Why & How we started?
Problems we were trying to solve
The lack of on-the-job training, structured onboarding and meaningful incentives for Teachers has created widespread disinvestment among teachers, leading to poor student learning outcomes. Many researches shows that the lack of strong teachers has led to abysmal learning outcomes for students across low income schools in India (50% being 3+ grades behind). It is also observed that around 1000 teachers graduate in any given city each year. These new trained teachers have the motivation to excel, but do not have the support system to assist them with this. They don’t find the desired jobs easily and need to interview in at least 6 schools to find a job.
Taking Pune as a representative city, with 300+ low income English medium schools and 1000 poorly prepared teachers graduating every year, the problem was massive and we decided to kick-start our program from Pune.
The iTeach Fellowship Program
In year 2015, we launched, The iTeach Fellowship program in Pune, Maharashtra, India, which was aimed at filling this glaring gap in Pune's education system. We designed a one-year teaching Fellowship program which offered quality training, rewards and recognition (R&R), hands-on experience & placements in Budget Private Schools in turn positively impacting student learning outcomes in these schools. For new teachers, we reduced number of interviews, provided structured-coaching, and got them 30% higher salary after their first year.
Our interventions were also appreciated by school principals as we reduced their time in recruiting , training and retention of new teachers. Our Fellows (Teachers) never resigned mid-term and most of them were retained in the same school.
LAUNCH - 2014
2014 - 15
Schools Impacted: 2
Teacher Impacted: 38
Students Impacted: 750+
In year 2014-15, we adopted a “Whole School Training Model” where we trained teachers from 2 Affordable Private English Medium Schools in Pune.
We partnered with FIRKI (online Teacher Training Portal) and also launched a performance based rewards & recognition program. All the progress about attending, completing and implementing their learning through these training sessions was recorded on a Public tracker in the school premises which really helped these participants to push themselves and achieve more.
The entire program was also clubbed with a reward & recognition program giving them a cash reward of INR 5000 along with an Annual Convention at Lavasa. This Pilot gave us a good understanding to tweak and build our model for the way forward.
YEAR 2015 -2018
Continuing & strengthening the processes and initiatives, in our 2nd year of operations we pivoted from a whole school intervention to a Teacher Impact program. We innovated, designed and launched “iTeach Fellowship Program” exclusively for New Teachers. The 5 key components of this Fellowship Program were:
iTeach Academy - 1 Month Pre-Service Training clubbed with Spoken English Program
Placements - in Budget Private Schools
Fellowship - 11 Months on-site support (in Schools)
Star Club. – Rewards and Recognition program
Annual Convention (Certification clubbed with Rewards & Recognition)
With our vision to “Create Better and Happier Teachers” we collaborated with SNDT College of Education, Pune and designed a 1 month pre-service training program - “iTeach Academy” for all of our Fellows who were ready to embark on their journey. Since then all of these trainings of iTeach Academy were supported and hosted in the beautiful campus of SNDT College of Education.
Our Spoken English course (40 hours program) by Trainers from Kings’ Learning was highly valued by all the Fellows. Since most teachers struggled with spoken English, iTeach realized this need and availed these New Teachers with a structured course to enhance their soft skills and Spoken English resulting in their personality development and also boosting their confidence.
During all of our Academy sessions, we invited few external guests with varied background to interact with our Fellows to give them a deeper perspective on examples of excellence in this space. Fellows interacted with Young teachers, experienced teachers and counsellors in school and learn and understand the ecosystem and ground level realities.
To strengthen our on-site support for our Fellows, each year we conducted short workshops, learning circles, Teacher contests and many attractive R & R programs in the schools. We created Teacher corner, a dedicated space for Teachers in around 75+ Schools and 13 B.Ed colleges in Pune by placing our flannel boards on which all of us would share the great stories and impact created by iTeach Fellows. Making Teachers Better & Happier had always stayed at our core.
Our Program clubbed with R&R and certifications has always proved to be relevant in the context to the learning needs of new teachers in their first critical year. We will never fail to thank and express our sincere gratitude to all of the invested stakeholders (Central Square Foundation, Villgro, SNDT B.Ed College, KINGS learning, Teach for India, External Speakers and many others) to make it happen.
SUPPORT & AWARDS
2015: In this year we were Supported & Incubated by Villgro Innovation Foundation and got a strong support to march ahead. Mentors at Villgro pushed us hard to think and also helped to evolve our model further. In the same year we participated in Economic Times Power of Ideas contest '2015, in which over 19,000 aspiring and budding entrepreneurs applied. After three months and four rigorous phases, the most promising 40 companies walked away with funding and glory. iTeach was one amongst them.
2016: In this year we were Supported & Incubated by CSF (Central Square Foundation) and got a mentorship support from Villgro to progress on our initiatives. Mentors at Villgro pushed us hard to think and also helped to evolve our model further.
In November 2016 , we won 2 prestigious awards from CII:
1. Best Service start-up 2016
2. Top 10 promising Start-up 2016
In July 2016 Mr. Prashant Mehrishi, CEO & Founder iTeach Fellowship qualified and presented the iTeach Fellowship Model at the Global Innovation Conference ' 2016 held in Mexico.
Schools Impacted: 96
Teacher Impacted: 119
Students Impacted: 5580+
At iTeach, we believe in being data informed. After conducting a round of engagement surveys with Fellows, Students and Headmasters, we have defined data points for ourselves to inform our Program design, to increase efficiency and maximize impact.
‣ Fellow Mindsets
‣ Classroom Pedagogy and skills
‣ Teaching as a Career
We started co-creating this model with many stakeholders like veteran Teachers, Principals of Low-income budget private schools and supportive organisations like CSF, Villgro, Teach for India etc. who were interested in experimenting about Teacher transformation ideas.
We are proud to state that we were able to kick-start a movement which was ‘For Teachers’; By Teachers’ and ‘With Teachers’.
Now in this time of pandemic, we have seen a lot happening in the Ed.Tech world where most of the stakeholders in the education ecosystem are trying to getting more virtual and adapt to systems which are contact-less and still efficient. Using technology is the only way to make it happen. As we are on a mission to reach out to all high need Teachers, we have attempted to channelize our learning and ensures the continuity of this movement with some innovation.
We have recreated iTeach Academy but in a DIGITAL way. Click here to learn more.