This system of teaching has led us to seek more knowledge than we would otherwise have done

Arya Lovekar (Grade 12 Graduating Class of 2019)
Student at Head Start from 2004 - 2019
Joining Krea University, Sri City, Andhra Pradesh

I recently visited the Koramangala Head Start campus on a whim and the memories that always come up when I go there rushed into my mind. I remembered climbing the tree in the field behind and getting my jacket stuck on one of the higher branches, or at least one of the branches that then pint-sized me had thought was very high up. I remembered wobbling along the small raised ridge next to the sandpit, running in the big field adjacent to the main one, and I remembered hiding behind the narrow trees next to that field. But most of all I remembered the unusual but enjoyable activities I participated in while in the classroom. Unusual because they were unlikely to be seen outside a Montessori classroom. I remember chana pounding (and the scramble to eat the powdered chana at the end of the week), washing hands, and countless other activities whose names have slipped my mind. My parents love to tell the story of how I would run into the school building every morning without looking back or even saying goodbye, and with memories like this, I know exactly why.

I was in that building until the end of Grade 3. Up until this point I had been in a Montessori system with vertical grouping. This meant that I regularly interacted with children from a different age group than mine. It was this that made me realise how much I liked talking to and playing with younger children. This continues until today, and this summer I completed an internship that was based largely on the fact that I interact well with children. I have Head Start to thank for this.

Another thing about studying in the Montessori system was that we were allowed to go at our own pace. One might expect this to make us fall behind students from other school systems, but this was not true. When I left Primary school, I was amazed to realise that I was ahead of my cousins, who are two years older than me. This system of teaching has led us to seek more knowledge than we would otherwise have done.The new campus also has a special place in my heart because I had the privilege of seeing most of it being built. Here, my teachers cultivated a deeper interest in the subjects that I already knew, and as I  navigated high school, patiently guided me towards subjects that I would enjoy, and not necessarily those that other people wanted me to take.

There are many special memories from Head Start that I remember fondly, and some of the best come from the theatre programme that I participated in a couple of years ago. I will never forget the rehearsals, the days of improvising, the day we stayed in the school overnight to rehearse, and the performances themselves. These are just some of the memories that Head Start has given to me, and that will always be an immense source of comfort. Thank you for everything!

Posted in Alumni, Class of 2019, From Our Students, Reflections.