Mantra4Change and U&I – The story of collaboration

 

The current education landscape in India is one that demands collaboration. We, at Mantra, have always actively sought such associations that can make our collective impact larger. Know more about our partner organizations here.

Recently, one such opportunity came across when U & I approached us to conduct a 2-day training for the teachers at their partner school for Mathematics and Language. The idea was to equip them with the effective content teaching practices in classrooms. The training was attended by the team members of U & I along with the school principal and the teachers.

Day 1: Fun with Mathematics

Teachers usually rely upon limiting Mathematics to numbers and symbols rather than connecting it to daily life. This further develops the so-called “Fear of Maths” in children. Our focus in these training is mostly to bridge this gap through the use of manipulatives. The idea of being able to teach the concepts of number sense, addition and subtraction using concrete manipulatives made out of locally available, cheap resources was new to the teachers. They absolutely loved it. Their enthusiasm to take these new methods to their students was palpable. This is what we love about teachers – the sheer thought of excitement that their students may feel is enough to make them euphoric.

 

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Time to make some learning materials

Towards the end of the day, teachers had only one question for us – whether we could offer something similar for ‘complex’ concepts like division and multiplication. The joy on their faces on hearing our ‘yes’ was contagious. We found ourselves excitedly looking forward to the next day.

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Teachers doing a demonstration

Day 2: Exploring the joy of Language

The English training began with a session on phonics. We then introduced Shikshamitra strategies of teaching the language that builds upon the knowledge of the language that children bring to classrooms.

 

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Learning Phonics

The simplicity of the idea and approach again got the teachers thrilled at the possibilities of using them with the students. These approaches, when used together, build an in-depth and long-term understanding of language among children.

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Teacher demonstration

Later on, Jeevitha Gowda- the manager from U&I shared that the teachers loved the hands-on experience during the sessions and that it helped them believe that they can improve their teaching in the classrooms. They were happy to see the teachers feel empowered and confident. To us at Mantra4Change, it was a delight to know that the U&I team and their teachers found the sessions relevant and meaningful.

We hope to make this partnership grow stronger. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; Together, we can do so much.”

 

-Written by Ms. Anjali Nambiar, School Transformation lead,  Mantra4Change.  

 

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