“Teaching is about understanding how students learn” – Rukmani
Rukmani Ramachandran leads the Teacher Education team at Cuemath. She is the epitome of a strong, hardworking and caring woman who has always believed in pushing not just herself, but also her students to strive to be their best versions.
Born in Chennai and having spent her school life across different cities in India, Rukmani found her calling in the field of Biomedical Engineering. After completing her B.Tech, she pursued her masters in the same field at the University of Virginia, one of the top ranked universities for this field of study. She then pursued a PhD in stem cell bio engineering at the Virginia Commonwealth University, and her teaching experience during this time changed the way she perceived learning & thinking.
“I realised that I wanted to be an educator rather than a professor,” she explains.
Once she made up her mind, she withdrew her PhD candidacy and relocated to India to teach.
Rukmani taught engineering students, predominantly from non-English medium backgrounds, and realised that most students looked at engineering as a means to get jobs and not as a profession. She saw that the country was churning out thousands of engineering graduates, but created very few engineers. This motivated her to commit herself to helping learners – young and old – become workforce ready. This included professional upskilling, boot camps for college students, and high school education in Math, Science, and English.
Today, Rukmani trains various women, who join Cuemath as teachers, to run their own Cuemath Centers effectively. Most of the Cuemath Teachers have interacted with Rukmani. They remember how she equipped them skillfully to take corrective measures and make their students comfortable with learning.
“When teaching young students, the teacher has a greater responsibility in moulding the future generations and guiding them on the road of development. It is important for every teaching professional to develop and practice empathy and compassion towards their students.” says Rukmani.
In late 2016, Rukmani attempted the Teaching Professionals Olympiad (TPO). The TPO is organized by Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA) every year. She emerged as the topper in the country and has proved that she practises what she preaches. CENTA is an organisation that provides certification to teachers in India. These certifications are designed to be indicators of teacher quality, on parameters well-accepted by a range of schools of every kind.
The TPO is organised every year with The Hindu and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation as the primary supporters. In 2016, it was held in 23 cities and had participants from more than 500 cities & towns across India.
Talking about the exam, Rukmani says, “The exam deftly tested if a teacher was able to pinpoint what a student had learnt/ not learned; How the mistakes they made were symptoms of misunderstanding that needed to be corrected rather than penalized. It also focused on the importance of putting the learner front and center.”
Rank 1 in the country is a great achievement. We can now say with conviction that, Cuemath Teachers are trained by one of the best educators in the country!