During the two months that it took me to get my experiences at Rayat-Bahra College of Education down on paper, I often wondered how things were progressing at the College.
I had not heard much since the retreat in April and so started to worry that nothing had come of it. Maybe the teachers decided it would be too big of a change to handle or maybe unforeseen external factors came into play that caused the process to be derailed…my mind hatched all sorts of reasons for the silence.
But then on August 6th I received this email update from Harleen:
Amazing progress at R & B College. Exciting times!! The teachers workshop is going on. Haven’t had time to write to you. I want to write in detail so…will do so as soon as I can…loads of love…
And 10 days later, I received a note from Sumedha. In it she writes:
We had a 20 day long workshop with teachers which is ending tomorrow…the workshop comprised of the things they had asked for like team building, getting to know themselves better, designing lesson plans, evaluation, feedback etc…we went through lots of highs and lows during these 15 days…but I must say that the highs were more frequent than the lows. The whole experience was quite intense for us, I’m sure it must have been for them too, but it’s a wonderful feeling to look at their faces now brimming with a new energy…they are all a little apprehensive of how things will go but much more than that, they are eager to rush to their classrooms, decorate them and to be with their 20 students who will stay with them all day long for this one month to come…we have written poems for each one of the teachers which we are eagerly waiting to share with them : )
I was relieved to hear that the level of engagement had not faltered and impressed that they were committing such a large chunk of their school break to the process. My first reaction was, ‘no, that must be a typo…she must have meant 5 days, not 15 days!’
And then on Sept 17th, another update from Sumedha:
The teachers have finally started executing their plans..the first day was a little chaotic..but then it ended up all ok…it has almost been a week now…they are getting used to the change and now they have started enjoying it…the students’ feedback has been quite positive too…it feels like seven different CEVA workshops are going on simultaneously in seven different rooms in the college..all of the teachers have different styles of facilitating…we have been going everyday (if not all then at least one of us)…
And then these reflections from Harleen:
: ))) we are really loving it : ) An entirely new relationship has been initiated between teachers and learners at Rayat-Bahra Teacher’s College, one that is more open, more creative and which involves beautifully challenging one another. Now that the changes are underway, my earlier fears that the teaching will fall back into older patterns or that the students will not be able to keep up have subsided.
A culture of deep engagement has been triggered off- a deeper engagement with the subject matter, between teachers and students, between the Principal and the teachers and between the teachers themselves.
Whatever happens, in whatever way this path continues to move, a month or two after today, the fact that it has been initiated and has gone where it has gone in these first few days can never be changed…
If you’re interested in following the College’s journey as it unfolds, check out CEVA’s new blog Changing Tracks.