Parth Parikh awarded Fulbright Scholarship to teach in India

“I wanted to teach in India because I wanted to experience the culture and lifestyle that my family came from,” Parikh said

Parth Parikh arrived at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi in June

PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS — Parsippany-Troy Hills resident Parth Parikh was awarded a U.S. Fulbright Scholarship to spend nine months teaching and researching education in New Delhi, India.

Parikh has been in India for the past two months. Parth Parikh, is a 2010 graduate of Parsippany Hills High School and then graduated Magna Cum Laude from The College of New Jersey in 2014 with a degree in Political Science. He was a sixth grade World History teacher in Passaic.

Thanks to a Fulbright award, his wish came true. In June he headed to New Delhi to teach English to high school students.

Parth Parikh said “My driven and proven commitment to education and multi-culturalism made me an ideal candidate for the Fulbright-India ETA scholarship. As an educator for Teach For America, a national nonprofit dedicated to the promise of a quality education to all children, I have developed a unique toolkit that will guide my success as an English teacher in India. I have had the rare opportunity to teach three different grade levels, three different subjects, and two different languages. Although challenging, my role as an inner-city teacher provide me with invaluable experiences that are immediately transferable to the Fulbright program in India.”

“Success as a Fulbright-ETA in India requires the ability to adapt to new settings and the unique intellectual demands of my students. As a sixth grade world history teacher in Passaic, I did not have a choice but to meet this expectation. Without a strong command of Spanish, I was asked to teach a bilingual history class composed of seventeen non-English speaking students. The struggle of overcoming a language barrier while being held to rigorous instructional standards, was an enormous challenge. With urgency, however, I held myself accountable to study and practice Spanish. Ultimately, my work-ethic was rewarded, and by the end of the year I was able to teach lessons fluently in Spanish. Even in my mono-lingual class in Newark, I am expected to adapt my instruction to the different learning levels of my students. In India, I will have the flexibility and grit necessary to overcome regional language barriers, and provide an individualized learning experience for my students,” said Parikh.

In June he headed to New Delhi to teach English to high school students

“Furthermore, my experience teaching in both a predominately Hispanic and a predominantly African-American community prepares me for the cultural responsiveness required of an effective international teacher. Having a different skin color, language, or culture than my students never stopped me from developing relationships. By organizing and leading my school’s after-school debate team, I was able to candidly discuss issues that immediately impacted my students and their community. These “beyond the classroom” initiatives were critical to my class culture, and will be even more critical to my success as a Fulbright-India ETA in such a diverse and culturally rich nation,” said Parikh.

He concluded by saying “Finally, and most importantly, teaching has taught me true humility. Ensuring a quality education requires me to leverage various groups including parents, administration, and colleagues. Therefore, my students’ achievements reflect the work of a team, not me alone. Yet to remain accountable for my share of the responsibility, humility is essential to objectively analyze my performance, receive criticism, and aggressively seek to learn from my failures. Although the skills gained from my experience equip me for the demanding role of a Fulbright ETA in India, I am eager to learn even more from the Fulbright community to meet the demands.”

Parikh said “Upon return from my experience abroad as a Fulbright ETA scholar, I hope to become a further agent of change in my community. With hands-on familiarity with both U.S. and international schools, I plan to be a public voice for multi-culturalism and positive educational transformation. One day, all children will have access to a quality education.”




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