Meena Shah and StarChild Education:
Meena: I am a teacher who has been in the educational field since 30 years. Since I was a child, I have been very passionate about teaching. It was my dream to be a teacher and I have achieved my dream.
I began teaching the pre-primary section at Amrit Jyoti School, Ahmedabad at the age of 20 and later, went on to teach students from 5th to 10th. I also taught the secondary students at Udgam School, Ahmedabad.
I worked with TOI’s Newspaper In Education (NIE) program and later, went on to found the Workshop Fun n Learn, which was unique as we taught Maths and English through fun and hands on activities.
When we shifted to Mumbai, I worked as a curriculum planner at Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd. (Billabong Schools) I was part of Ms. Lina Asher’s core team.
After 7 years, once again, life took an unexpected turn and we shifted residence. Since my son was very young and I had no support system, I decided to give up my job. I then decided to start my own preschool, Kinderland. I ran it successfully for 6 years until another setback. I was very upset but decided that I must not let anything deter me and must continue to do what I liked best and that was: teaching.
As a mother, I taught my son and made revision papers for him. As I did so, I felt I must take this forward and write a complete book. Parents who are teaching their children would definitely find my book useful. With this thought in mind, I began my next venture: Starchild Companion and Workbook for Std.5 (for my son, Kahaan was then in Std. 5).The book was a success and I have now written many educational workbooks for children. These are: Starchild Workbook and Companion for Std. V, VI, VII, Li’l Genius series for the English Olympiads (std. 1 -8) and Trailblazer series for Science Olympiads (std. 1-8) and the Achiever Language and Composition book for Std. 6.
At the moment, I am updating my first book for its third edition.
I also conduct personal tuitions at my residence where I teach children English and other subjects.
Many women have recently approached me to teach them to speak English. I realized how eager they were and how it would help them in their lives. Thus, I now also teach ladies to speak English.
I am very grateful to God that I am in a profession which has helped me touch many lives in a positive way.
1. NS: When did you first start your venture and how did the idea come about?
Meena: As I taught my students, I often wanted to give them ready made worksheets. This would save a lot of time which goes in copying questions. I would search the internet for them but found that the worksheets were not suitable to the Indian syllabi. I began creating my own worksheets.
This also gave me the idea of starting Starchild Education and Learning. With this, I can help parents who require such worksheets to revise, review and practice. Thus, on 30th October 2015, I launched my venture. Parents are responding and I am so glad that I can help them.
I have now designed worksheets for parents of Lilavati Podar School, R.N. Podar, Vibgyor High, Children’s Academy, Lokhandwala Foundation School and RBK Global School.
Parents tell me the grade, subject and topics covered. I make the worksheets according to their needs.
2. NS: What advice you would like to give to parents about educating and training children?
Meena: I believe parents must be role models to children. Today’s children are very smart and one must walk the talk.
Parents must inculcate a healthy, positive value system in children. Teach them about love, truth, honesty, loyalty and friendship.
Teach them that one studies not for others but for oneself. The knowledge that they gather as they educate themselves will take them places.
I do not believe in intense competition. Thus, study not because you want to be better than the other but because it is gives you knowledge, information and the grades will come by themselves.
Parents must participate in the education of their children by making learning interesting and fun.
3. NS: How can people contact you regarding your services?
Meena: Parents can visit my Facebook page Starchild Education and Learning by Meena Shah (www.facebook.com/Starchildworksheets15) and leave a message there. I will get in touch with them immediately.
They can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Season: Monsoon. I love the rains!
Book: Reading is my favorite hobby. I have enjoyed many books and have many favorites.
Music: I enjoy all kinds of music. I love the Beatles, Abba, Al Stewart, as well as Santana and Pink Floyd!
Movie: I rarely watch movies. I only watch those which have received good reviews. Often after many months of the movie’s release!
–—Interviewed by Laxmi Khalap Bhatt, Editor, www.narisakhi.com
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