Mytopteacher.com acts as a platform for students to connect with their current and prospective teachers.
When Rohit Taparia and Yohan Sachdev returned after a stint of college and work from New York, they realised that while India had great teachers and students eager to learn there was little information about connecting the two. They launched Mytopteacher.com (MTT) to ensure that information about the teacher of choice was freely available.
The site was designed to help students, and their parents find the right classes based on users' ratings on various criteria. This comprehensive website lets registered users add and rate teachers anonymously so that others can benefit from their feedback.
“It is not just about the usual math and science teachers,” says Yohan Sachdev. “Mytopteacher.com is about all sorts of services. You can also find information on your trainer at your neighbourhood gym, the best person to teach yoga in your area or a good place to start prepping for upcoming GRE tests.”
“We rely too often on the usual word of mouth to find options,” says Sachdev. “It’s hard to research them and find concrete information. We hope our endeavour bridges this gap.” One user on Facebook page posted a request for a Spanish teacher in Delhi and the website came up with some suggestions.
Started in 2012, the site is open to school and college students and teachers, and it has a database of about 17,000 teachers and students. Students can find teachers through the “Find Teacher” search and also rate them.
“Only registered users can add or rate teachers so that we can weed out fake profiles. Our interns help us connect to different teachers writing to institutions and emailing people,” he says.
“It is the students that make or break the site. When they realise the importance of unbiased reviews in ensuring a good educational support, we believe that we can eliminate this issue,” says Sachdev.
They are clear that MyTopteacher.com is not about spilling rancour about your hated math or history teacher. It is about putting up honest reviews of teaching styles and how best students in the class can use the teacher’s teaching style to learn better. “We do not allow personal comments,” says Yohan.
“All comments and reviews are moderated. We hope that the ratings will help teachers to be the best they can be. “And this is what makes the project different from a usual rating site. We also enable teachers to connect with current and prospective students. Users also have the choice of posting ratings anonymously.
Twenty-four-year old Yohan and Rohit, believe that while Indian education might not encourage entrepreneurship, the country has a history of thriving on enterprise. “Young people should work to setting out independently,” says Yohan.
“You are young. You have the charisma and the strength to strike out on your own. This is the right time to walk up and ask for help. People are kind to the young in this country. This is a great quality to capitalise on.”