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Transformational Impact Journey 2016: Spotlight on Kamna

Kamna Kathuria

Kamna Kathuria

 

Kamna is one of our three finalists from the 2016 Transformational Impact Journey.  The Transformational Impact Journey is a process that began four years ago as a systematic effort to learn from our Fellows, to capture and share best practices, and to ensure that we use those learnings with a singular aim: to get better for the students we serve.  We received more than 120 nominations from across 6 cities. Through the entirety of the cycle more than 100 Staff members from across cities convened to debate, discuss, and learn from each of these candidates. Through that process they narrowed the list down until they got to three.

Kamna is a shining example of what an outstanding Fellow can do through the power of sound pedagogical practice. Through listening to the views of her students, their parents and from observing how she conducts her classroom, it is clear that she has transformed the mindsets of the children, and set them on a different path.

Kamna has brought rigour, experimentation and differentiation into her classroom by continuously researching and reflecting on her own strengths and limitations. Kamna focused on setting powerful a vision for her students.

 “The vision I had for the class was really creating a ‘can-do’ attitude amongst all the students. Teaching them to think ‘Even if I am not there yet, I can reach there and I can do it’”.

Kamna designed individual learning plans for each student- planning out what they need to be doing at home every day, how they could involve their parents and when they should seek support from Kamna as their teacher. She found ways to make the students feel accountable for their own learning and that of her peers. The improvements she saw in her classroom as a result of creating this kind of learning environment were vast.

Kamna also introduced her students to the concept of dyslexia through reading a story. Reading the story helped the children understand dyslexia- that it isn’t something unnatural, it is just a normal difference between people. This enabled the children to accept one another and support one another’s learning. She has focused on teaching the children about ‘how to think’ not ‘what to think’- as she puts it “you don’t tell a kid to get up if you fail, you teach them that your best learning comes from your mistakes”. When interviewed her students echo this lesson and even proudly point out when they have made mistakes themselves.

Kamna is extremely determined, thoughtful and committed to educational equity. She continuously strives for and exhibits excellence and this drives her work in all aspects each day.

One of her students, Siddesh, said when interviewed “Didi always says ‘whatever you want to become, whatever your ambition, it can be anything, but always do your best”. From listening to her students talk about their own aspirations, it is clear that Kamna’s efforts to explore different tools and learning styles has led to huge academic and mindset growth in all of her students.

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