Reet Kafle is an 18-year-old Young Educator from Biratnagar. She has been teaching in a school for two-and-a-half years and has won multiple awards for the youngest teacher.
Reet is an educator committed to collaborative learning that engages students, staff, families, and the community through establishing strong connections. She recognizes the potential in every child. Reet has inspired everyone to enhance professional learning through teacher story-telling and classroom experiences. She believes the power of developing meaningful relationships is critical to successful learning.
Her dedication and enthusiasm towards bringing impact in society has made her one of the change-makers and recognized her as one of the Top 6 Finalists of Wai Wai Glocal Teen Hero 2020.
She has been a mentor for students and teachers. She believes in change and action. Her work truly empowers teenagers to act for positive change. We had a few conversations with her regarding her project and journey on Glocal Teen Hero 2020. The major highlights of the interview are given below:
How was your experience when you were announced as Top 6 Finalist of Nepal?
I am honoured to be considered among this amazing group of finalists. Throughout the process of being nominated and selected as a finalist, I’ve seen just how much my colleagues, friends, and family support me. The entire experience has been a big confidence booster and has demonstrated to me how powerful it can be to stop and recognize the great work going on all around. When I look at the field of finalists this year, I’m so inspired by their work. I am glad to have a new network of teenagers with whom I can collaborate as I continue my professional journey as well.
How did your journey as an educator start? What kind of challenges did you face on your way?
I have been a good student since my school days. My talent and friendliness had made me very good at incorporating myself in other school activities. I have been very fond of teaching from a young age. In class, I used to teach my classmates different subjects by studying the matter by myself first. They used to appreciate my teaching methodology and claimed that it was more understandable and enjoyable than regular classes. Those positive feedbacks motivated me to follow my passion for teaching and I’ve been doing that for more than two-and-a-half years now.
Being a teacher at a young age was not a plus point for me at the beginning. Previously, do not used to take me seriously and unawareness of the level of pressure while teaching was a factor keeping me behind. But I didn’t forget my aim of being a teacher, changing people’s negative mindset toward the teachers that is done by only academic failures or old people. Learning child psychology and developing my unique way of the teaching pedagogy, giving students the liberty to express themselves confidently, made me stand out of the existing concept of teachers. These were challenges that I faced.
What kind of module you have been applying to teach students?
As I’ve been teaching professionally for two-and-a-half years now, I’ve come to learn that the children seem to perceive the thing they have been taught in different ways efficiently. Some of them are kinetic learners, some are visual learners, some are logical learners, and so on. But the existing teaching pedagogy is traditionally crafted and focuses on the only recitation of the sentences in the book. This had hindered the learning capacity of students in a significant way as they can’t learn to their culminating point. As I’m keen to learn child psychology, I’ve learned different techniques that enhance the understanding strengths of students. Implementing this has brought an exponential rise in their learning curve as well. The curriculum needs to be amended and methodologies need to be changed for the betterment of the students. So, considering this, I’ve been working to bring changes for a better quality of education. I also feel that our education system is attainment driven not achievement-driven.
What’s been the best thing about your journey so far?
Being a teacher means you help enrich children’s lives, not just through core educational skills like mathematics, English reading, and science, but also responsibility, analytical skills, and building self-confidence.
Nothing makes a teacher prouder than seeing their students succeed, knowing they have helped give kids the skills they need for the future if you are teaching five-year-olds letter sounds or schoolers about photosynthesis, you are giving them what they need to go on and do bigger and better things and build upon those skills. Teaching isn’t all about learning ABC’s and 123’s. It’s about building confidence in students to help them with the drive to succeed. Kids will come into your classroom excited to learn when you make lessons more fun and enjoyable, and there is nothing better than seeing your students smile on their faces. The love, respect, support you get is the most joyful experience in teaching and the best thing in my teaching journey as well.
What are your plans further? What will you be working on?
As I am a teacher and student, both I need proper guidance and opportunities to make my vision of changing mindsets of people toward teachers more clear and convincing. But I’m still learning and I want to have a proper understanding of being a good teacher whether it can be gained by learning from experts or academic degrees. My vision of bringing a change in education at the national and international level lacks proper perspectives and opportunities. So, the further plans of mine are being continuous in my teaching and learning professionals to learn more and bring a change. I aim to become a great educator and I will be working in it by taking training, attending different seminars, workshops in order to boost my knowledge, learn more nationally and internationally being a teacher.
What do you recall the most and what are the learnings?
My overall experience in GTH was amazing. I enjoyed getting to know great teens achieving and accomplishing great works and things. I got a group of inspiring friends. Got a chance to interact with well-known personalities and dignitaries. This was a great experience in my journey. I recall the interactive discussion and interaction full of new knowledge and all with wonderful friends from the journey. The learnings that I learned are important and meaningful. Whether it be appreciated, meditating, visioning, visualization, and imagination strategy building working on goals, proper focusing, and many more.
Message to teenagers!
Find out and figure out your passion and dreams as soon as possible and start following them. Don’t stop if you face hardships or problems, stay strong, and keep struggling until you change that challenge into an opportunity. Just dream to make things possible. Nothing is impossible to those who ruled to make their dreams a reality. Always make yourself and your family proud. Help them and listen to their words; as they always think for our good. And please understand that not everyone is going to like you being there. Always take the positive reviews, leave the negative ones, and move on.