 

Challenges faced

This project was put to the test many times as there were a couple of challenges along the way. Their first challenge came right at the beginning of their journey. The volunteers were given a set of guidelines which they followed, but halfway through they realized they weren’t in sync with the teachers’ expectations and things weren’t panning out as they had hoped they would.  In addition, both of the volunteers had family emergencies to attend to during the project’s initial days. 

Chezuba intervened by following up with the volunteers and the project coordinator, which led to the change in the project coordinator to Mr. Deepak. This helped the volunteers, as he was able to provide them with some much-needed clarity and direction. The volunteers quickly formed an action plan based on the changes, and the project turned out to be a win-win situation for everyone involved. 

From The NGO’s side, since Deepak came onboard midway, and had a significant amount of catching up to do. Their initial coordination was scarce as There was a time difference to take into consideration with Kanyakumari being in Madrid. They took around a month to agree upon a convenient time. 

The teachers found it exhausting to attend this program after their teaching hours, and hence there was a tendency to not pay attention. Deepak did try appointing another POC to smoothen the process, but even that didn’t work. As a last resort, he addressed the teachers and explained to them that this was a great opportunity to come by and one they shouldn’t miss out on. They also were given an understanding that the volunteers were working for free, along with spending a good amount of their valuable time to prepare and address the teachers. 

Once the teachers were reassured that this was just a refresher program for them to incorporate new teaching methods to keep the children alert, they were way more enthusiastic and cooperated with the volunteers better.  

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“As an NGO, we are always happy and grateful to have a helping hand on board. To have people with such experience in their field is truly a boon. It took us all some time, but the moment we began mingling and incorporating their experiences in our day-to-day teaching, there was a visible change I noticed among the teachers. There was a genuine human connection that was established in the end. Having learned a few new tools, we have also seen an increased interest on the part of the children to learn. I will use this platform of Tata again for sure, as I have worked with numerous volunteers and on various projects.” - Project Coordinator, Deepak Tripathi.

“Working on this project, I have had the good fortune of meeting Sushmita ma’am. The bond that we formed transitioned very gracefully from professional to personal. By sharing our experiences with one another, we managed to learn a lot. The process was very enriching and gave me an opportunity to brave any barriers that could be caused by distance. I would definitely recommend this program to all my teacher friends. These programs require a certain amount of dedication. Thus, I feel that people should sign up of their own will.  ”- Kanyakumari Moulick Roy 

“It has been rightly said, when we catch a glimpse of our potential, that’s where passion is born. When you teach someone, having them receive that information in an intended manner and be as excited as a student learning something new might be certainly heartening and a memory I would cherish. I am so glad I met Kanya on this journey and would love an opportunity to work with her again. I will surely recommend the platform to other people and I would encourage people who have a passion for helping others without any expectations to join the program if possible.”- Sushmita Chaterji