Monday, 16 September 2013

A Warm Beginning to Trainings

Nayan is our Training Fellow based out of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Here she shares her experiences of her first training which she conducted. This was part of the teachers training in  Uttar Pradesh. 

Pratham Education Foundation’s initiative ‘Learn, Out of the Box’ was started in Uttar Pradesh as part of the Phase II launch.  The first teacher trainings for Uttar Pradesh started in Allahabad, Kanpur and Varanasi simultaneously on 08th July 2013. The Central Team, the Regional Program Manager and all the trainers were ready and excited about the training.

I felt really fortunate to come to Kanpur and be part of the larger Pratham family. On 6th July I reached Kanpur with many questions and apprehensions about my first training. The first thing I wanted to see was the training venue; I was eager to plan my trainings as per the space and the structure of the venue.

Finally, after all the preparations were complete, we were all set to begin the first day with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. We entered our very own ‘mini-Kerala’ (our training venue) that is known for its lush greenery. The State head, Ajitji and the RPAs were present to welcome, and encourage us
After some fun ice breaker activities, I started the training with the first session ‘Getting to know each other’ which familiarizes the teachers with each other and introduced myself to the group. I felt so comfortable that very moment and in addition, the support I received from Aparna, Vikram Pal, Bineet and Akash helped me execute my session with ease and composure.

I learnt a lot of things on the first day itself: small strategies such as changing the schedule based on local conditions, changing the type of questions based on teacher responses, etc. It reminded me of an important training tip: be flexible and adaptive at all times.

Teachers writing their views on education like how it should be and how they envision it to be.

After a great lunch, in lovely weather, we ended the day with the ‘How We Learn session’ where teachers understand the importance of diversified teaching and learning activities.

The second day of training was an enriching experience where I learnt to deal with unexpected situations and work my way through them. I was prepared and set to the start the training day with a fun icebreaker only to realize that just 2 teachers had showed up at 9 a.m. I was flustered, but started introspecting on the sessions of the previous day. I kept thinking of different reasons behind the absence of the teachers. It was at this time that Aparna calmed me down and suggested various ideas to adjust our agenda based on the situation. Soon after we started the session with the teachers who were present, the rest of the teachers walked in. I welcomed them as usual but took the chance to remind them to come on time for the next days. This experience taught me the importance of being flexible, encouraging and firm at the same time.

Since the second day is focused more on the content, the teachers enjoyed each and every session thoroughly. Every one participated in all the sessions very enthusiastically. It showed that they were motivated to learn and explore new ways of teaching. It was also a wonderful experience to see how teachers compete with each other in the gaming session, almost reliving their childhood days.
If I had to describe my overall training experience in a few words, I would say that it was an enriching and amazing experience. I realized that the maximum amount of learning occurs during the execution of a session. As a trainer, I learnt how to deal with non-cooperative teachers or disruptive situations as, and when, such problems surfaced. My belief - that we must all share, create, learn and innovate together - was also reaffirmed with this training. I sincerely thank everyone for all their support and encouragement.