Act now to reimagine education!
Imagine if every student leveraged their strengths, instead of only a few succeeding. Think about how you can
support your teacher to ensure every student gets an excellent education!
Here’s how you can start! Below you will find stories, learnings and exact steps you can try out to achieve what
these kids and educators did. Click on the resource that you'd like to learn and get started.
Let’s reimagine education together!
How can you define excellence and success?
Goals are not set because they are easy but because they are difficult to achieve. It helps challenge us and the people we work with and for. Goal setting is like designing a road map towards success; it helps us dream big not only for ourselves, but also for the people around us. Setting goals keep us motivated to work towards our vision of excellence, all while building powerful habits and understanding what is important.
"Goal setting has played a major role in my self development and journey with KER. One of my most important learnings from setting goals is that it takes time. At first when I set goals, I could not achieve all of them, but slowly over a period of time I understood how realistic they need to be and how other factors play in. I learned that it is an evolving process. It has helped me in planning my day better and being more efficient and productive. I think setting goals is important for everyone, students and educators alike. This process makes you aware of the effort and time you need to put in. I believe that just setting goals is not as important as our commitment to evolve and the effort we put in for our own growth."
We will be guiding you through the most promising tool for setting your goals called ‘S.M.A.R.T. Goals’. Think about the shifts you want to make in a year. These shifts are where your goals will come from. Some categories you can use to divide your goals are:
We will be guided by one of the goals that Raghavendra set for himself. He wanted to leverage student leadership for change and to make this into a goal he used the S.M.A.R.T tool. While writing the goals down, you have to ensure that they satisfy each of the following categories -
Specific - The more specific the goal, the greater clarity we have on what we need to work towards. Answering the following questions would help you to make sure that it is very clear:
What exactly do you want to achieve?
Who is involved in your goal and process?
What do you want to do?
For example, Raghavendra wanted to leverage leadership qualities in 20 more student leaders.
Measurable - This tells us what we should see, hear, and feel when we meet our goal. The following can help you make your goal measurable -
How will you know that you have met your goal?
What will tell you that you have met your goal?
You can use any unit depending on your goal, for example, percent (%), kilometers (km), grams (gm), etc.
For example, Raghavendra believed that his goal would have been met if 20 student leaders would leverage at least 3 of the 8 Cs to start their own projects with a long-term vision for change.
Attainable - If the goal is too easy you won’t be motivated to achieve it. If the goal is too hard, you are likely to get demotivated easily and early. But your goals need to be such that they can be achieved if we have put the required effort in. Is it possible to achieve your goal if you put in the required time and effort?
If the answer is yes, then your goal is attainable.
If the answer is no, then please make your goal more attainable (which could mean easier or more challenging)
For example, Raghavendra could support 5 students over every 3 months which means 20 student leaders would be supported through a year. Hence, it is attainable.
Relevant - A relevant goal is a goal that you need and want. To make your goals relevant, answering the following questions can help you -
Do you need to meet this goal?
Will focusing your time and energy on this goal create a change for you?
If the answer to the above questions are yes, then your goal is relevant. However, if the answer is no then please change it to make it more relevant.
For example, Raghavendra will get to work with one to two student leaders every month to meet his goal that will lead to multiple ripples of change. The goal is very relevant.
Time-bound - Setting a goal with a certain time-frame holds us accountable to the goal. Our deadlines need to be ambitious but realistic. Remember to keep this amount of time short enough to motivate you but long enough to allow you to be successful.
For example, Raghavendra set a deadline for himself to support and leverage 20 student leaders in a goal,
Hence his final goal is as follows -
20 student leaders will leverage at least 3 of the 8 Cs to start their own projects with a long-term vision for change by 31st December 2021.
How has goal-setting helped you?
Plan your way to success
To be a changemaker that leaves impact, one needs to build a strong plan of action that will mark a clear path to achieve their goals. This resource is a step by step process of how to make a strong plan using a process called GAPCA (Goal, Assessment, Plan, Checkpoints, and Adaptable)
Meet Huda Sultana, an 11th grader from Hyderabad. She was part of a 6-week long internship where she used the LDJ Reflection Tool as she learned and grew with her friends. She was on a journey to explore what her own authentic leadership was and how she could leverage it to bring change in education in her school and community. Huda started using a journal for planning as she realized that her days were largely unorganized and unproductive. She thought that the only way for her to make the best use of her time is using a journal to set goals, make a plan and track her progress.
Huda says it has helped her grow by making her more punctual with work and submissions. At the same time, it has helped her improve the quality of her work by making her more focused and productive. She feels it has helped her sharpen her strength of ‘Consciousness’ as she practiced reflection every day. Just a record of days, activities and the amount of time being spent on different tasks made it easier for her to understand and reflect on how she was managing her time.
Take a look below on how she planned and tracked her time.
How can you be an effective and strong planner?
Set clear goals for yourself. What do you want to achieve?
For example, Huda’s goal was to build self-love during the time of the pandemic.
Think of clear cut outputs for your goals that are
This will help you in setting a level of excellence and define success for you.
For example, Huda listed out clear actions if she would be able to practice then she would achieve her goal of self-love. Her actions were to exercise, meditate, write in her journal, draw, listen to music, take breaks from work, and have lunch on her own.
Now that you know what you want to achieve and what it will look like once it is complete, it is time for the most important part of this process - making a plan that will help you get there!
You can start this process by first thinking of the approach or method you want to take to reach your goals and outcomes.
Upon deciding the approach or method, break it down into the different parts and put them in a sequence or order of how you would like to move forward.
Think of the tasks you will have to do to achieve the goal.
Break down the tasks into smaller actions that you can take and make a list.
For example, her every day plan was as follows -
Take the list of actions and add the following details -
For each task, mention the month, date, and day when they are to be started and when they are to be completed.
Leave some gap in time on your calendar - days or weeks as buffer time. This is useful in case some of the actions don’t get completed on time or you have to change timelines due to some unexpected challenges.
You should also have a checkbox where you can tick mark or color code the tasks that are complete, ongoing or incomplete.
Here is how her plan looks like -
As you move forward with your plan, make time and space for reflecting on your progress.
For example, Huda decided to reflect at the end of every month.
Make changes to your plan depending on your learnings from your reflections.
Now you are a master planner! Share with us your experience with planning.
A tool to become a better leader
The key strengths for any kid or educator to be a leader are to be able to look back on their journey, identify their strengths and areas of growth, and set ambitious goals for the future.. This is a powerful tool in your leadership journey as it will help you explore your authentic leadership.
Meet Sharda, an 11th grader from Delhi! She was part of a 6-week long internship where she used the LDJ Reflection Tool as she learned and grew with her friends. She was on a journey to explore what her own authentic leadership was and how she could leverage it to bring change in education in her school and community.
Swipe left to hear about her reflections from the beginning and the end of the internship.
How can you reflect to become a better leader?
Refer to your goals and plan you had set out at the beginning of this year, quarter, month or week. This will help you look back and understand what you started off with and where you have reached so far.
A weekly check point is a good way to know if you are on track with your actions as per your plan.
To reflect weekly, answer the following questions -
How did I work towards my goals?
What helped me work towards my goals?
What was a challenge in the way of working on my goals?
What can I do differently in the coming week?
What am I learning about myself and my leadership?
When you’re a month into your plan, it’s the right time to look at your plan and goals together to assess how much you have grown over time. Answer the following questions to learn from your journey -
How far along have I progressed on my goal?
What did I do this month that brought me closer to my goal?
What challenged me in achieving my goal this month?
Who/What supported me in achieving my goal this month?
How can I leverage this support in the coming month?
What have I learned in the past month?
Once you are through a quarter of a year, half a year and/or a full year, you should answer the following questions
What have been my key learnings this year?
How have these learnings contributed to my leadership?
How does this impact my future?
Who has been my system of support?
Who have I supported and empowered in the past year?
Once you have answered all these questions, write down what you have learned about your progress and growth. Keeping this in mind, how would you move forward and make changes to your goals and plan?
Change your goals and plan according to your learnings. Hope you grow to be reflective leaders!
If you are an educator who’d like to support your students’ growth through this reflective tool, then here are a few guidelines you can follow -
Help them set ambitious goals and make constant connections to everyday tasks. For example, if one of their goals is to be a better planner, think about what small, everyday actions towards effective planning can look like such as making a daily agenda.
Let them make mistakes and learn from them. The beautiful part about a reflective tool like this one is that it makes way for learnings from every success or failure. So let them make their mistakes and guide them towards identifying why things broke down and what they can do to prevent it in the future.
Help them see and celebrate small successes. Reflecting week on week can be challenging but celebrating small evidence of growth can help build consistency.
Grow with them! This is a tool you can use for your own growth too! It can be something you and your students do as a pair or group. Nothing is more inspiring than a teacher walks the path with students.
Tell us how reflection has helped you!
Kusum Lata - Finding your voice
This resource takes inspiration from the story of Kusum and how her understanding of an excellent education has evolved over a period of 5 years. This journey has helped Kusum learn how education can help us find what we stand for and deepen our commitment towards our beliefs.
What has been the shift in Kusum’s understanding of an excellent education?
Kusum Lata from Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya Ayanagar in Delhi, believes that each child should have a dream, and receive an education as a means of achieving it. She teaches kids from a nearby community and has been working on perfecting her own lesson plans to help provide stronger support to them. Over time, she has seen her students grow to love learning, and begin to create their own opportunities instead of waiting for things to come by.
Over the last 5 years, Kusum spent a lot of time understanding her purpose and her voice.
How can you find your voice?
Start to get to know yourself better by understanding your strengths and areas of development. One way to find these out for yourself is the Range Report.
After giving the Range Questionnaire, the report will highlight and provide details of what you need to do to leverage each strength and overcome your areas of development.
Reflect and push yourself to articulate what affects you amongst politics, education, climate change, gender equality, etc.
Research the topics that affect you in order to build your own awareness. Ensure that you are fact-checking the information you read from more than one source in order to consume real facts and build an unbiased opinion.
To deepen your understanding, the best way is to take initiative and solve a problem that belongs to the area of your interest.
Be sure to stand your ground and be courageous as you raise your voice and speak up for what you believe in.
Create opportunities and support groups for your peers so that you all can help each other find your voice.
Tell us your story! We would love to hear from you and learn different ways of finding your voice
Tejashree Choudhari - Doing what you love
When you want to pursue what you love, there are several challenges that might come your way. This resource aims to guide you through such challenges and come out victorious. We want all our kids and educators to be able to practice anything and everything they like to or love to do.
Here is the story of Tejashree Choudhari, a 12th grader from Pune, who is passionate about football and always stands up for what she believes in. After serving as the captain of her school football team for 3 years, she wanted to advance her game by joining an official football club. Despite her parents not being onboard and punishing her for trying, she was determined to continue following her passion. She later asked her coach to speak to her parents and help them understand the benefits and skills she'd learn through football, and the career path that the sport has to offer. This discussion convinced them and she went on to join a club to hone her skills. After she finished her schooling, she went back to teach football to her juniors and worked as an intern with 'Just for Kicks' for a year. She also leads "Lean In" circles which support girls in completing their education. She works with the Alumni Leadership Council in her school and also runs a study center in her home.
Learning from Tejashree, how can we overcome the challenges in following our own passions?
Stay strong, believe in yourself and your passion.
Don’t back down or let go if you find yourself facing an obstacle or a rejection.
If the challenge is a person, then stand for what you believe in by expressing why you want to do it, how you want to do it and what it will look like. If the challenge is the situation or circumstance, try to understand the root cause of the problem, have patience and brainstorm with people in trying to find a solution.
Reach out and talk to people with more experience who can support you and help you find solutions for the challenges you’re facing.
Find platforms and opportunities that could be treated as substitutes to fit your context.
Create opportunities and support groups for your peers so that you all can help each other follow your dreams.
Tell us your story! We would love to hear from you and learn different ways of finding your voice
Lego to Robotics - Finding Your Passion
Do you know what you are passionate about? Do you love what you do? If not, with the help of Armaan’s journey, we will try to understand how we find and excel at something. If yes, that’s awesome! Let’s use this resource to push for excellence in your area of interest.
Armaan, a 7th grader from Mumbai, was adjudged the Youngest Achiever amongst 1000 participants and made it to the top 30 innovators at MakerMela, a grassroot innovations festival. He is currently designing the "Dost-Bin” (friend bin), an interactive dustbin that will help tackle the problem of garbage management. The dustbin is enabled with a sensor that commands an LCD screen which displays educational content about the waste being disposed of. He also gave a TED talk about his journey from playing with Legos as a child to exploring the world of robotics.
Through these activities and projects, Armaan was able to find his passion and now he is continuously working towards
excellence. How can you find yours?
Let’s start with answering the question, what are all the possible things that you can do?
Sand Castle Making
Arts, Crafts, and other Skills
Carpet & Tapestry Weaving
Designing & Making Clothes
Home Science Experiments
Playing an Instrument
Podcast Hosting/Amateur Radio
Working on Cars
How can you find and excel in an area of your interest?
Start with exploring different hobbies, one at a time.
Reflect after each hobby and check to see if it sparks joy for you.
Find that one activity that you feel passionate about.
You can learn more about your passion by -
Experimenting (i.e. trying it out on your own)
Watching online videos
Joining classes to learn more
Joining an organization to gain experience, or
Forming/meeting a group of people to continue practicing.
Sign up at competitive platforms that will push you to strive for excellence, participate in open spaces where your talent can be presented without any judgement, join classes or find existing organizations where you can gain experience.
Be sure to be diligent and persistent, strive for originality, and learn from your failures.
Find out more about Armaan’s journey and his experience with KER: