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Stories from the Field

Revathi Balakrishnan, 2018 Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence Recipient

Revathi Balakrishnan is a third to fifth grade talented and gifted educator at Patsy Sommer Elementary School in Austin, TX. She was nominated by the Texas State Teachers Association.

Having grown up in India during a time when many girls were denied an education, Revathi Balakrishnan has a deep appreciation of its transformational value. Now, as an educator, she says her mission is to develop the unique talents of each of her students to their fullest potential. A rigorous and inter-disciplinary Talented and Gifted program she created challenges her students to stretch their thinking. Whether studying the effects of social media on the Arab Spring or tracking stock performances in math using graphs, ratios, and predictions, she encourages her students to apply their learning and to follow their passions.

In her second year of teaching, Balakrishnan started a program for her English language learners to study Shakespeare through performance. At the end of the year, students perform at the University of Texas Festival of Play and at the Winedale Shakespeare Festival.

In addition to her various responsibilities and roles in the classroom, Balakrishnan advocates for educators and education support professionals. She created an education policy blog to inform fellow educators and parents. She advocates for diversity in the teaching profession and encourages more aspiring students to become educators.

Balakrishnan earned her BA in Economics from Madras University and MA in Economics from Northeastern University. She is working on completing her M.Ed in Educational Administration from the University of North Texas.

Learn more about the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence and all the 2018 awardees here.

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