The Alumni Chronicles: Harnessing the Press Start Experience

Vaishali Rathi
Vaishali Rathi
Alumnus

I worked at Press Start Academy as a Learning Strategy Associate this summer of 2023, and the short time I got to spend there presented me with so much to learn and absorb. I got to explore a different side of education, which formal institutions do not cater to in such depth - gamification and student agency.

Teaching in mainstream schools looks different to what I saw here, and I have carried with me the lessons I have learnt at PSA to my teaching practicum this semester. Finding the honey spot between teaching local school students according to the system’s requirements and expanding lessons beyond the rigidity of a textbook presented itself as a challenge. From asking myself “How do I best teach this book?” to “What else is the book missing?”, I have become a more mindful teacher. I see better engaged students in my class, ready to ask questions that showcase deep insights and involvement with the course content.

In my conversations with different mentors in Hong Kong and India, a common idea they have echoed is that education has changed drastically in the past decade. But change can come only when teachers from across different generations pay close attention to the potential of children today. For the first time, at proximity, I have witnessed their sheer genius and am left stunned by the knowledge they possess as digital natives. PSA has leveraged this, and has never shied away from experimenting with new ideas and creativity. This is embodied in the way they conduct their classes, and it is something I try to replicate myself in my own classes now.

The PSA team comprises brilliant individuals who have each taught me lessons that impacted my outlook towards education, and I am excited to see the new ideas they come up with for young learners.