Teaching Teachers in India

My name is Megan and I have been teaching students in 6th through 12th grade for eight years. I am passionate about project-based , collaborative, and expeditionary learning styles of teaching because I have watched students thrive when given the opportunity to solve relevant real-world problems, see new places, learn with and from their peers, and follow their interests.

Due to my experience with project-based learning , I have been given a Fellowship position at Taktse International School  in Pangthang, Sikkim, India to support them in developing their project-based learning curriculum. Taktse is unique in India, working hard to break away from traditional teaching methods and promote alternative ways of knowing. In their own words, Taktse exists to help "students learn how to learn, how to be creative, and how to balance an increasingly complex outer world with a rich inner life." I have ample experience in both leading teacher professional development in project-based learning and teaching students using project-based learning and I can help Taktse achieve their goals.

Like all schools working to serve students from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, Taktse International School has a tight budget. They are a private school in order to avoid the curriculum mandated by the government, but they do their best to keep tuition as low as possible so more students have access to their program. As such, Taktse can provide me with housing and food while at the school, but cannot support my travel expenses. My teaching salary does not provide me with adequate funding to reach Taktse in the given timeframe , and I need your help to make it happen.

A breakdown of my estimated expenses in US dollars is as follows:

Airline Travel (return Maui to Bagdogra) - $3350
Ground Transport (return Bagdogra to Pangthang) - $120
Tips for Drivers - $40
Volunteer Visa and Fees - $220
Two nights in Delhi - $80
Travel Medical Insurance (required by Taktse) - $170
Vaccinations - $450
School Supplies Donation - $300
Technology Donation (iPad) - $400
Checked Baggage Fee for Donations - $150
Total Expenses = $5280

It is hard for me to ask others for help of any kind. I was raised by parents who instilled a strong work ethic and a fierce sense of independence. I really believe you have to work for the things you want, and I think our society would be better off if more people felt that way. But a friend of mine told me a lot of people giving a little bit of money can make a huge difference, and I think your small donation will help make a difference to a lot of students.

I know I can help Taktse school learn to do project-based learning. If I only reach 5 teachers while I'm there, and those teachers each reach 25 students, I will have reached 125 kids. Taktse has over 40 teachers and those teachers reach far more than 25 students. There is potential to have a lot of impact. I also beleive I will learn valuable lessons from Taktse students and teachers that will allow me to enrich the teaching and learning experiences of my students and colleagues. Seeing how another school organizes itself and learning from people with life experiences very different than my own will fuel the fire that allows me to continue to serve my students well.

Thank you for reading this and considering supporting me. I will travel to Taktse in July and hope to raise all the money I need by June 17, 2016. I will use the first $800 I raise for donations for the students at the school. Any amount you give after that will apply to my travel expenses. And if you donate more than I am asking for, I will use the funds to purchase more technology (laptop computers) for the school.
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Megan Edgar 
Kahului, HI
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