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Learning with a blend of books, travel and teaching – Meena Srinivasan

Team StoryWeavers|March 7, 2018| 59

 

It is often said that, ‘Learning begins at home’ and ‘Parents are a child’s first teacher!’ Parents have a very special and personal way of teaching their own child which a school may not be able to exercise.

Meena Srinivasan understood this while teaching her own son and daughter. That’s when an idea incorporated her head and she decided to take up the role of a parent to many kids and help them with their studies from the basement of her house, teaching with the same amount of love and care which she does with her own children.

The role of a teacher is of paramount importance both for the present and future of a student. And as a teacher it is our responsibility to take up that role carefully.

A teacher for the last 26 years, Meena joined BYJU’S three and a half ago as a Subject Matter Expert with the hope of reaching out to more students and helping them enjoy learning. At BYJU’S, she uses her own innovative styles of guiding students in understanding their topics better.

We, the team StoryWeavers had a chance to interview her on her ideas of empowering women, her utmost love for helping children become better learners and what spurs her on.

TSW: You have been teaching for over 26 years. What spurred you to pick it up as a career?

MS: Married to a Navy officer, my life was always on ‘hop-skip-jump’ mood until one day I decided to make Bangalore our family base while my husband travelled for his work. I took up the responsibility of looking after the house and teach my children before they commenced their preschool. During one of those days, I realised that they enjoyed my animated style of teaching and learned better at home. That sparked an idea in my head and after few months, I opened my own home tuition centre called ‘Adrithi’. My forte was specifically the slow learners. Since, it was a part time role, I could easily switch roles – from a homemaker, a mother, to a teacher – managing the household chores and simultaneously teaching those young children.

I believe that a child can understand better if as a teacher, we feed their inquisitiveness with practical examples. When I started my tuition classes, I assured to provide education based on practical knowledge, citing examples from the everyday life so that the students can relate easily and understand better.

Family trip

Family trip

TSW: Biology is considered to be a complex subject. What made you choose that subject?

MS: Well Biology has been my favourite subject ever since I was a student. I always enjoyed spending more time amidst nature, understanding various species and plants and discovering my own ways of learning their biological names. We are so lucky to have been born in a country like India that is blessed with rich and diverse flora and fauna. Just look around and we can find 10,000 different varieties of species and plants.

When I started teaching Biology to my students, I realised they could easily grasp my teaching techniques and that inspired me to continue with the subject. At BYJU’S, I get to connect and guide students of different age groups, coming from different backgrounds with different comprehension levels. At the end, it is very satisfactory when a student walks up to me with a thank note or a smile of gratitude and share their future career dreams in the field of Biology.

TSW: You have an interesting style of making students understand you. Tell us something more on it.

MS: I have always taught my students to approach concepts from a practical point of view since learning can never happen if one memorizes lines from their textbooks. Also, change in nature or style of studying is always refreshing for the mind.

My daughter has always enjoyed her studies while travelling, especially when she is preparing for subjects like science and history. That little change in environment never fails to uplift her mood and understand concepts better. I remember the time when she was preparing certain biology chapters for her 9th final exams and she was completely stressed out. She reached a point where she was about to give up and not write that paper. Then I realised that force feeding her mind to just sit and study will not help her at all. Rather a change in environment can boost her up. So I packed a bag with few eatables along with her biology books and drove her all the way to Ooty. On our way, we stopped at several points to show her examples of plants and species from her book and explain the related concepts simultaneously. By the time we reached Ooty, we could finish almost 70% of her syllabus, where she registered everything she saw with a peaceful mind.

With her family

With her family

TSW: From a teacher to a Subject Matter Expert at BYJU’S. Tell us about this transition in your career.

MS: I was already working with BYJU’S as a part time subject matter expert for a couple of years. Hence, joining BYJU’S as a full-timer felt like the most natural next step. I was aware of the work culture and thus was very excited with the new twist in my life. To add in, when I met Vinay and learnt the vision of the company, I immediately got motivated and the next thing I did was join BYJU’S. There was absolutely no second thought involved. [smiles warmly]

It’s been a year and half as a subject matter expert at BYJU’S and the learning has never ceased. At BYJU’S, the students join us with the hope of enjoying learning and gets satisfied by developing a burning desire to learn more things. As I keep telling my students, ‘the world is your oyster’.

TSW: You have been working for woman empowerment on your own wee ways. What triggered you to take that initiative?

MS: I believe that from being a daughter, a wife, a mother and a homemaker – the social demands are never-ending. I feel a lot is expected out of a woman at every stage of her life both at the personal and professional front. Many a time, we see women struggle to balance and land up  sacrificing work for personal life or vice versa. Thus, we need to take a serious stand on educating girl child and make them strong enough to stand on their own feet and strike a positive balance in their lives.

Teach one girl child – you teach the entire generation.

The incident which triggered me to think deeply about this  was when I took my son for his driving class and witnessed the discomfort the young girls felt during their driving classes. I spent many sleepless nights, thinking about ways of helping them learn to drive without any discomfort or hesitation. Few weeks later I decided to open my own ‘Ladies Only Driving School’. With a driving license and 32 years of experience, I now provide driving classes to women during my week-offs and gazetted holidays. Their faith and confidence is so infectious that watching them take control of the wheels within a week under my guidance and gaining that self confidence satisfies me a lot! [smiles broadly]

Meena has been adding sprinkles of positivity to many lives – sometimes through her extended helping nature and rest of the time by making young kids fall in love with education. The team BYJU’S thanks her for her immense contributions in the field of education!

Like this story? Read similar stories at Life At BYJU’S. Follow @lifeatbyjus on Facebook.

About the Author


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Tanaya Goswami

Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself. Drop in a line at storyweavers@byjus.com if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!

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Comments


NANDINI NV

March 7, 2018

We are blessed to work under Meena ma’am and it was great opportunity to be a part of her team for few months she make sure that whatever we ask will be clearly explained with an positive thoughts

Yaash prakash

March 7, 2018

She’s my favourite mentor. Her style of teaching is unique and she’s totally different from
Other mentors.
She’s a great teacher & thank you so much mam for your love & attention while teaching me…
May God bless you mam.!
Nice bio of her..hands off mam?

    Meena Srinivasan

    March 8, 2018

    Thank you sweetheart. Want to see a Dr attached to your name in the future.

Hrishikesh

March 8, 2018

I met her last week, and felt that she is full of energy. She has a tremendous experience in the field Of Biology, and the same knowledge she is imparting to her students. I would be happy to share my experience with you and your team if time comes.

    Hrishikesh

    March 8, 2018

    I would be happy to share my experience with you and your team if time permits.

      Meena Srinivasan

      March 12, 2018

      Will look forward for all your inputs Hrishi. It will help me greatly.

Shreya Bathla

March 8, 2018

Meena ma’am is the best bio mentor…she helped me alot in whichever chapter I needed her help.
She also gave me extra notes for the chapters that were hard. Ma’am spends enough time per chapter so that the chapter is Tharo and clear.
Ma’ams teaching pattern is very good and it helped alot.
Thank you ma’am for your support throught the year

    Meena Srinivasan

    March 11, 2018

    Thank you Shreya. It was a pleasure teaching you. You were always full of questions, and I loved it.

Aditya Srinivasan

March 8, 2018

Feels great when you see your Mom doing well in India’s leading Edutech startup- brushing shoulders with young minds from leading colleges and universities of the country; all working in an effort to transform the educational landscape- making adventurous reaches into technology and blending art with education in the hope that students of today don’t wrestle with subjects like those who did in the past, but instead, fall in love with learning and discover their true potential as they step into a world where knowledge and skill are the determinants of a prosperous future. #byjus #lifeatbyjus

    Meena Srinivasan

    May 22, 2019

    Thank you Aditya.
    It is indeed rare that both mother and son
    Work in the,same company.

Anju

March 8, 2018

Meena was always detail oriented, animated and passionate about her work and interests.

Jyotsna

March 9, 2018

Congratulatons on your decision to sprinkle your unique brand of energy, positivity and pixie dust of knowledge and inspiration on an even larger scale!

Happy wheels

March 9, 2018

It’s very straightforward to find out any matter on web
as compared to textbooks, as I found this paragraph at this site.

    Meena Srinivasan

    March 13, 2018

    May I know who is this?

Cdr. Venugopal. PG.

March 9, 2018

That’s a wonderful writeup. Great work.

Bhuvaneshwari

March 13, 2018

Hi Meena,

You are such an awesome human being.You always help the students to clear the doubts in detail and makes sure that their doubts are clarified.You are so calm and polite.You are always an inspiration to me.
Thank you.

    Meena Srinivasan

    March 13, 2018

    Thank you Bhuvaneshwari. You are most kind in your words.

Chirag Chaturvedi

March 13, 2018

Meena ma’am is an amazing teacher. She taught me during my 10th grade and I was able to ace it just because of her guidance!

    Meena Srinivasan

    March 14, 2018

    Thank you Chirag . Now Ace your 12th . I know your performance will be phenomenal!!!!

Smruthi Prakash

March 14, 2018

With Meena ma’am, it was a wonderful journey of two years in Byju’s. Her classes never failed to cease with me with awe and wonder, they were filled with humour and energy. Her teachings always left me curious and waiting for the next. She has a practical and explicit way of teaching that I really enjoyed. Thank-you ma’am for your sessions of unforgettable lessons! 🙂

NANDITA Jha

March 27, 2018

I had talked to her and what a tremendous explanation she gave.
Proud to have a teacher and a good mentor like her. Thankyou so
Much ma’am.

    Meena Srinivasan

    March 28, 2018

    Thank you Nandita. Now ace your NEET!! You will I know!!!

Nirupama

March 29, 2018

I’m really satisfied after reading the article…. From the initial times, two years ago when I joined BYJU’s, I was very doubtful whether this distance education will benefit me or not. But later when I came in contact with the supportive mentor team, I felt very lucky.

Anchita

March 29, 2018

I was in my 7 grade when i first met mam, its been 5 years since i know her.Mam has been a great teacher and a good friend.I am lucky to have been blessed with a teacher like you.A special thanks for your caring, love,tenderness,patience and understanding.Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher.Learning from a mentor like you is an experience that can sometimes be more profound than education itself. mam u really mean a lot to me.You don’t only teach about the content in the pages of a book but you also teach abouy the moral values of life.u have always been a great motivation to me.

    Meena Srinivasan

    April 6, 2018

    Thank you Anchita. You can begin with any discipline any time. Just remain curious and motivated.

ANJAY AARYA

March 31, 2018

She was my favourite biology teacher in byjus
She usually makes things understand much easier
Thanks a lot Mam I understand your alive
THE ROLE OF A TEACHER IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE BOTH FOR THE PRESENT AND FUTURE OF A STUDENT. AND AS A TEACHER IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE UP THAT ROLE CAREFULLY.

    Meena Srinivasan

    April 6, 2018

    Your curiosity in the class was very infectious. So was Vishvajheet’s. Just remain curious. You will do what you love doing.

Munira Kathawala

April 14, 2018

Meena is a gifted teacher. Children look forward to her classes as she gives more than her 100 percent making sure ….. the kids say…… dil maange more…

Dr Kavitha Shetty

April 24, 2018

Hello Mam, So nice to find you here. Well, was your student a long time ago! But just want to share couple of things that are really etched in my mind.-how you taught a class of sixty five- kingdom classification and diversity. You asked us get three differently coloured pair socks and elastic bands. You asked us to wear one socks over the other on our wrist- this was diploblasticity- and when three were worn one on top of the other, it was triploblasticity. As we were busy struggling to get one sock over the other you were narrating the chapter like a Ted talk. The rubber bands were used to notch up the top phalange of our fingers and we were told to mark the five senses on that node with a sketch pen! We happily did it and you said that was cephalization. It was so good!!!! I hated bio with purple passion, but I loved this activity a lot. I finally fell in love with bio. Mam you will be happy to know I earned a doctorate degree in Agricultural Sciences from Punjab University. I owe it all to you, you teach so differently. No books but you as a performer. Will always love you as a teacher. You were so full of live in our drab and disinterested class. Thank you always.
You shall be a part of me always.

Adrian Hoesing

May 26, 2018

I really can’t believe how great this site is. Keep up the good work. I’m going to tell all my friends about this place.

Hermina Hoots

May 27, 2018

This site looks better and better every time I visit it. What have you done with this place to make it so amazing?!

Nikita

July 12, 2018

Meena ma’am is my favourite teacher in byjus. She explains every topic so thoroughly and point to point. Her notes are very helpful and easy to grasp. Thank you so much ma’am, you are really a wonderful person and amazing teacher

    Meena Srinivasan

    July 13, 2018

    Actually you are a very curious student. the rest becomes very easy.

    Thank you!!!!

Maithili mishra

October 8, 2018

Mrs. Meena Srinivasan is not just a teacher but a mentor for life. She made me understand not just difficult maths concepts with ease but also its relevance in everyday life. I have learnt a lot of life lessons from her as well. Meena ma’am is a wonderful human being and a logical teacher who sees a winner in all her students and takes the best out of each one. I am blessed to be her student.

    Meena Srinivasan

    November 15, 2018

    Thank you Maithili. To me you will always be my Nefertiti with beautiful curly hair and curious eyes.

Ritwik

March 14, 2019

Great mam, know one can explain like you you animated the contained in mind

http://tinyurl.com

April 14, 2019

I know this site offers quality depending content and
extra stuff, is there any other web page which
provides such stuff in quality?

Amritha Bharathan

May 22, 2019

Meena ma’am taught me Bio in 10th grade,and the whole journey was a completely different experience altogether!
Her style of teaching draws you into the subject and she also gives you many relatable examples to help make you understand better.
A lot of times her classes turn into Life Lessons where ma’am tells us noteworthy experiences to think upon.
I owe my brilliant performance in 10th CBSE BOARDS to you Meena ma’am and I (my mother too)will always remember you as a teacher in a million!
Ma’am We are sure you will keep up the great work ALWAYS!

(I was a 10th Grade Student at BYJU’S BANASWADI, BENGALURU )

Swapnil Bhattacharya

May 22, 2019

I am a proud Byjute for more than 2 and a half years. I am currently in the 11th grade. I still remember the 1st time when I spoke with Meena ma’am regarding a doubt in biology. My non-accademic mentor Aayushi Ma’am booked an appointment from Meena ma’am.My 1st experience was incredible. Ma’am had cleared my doubt in such a manner that I have got no more doubts regarding the same. Since then, every time I find difficulties in grasping a concept, I book her appointment. Since the first appointment, Meena ma’am is my favourite bio teacher. Whenever I speak with her, she motivates me to read about various new concepts. Whenever I get any doubts ma’am clears that in her own unique way. The last time I spoke with her, she motivated me to learn about the various parts of human brain and their functions. She has even encouraged me to pursue biology as my subject in class XI and XII. Her interactive way of teaching turned biology into my favourite subject.
I strongly believe that every teacher can take a child to the classroom but not everyone can make him learn. But ma’am helped me master multiple concepts even without taking me to the classroom. Her amazing way of teaching made me truly fall in love wih biology. Mere words are not enough to convey my gratitude.
I did not known much about ma’am and thought of her as a biology teacher only. But as soon as I read about her driving classes, I just became her fan. The most heart touching portion of this article is the trip to Ooty.
I am more than obliged to have ma’am as my teacher, mentor and guide. For her immense love, affection, care and teachings, I will be thankful to her forever.

    Meena Srinivadan

    April 10, 2020

    Swapnil, that was so cute. Become an independent learner

Madhusudan jakati

May 24, 2019

I am very blessed to have teacher like. She always encouraged me . She made biology very interesting to me. She answered cleared all my doubts and answered all my silly questions. I have not only learnt bio but also life lessons. I will be always thankful to you maam.

Snigdha mohanta

May 24, 2019

She is really great and her style of explaining is also unique than other teachers/ mentor

Anamika Gopinath

May 26, 2019

Ma’m taught me Maths. In 2 months She had devised a module and finished the entire book of CBSE X.
She had asked me to get color pencils and lots of practice paper. Matrices, cross multiplication, similar triangles
she explained with color pencils. She made me cut color strips of paper for rows and columns for understanding matrices and it’s a transposition. This time I not only had color paper, but I also had scissors and glue!!!!
A crazy way to explain. But I understood in a wink. Her favorite line was “Anamika you have chilled this year for far too long, now it is the time for emergency measures”.
I had a full grip of my maths book in 60 days. Incredible it was theorems and all that.
I wish these emergency measures were shown in my other subjects by my other teachers as well.
I went through my board exams with flying colors.
She sure has an unusual way to explain content. It stays in your mind forever.
I wish to say” Ma’am thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for your faith in me. Found MBA a smooth glide after what you taught.

Arnaov Diwan

May 28, 2019

Had a great time learning at BYJU’S…I was never
the sort who would do bio at all…but then.
Meena ma’am was like the ideal bio teacher.
Others as well were good
..made lovely friends had I have good memories.

    Meena Srinivasan

    June 25, 2019

    Thank you kids. I just “joshed” you up. You did everything else.

Joyeta Ghosh

July 11, 2019

Meena mam is the best bio mentor. She tries her utmost to clarify the doubt of a student. Once I had a doubt and she made it sure that my concepts got clear as crystals. Thank u mam and love your amazing teaching strategy

    Meena Srinivasan

    August 5, 2019

    Thank you Joyeta. …

Priyanka Sahoo

November 14, 2019

Mam you are my biggest inspiration. You are best mentor I have ever talked to. Since my last 2 years I have never taken a single other appointment with any other expert, except without you.
Mam you clarify my doubts to the utmost and make it all clear. I understand every single word when you explain it to me.
Thank you so much mam you are more than a expert to me, from being my guide during my exams to caring about me and giving me advice about medicines and medication..
Mam really thank you for your attention you give me and sharing simple and basic stuffs, sometimes teaching me with a joke. Mam you are just wonderful and you are indeed my biggest inspiration.
Your teachings and explanation are always the best and leave me with a energy and curiosity to talk to you in my next appointment (mam I am sorry but I always eager to talk to you and share everything)
Mam I am really lucky enough and blessed to have a wonderful, caring,loving patience teacher..
Mam you not only teach me or make understand my lessons of bio so well but also teach me about moral values of life(like in my thyroid case).
Your suggestions really help me out. This keeps me motivating all because of your well said words.
I still remember the day when Sanjana Mam my mentor booked an appointment with you regarding my doubt in Biology, I was all nervous and but it was all gone when I started talking to you.
The experience of my first talk to you was just incredible and memorable.
You are my favourite and and since my first day after talking to you whenever I find difficulties in grasping a concept or found it hard to make out what it actually says, then I asks Sanjana Mam to immediately book an appointment with you.
Mam you really helped me in mastering multiple concepts even without asking my bio teacher in class or going to too many tuitions for biology.
And mam this article not just make me know how great you are but after reading this I am just your biggest fan ever. I am really obliged to have you as my teacher, mentor, best biology expert and guide..
Really this article written by you is just heart touching.
Mere words are not just enough to convey my gratitude to you.
Biology book to open for me was always a difficult problem. I always almost gave it a negligible importartance and just opened it before my exams.
For which I usually got less marks but now after talking to MEENA mam for more than two years. Now I now if I try to keep my aim to become a doctor then I believe I can do it and all the credit immensely goes to you mam.
You almost clear all my doubts perfectly.
Thank you mam and love you from the core of my heart.
Mam hope in the next life you become my Mother??☺☺?? and mam you are just the best.

Riddhi hansaria

April 22, 2020

Mam you are really very nice your way of teaching is brilliant and u are a very nice and good hearted woman really I should solute you mam

Anjali

June 5, 2020

Ma’am …we are blessed to have you as our teacher

g

June 15, 2020

I enjoy what you guys are up too. This kind
of clever work and coverage! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve
included you guys to our blogroll.

g

June 17, 2020

There’s certainly a lot to know about this subject. I
like all the points you made.

Arpita Nayak

July 16, 2020

Good evening mam.
Meena mam is not only acts like a mam but also takes care of each and every thing like a mother.
I am really very very lucky and blessed to have a mam like you during this period ???.
You always cleared my doubts.
She is really very cooperative and always helped me whenever it is urgent to me.
Thanks a lot mam for being there with me for each and every moment.
I really love the way you clear my doubts?.
Take care mam. Stay home stay safe.

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