Crèche and Kindergarten
Teachers - Crèche and Kindergarten
Left to right: Usha, Vijaya, Shanti, Kalaiselvy, Praveena, Jothi
Usha (Crèche teacher)
Usha also teaches Bharat Natyam, folk dancing and crafts (embroidery and jewelry making) as an optional class to standards 3 till 8
She came to New Creation School as part-time teacher in 1990 when she was 18 and became a full-time teacher in 1992
She was born in 1972 to Aurovilian parents. She lived with her family in Certitude until she was ten years old, and moved to Kuilapalayam in 1982. After some studies in Auroville, she attended the government school in Kuilapalayam until grade 5. She then continued her schooling at Fraternity, which later moved to New Creation. Usha was in the first batch of students at the New Creation School.
After completing the highest class then offered at New Creation, she attended Last School. As she wanted to be a teacher, she did teacher training for 2 years with Italian teachers, Franca and Patricia in the morning and pursued her regular studies at Last School in the afternoon.
Since the age of 20 she has been a full time teacher at New Creation School. She taught in first standard for 2 years and has been in the crèche ever since.
When Aikiyam became a CBSE School, Usha began studying for a degree by attending classes on Saturdays and Sundays, and sometimes on week days, when she got time off from teaching. She graduated with a BA in History. She loved this experience. Having spent her whole life in New Creation and Aikiyam, it was stimulating to meet new people and be exposed to new ideas.
She loves trekking and always goes on the yearly 8th grade camping trips to Nainital.
She says the school has progressed a lot over the years. It used to be seen in the village as a school for poor children, whose parents would send their children for the free meals and day care, but since the arrival of Shankar, it has acquired a reputation as a place for studying as well. Consequently more and more parents wish to send their children here. Usha says she loves being at Aikiyam, and watching its steady progress over the years.
Vijaya (Crèche teacher)
Vijaya came to New Creation School in 1990
She was born in 1965 in Kalapet, where she attended school until the 8th grade. From the age of 13 she had been helping out in the Auroville community of Sri Ma, where she was given informal lessons and learned to speak English.
In 1987 she got married, and she met Christine S, who was teaching pottery in New Creation School. She learned pottery from Christine and then worked as a volunteer pottery teacher for 3 years. When she joined the school as a kindergarten teacher in 1990, André was still in charge. She taught in LKG for 24 years, and moved to the crèche 2 years ago, where she teaches with Usha.
Vijaya has done numerous workshops in Auroville and a course in puppet making in Chennai. She also did a BA in History via the Open University. She is presently studying Fantastic Phonics to improve her English. She loves teaching and forgets all of her many problems, when she is with the children.
Kalaiselvy (Lower Kindergarten (LKG) teacher.)
Kalaiselvy also teaches embroidery as an optional class for older students
She came to New Creation School in 1996
She was born in 1970 in a village near Cuddalore, and attended government schools until 8th grade. She studied grades 9 and 10 in Pondicherry, and then left school to get married when she was 15. This was 1985. Ten years later Kalai and her husband Thillai moved to Auroville and Thillai became a teacher at New Creation School. Kalai was accepted by then principal, Roy as a teacher-in training in LKG. She was sent to Chennai to do a one month course in nursery school teaching.
Kalai has taught in the crèche for one year, UKG for one year and LKG for 18 years. During these years she did a BA in Indian History and a course in embroidery. She has also attended numerous teacher training workshops in Auroville, led by Heidi, Marion and others.
She says there are many changes in the school over the last 20 years. In the early days it was more free and there was more playing and less writing. The children did not have their own books, but used the books from the library. There was also no age limit and 4,5, and 6 year olds could all be in the same class. Now there is a curriculum, and all the children wear uniforms and have school bags.
Shanti (Lower Kindergarten teacher.)
Shanti came to New Creation School in 1993 as a volunteer in training, and as a full time staff member in 1998.
She was born in 1975 in Kottakarai. She attended the village school until standard 5 and then went to Gandhi Higher Secondary School at Thiruchitrambalam-Koot Road until the 10th grade. She came to Auroville when she got married in 1993, and helped out in the New Creation Kindergarten for one year and then in Centre Field crèche for three years. In 1997 she had her first child and shortly afterwards her first husband passed away. Her friends encouraged her to come to New Creation with her baby, so she would not feel lonely.
Roy, the principal gave her a job in the library in 1998. There she arranged books, and helped the children with their reading. Since that time she has taught in all the grades up to 4th, mainly Tamil and Math. She has also gained a BA in History through the Madras Open University and a Nursery Teachers Training Certificate. She has gone to Chennai for classes in teaching primary school, and how to do embroidery. She has also learned a lot from the workshops given in Auroville, and is eager to learn more activities and songs.
Praveena (Upper Kindergarte (UKG) teacher.)
Praveena came to New Creation School in 2008
She was born in Auroville in 1985 to Aurovilian parents. She attended Transition School until second grade, and then went to school in Pondy. Upon completing grade 12 she attended an engineering college and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science. Not feeling called to pursue a career in computer science, she spent a few months before deciding what to do next, and then came to Aikiyam School as a volunteer to help out. She found she liked working with small children and after being trained for six months by former teacher, Irudi, she became a full class teacher. She has developed her teaching skills through the many workshops she has attended over the years, given by Heidi, Marion and others.
She and Jothi often divide the class into groups and Praveena teaches mostly in English, while Jothi teaches in Tamil. She loves her job and working with children.
Jothi (Upper Kindergarten (UKG) teacher.)
Jothi came to New Creation School in 1989.
She was born in 1960 in Nellikuppam, a small town near Cuddalore. She attended school until 8th standard. She got married when she was 18 and moved to Auroville. She spent the next 8 years as a housewife and raising her 2 children. In 1989 she came to New Creation Bilingual School, and taught in the crèche for 10 years. Then she taught Tamil for several years, especially writing. For a while she helped Saskia with the Supportive Learning. She has also taught in 1st standard for 3 years and for past 2 years she is in UKG.
She also taught embroidery for 10 years as an optional course for the older students
In 2005 she did a BA in Tamil through Distance Education.