When the teachers played around in class

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Who ever said humans cannot be giraffes? Teachers use their creativity during an Image Theatre activity

Hunan Ghar – a project started by Educate for Life – is an action research primary school providing supporting health and community as a hub of community-related development.  Apni Shala facilitators Amrita Nair and Mayuri Golambde travelled to Rajasthan to conduct a three-day teacher programme with the teachers of Hunar Ghar.

You know you’re going to enjoy the company of the warmest and most hospitable people when, on the first day of a three-day long orientation programme, you are welcomed with a garland of flowers, a ‘teeka’ on your forehead accompanied with delicious ‘peda’. That is exactly what happened when our team from Apni Shala arrived at the training site in Udaipur for the June Orientation of the team at Hunar Ghar.

Apni Shala got a chance to work with the team for three days in the three-day orientation in June. Right from the start it was pleasing to see how much effort and time was put into making this orientation a great place of learning and sharing. From the beautifully-designed classroom displays, to the intricate planning of time for the sessions by the Educate for Life team; from the punctuality of the teachers, to the active participation at the workshops, everything symbolised what Hunar Ghar stands for. It showed Hunar Ghar’s goal towards learning and the attitude of all participants reflected the urgency to work towards this common goal.

We had the good fortune to be part of this learning journey briefly during this period of the Orientation. The three days saw a variety of themes being explored – we started by stepping out of our teacher shoes. The teachers really gave their 100 percent and enjoyed themselves while also being very reflective by sharing how these experiences helped them realize what it means to be a student in a classroom. We moved on to learning about child development and how it influences learning in a classroom. We went on to explore how growth mindsets are developed and how the language we use impacts it. The workshops saw everyone engage in the most enriching conversations right from how empathy plays a key part in their role as a teacher, to how important it is to be conscious of the power dynamics in our work in schools.

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Amrita Nair, CEO Apni Shala, facilitates a session with Hunar Ghar teachers

 

It was a beautiful learning experience for our team to be a part of the insightful conversations that ensued during the workshops. We are looking forward to having the Hunar Ghar teachers over in Mumbai to see the work that we do and share with them the learning from our experiences here.

Speaking about their experience on their website, Hunar Ghar said: “We believe that the games and sessions facilitated by Apni Shala will help our rural teachers not only integrate life skills in their classrooms but also help us get closer to our goal of making the process of learning fun and empowering. This is an integral aspect of our pedagogy which marks a shift from the traditional learning by rote method and has enabled us achieve exceptional academic results. Our children, most of them first in their families to go to school, outperform the state average for learning outcomes by 20-30%. Furthermore, our first batch of class 8 graduates passed their board exams with 75% A and B grades.

“We aim at working with the government and other organisations to replicate this success story across India. We are very thankful to Apni Shala for partnering with us to achieve our shared vision of transforming education in India.”

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