Thursday, 10 September 2015

Joining hands with Govt teachers

Recently, Mantra was invited by Mrs. Nagarathnamma, BEO- South Range II, Bangalore to conduct training for Govt English teachers in her block on use of phonetics in classrooms. The training session was conducted at the BRC, Hosahalli School and was attended by 22 teachers and 2 CRPs (Cluster Resource Person).

Our team at Mantra was overwhelmed by the response, we received. The excitement among teachers was contagious. They loved the way sounds of alphabets could be used in classrooms to introduce new words. The games and activities that were planned as part of the session saw enthused participation. Even as the clock ticked 5:00 PM, teachers showed no sign of hurry to head home. Some of the teachers stayed back asking us various questions. It was amazing to be part of such a group.

Seeing the positive response, one of the CRPs, Mrs. Nirmala Mary has asked us to further conduct this training for more teachers in schools of her cluster. We look forward to joining hands with these new set of teachers to take the best practices forward.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Bringing parents and teachers together - one STEP at a time.

At Mantra, we religiously believe in the power of collaboration and purposeful participation. Establishing an effective school-community connect is, hence an important aspect of our initiative, STEP (School Transformation and Empowerment Project). We consciously work on this in all our partner schools. Here's a story from one of our Government partner schools.

The school principal is an amazing lady who supported the idea of inviting parents and community members to school with great enthusiasm. Parents were familiar to the concept of parents-teachers meeting, but hadn't expected finding us at their doorsteps with the invitation. Four of the SDMC members, whom we lovingly call 'Didi' accompanied us to several houses in the not-so-closely-knit community. Thanks to their expert guidance within the narrow lanes , we could invite many parents personally; and in the process, gulped down countless cups of tea. Some of the women would just not permit us to leave without having tea. Seema didi (one of the students' mother) actually smilingly 'threatened' us that if we didn't take tea, she won't come for the meeting. Quite a deal..!

Since then, we have conducted four such meetings. And the attendance has seen a constant steep rise. Parents come to school on days of these meetings and ensure that they bring along 2-3 extra community members with them. Next, these parents proudly take the visitors to the classrooms and explain the purpose of various charts that have been put on the walls. These expressions of happiness and pride are priceless. Parents have voluntarily agreed that to cooperate with teachers to keep track of their children's learning. The school diary has now become a medium for two-way communication.

And now comes the best and the most recent part of the story..!
During our last meeting, parents suggested that we should fix first Saturday of every month as the Parents-Teachers meeting day. Whoa..! The school principal, teachers and us were completely taken by surprise because we had been internally discussing along the same lines. And so, we agreed.....instantly.

Any of you, reading this blog want to see how community comes together to participate and contribute in the process of their children's learning, please write to us and we will take you to the site of this amazing action..!