As Educate for Life transitions towards greater systematisation at every level, continuous capacity building of teachers remains a priority. One of the ways through which we aim to achieve this is through interactions and knowledge sharing with external experts. The visit by Amrita nair and Mayuri Golambde from Apni Shala, a Mumbai-based organisation that helps teachers integrate life-skills in every classroom, was one such step in this direction. In order to assess the needs of teachers, Amrita and Mayuri not only had classroom observations but also one to one discussions with them as seen in the picture above. Hunar Ghar principal Chandrakant Sharma shares his thoughts on the ongoing engagement with Apni Shala.
The representatives from Apni Shala visited the community to understand the socio-economic and cultural context followed by classroom observations with Hunar Ghar teachers. They had one-to-one interaction with the teachers to understand the challenges that they face in the classroom while working with children and how they currently engage with life skills in the classrooms. They also conducted workshops with children at Hunar Ghar on life skills. During these workshops they used tools like drama, story-telling, crafts with chart papers etc.
Continuing the engagement further, two teachers from Hunar Ghar, Ajit Sangia and Shantilal Bumburiya, visited Mumbai to participate in a workshop conducted by Apni Shala. This was a first of its kind experience for our teachers where they learnt about life skills which can be integrated in classroom curriculum. Life skills like creativity, confidence, empathy, team work equip us to face the challenges of everyday life. The teachers had a fair idea of the life skills that are needed by the children at Hunar Ghar. However, this workshop gave them an idea about how to use this knowledge in their classrooms. The workshop also helped them to identify ways to work on this together with the children and enable them to get prepared for the challenges they face in life.
The Mumbai visit was also an opportunity for our teachers to understand more about children who come from a very different context. These children, as observed by our teachers, visited different places in Mumbai to identify social issues in various localities and discussed ways to solve them in teams. They identified social challenges in those localities like shortage of water, noise pollution, waste management etc. The children prepared chart paper presentations, plays and songs for awareness as part of the team work and presented them in front of a jury. They also presented their findings and suggestions to the communities which were facing the challenges. The community gave largely positive feedback to the presentations which was a source of confidence and motivation for children.
The presentations by children constituted a wonderful learning for all the participants in the workshop. Our teachers enjoyed the workshop and understand the process better now. They also got an opportunity to share the innovative practices at Hunar Ghar related to community learning like Community Learning Mornings, Child Learning Demonstration Days and Project Based Summative Assessments with the Apni Shala team. Our teachers found the discussions on communication, teamwork, empathy, confidence and life skills very helpful.
All the teachers at Hunar Ghar are extremely excited about the upcoming visit from Apni Shala during the June orientation and work with them towards evolving our teaching process.