An Indo-American Revathi Balakrishnan, 53, an elementary teacher at the Patsy Sommer Elementary School in Texas, was recently honoured by the US’ President Barack Obama for her excellent contributions in the field of education. She was honoured by the US President in a White House ceremony. Ms. Balakrishnan was named 2016 ‘Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year’.
She originally hails from Chennai, and was a systems analyst with Liberty Mutual, managing databases and programming for some 12 years before she became a teacher. Terming her style of teaching as "no nonsense", Ms Balakrishnan, who earned her economics degree from University of Madras, attributes her success in the field of education to her ‘love of teaching’. "It is not work for me. It is actually a passion," says Ms Balakrishnan who has taught in the district's talented and gifted programmes for nine years, adding that she feels proud to represent 30% of the students as Asian or Indian, and aims to convince the younger generation of Indian kids to turn to teaching as a career.
The National Teacher of the Year Programme identifies exceptional teachers in the country, recognises their work, engages them in a year of professional learning, amplifies their voices and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.