We organized a three day workshop for the teachers and staff of the Michael Job Educational Institutions during 27- 29th April, 2014. It is a part of our continuous effort to upgrade the quality of our teaching and the guidance we provide to our children.
We had three wonderful people with us to lead the workshop. On day 1 we had Mr. Unnikrishnan Balakrishnan, CEO of Life Purpose Consulting. Day 2 was led by Mr T Koshy who is a Partner of Ernst & Young (India) and who is also one of our trustees. For the day 3 we had Dr Thomas George, Founder & Chairman of Life Purpose Consulting.
All these three trainers introduced our staff to different concepts and oraganised activities to bring out many ideas to improve the effectiveness of our teachers. As Mathew Philip the Dy CEO of the centre remarked this was our first such initiative and all the participants felt enriched by the program.
Mr. T. Koshy, Trustee MJC, welcomed the participants and reminded them of our vision ‘Empowering the Girl Child through Education’. The goal of the founder, Dr P.P. Job was to create a Centre of Excellence where the girl children would have an educational opportunity that is culturally, socially and personally enriching. The teachers were asked to think about their commitment to the children of MJC. While the first priority of a teacher is the teach her subject, every teacher has a larger role that of a friend, philosopher and guide. In MJC since there are many children coming from underprivileged background who are not blessed to have regular parental guidance and care our teaches also have to play the role of a mother to her students.
Good teachers can become better ones and endear themselves to their students if they ask themselves two questions: (i)How do I upgrade myself to become a better teacher? (ii) How do I educate, train and develop my students? He exhorted teachers to go that extra mile to make their classes as lively as possible and never, ever give up on their students or their potential.
Mr. Unnikrishnan on Day 1 built on the theme: Inspire Hope, Love & Learning. The objectives were to enable teachers to (i)Awaken the teacher within (ii) Emotional Empowerment (iii) Achieve work-life balance.
The session started with an ice breaker. Participants were requested to agree on the following: We will participate willingly and joyfully, Allow good things to happen, Be open-minded. Mentally say ‘From now on.’ If you refrain from dwelling on the past and come to terms with the fact that the only reality is the present, you can change the future. In life you only have to compete with yourself.
Participants were organized into groups of eight and were asked to create Role plays on some of the challenges that they face and how they dealt with them. They were evaluated on the following criteria: Creativity, Acting Skills, Script & Delivery, Team Participation, Time Management & Theme Impact. In conclusion, the qualities of a good teacher summarized by the participants as (i) Be a student always (ii) Be a good role model (iii) Be a good communicator (iii) Be a powerful transformer (iv) Avoid discrimination. The trainer also demonstrated a few relaxation techniques.
Day 2 started with Mr. T. Koshy explaining the significance of the training program and stressed that team work is the key to growth. He stressed that acquiring finer skills like problem solving and critical analysis are the need of the hour.
The take away for us as teachers we that we need to be mentally alert, we should be adept on the modern tools for better teaching, and we should learn to understand and apply how to shape children’s minds.
He introduced the teachers to elements of Transactional Analysis. This framework is used to understand human transactions.
He advised the teachers to watch the classic movie ‘My Fair Lady’, based on the drama Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, where Eliza Doolittle’s was transformed from a flower seller to a lady because Col. Pickering believed in her.
The progress of every organization is dependent on continuous feedback Therefore we discussed how to implement a system from next academic year which will have self-evaluation, peer evaluation and student evaluation.
We also had a Yoga session conducted by a professional trainer.
On Day 3 Dr Thomas George, led a very motivating and exciting session. He recommended Chris J. Vitty’s ’21 days Countdown to Success’, as a must read for all.
The Participants were organized into seven groups to work on the challenges faced by teachers and students in the teaching learning process. Some of the findings were: Relationship, entertainment & interaction ; Deterioration in respect for teachers; Value Education classes to compensate spiritual and moral values ; Students require more motivation nowadays; with the advent of mass media, teachers face far less cooperation in the classroom. However, they concluded that students are better decision makers today.
Post- lunch, there was a team activity in which everyone participated with lot of enthusiasm and various tactics to finish first. The learning were: Perception, Time management, innovative ideas, improvising, team work, motivating others.
Mr. Mathew Philip, Deputy CEO, stated that he considered this a major milestone in the history of the Michael Job Educational Institutions. He thanked the teachers for their participation and involvement. He reminded them that the success of the institution depended on the students and exhorted the teachers to encourage deserving students from the vicinity to avail of the educational facilities here. He requested the teachers to be brand ambassadors for this institution.