It was a sunny Saturday in September when Team Mantra headed to the serene campus of IIM, Bangalore to host the second School Leadership Forum of the year. School leaders from across Bangalore joined us at the NSRCEL building to celebrate and learn together.
The day began with registrations, where leaders were greeted with handmade flowers made by students of Padmashree School and the welcoming smiles of the team.
“I am looking forward to the day ahead! I always learn so much when I attend SLF and take things back to my school.” shared a school leader.
School Transformation Leads (STLs) Siddharth and Ann began the proceedings of the day in classic Mantra fashion- with an activity. School Leaders were divided into four groups based on numbers and colours assigned to them at the registration counter.
The rules of the activity were explained, and each group gathered to discuss their strategies. The groups were expected to complete four tasks spread across different stations. After completing each task successfully, they were assigned points for their performance on a score sheet which was submitted at the designated spot at the end of the time allotted.
The next twelve minutes saw our leaders geared up to win, running across the hallways, cheering and trying their best to complete each task as soon as possible.
As the leaders settled from the excitement of the activities and the reflection, STLs Pranashree and Sujoy shared a little about the idea of SLF and what makes it a highlight of every quarter for Team Mantra. They shared a video of the journey of the forum across the years with inputs from the team as well as school leaders.
Mr Praveen Naidu from Azim Premji Foundation led the next session with the leaders exploring aspects of knowing and understanding the self. The school leaders took an evaluative test to understand themselves better. The session also saw leaders actively discussing ways to improve and become more efficient individuals.
Alaka and Charul, Mantra’s STLs took the leaders through some exciting activities to understand time management. The room was filled with sighs as leaders realized the amount of time they have to bring about positive changes in their schools. The activity was followed by an introduction to the idea of prioritization and some strategies to help do it. “The grid of prioritization looks like a good tool to help me manage my duties as an HM,” said one of the school leaders.
The next part of the day had leaders spread across the room sharing and learning about “Best Practices” from each school. From charts, displays and presentations, school leaders prepared lots of engaging materials to share the wonderful things happening in their schools. Everyone was eager to find out more at each station, asking multiple questions and exchanging contacts to discuss it further.
The highlight of the day was the session conducted by Madras Dyslexia Association (MDA) who introduced the school leaders to how they can identify students with learning disabilities. Harini and Rashmi, from MDA, helped leaders understand the experiences of students with these difficulties through different kinds of simulations. They explored some factors that can help identify students and the possible steps to be taken once the students have been diagnosed. The leaders were engaging with several questions and even shared personal experiences of students in their classroom.
After the insightful session with MDA, the coordinators (school leaders) from ILMA International School led the closing of the forum. The room was once again divided into groups and a representative was picked. These representatives then went onto play a game of musical chairs, with a twist. After each round, the last person standing was asked to share a highlight from their day. The leaders expressed the joy and inspiration that SLF provides them and how much they enjoy the day of learning and sharing. Last but not least, the school leaders from ILMA handed out handmade cards to each SL as well as Team Mantra, a precious souvenir of a day well-spent.
At Mantra, we live for the celebrations and capturing them for eternity is an important part of it. The day ended with a group picture of the community of changemakers.
But it wasn’t the end of the day for Team Mantra, you sat down to reflect and begin planning the next School Leadership Forum.
Contributed by Team Communications, Mantra4Change