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Case Study

ShikshaLokam – Photo Essay | Mrs. Jabeen’s Journey: Empowerment ≥ Motivation

Mrs. Jabeen is a passionate teacher and a Cluster Resource Person (CRP) who is in charge of the Goripalya cluster in Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka. Bangalore is home to her; this is where she was born and brought up. She did her early schooling in Government schools and post her teacher training, she joined a Government school as a teacher.

Mrs. Jabeen doing what she loves best – interacting with children

As a teacher, she spent a lot of time interacting with children and connecting with her colleagues. She was also invested in self-development and constantly looking for avenues to aid her growth and of those around her.

Mrs. Jabeen using ShikshaLokam Assessment app – Samiksha
Mrs. Jabeen being awarded with the ‘Best Teacher’ award

During her 14 years of service as a teacher, her dedication towards her work and her genuine interest in those around her was truly palpable. For this she was duly appreciated and recognised, and that led to her being a Cluster Resource Person (CRP). As a Cluster Resource Person, her role is to help and support all schools allocated to her in matters related to academics, resources and facilities; overall, strengthen the quality of schools. As part of this, she could now connect to more people in the system including other CRPs, Block level officials and several teachers in the cluster.

She was really enjoying her new role and work until she started getting bogged down by the overload of paperwork and data collection. This restricted her to be within her office space for most of the time and limited her capacity to go to the field for observations and interactions with students, colleagues and other leaders. These interactions were not only the tasks that came with the job but also something that she would really look forward to.

Mrs.Jabeen interacting with school staff: (L) School HeadMaster, (R) School Management Committee President
Mrs. Jabeen meeting the team from ShikshaLokam

Her motivation for coming into the education space was the joy that came from engaging with children and the community around a child. However, this wasn’t something she got to do anymore; this took a toll on her and she felt burdened by the perpetual paperwork and reports. She was left with even less time to conduct need assessments to help her understand the areas of improvement in the schools assigned to her. The fact that her work had become very limiting and she could not do the things that she wanted to and was supposed to do for her cluster demotivated her. She was desperate to find a way to make things better.

One day, she crossed paths with the people of ShikshaLokam, an organization that enables and amplifies leadership opportunities in the education system. They met her while they were trying to understand the needs of the school leaders and showed her the capability of the platform, accessible through the Samiksha app that helps school leaders conduct observations and assessments. She learned how she could use checklists for tasks such as classroom observations, school inspections, and maintain records on it.

Mrs. Jabeen exploring ShikshaLokam app
Mrs. Jabeen celebrating small successes with Headmistress

Soon she was able to use the app on her own to create different methods to record her observations and visits, maintain records and keep track of her tasks. This made her effective and more importantly, enabled her to spend more time engaging with schools and their needs, and less time within the four walls of her office. Her agency as a teacher and a CRP was restored.

Using Samiksha empowered her. She was able to get more done with less effort in real-time. The app also empowered her with data and patterns that help her get a better understanding of the present and emerging patterns, and the needs of those involved.

Mrs. Jabeen giving feedback to her teachers
Mrs. Jabeen using ShikshaLokam’s Learner app, Bodh

Mrs. Jabeen has begun exploring another learning resource offered by ShikshaLokam through the Bodh app. Bodh caters to the emerging learning needs of a school leader by offering them the ability to learn at any time as per their needs and convenience. She recently used a resource on ‘how to give effective feedback’ that has helped her engage better with teachers and provide useful feedback in a constructive manner.

Mrs. Jabeen recollects, “In one of my most recent interactions with a school principal, he told me that he wants to set up a student parliament in his school, but is not able to get many ideas on how to get started. I immediately searched the Bodh app and found a best practice video from another school. I shared it with him on the same day. He was so happy and continues to thank me even today.”

Being empowered comes with the capability to empower many more. And that’s exactly the path Mrs. Jabeen has chosen. Her association with ShikshaLokam coupled with her intrinsic motivation has improved her performance as a teacher and CRP, led to stronger relationships and improved work outcomes. She is now on a mission to get more of her co-workers to engage with ShikshaLokam’s learning platform and experience the magic for themselves.

This article is authored by Chetna Kalwani, Fellow – ShikshaKalp, with inputs from ShikshaLokam. Photo credits: ShikshaLokam.