Currently, I am the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Avasara Academy in Pune, where I have been since June 2018. I also teach A Level Global Perspectives to our oldest students and lead a participatory action research team with students and teachers who investigate the state of student-teacher relationships on campus.
Today, I work with a group of bright, inspiring, and dedicated girls from all over India who ultimately take the Cambridge International IGCSE and A Level exams. The vast majority of our girls are first-generation learners who came to us between 6th and 8th grades. While there are plenty of incredible organisations that either work with economically disadvantaged students within the local education system or allocate significant scholarship funds to bring in students of need into a majority-privileged international school, as far as I know, we are one of a very small handful of schools that primarily serves first-generation learners in preparation for an international board in India. Hence, our school and my own teaching are basically experiments in preparing a high-potential and high-need population for an exceptionally high-rigour set of exams. What works in service of this experiment is something I am constantly figuring out, in part through writing on this platform.
This is my ninth year as an educator – I have taught English, Math, and History. Prior to moving to Pune, I worked as a Teach for India Fellow in Mumbai, where I taught 85 students English, Social Studies, and Mathematics over the course of their 8th and 9th grade years. As a Fellow, I wrote about my experience and my challenges here. Before the Fellowship, I tutored writing and worked as an overseas college counsellor in Singapore.
I have an Ed.M. in Instructional Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where I also won the Phyllis Strimling Award for my contributions to the education of women in society. I also have a B.A. in Political Science and South Asian Studies from Columbia. I was born in Chennai but mostly grew up in and around Washington, D.C. I was taught to find a way or make one at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland.