A longish affair

Sheela Ramakrishnan

My affair with Teacher Plus has been a long one – from 1992 till date. They were the first group of like-minded people I met when I moved from Kolkata to Hyderabad. I had contributed even earlier so it was easy to break the ice in their home office then.

Over the years, and several articles later I can look back at the way the magazine has grown – from a black and white booklet with limited frequency to a glossy monthly! It has always been a pleasure writing for them and even more of a delight when someone from somewhere writes in and tells you that they found the idea useful in a school that you may not even locate on a map!

Twenty five years of struggle to bring an idea to its present form was a tough journey indeed. From lack of resources and patronage to near shut down to tying up with a corporate – they have seen it all with a smile and continued their work.

That it was way ahead of its time in thought and concept is a no brainer. But then that is what we need to nudge our rusty system out of its complacency – to bring information from around the country and the world, contextualize to the Indian scenario, give exposure to innovations happening in far off pockets, examine issues direct and indirect in the educational system and generally be a catalyst for change and dynamism – all without losing sight of a common goal – Pro Child.

The change is visible in every way – to keeping abreast of innovations and improvement in quality of the magazine to its present reader friendly size and visuals, to increased frequency – but one thing has not changed – TP continues to be the “go to” friend for every teacher who cares.

If at all there was something wanting – I would say it was Reach. Teacher Plus needs to reach a wider community. In a country where apart from the glitzy schools that can afford good teacher resources and training, a majority of our teachers is left to his/her own devices for professional development. If only every school made a subscription of TP for every teacher for Teacher’s Day, it would be a low cost training module that would come in every month!

What Teacher Plus used to talk about THEN, is somewhat happening in our schools in baby steps NOW. So you have miles to go before you can sleep, TP. Your vision is approaching, but far to go still! Kudos to Usha for her never say die spirit and nurturing the sapling with her dedicated team and all those who work tirelessly behind the scenes. Wishing you a great silver and an even brighter gold!

The author is a partner at Edcraft, Hyderabad, a firm engaged in making teaching-learning materials, conducting workshops and providing consultancy services. She can be reached at edcraft94@gmail.com.

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