Interview with David Chesney: Journey from a student to an educator with a passion to teach | Aga Khan Academies

Interview with David Chesney: Journey from a student to an educator with a passion to teach

29 September 2023

Upon graduating from the Aga Khan Academy (AKA) Hyderabad, David Chesney, a Class of 2014 alumnus from the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad, went to Christ University in Bangalore, India, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Following the completion of his undergraduate studies, he went to the University of Georgia to pursue a Master of Arts in Economics. In 2023, David joined AKA Hyderabad as a Grade 5 Homeroom teacher for the Primary Years Programme (PYP), where he instructs students in English, Mathematics and Unit of Inquiry.

Why did you decide to become a teacher at AKA Hyderabad?
I returned to India just before the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic and joined as an educator for Teach for India. My three-year stint with Teach for India gave me insights into the prevailing educational system and its challenges within the country. It became instrumental in planting and nurturing my desire to discover and delve into different aspects of the educational system in India. The Academy has always felt like home, and when I met with the chance to return to the Academy and contribute to the community, I seized it at the very first moment.

How did AKA Hyderabad help you realise you wanted to become a teacher?
As a student, I was always fascinated by the pedagogies the teachers followed in everyday classroom sessions. Learning at the Academy was not restricted to textbooks and theories but evolved beyond the classroom walls to firsthand experiences, giving us a holistic and immersive learning experience. The care with the teachers explained each concept intrigued my interest and I learned how to teach in the process. All of these had and continue to inspire me as a teacher.

As an alumnus of AKA Hyderabad, how is your relationship with your students?
The modest age difference with my students facilitates a strong connection, making it easier for me to engage with the young learners. As an alumnus of AKA Hyderabad, I have a profound understanding of the Academy’s teaching methods. I also strongly understand and adhere to the values of pluralism, culture and ethical leadership that the Academy promotes. My deep-rooted bond with the Academy helps me as a facilitator in effectively instilling these principles into my students. I believe that teaching is not just restricted to imparting knowledge but nurturing and guiding young minds in a holistic manner, fostering their intellectual, emotional and social growth within the framework of the visions and missions of His Highness the Aga Khan.