Mrs. RM.Shalini Devi,
Founder, Phonics Power
Shalini is a passionate teacher, an enterprising woman and an Engineer by qualification. Shalini spent over a decade in the corporate world and later quit her rewarding job to follow her passion in teaching English to young children.
Shalini’s teaching career began in 2012 when she started teaching English to underprivileged children in Government schools in association with NGOs. During these years, she understood that most of the children, irrespective of urban or rural background, had difficulty in reading English which led to milestone delays in their academics. Her quest for an effective reading programme that has simple, step by step, fun-filled approach to learning led to Jolly Phonics - a UK based child centred reading programme that teaches literacy through phonics. Shalini implemented Jolly Phonics methodology in her classrooms and had instant success. Her students’ success inspired Shalini to set up 'Phonics Power' – an exclusive learning centre for phonics along with her partner Sharmila Ravi. Phonics Power today has grown to teach more than 300+ kids every year through its three branches in Chennai.
Shalini is actively involved in training teachers in Jolly Phonics methodology and has trained 950 + teachers in Jolly Phonics and 150+ teachers in Jolly Grammar. She has helped 60+ Primary schools and teacher training Institutes, across the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, to implement the Jolly Phonics reading programme in their institutions. She serves as the academic consultant and curriculum planner in many of these schools and takes great pride in helping these schools move from rote learning to Jolly Phonics scientific English learning methodology. She also conducts awareness programmes on phonics and the importance of developing reading skills at an early age.
Achievements and Qualifications
- Successfully completed Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) course through British Council, specially designed by Cambridge University for English Teachers.
- Frequently attend various Workshops, Conferences and Seminars on Phonics in India and abroad.
- Recently attended the 51st RELC International Conference on Teaching Literacies - Emerging Pathways and Possibilities in Language Education, held at Singapore, where delegates from various countries participated and shared the best practices in Language Teaching across the globe.
- Attended Workshops on “Creative Thinking – The 21st Century Skill” by Allen Davenport, ELT Consultant, ASEAN for Cambridge University Press.
- Was conferred “The Best Women Entrepreneur – Inspiration 2016” at the conference for teaching society by Project Brand India.
- Successfully trained 250 teachers at Velammal Vidyalaya, Chennai for 6 consecutive days in Jolly Phonics methodology
- Works with Tamilnadu Foundation, an NGO based in the Pudukottai District of Tamil Nadu and has trained teachers from 25 rural schools in Pudukottai District in 2015. The project was highly successful and commended by many Government officials from the State’s Department of Education.
Mrs. Sharmila Ravi,
Co founder, Phonics Power
A decade long stint as a kindergarten teacher gave Sharmila a wonderful opportunity to experience the unconditional love of children and understand the shortcomings of mainstream school curriculum. The bond, children had with her and the faith shown by their parents inspired her to search for alternatives to rote learning. She believes that the superficial language teaching methods followed by schools at the foundation level neither prepare children for primary level learning nor nurture their love for reading.
Rote learning creates parrots instead of well nurtured human beings; repetition of words and reproducing letters from the blackboard does not enable or kindle children’s thought processes. Her search for alternative teaching methodology took wings when she met Mrs Shainaz Jussa of Phonic Kids, Mumbai and learnt the Jolly Phonic methodology from her. Jolly Phonics propelled her dream of empowering children to enjoy the pleasure of reading and to help them communicate their ideas and thoughts without fear.
Twelve years of hands-on teaching experience and her understanding of Jolly Phonics methodology has given Sharmila the confidence to cofound Phonics Power with Shalini and to chase her dream of taking Jolly Phonics teaching methodology to every child.
A postgraduate in Commerce, Sharmila started her professional career with an International Bank. A PG Diploma in Early Childhood Education at Kothari Academy for Women, Chennai enabled her to work as a kindergarten teacher in a reputed CBSE School in Chennai, which gave her the opportunity to enter into the realm of kindergarten education and eventually discover the joy of learning and teaching.