As teachers you are not allowed to have favorites, but we all know how hard it becomes sometimes.

I’d grown extremely fond of Shubham, Kunal and Rahul, I knew a lot about them, I knew who their girl friends were and where they lived.

And because they come from non-TFI classrooms, I couldn’t help but worry about how he would do after I left school, and I expressed this when I spoke at closing.

Shubham came up on stage after me and asked me not to worry. In front of an audience of 500 he announced he had probably gone from 35-40 percent mastery to 60 percent mastery during summer school, but that he would get 100 percent mastery for sure by the tenth standard.

He proceeded to say that I had taught him spelling and dictation, but through these 3 weeks he also learnt that hard work was important especially for those who come from poor families, because only if he works hard will he be able to perform and give his parents a nice future.

And to me, that was the most special moment of institute. Because it felt great going back, knowing that Shubham had learnt not just 3 weeks worth of spelling but also the value of hard work which would last him for life, something he announced on stage in front of 500 people after crying in school less than 3 weeks ago because he got an 8 on 20.

And that image of him saying it, just struck me as a powerful, yet extremely accurate summary of institute.

One day, all children will receive an excellent education : )

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