As many of you are gaining momentum in the new academic year – new faces in the classroom, some tweaks to the lesson plans and materials – we at Teacher Plus too have an infusion of something new. As you may imagine, the magazine is more than a collection of words and images laid out on paper. It’s a community that has at its core a small group of people who clack away at their keyboards writing to subscribers, packing and mailing copies, and managing the editorial flow. Our regular and occasional contributors and columnists form the next layer of this community, held in place by that largest group, our readers. It’s been a small but fairly stable gathering that’s exchanged ideas around education for the better part of two decades. Now, after 15 years of working together, our core team has had to say goodbye to one of our longest-serving members – Nirmala M, who was the editorial hand (and mind) behind several issues and whose gentle nudging and querying prompted contributors to keep to deadlines and clarify their writing. Nirmala came to Teacher Plus in 2006 after many years at The Hindu and brought the rigor of that copy desk to shape the way we functioned in this much, much smaller unit. We’re sad to see her go and wish her the best as she moves on to other things. But our work must go on too, and we are welcoming with this issue another editorial member, Nimesh Ved, an educator with many years of experience and whose writing you would have already encountered in the magazine. Nimesh, along with Shalini, will continue to be in touch with our writers and to respond to others who wish to contribute to the magazine – if you have thought about this and have not done anything yet, please do write to them and pitch an article. Longtime subscribers and readers will know that we offer an open and eclectic space within which we can learn together and try to initiate the small, incremental changes in our classrooms, schools, and broader communities to making a better world.
In this issue of the magazine, we indulge in a bit of introspection around the question of what difference schools make – as institutions that are expected to make a contribution to human development, and more indirectly, to political and cultural understanding, and economic growth. As teachers it’s hard to keep sight of just how important we are in this ongoing project of world building – what we do in classrooms can change how individuals think and go about their way in life, and by extension, how societies are shaped. Maybe the big picture is hard to grasp, but we can turn our gaze to the immediate spaces we occupy and see how they can become truly welcoming spaces for all children, for all stakeholders.