Thomas Jefferson once said- “ I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”

Do you know yourself and maximize your strength or are you someone who avoids the hard work of looking inward and question yourself.

Millions of people don’t end up living life they once dreamt of. The older you get, and the more you look around, the easier it becomes to believe that you’ll end up in a same way. Don’t fall for the trap. If all you do is follow the exact same routine every day, you will never leave yourself open to moments of sudden discovery. Do you remember how spontaneous you were as a child? Anything could happen, at any moment!

After working for four years in Freedom English Academy, I must say that it has been a journey full of learnings and challenges. A journey where I found a happy bunch of people and some serious ones as well. No matter where I was on the journey, in some way, I continued on — and that’s what makes it so magnificent.

Let me take you back in time when I was called for an interview. My sister who was a student at FEA Vipin Garden, helped me prepare for the interview. She had learnt this from her facilitator. I was very happy to join the induction training, but after completing 13 days of induction I fell ill and could not continue. I honestly wanted to continue but my health kept deteriorating. I went on complete bed rest.

Days later I got a call if I wished to join a new induction program again. I was extremely delighted and agreed without a second thought. I completed my induction successfully and joined FEA on Dec 16, 2014 as a facilitator at Madhu Vihar branch.

Initially I found it very difficult to manage my classroom. I struggled to make it more engaging. There were times when my supervisor used to come and observe my sessions. Those were scary moments for me.  No matter how easily I worded my questions, my students struggled to understand. Then there were days of parents teacher meetings where managing so many complaining parents and making them believe that their child has potential was too much for a struggling facilitator. I was rated as a bottom performer and used to get a lot of feedback. I was really puzzled. I wasn’t happy with my work and planned to leave the job.

Then one day I thought of trying out things differently and setting up little goals for myself. I started by observing my co-facilitators after my sessions. It had a very positive impact on my facilitation skills.  Gradually I began approaching my supervisor and asked for feedback. All these people around me changed my mindset. I started to accept challenges. Managing a complaining parent became easier. Making shy students participate became more fun. I realised I could easily re-word my questions as per the need of my classroom. I began enjoying my days as a facilitator.

Senior management took notice of my developed qualities that two years later, I was promoted as a Travelling Facilitator, next as a Supervisor and later as an Area Manager.

Over all these years I have learnt few things that can make your workplace experience even better

•    Feedback is a key tool for improving both individual and team performance.

•    Good communication allows to build a more trustworthy relationship with one another.

•    Process of developing and writing a self-assessment can be a rewarding experience. Not only will you learn more about yourself, you will establish a dialogue with your supervisor, making the performance review more beneficial to both of you.

So start communicating more, learn a new skill, ask for feedback and keep assessing your progress. I won’t say it’ll be easy. I will also not say it’ll be quick. However, I am willing to bet it’ll be worth it. Moreover, the satisfaction that comes from accomplishing just one of our goals is enough to keep us taking baby steps toward everything else on our list.


I remember the day when I went to attend one of the Super Sunday workshops (Super Sunday is a language support workshop for the facilitators who did not perform well in language assessment). Although not a facilitator anymore, I was learning alongside. During a break time, a facilitator, who was once my student, came to me and inquired softly, “Sir, how come you are also a part of Super Sunday? I thought that it was only for ‘weak’ facilitators so I don’t know why I have been nominated for this workshop.”

I wondered why people see the assessments in so many different ways? Why people have such strong arguments against self-improvement – believing that they scored poorly, they have been asked to attend Super Sunday. I went to attend this workshop with a thought that it is meant to make me identify the skills I need to acquire and how to improve them.

Imagine, a man walking on the road, falls into a heap of garbage. Should he get up, brush off the dirt and continue to walk, or should he continue lying there now that his clothes are already dirty? This is so relevant in our education culture. Thousands of students just stop trying after having failed an evaluation. Whatever be the reason, be it peer pressure, stereotype thinking, it is quite evident that the perception we have developed over the years about failure, lacks growth mindset.

In 1997 when Steve Jobs took over the company he had cofounded, the company was in deep trouble and lacked direction. Three years later in 2000, Jobs had turned Apple completely around.

Did Steve Jobs use magic to turn the company around? Hardly. He and Apple just went back to the basics.

When I identified that I needed to brush upon my skills, I nominated myself for Sunday Language improvement workshops. Who doesn’t want to relax on Sundays? There were multiple reasons to not nominate myself for these Sunday workshops, but a reason to improve, was above everything else.

Language assessment is one of the most important feedback tool in FEA. It is a time to provide feedback, recognize quality performance and set expectations for the overall growth.  It is also a time to have candid conversations about your areas of improvements and how performance can be improved.

Enhancement of language skills through these wonderfully guided workshops makes for an enthusiastic, reflective and responsible facilitator. The facilitators pass on these learnings to their students who in turn employ them as they learn how to be capable, self-motivated, independent, lifelong learners.

There isn’t a set formula to help you improve your skills but constant efforts will take you there eventually.

Amit Sharan

Associate Manager- Audit and Support


There were times I felt like quitting. Pressure of exams, temptation to enjoy a cricket match or the joy of travel during summer holidays tempted me to skip classes. However, there was something that kept inspiring me to attend FEA regularly. I have attended tuition classes, coaching centers and private organization claiming to teach English. Some even claiming to make you a fluent speaker within a month. Lured by such advertisements, we end up paying hefty amounts, only to realize that shortcuts don’t work. And in contrast, we have this high quality FEA program offered to all for free.


When I first saw the blue flex board about classes to learn English that too for free, conflicting thoughts popped in my head – it sounded too good to be true. Based on my past experiences, I would have certainly ignored it. But destiny had something else in store for me. With a bit of courage and uncertainty, I stepped inside the FEA classroom. Since then there has been no looking back. Each day has held a new surprise. The classroom teaching-learning was so engaging and interesting that rarely did I feel like skipping a class. In FEA classroom you find people of all ages, trying to get better at English. Trying to express themselves in a language which is indispensable in the world today, a language that they have been exposed to for so many years yet cannot communicate in it.


I have enjoyed my FEA classes. FEA allowed me to express myself, in English, always. Everyday activities, discussion, debates and role plays made me learn and become more confident. There were days when I felt that now I know English perfectly, the very next day, FEA gave me something new to learn. This fresh and unique learning atmosphere motivated me to be regular.


My BSc. examination dates were announced and exams were to be held from March 6 to March 24 March at Allahabad. When I reached Allahabad on March 4, I got to know that the exams were postponed to March 12.  I returned to Delhi on March 5 because I did not want to miss my FEA classes. I attended FEA sessions till March 9 and went to Allahabad the next day.


When there was a gap of a few days between two exams, I returned to Delhi to attend FEA classes.  I know that this skills will be helpful to me when I have to juggle different responsibilities. It’s a life skill.


I believe that it is a myth that if I attend FEA, I cannot prepare for my exams. In fact learning at FEA complements academic learning.

As a graduate of FEA, I would like to advise all current students to be regular and participative to see a lasting, positive change in themselves.


Story of Satyendra Pandey (Student) told by Anisha Mondal (Branch Manager)- Baljeet Nagar

While I was walking down the road to catch a bus, someone came up running behind me and stopped me in my track.
He looked familiar but I could not place him, and the boy introduced himself as Rahul Kumar, a student of Samaspur branch of FEA. Rahul reminded me that he had attended a Book Discussion that I had conducted at his branch. It was a pleasant surprise to see him speaking confidently.

Rahul is the first member from his family to go to college and his grandparents would like to see him perform in English on stage during the college event. When we met the other day, he greeted me and requested me to recommend an English song that he can perform on stage in his college.

With the humdrum of a public bus stop around me, it was a treat listening to him share about his life in college. He explained how it was a contrast to his days in the government school where he neither had the opportunity nor the confidence to speak in English. A little more than a year of practice at FEA has resulted in a huge difference in his life. He is the go-to person for his peers in college who need assistance during the English lecture. I noticed that he was using phrases liberally and appropriately, as he spoke. I laughed out loud when he asked, pointing at the plastic bag in my hand, “What are you carrying in this plastic bag? Plastics are non-biodegradable.” Never before had I loved being corrected for my behaviour! Never before did I have such an enriching conversation at a bus stop!

Just before my bus arrived, he said sagaciously, “Sir, there are many such Rahuls for whom FEA has been a life changing platform. To speak a global language is a source of tremendous joy.”

Students like Rahul make all the young leaders at FEA believe more firmly that destiny changes when we work hard.

Avishek Singh

Curriculum Manager

“Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.” (Sharon Draper)


One such perfectly happy moment was when it was announced ‘…And the first prize goes to…. Ankit Nagar’ during the prize distribution of the FEA Facilitators Quiz Contest. This was my unforgettable moment.

Rewind to December 2016, I read the mail about “FEA QUIZ CONTEST” and I could hear myself say, “I can win this!!” Being an engineer by training, I was confident of sailing through in logical and reasoning categories with ease. I was buzzing with excitement.

The quiz stretched over 3-4 months with one round completed every month. The very first round had all 300+ facilitators of FEA participate and with each  round, some of them were eliminated from the quiz. The first round was to include reasoning, general knowledge, literature and current affairs. While preparing for this round, I managed to read recommended library books. In that round, as in all others, facilitators from all across Delhi and UP participated and I bagged the second position, feeling fortunate and blessed. The appreciation and honor I received was more precious than any material gift. With every round my self-esteem and the confidence grew. And I continued to win all the rounds. Victory in these rounds also brought popularity and I  made many friends in each of these rounds.

All of us started eagerly to look forward to the Reconnects when these rounds were held.

For the Finale on  27th April, 2017, 31 finalists from all over Delhi and UP were called to the Head Office. It was heartening to see other finalists their supporters, along with some FEA graduates. Each one of us felt like a winner.




This was more diverse and exciting contest than the previous rounds. It was well prepared and planned. There were 6 different categories and each one of them was tougher than other. I decided not be nervous but to enjoy every bit of it as it was designed to be enjoyed. I attempted every round with enthusiasm.

During this journey of participation, I learned that winning is not everything. The joyful experience that we savored over these few months and the memories which I carry from all these rounds will be cherished throughout my life.

And the moment when my name was announced as the winner of FEA QUIZ CONTEST-2017 was splendid one. It has motivated me to work harder as an individual and as a facilitator.

Hoping, for more such contests in the near future.


Ankit Nagar

Tehkhand (PM Facilitator)

In September 2016, FEA started its spoken English course for about 20 young cyclists, who had come from all around India to coach and prepare for 2020 Olympics. At FEA, we call them, ‘Future Olympians’.

Every Saturday and Sunday one of FEA staff members goes to the Indira Gandhi International Stadium and teaches them English using the FEA program. These are 14 -18 year old students who have been identified and selected from Andaman & Nicobar, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Manipur and other parts of India to be groomed and trained to compete in 2020 Olympics to be held in Japan. These students reside in the hostel of the stadium, train for 4 hours in the morning, then go to a regular school and train again for two hours after school. Having studied in rural schools, none of the students could speak English and were finding it difficult to cope with schooling and life in Delhi. So FEA got involved. For Future Olympians, the FEA classes are held between 10:00 am- 1:00 pm on the weekends given their gruelling school and practice schedule. They are super naughty, a bit stubborn, hyper active and eager to learn something new. Their early morning practice leaves them tired, still when they enter the class their faces light up at the thought of mischief and tricking the teacher.

photo copy

In November it was my birthday. Usually, birthdays are mere annual events – they come and go. However, sometimes the people around us make it so special that its etched in our souls for years to come.

On my birthday last year, I was showered with blessings, calls, messages, Facebook posts and so on. Still I was missing home and had to hold back my tears time and again. When I went to teach the Future Olympians, things struck me as odd. All of them were already in conference room where the classes are held (usually they  trickle in slowly after the class begins). All were grinning from ear to ear with mischief in their eyes. As I opened the door, I was greeted with a chorus of “Happy Birthday ….”by the 23 Future Olympians, their Senior Coach Amar Singh (international cycling coach, an Arjuna awardee) and other coaches of the Cycling Federation of India. There were ribbons and balloons, bouquet, tea, biscuits, juice and, in the middle of the room, on the table a big birthday cake.  I was overwhelmed with emotions, stunned to do or say anything.

I consider it my good fortune to get respect and love from these students, who practice from 5:30 in the morning irrespective of weather, fatigue and sickness and go to bed only after midnight.  They go to a regular school, where many of them are struggling due to their inability to communicate in English. After the celebration, I went to thank Coach Amar Singh and modestly said, “Sir, there was really no need for this. Your blessings were more than enough….”  He responded with, “I have seen these kids evolve from in-disciplined teenagers to dedicated youngsters, in a short span of few months. They have learnt team work and a common language to communicate. It makes them less home sick and bond better with each other. All credit goes to FEA.” I felt pride and humility simultaneously.

These same students all under the age of 17 have set 3 new national records in their cycling meet in December 2016. As I celebrate their accomplishment, I realize what we do for our students, is so little compared to what they give us in return.

Aditi Bisht

Coach (Music-based Learning)

There is a very simple formula if you are not able to do something. Start to pretend that you can and that you are doing well. Soon it will become real and you will enjoy it. If you have fear of speaking in public, just pretend that you have no such fears and that you enjoy public speaking. After some time it will be real. If you feel hesitant, just behave as if you are confident and, believe me, very soon you will not be hesitant. Once you have the initial confidence that is necessary to believe that you can do it, you work to get better at whatever it is that you are faking.

Blog Image

Photo Courtesy -

Let me give you a real life example -

There was a boy who was very shy and could not talk in presence of other people. He liked to stay alone and whenever he had to hold conversation with others, he shivered and stammered. Then, he joined Freedom English Academy (FEA) in March 2015 as a student. F.E.A was a life changing platform for him. He was learning not only English but also how to behave for success. He was taught to become a self-motivated person. He soon began to fight with his fears. In the beginning, he spoke in front of others shaking and shivering, but pretending that he was doing fine. With regular participation and practice his fears began to fade away.

The boy who could not speak in presence of another person, now speaks confidently in front of many people, everyday.

I thank my facilitator,

Who boarded me in elevator.

The elevator of success,

Where I had all the access

To all that was not weak.

So I started to speak.

I am still in the elevator.

And now I am also a facilitator.

And yes, that boy is me.

Remember faking is the first step that gets you in. It must built upon it, with effort and introspection, for fake to become and stay real.

Deepak Verma


FEA Kheriya Mor (Agra)


Life. Life has its way to twist and turn things. It also has its way of making sense. Every unexpected turn that we have to take is almost like a leap of faith, we take it with fear and hope. There are 99 reasons to not do something and yet sometimes just 1 reason is enough to overpower the rest. That is how my journey with FEA began. It began with the thought, “maybe not.” But I gave it a shot, and it changed me. It made me better and it still continues to do so.

When I joined the induction training, I did not know what I would come across or what I would learn. I was blank. When it started, what I experienced was completely unexpected, everything was a realization or a revelation. I had never learnt with a smile or laughter before!!

The little things in life that we take for granted are the ones which can make a huge difference. In our training. Observation of these invisible entities can bring great change, and every day I try to look for these ‘little’ things in my centre, students, and surroundings.

During my first centre visit, it was all good but I was unsure if I wanted to do the job. I thought I would decide after the training. On my second centre visit things had changed, I was not questioning the job or the work anymore. I was questioning myself – was I good enough for the job? It was something I had not seen in my entire life, or experienced – learning that is beautiful, fun and progressive. It was all at once and could seem nothing at first, because it was not about teaching others or developing others…it was about nurturing everyone. It was not just about the students, it was about me too… students are not the only ones growing and learning but I am growing too, I am learning too.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

As a facilitator, there is a lot to learn – processed, methodologies from my seniors. There are things that I learn during my sessions, with the students sitting in front of me, some eager to ask questions and others who are shy. When I read their expressions and mould my ways according to their understanding, I learn about people, about their understanding and about their problems. I feel happy when they smile and nostalgic about my school days when they are enthusiastic and mischievous. And every time I see them progressing, it feels like it’s my progress. It is my progress.

The mission of Freedom English Academy has really touched my heart. The goal to create a thought process that is independent; that thinks for building a better future; that is not a blind follower but an active thinker, is a very noble objective and I’m pleased to be a part of it.

My journey with FEA, as a trainee and as a facilitator, has been highly unexpected. It has been wonderful and every tiny experience took me by surprise. It has proved that unexpected events are not always bad, in fact they can change your life for the better. I was able to do things which I I never dreamed myself capable of. The journey continues.

If we are not improving, then we are not really going anywhere. We are standing at the same place, hoping for the destination to come to us, which is quite a far-fetched idea. FEA brings out the best in people – students or staff. It is trying to break the old system of teaching – students are just blank papers that teachers have to fill with knowledge. AT FEA, we believe that students have thinking brains, they just need to be motivated to think, to unleash their power of knowledge.

FEA has been that source of learning for me.


Sonia Gosain


FEA, Pul Prahladpur

To be an inspiration to others, first, one should be self- inspired. If one cannot inspire oneself it will be hard to inspire others.

Sometimes life takes U-turn to test our patience, test our motivational skills and it also create situations in which we can’t find out ways to rescue ourselves, but it provides us enough opportunities to beat our defeat and start once again, with great power and determination.

Given the relationship we share with our students, FEA facilitators are privileged to have opportunity to touch lives in a very significant way.

In July, 2015, I underwent surgery and so when I reached the centre the next day, I had evident stitches. A fortnight later, my student, Amar Mandal walked in with a bandage around his head. He had met with an accident on his bicycle and came directly from the hospital with 4 stitches on his forehead, to attend the class.  He was inspired by me and we  were all inspired by him.

Blog 1

Inspiration was flowing deep and swift in my center. In August, 2015, I started the Library Program in my center, my students and I had to read together for an hour every week. On one such day, my student Neeraj Kumar came to the center along with the cover page of a book and said that: “Ma’am, I have started writing a book and this is the cover page of that book. I would like to dedicate this book to FEA, as it is  providing free Library to us and developing habit of reading and our thinking skills.”

Blog 2
He was inspired and, once again, we were inspired. We are now eagerly awaiting the completion of the book that Neeraj has been writing to be inspired by his effort and grateful heart.



Govindpuri Center)

Reading good books is a difficult but life-transforming habit.

It was my first day in FEA Centre on March 9, 2015 after completing the Induction training. This was before Power Hour was initiated and I was ignorant about the library program. One day I have received an email about my library training. I got trained and was very excited and expectant about the program.  I passed on my excitement to my students as well but there was no sign of library books.

Every day, my students would ask when they would get the books that they were itching to read.  Unconvincingly, I would say, “Very soon”.

On the day of every Consolidation we used to discuss importance of reading, how to take care of books and the books we like/would like to read.

Source - Unknown

Source – Unknown

Finally, we received our library books. On the first day itself, students reserved their books for next 3 weeks. Most of the students read one who book before the week was over. That week we had a real book discussion session.

There were a few students who were reluctant to read. I did not force them. For the following book discussion, I planned a new and interesting strategy. I asked the students to deliver their favorite dialogs or parts from their books, using correct renunciation and intonation.  This engaged both the active and reluctant readers. I encouraged them to read the pictorial and simple Cherry Tree (by Ruskin Bond). They found it very interesting.

After conducting a successful BD, we were on a roll. I asked students for ideas to make it more effective. It was agreed that we will make half an hour for reading every day. When most students were able to make it a habit. Now it was time to engage with the parents as active partners in students’ learning.

On the day of PTI, I discussed the power of reading with the parents seeking their support so that the students can make the time and develop the habit of reading. Parents and students started conducting BD at home with students sharing their reading with their parents before going to bed. Every subsequent PTI parents were encouraged to share their experience. One of my student’s mother shared how earlier the conversation at home was predominantly about the daily soaps and how it had changed to discussion about books and stories.

Every book discussion was planned differently and creatively. By the time they appeared for E5 evaluation, all the students had read 3-4 novels and  cleared their E5 successfully in the first attempt. On February 29, 2016 it was their last PTI of my students – it was a certificate distribution ceremony. Parents were very proud and happy. They took a pledge along with their wards that they would start gifting books to their wards, relatives and friends on their birthdays and will advise others to do so to.

We choose our attitude towards people and situations. Either we can fix the problem or the blame. Introspectively, the delay in arrival of the books to our centre was a blessing in disguise as it gave us time to talk and get enthused about books.


Shaheen Shekh