Does creating children’s literature in regional languages sound interesting? This idea of scripting children’s literature through stories and poems in the language of the learners led Sheetal Paul to start the Teacher Author programme in 2020, an organic journey of moving from being a primary school teacher to a published children’s literature author. This has been possible due to an exceptional mentor, artistic friends, kind strangers and enthusiastic teachers who supported, critiqued, questioned, and trusted this deliberation. The journey began from the first batch of 18 Teacher Authors and the community has now expanded to 106 Teacher Authors including 9 organisations from across the country and its borders.
This endeavour strengthens the potential in learning through local languages, enabling children to connect with their real world, express themselves better and develop an identity. The Teacher Author programme guides the participants to create children’s literature in their local language, thereby ensuring that the material is easily understood and relevant to learners. The programme participants — teachers, children’s literature enthusiasts and students of education have created literature in Hindi, English, Gujarati, Chhattisgarhi and Bundelkhandi languages so far. “Children’s literature provides important opportunities in language education that teachers can create to make their learners develop an interest around a variety of ideas as investing in ideas will take us a long way.”
I am looking at publishing the poems and stories written by the participants of the programme and take it to larger groups of primary school children for whom it has been designed. I am also exploring curriculum plans for pre-service teacher training programmes. Looking forward to creating more and more interesting literature in the many Indian regional languages.
Sheetal Paul, M.A. Education 2011 – 13 can be reached at email@example.com