Tag: Bala Mandir

Mentoring Feedback session

Mentoring Feedback session

The session on 19-1-2014 was visited by saras mam , initially  we all volunteers were nervous about an elderly person visiting us and kind of watching us throughout the session .But the way she started interacting with our volunteers and asked us about our session plan and suggested slight changes was commendable and simply superb. The feedback session in Haji Ali started off with positive note from Saras mam. She applauded the efforts of volunteers and even made a mention of a few particular efforts. She could understand the issues and challenges faced by the mentors. After the feedback; a broader perspective was made on mentoring and she also reminded us that the results will not be seen immediately. She also felt the need to have a motivation session for kids and a session for a few sensitive kids to deal with the issues faced by them in a better way, and conveyed the same to us (volunteers)!

Feedback session with saras mam pic

Her presence was morally boosting for the volunteers .It was also a reassuring that we are on the right path!

The feedback session also motivated us that we are doing a good job yet we need to improve in it. The session ended on a happy note with many things to learn, life is all about learning, life ends when learning ends.

– Mathpal Singh, Chennai

Sessions – on a serious note

Sessions – on a serious note

I can’t believe we had a wonderful session only last week, am still not over it, and I am able to write about it now after 3 days! (Sent to ripples on 15th Jan…) It all started with a con-call between me, Lakshmi and Mathpal, we were deeply saddened with the state the 10th standard students are dealing with their board exams. So we decided to go with a serious session, on goal setting and why? We felt our job was to make them realize, it is important to have goals and the rest will be taken care of! We braced ourselves to have a serious session apart from the regular fun filled session which we usually have,  Mathpal came up with a wonderful skit, it played an important part in making the purpose of reaching the students! And we decided that we are just gonna talk our heart out after the skit, I must say though we were skeptical about the plan, we must have been so sure somewhere, that we dint even consider a backup plan! So on the day , we had few more volunteers, who readily consented to the idea, we did planned, the students in their usual fun mood made candid comments on what character they choose to be from the skit ! And  then the kids knew about the session being a serious one, they were all ears at once with no sign of disinterest, each volunteer spoke about the importance of goals from their perspective quoting many real life examples  and when we thought we were done with the session, that was not all.. We saw the unexpected coming! While we were ready for the comments from the students, majorly their dislikes, we saw the students breaking down in front of us, we felt the students really want to make it and do better and many even shared the problems in studies they face!

-Herunmayee Ravi, Chennai

Last session was one of the beautiful sessions ever in BM!
It started with a skit which displayed the characters of common people with no clear goals. And then we sat with the kids and started telling them about that day’s specialty (swami Vivekananda’s birthday).

“Arise awake stop not till the goal is reached”

And then we spoke to them about the importance of having goals in life and had one to one interaction whether goal is important or not! The kids responded well and the kids who were in an unclear mind were listening carefully!
Then Herun started about the importance of 10th std and the effect of it in future life. How our perspective towards studying should change. How short term goals should be linked to long term goals! We appreciated the kids on their positives and mentioned about the things that needs to be improved! It went on like a serious discussion and lead to an emotional end!
The kids were moved by it and reacted that it helped them a lot!
We have to ensure that the fire is still up in their minds about their future!
They will surely come up with their excitement!
It’s the duty of mentors to add fuel to the fire; we created on that day!

Lakshmi Padmanabhan, Chennai

Children’s Day Celebration@Bala Mandir

Children’s Day [email protected] Mandir

Just as festival season starts; the cold days are accompanied by watering mouths; delicious sweets; glittering gifts.What not? Here are the accounts of memories for you to sit back and relish. And few colorful moments that glitter..

For Lakshyans, Children’s day celebrations is a favorite festival. And here’s how the celebrations were at Bala Mandir:

The children’s day preparation started off; a week ago with all the volunteers deciding on the games and activities and videos. A huge box full of options was available before us and after considering the pros and cons of them; we decided on a few short films and activities that could excite the kids.

On the day… early in the morning it was raining heavily but the volunteers wouldn’t give up on that. Everybody grabbed a raincoat and hit the centre. The plans were changed when we saw the girls dressed up in traditional dresses; we thought that they wouldn’t be able to run around. They soon surprised us all by buckling up to play Kho-Kho, and the traditional “running and catching” with the volunteers.

We were all awed by the girls’ spirit. Never the less they played a fantastic game against the guys :p . The volunteers mustered up all their energy to match that of the kids. It was a heartfelt happiness to play with them.They helped us go back to our teens, lose everything behind and play the game. Even though we felt quite miserable about the rain, the kids changed our moods instantly with their exuberance and involvement.

This was followed by their favourite part, the short films which was focused on bullying, comedy, etc., The celebrations came to an end with the distribution of certificates for The Doodle for Google winner; of course there is no Children’s day without chocolates. 😉

~ Lakshmi, Chennai

Tutoring @ BM

Tutoring @ BM

Tutoring @ BM

 “Do the best possible attempt to help students in studies with any effort required…”

Tutoring came as a spark in Bala Mandir (BM) from a few Lakshya volunteers (Prasanna, Rajan, Rajasekar, Marwa, Satheesh, Gnanambigai to name a few) during the 2011-12 academic year. Despite lot of concerns from the management in terms of productivity and the impact it can create to the students, we were successful in conducting the tutoring sessions. From then on it has come a long way. Continuing the momentum, 2012-13 has been a steep learning curve for tutoring in BM. “Tutoring has been really good this year. Compared to last year, it was more organized and quite challenging” says Satheesh, who has been a key tutor at BM. There had been suggestions to start tutoring from 9th class itself to make the basics clear for the students and help them excel.

So, how to go about a tutoring session? You need to plan a lot of things like small fun activities or a math trick (especially when it is a Maths session) to make the students feel comfortable. The main thing for the tutor is to choose the subject you love to teach from basics and be comfortable with. The plan should have a long term goal to be covered at an appropriate time along with small short term goals. The planning phase should also include a backup plan.

The primary factor in charting the plan is Time & Time-table i.e. how am I going to manage my time to co-ordinate with that of the student. Another major factor is the student’s interest level and ability along with tutors’ attempt to make the subject more interesting without boring the student. Not always there is an interest to study for the students, that too with someone who has already been mentoring every week. “Do the best possible attempt to help students in studies with any effort required & reach out to someone when you require assistance or not sure of any situation or resolution.” says Prasanna who pioneered the tutoring team last year.

Another key aspect to look for is the current situation of the student. Due considerations need to be given when it comes to pressure, family problems, friendships and their biological issues. Before we start studying together, it is better the tutor spends time to get rid of unwanted things and make the student pick up his books. It happened successfully for one of the tenth standard student in BM, who had issues with memorizing and low scores. It is equally important for the tutor to be little flexible in making the student study. Make a time table to his/her convenience to study.

The important thing in tutoring is to understand the student’s potential and to learn along with them. You are 90% successful then. Teaching is just a topping for the rest 10%. That brings confidence and instills greatness in thoughts to the student. It also helps the tutor to set goals. Thus, it not only helps the students but also the tutors to groom in a personal level.

Last but not the least; don’t give any false promise or appreciation.

Ripples team would like to congratulate all the tutors who have put forth their time, commitment, dedication, energy and efforts in enriching the students’ knowledge and enable them progress in their academics.