Tag: Mentoring

Benchmarks for 2014-15

With a belief that bench-marks are not created rather extended; we have been re-defining the way we work by setting up benchmarks for us by analysing various other sets of instances that are possibly existing around us. Similarly small yet efficient layers of study which focuses on external organisations that are working on similar terms and internally analysing other bhumi projects. An additional trial out in this year, would be an extension for the internet generation which takes the the advantage of facilities like video-calling environments to conduct a session facilitated across tough geographical terrains under “E-Lakshya” program which is under process and it can be an worthwhile expectation for all of us.

Herunmayee from Chennai Lakshaya Team Says,” In the past we had been methodically trying out a lot of things to cover the planned modules in sessions. Yet at a particular point when we stop by to analyse or try to understand what we have done; we don’t have a proper mechanism for that. When even new volunteers ask us about the procedures which we have done earlier through the session we don’t have something to show them. More important than that we don’t get to look back what have we done to the kids; this is very important because only this indicator helps us to refine our methodologies. On a personal note we would also clearly demarcate an objective for the project.Which i feel has not been so clearly put till date;as in the conflicts with the necessity and parts of mentoring that are handled by volunteers which would help prioritized efforts. So working on assessments this time by studying instances and organisations shall help us. As with my personal expectations we might expect a result oriented approach from the present teams and their plans and progress in 2014-15. “

Ground rules for 2014-15

Ground Rules for Students

  • Be Punctual. All kids should be present by 10 A.M. {Might vary with centres}
  • Avoid Usage of foul language.
  • Avoid doing homework or studying during sessions.
  • Avoid shouting and creating chaos.
  • No kids should be physically harmed by other fellow kids
  • Inform the volunteers in case of your absence.
  • Avoid bringing unnecessary things to session unless informed by the volunteers

Ground Rules For Volunteers

During Sessions:

  • All respective volunteers should be at the centre by 9.30 AM {Might vary with centre}
  • Avoid usage of foul languages in sessions
  • Avoid using mobiles during sessions (In case of emergency use outside session area)
  • Avoid giving mobiles to kids
  • Dress appropriately for sessions (Avoid shorts and tracks)
  • Donot physically assault or touch which makes the kid uncomfortable.
  • The kids should always be in session area; in vicinity of all volunteers and kids.
  • Never shout or scold the kids; treat all kids equally.
  • Never share everything about oneself to kids {Maintain boundaries; especially personal problems and stuff}
  • Dont make promises that one cannot keep
  • must actively participate in activities to motivate kids to come forward.
    General Rules:
  • Prepare for every session and well in advance.
  • Inform the centre coordinator in case of absence
  • Never tag a kid
  •  Safety of kids is your prime importance.
  • do not entertain giving gifts or money to kids.{all gifts should be through centre coordinator.}
  • Do not visit centre apart from session timings. {If so, Inform the centre coordinators}
  • Do not bring persons not associated with bhumi to sessions
  • No activity (communication, jokes etc…) should be sexual in nature.
  • In case of any help or to make clarifications, centre coordinator is your point of contact.

Notable request for volunteers: Make sure the kids SMILE whenever they see you 😀

A look back into 2013-14

A look back into 2013-14

Ripples collage 2 Ripples collage

These are collages of happenings in the year… Do you feel that a promise of articles is being broken here of all these beautiful memories then bring in your stories to feature in ripples…
Send in your entries to [email protected]  with a title “Reflect in Ripples”

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

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.