Published: 04th September 2021
India's Best Teachers 2021: Concept-based teaching, video skills and eternal love for Physics: How this Erode teacher bagged a National Award
The Headmistress of Erode's Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Modakurichi, Lalitha is among the teachers in the country who won the Ministry of Education's National Awards for Teachers 2021
If enthusiasm was an Olympic event, D Lalitha would have won that hands down, leaving all her current, past and even future students behind. However, she won something else a few days ago and she just cannot stop gushing about it. The Headmistress of Erode's Modakurichi Government Girls' Higher Secondary School, Lalitha is among the teachers in the country who won the Ministry of Education's National Awards for Teachers 2021. The award will be conferred upon her on September 5.
"It was my dream to be a teacher of Physics, since the time I was young," says the 44-year-old. Lalitha was born into a family of farmers in Dindigul and remembers how she worked towards that dream every single day. In fact, she graduated by winning a gold medal during both BSc and MSc courses. "I began teaching when I was 25, at a school in Kodaikanal. Two years later, I got married and moved to Erode," she says. Her husband is a professor of Commerce, in a college in Erode.
Lalitha says that it was her innovative method of teaching that brought her the award. "I always tried to explain the concept to my students and this helped them understand the content easily. My classes are quite interactive too," she says. During the lockdown, when the classes suddenly shifted offline, this teacher did not lose hope. She was quick to learn a few new skills. "I had some time in hand, so I learned how to make videos and even edit them. I started a YouTube channel and uploaded all my modules online," she says. Apart from these modules, she also uploaded awareness videos, especially about COVID. Lalitha's innovations did not start during the pandemic, by the way. She talks about how she worked to get smart classrooms installed in her school, way back.
This teacher also says that almost all her students had access to the internet. "I coordinated with them over WhatsApp all the time. After all, you have to ensure that they are learning," she says. And for the students who did not have internet access, she said that all of them watched the Tamil Nadu government's Kalvi TV. "I would randomly call these students to understand if they're able to follow the lessons and helped them out," she says.
Lalitha is not just a Physics teacher, but an ardent lover of Physics too. She lives in an eco-friendly house in the middle of a six-acre farm, which she says that she designed herself, using principles of Physics. "The house is cool all the time without using an air-conditioner. It is also quite eco-friendly," she says.