Initiative Education

TREE: A social network for educators

Here is an exclusive network platform to help teachers learn and grow

Teachers have the power to nurture and unleash the potential of their students. TREE, a platform solely for educators, believes in this power of the teachers to transform children's lives and positively impact society.

Maya Thiagarajan, the founder , who has worked as a teacher in the U.S., Singapore and India, decided to work full-time with teachers after returning to her hometown, Chennai and thus started TREE, which recruits, develops, trains, supports, and inspires teachers over the span of their careers.

Features

One of the many aspects they work on is helping teachers find a job as well as helping schools find the right teachers for them. Many schools often struggle to find the right educator that suit their environment and institution.

“We’re also trying to convince young, bright and talented people to become teachers and bring more talent into the field, and get them to want to teach while changing the whole narrative and rhetoric around teaching,” says Maya “We want people to see it as a complex, challenging and creative job that it is.”

Another area that TREE focuses on is teacher development. Maya and her team go to schools and help them think through what their needs are, find which are the high leverage needs and then design a strategic plan that helps develop their teachers and their programme. They also conduct workshops, courses and events by bringing in resources from across the board, as a way to help teachers to think outside of the typical narratives , encouraging them to use new ways of thinking to teach.

“The idea is to get teachers to question things, to think, to get inspired and to get excited,” adds Maya. “One of our goals is to create an intellectual ecosystem for teachers so that they can also see themselves as intellectuals, as learners and as professionals who are doing really important work.”

Peer connect

One of TREE’s latest ventures is an online community for teachers. “We feel that teachers need to be able to collaborate with each other and know what is going on in the field of education, staying aware of any events or workshops.”

It is a pan-India online community, but currently more focused on the south, where there is specially themed and curated content for teachers uploaded fortnightly, information on conferences, courses, job postings for various educational roles, a calendar of events for educators (not just the events organised by TREE but external events from courses to literary fairs, cultural events and so on), to cultivate their own intellectual life.

Teachers can use this community as a way to stay connected. The platform encourages teachers to submit their own content as well. Moderated forums are also being introduced where educators can host discussions based on each other’s questions. Those who register on the website (www.treelearning.co.in) have to go through an approval process, to ensure that those within the community are legitimate educators.

TREE often organises public events with themes or topics for teachers from a wide range of schools, as well as events for principals. Many of the events are completely teacher driven where they have the space to talk to each other or collaborate. While currently mostly focused on Chennai-based schools, they do hope to branch out further as time progresses. “We really are a one-stop-shop for teachers and schools,” Maya concludes.

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Printable version | Jun 27, 2020 9:14:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/with-the-teacher-in-mind/article29930022.ece

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