Monthly Archives: January 2017

Savarirayulu Government School visit to StemLand

Mrs. Hemavathi ( the principal of Savarirayulu govt. girls high school) had visited us a few weeks back and spent a day at STEMland talking to children and seeing their work. Hemavathi is the general secretary of the Pondicherry Science Forum and a very respected teacher trainer in the government. She was thrilled with the motivation and self-direction of the children who she saw were able to work independently and effectively. In her visitor note she wrote that STEM land gives her hope.

She put this in action and this week she organized all her 20 odd teachers to come during the holiday to STEM Land for training. We also prepared for a 4 hrs module on teacher training including use of stewardship tools that look choice of working from possibility and fears and doing things differently. We then jumped into getting teachers who had been fearful of computers for 30-40 yrs to program with scratch. The teachers were very engaged and delayed their lunch by an hour and a half to work.

They also interacted with children and their reflections at the end of the day gave us hope of changes in attitudes both towards technology and how they work with children. We felt that this school is the first government school to whom we are going to partner with for training and continued work with the children.

Here is what we personally felt about the workshop with the teachers,

Arun:

Teachers’ sharing:

  • A Computer teacher requested her school teachers not to be strict to children and instruct each and every movement of the child. Instead she wants teachers to show love and care so that the children don’t move into fears. She added that children will have the courage to ask doubts if that happen.
  • I had an assumption that the Govt school teachers won’t be open to learning. But Kabilan (8th Grader) taught scratch to the computer teachers and they were very open to learning no matter who was teaching them.

Insight:

  • Freedom is an universal value.

Bala:

From people sharing:

  • At lunch, I told the teachers that they can sit anywhere and have their food. A teacher replied saying that ‘you are giving so much freedom to your children and we know that we are allowed to sit anywhere we want’. It struck me that not many schools give freedom to children to make their choices.
  • A teacher at my table said that creating projects in the computer is real learning and very different from other schools where they simply give internal marks without doing anything.
  • A teacher said that he stood for all the values – I had the same thought one day, for me to happy I have to be in all the universal values. Was interesting to hear someone had the same thought as me.
  • Another teacher shared about how she was always for others and this was the first time she had time to think about herself and her values/stand.

My insights:

  • I was able to look at the wisdom profile of the teachers. Before, I looked at their social profile and made assumptions. I was able to break it.
  • I learnt to look at situations from different perspectives/lenses.

Prathap:

  • Whatever I do, I have to love it and do (work). This requires sincerity, responsibility and progress. All those will come if I love what I do. This is what I learned from the teacher’s insight.
  • The other insight was that if I have a problem in my project, I have to see that with different perception or from all points of view and sort out the problem.
  • If students didn’t do their work,  I have to connect their stand  with what they do and make them to work from their stand instead of their fears. It doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be firm (on my objectives) on what I want to see in a larger picture.

Sundar:

What i was inspired with:

  • Elder gentleman, who stood for all values but had to enter with his own door into this whole set of universal values.
  • ‘I need to express myself as i and not as we all the time, i don’t have to talk for the sake of others’
  • High value for children coming from not that high class background.

Vaidegi:

My insights are,

  • Age doesn’t matter. All I need is Enthusiasm and courage to accept and create what I want to see in the society.
  • Sincerity and being rigorous are what I learned from Hemavathi.
  • It gave a new lens to look at what is meant by a TEACHER.

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Govt School Teacher’s visit to Stem Land

From people sharing:

  • At lunch, I told the teachers that they can sit anywhere and have their food. A teacher replied saying that ‘you are giving so much freedom to your children and we know that we are allowed to sit anywhere we want’. It struck me that not many schools give freedom to children to make their choices.
  • A teacher at my table said that creating projects in the computer is real learning and very different from other schools where they simply give internal marks without doing anything.
  • A teacher said that he stood for all the values – I had the same thought one day, for me to happy I have to be in all the universal values. Was interesting to hear someone had the same thought as me.
  • Another teacher shared about how she was always for others and this was the first time she had time to think about herself and her values/stand.

My insights:

  • I was able to look at the wisdom profile of the teachers. Before, I looked at their social profile and made assumptions. I was able to break it.
  • I learnt to look at situations from different perspectives/lenses.

2016 Review – Bala, Sundar

2016 has been a challenging year for me both mentally and physically. I am able to see the difference in myself as compared to the previous year where I was literally a novice both at work and as a person.

My biggest learning at work is that I have found out ways to be more efficient and efficacious, be it automating work or asking other people for help. The two weeks we spent in Bangalore gave me an idea of how people work in the ‘real’ world. It gave an opportunity to learn from different people and their style of work. This was the year where I was able to make significant progress in my project.

Last year, Aura Auro had given me different platforms to explore more about myself ie, workshops such as Nainital, Stewardship and Vippasana(though I didn’t complete it). All of these helped me know about myself better. From being a participant to being a PC in the Stewardship workshop, the experience has been very different. As a PC I learnt that I need to be more rigorous in my practices. Providing a space for others to explore and learn at the same time gave me happiness.

As a teacher I am able to read the children better than last year. I used to get triggered a lot often but now I tend to listen to them openly. This made me address their problems better.

And as always contributing to the schools and to Auroville makes me feel that I am a part of this place and that I am giving something back to the society that brought me up right from my childhood.

To conclude, 2016 has been a year where both Aura Auro and I have progressed to the next stage. In cricketing terms, we began the innings with a four(people) and we finished it with a six!(people)

Regards
Bala

Reflections of 2016

From the of start of 2016 to the present (Jan 08 2017), Time has been short yet has taught me plenty. The person I was and the person I have become has a lot to say about the many things that I have done and experienced, for me the most important thing that I care about is the freedom and universal truth that I put together in doing things in my journey, one path that I took among many that I enjoyed doing was learning and teaching at the same time with the children and my colleagues. I have, and am working with the 6th and 7th std students of Udavi school. The 7th come to STEMLAND for their mathematics class, while the 6th are at the New Building campus of the school.

This time when participating and being part of the organization team for the SFNE made visible the unseen, the amount of work and energy, effort put together to bring out the workshop by all the members was inspiring and moment was amazing.

I am gifted to be part of a larger community and given a space to grow and enhance by competence being in the AAD’s team. I have come to know how import it is to give what I have and receive what is it that is out there.

Regards
Sundar