Wednesday, 2 April 2014

'Training Fellowship' - Spring Refresher Training

We recently concluded a 4-day Master Trainer Refresher Training from the 26th of March to the 29th of March. All 7 of our Master Trainers from across the country, Gangadhar, Nayan, Bikash, Pratibha, Swarnali, Nidhi and Durgesh joined us in Delhi with a focus to reflect on their experiences so far, review their fellowship projects and build on their skills. We also welcomed Nipun to the team, he would be joining the Central Team based in Delhi.

Day 1

We started Day 1, with a Team Building Activity where our trainers were asked to find a path through a maze that we made. There were a lot of laughs and giggles through the confusion but eventually they managed to find the right path.

After the team building activity, we shifted focus to our MT Projects and each of our trainers presented their “My Schools” projects.

It was interesting to see their plan for their projects and above all, each trainer could take something out of each other’s projects and enhance their own.
After lunch, we left for the Katha office. Katha is a non-profit organisation that trains teachers to teach through story telling. The trainers told us about their methodology and we even created our own stories. We did a fascinating activity where we collected leaves, used plastic wrappers, twigs, etc. and used them to come up with a story on a given subject after visualising it on chart paper with the collected waste material.

Day 2 & 3
We were joined on Day 2, by Rima from P-Media Impressions, a private media enterprise supported by Pratham and Anupam Barve, a filmmaker and former professor at the University of Westminster, UK to conduct a 2 day Video Making Workshop. A lot of trainers had expressed that they would like to make videos as part of their project so we thought this would be a useful workshop for them.

We started the workshop by watching the 1959 Academy Award winning 10 minute documentary, Glas. This caught everyone’s interest and was a good start to the workshop. We then watched a film where an actor had the same expression followed by three different images and the expression could be read differently. We paired up with our cameras and tried replicating the same. Watching our creations was a lot of fun.
We ended the day going through the basic settings on a digital camera and a tripod. Some might find it simple but it is very easy to miss out on a setting here and there. It was useful to know what the ideal setting to shoot a video is. We were also shown the ideal angles to shoot interviews and how much of a subject’s face should be in the frame amongst other techniques.

Day 3 started with us watching a few more short documentaries more relevant to our programme. We were then divided into 3 groups, each group was given an hour and a theme to shoot videos and come back. The themes were Interviews, Environment and Atmosphere of the city and Working Class of the city. Once the groups finished shooting and all the footage was compiled, it was nice to see that some of the techniques learnt were used while filming.
After giving us tips and pointers on the videos shot, Anupam closed the 2 day Video workshop with a quick introduction to Editing.

As soon as we were going to leave for Lodhi Gardens for a picnic it started raining. We still decided to brave the rain and spent an enjoyable evening with some Frisbee, Volleyball and Pizza.

Day 4
Our final day started with a workshop by Vinod Karate, Relationship Manager, STIR Education. STIR Education’s vision is to build a movement of teacher changemakers who improve children’s learning.

He talked to us about finding “microinnovations” amongst teachers who use various methods without realising how useful their methods would be in other schools across the country. We talked about ways in which teachers pleasantly surprised us and brainstormed on ways that we can encourage teachers to share and use different innovations while teaching.
Our trainers presented their “Resource Box” project, where they are still experimenting with how they plan on making it accessible to teachers and RPAs but it was encouraging to see the ideas they have come up with. We then had a Teach & Learn Session where the trainers got to choose to sit through three quick 15-minute sessions on A Framework for Evaluation, Tools for Performance Appraisal, The Art of Positioning and Graphs & Charts: Which & How.
We closed the training with a quick summary of the past 4 days and a short discussion on their way forward.
It was great having all the Master Trainers together again; we encourage them to focus on their projects as they come towards the end of their fellowship. We’d also like to thank all our guest speakers for their time.