Tuesday, 23 July 2013

My First Training

- Shadab Ahmed

Shadab is a Training Fellow in the Pratham Education Fellowship. He is currently working as the Master Trainer for Bihar. He recently completed his first teacher training in Varanasi, where he was helping the UP team. Here he writes about his experience

It was my first Learn, Out of the Box training, and the location was Varanasi. This was the moment I was waiting for, for the last one month. I was eager, prepared and mesmerized over the first ever training I was going to conduct for the Learn, Out of the Box programme. The temperature started building up from the Master Training refresher training. The moment we (Rudro and I) boarded the train, my heart was saying “Hey! Varanasi I am coming”. 

When we arrived at the city Mr. Anil was there to receive us. We prepared the training room and also did some mock sessions. Here I should mention the support and feedback Rudro gave me, it was awesome.

First day! We reached the venue one hour early and rechecked everything, as we didn’t want to have any loopholes. The clock was not ready to show “8”; “Are all clocks showing the right time?”, I asked myself? But at last it was eight – thought by 8:15 there was still nobody there, and so we waited, and waited, and waited.

I started my session on the first day at 10:00. Teachers opened up, thanks to Aparna and all those who showed us various icebreakers which worked. But teachers again were not comfortable with time and the agenda, and it was a hard nut to crack. We continued with the agenda and teachers started learning and enjoying the training. They enjoyed the ‘How we learn’ process, and some even told me that they never think of this process. Now time started running and we ended the first day with 12 teachers.

The second day started a bit late, i.e. 09:00. As I showed the goal setting activity, I could read the face of teachers saying ‘What else do you have in your agenda that is equally interesting and educative? After that, the See, Think, and Do section demos cleared all misconception in their minds (Thanks again to Aparna, Rudro and all other for your valuable inputs). We ended the session with a session on assessments and all teachers were so glad that they promised they will come on time the next day.

On the third day, once again, only three teachers were on time -thank God someone has understood the importance of time. I told all of them to prepare for See, Think and Do and they did it with great zeal. We randomly selected the pairs for the demonstration of See, Think and Do. I tell you, everybody was so excited, that they gave their 100% dedication and also showed some innovative methods. I also explained the content of the WebBox to a Principal, after which she stayed to watch some of their See, Think, and Do sessions. Also we received feedback that the WebBox is a very easy and effective tool for demonstration of the topic.

Once again, on the last day, nobody was on time - and so I thought they can’t change. We started the day with the Classroom Planning session, it seemed like they were not getting the idea so I suddenly improvised the session. Teachers compared the Good class with the Bad class by drawing both the classes on a sheet of paper. And as if it created the spark within the teachers, they started coming up with the ideas, and discussion was promoted and it was successful. Again, the Principal walked in to see what I was doing and I engaged her during the problem solving activity, which she found to be very effective and practical. After my Demo we performed the back to back drawing activity, and at the feedback session when I ended the training I got a lot of appreciation from  the teachers and the Principal. Teachers themselves accepted that the length of training and the content is needed and they also liked our way of teaching with activities. They all appreciated the content, the WebBox and my delivery of the topics.

I would like to thank Aparna and all my learn out of the Box team members for their continuous support and constructive feedback that helped and developed me a lot. Additionally I would like to thank Rudro for listening to me, late into the night, about my next day plans; all the support and motivation he shared with me (which I was in need of); and also to Vikram Pal, for his quick and prompt support. Thank you U.P, I look forward to many more such trainings.