A teacher’s guide to following dreams
Life was never a cakewalk for Logamani. Born in a financially-backward family, her parents used to leave for Kerala as daily-wage labourers when she was a kid.
DINDIGUL: Beads of sweat rolled down the cheeks of the Class XII girl as she treaded carefully through the golden paddy field. The toil of the day, as an agricultural labourer, was evident on her face. But neither the blistering heat of the day nor the gruelling work was enough to stop her from climbing the educational ladder against an early marriage fixed by her family. Cut to 2023, S Logamani, a Nagayagoundanpatti native, is a successful Mathematics teacher who is all set to guide students in the Rocket Science Project Development course, part of the Agasthiyar Environmental Satellite Creation project by ISRO.
Life was never a cakewalk for Logamani. Born in a financially-backward family, her parents used to leave for Kerala as daily-wage labourers when she was a kid. Living under the care of her maternal grandmother, Logamani found solace in the government school she attended, where teachers would constantly remind the students about how important studies are. “My teachers always told me that education is the only tool that can bring success. I got the confidence to study more from them,” Logamani reminisces with a smile.
Motivated by the words of her teachers, she beat all odds and scored high marks in Class XII. But everything seemed to wither away when her family tried to marry her off to her maternal uncle, Soundrapandian. As a girl with a lot of dreams, Logamani protested against the decision and demanded to study more. But all her cries fell on deaf ears. That is when she decided to leave her home and live alone. She started working as an agricultural labourer to sustain herself and save up for higher studies. Six months later, realising her passion for education, Soundrapandian agreed to send her for higher studies, following which she married him.
“After getting married, I opted for a diploma in Teacher Education (DT.Ed). Simultaneously, I studied for B.Sc. Mathematics, which I completed successfully through distance education. Later, I started working as a teacher in a private school and parallelly continued my studies through distance education. I completed post-graduation and B.Ed., in Mathematics,” Logamani says.
In 2012, she appeared for Teacher Eligibility Test (TET), following which she got an opportunity to work as a secondary grade teacher in Panchayat Union Primary School at Mammaniyur. In no time, she became an indispensable part of the school to the students there. “I make the classroom fun for students. I started giving play-based homework and attempted to emotionally connect with all my students on an individual level. Students usually share their personal problems with me and I provide support within my limitations to ease their emotional baggage,” says Logamani.
Identifying her determination to learn more, the Department of Education sent her to attend a one-month English training programme at the Regional Institute of English, South India, in Bangalore.Recently, she was selected to be a part of the Rocket Science Project Development Course under the guidance of Padmabhushan Padmashri A Sivathanu Pillai and ISRO scientists.This is a programme organised by ISRO to impart basic knowledge of space technology, space science and applications to school students, especially from rural areas.
Speaking to TNIE, Srikanth of Class 9, a participant from the ISRO programme, said, “She always explained what the technical terms meant, so that I can understand the topic well. When I went to ISRO Bangalore and MGR University in Chennai, she came along with us and supported us in the learning process.”Some of the accolades that came her way include, Best Teacher Award by Dindigul Vanoli Kalvi in 2021, and Best Research Paper Presentation by NCERT Shillong in 2022, among others.