Faculty Profile: India Chakraverty

India Chakraverty, Associate Teacher

India grew up in the Central Valley, in a family of teachers. Their mother and father teach fourth and sixth through eighth grade respectively, their uncle was a P.E. teacher, and their Ammi (grandmother) was an English teacher in India. 
India is a San Francisco State University graduate with a BA and MFA in Creative Writing. “Living in San Francisco, I’ve learned it’s okay to be yourself. Being half white and half Indian growing up in the Central Valley, I would get ‘what are you’ as opposed to ‘who are you.’” India worked hard, and started saving to go college when they were 10. “I had a limited edition Star Wars pringle jar. I would put the money [my family] gave me in there.”
India has been teaching for 7 years, starting in college. Their professors regularly asked them to teach classes, in undergrad and when they were earning their MFA. During the breaks, their mother would ask them to teach in her fourth grade class. “I would teach writing lessons for fourth grade. That’s when the core amount of writing starts!”
India loves working with fourth graders: “I love this age. It’s so great. They can work by themselves, and they aren’t afraid to ask for help. Plus they read good books. I’ve been reading the books they’ve been reading, like the Warrior Series by Aron Hunter. Because of them I have Wings of Fire, and Keeper of the Lost Cities”. Their favorite part of teaching fourth grade “is when whatever you’re teaching them clicks in their head. Their eyes become bright, and big as saucers. It’s absolutely amazing to see a kid be able to understand what you’re talking about. The moment of OH! It’s my favorite thing.”
India started at Burke’s working with the fourth-grade team last year in Lower and Upper School classrooms as part of the CSSS team. “I immediately felt included and empowered [at Burke’s]. The students want to help each other. They want to see each other succeed. Not only are they like that for each other, they’re like that for their teachers. I can come here, and be gender noncomforming, and be completely accepted, it’s amazing. Burke's ignited the wish to teach in me. The values of the school, the amazing faculty and staff, and the empowerment of women made the choice of where to teach easy”.
They’ve learned a lot from working with the LS team. A classroom activity India enjoys is five-star conversations, which are crafted to get students to think critically. “The big question is why.” Students think through a series of questions about their readings, from what they are noticing, what the characters feel, and the students’ feelings about the story itself. 
“I love when we do read-alouds. Kids love to be read to. Even at 9 and 10 years old. They just watch you read and stare at the pics, It’s amazing. I even love being read to. That’s definitely one of my favorites.” 
In their free time, India likes to “read, read, read, and read”. They recently finished The Bank by Bentley Little, their favorite horror author. They also enjoy Frederick Bachman and Nicola Yoon. They are a writer, and are currently working on publishing a novel. India also likes spending time with their two cats, Bagheera (it means Black Tiger in Bengali, in Hindi and Urdu it means Black Panther), and Daly. India is also an avid baker, and enjoys making gluten free and vegan goodies so that everyone can partake. They enjoy spending time with their fiancé and keeping in touch with their parents with regular phone calls. 
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.


An independent K–8 school for girls
7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: 415.751.0177 Fax: 415.666.0535
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