20 government mentor-teachers selected from the pool of 40,000 teachers across Delhi took a journey to learn from the best organizations making a dent in the education space.
Recently, Reap Benefit got to be a chance to play the hosts to these mentor teachers and we were pleasantly met with their zeal and enthusiasm to be a Solve Ninja. These teachers challenged our perspectives and biases we unknowingly harbored about Government School teachers. The two-day training program was a learning experience not only for the teachers, but for us too.
The teachers came with well-defined expectations and refined questions to help them take the movement to their schools and classrooms. They were first introduced to the journey of Reap Benefit and the challenges we faced in building our movement, to the ways we overcame it. They were moved with the powerful impact our Solve Ninjas were creating in their neighborhoods which prompted them to dwell into the experience of solving themselves.
We introduced them to the technique of rapid prototyping through a simple activity of bridge building with certain challenges such as using only their left- or right-hands, closing their eyes or not speaking while building. Our Solve Ninja and Youth Board member, Sidharth Santosh also attended this two-day training and believes another incredible learning experience began here. He shares —
The teachers in my group, first discussed possible solutions and even questioned if there were any extra challenges (such as if the bridge could hold the
weight of a bottle). The teachers were also great at playing with their strengths.
In the latter half of Day 1, we introduced the tool of trigger mapping with methods to understand their vision statement, define the target audience, listing the “why no” reasons and converting them to “why yes” solutions. This particular activity was well-received by the teachers that in the feedback almost 50% of teachers voted 5/5 for this exercise.
Our facilitators Kuldeep, Rashmi, and Mateeb played a crucial role in
moderating the conversations that followed each round of the exercises. The teachers’ roadblocks were treated with the utmost importance. The mentors used these roadblocks as learnings and constantly reinstated this so that the
teachers could use this to understand the process of trigger mapping better.
Day 2 witnessed our Solve Ninja, Sidharth co-facilitating with our mentors in aiding the teachers to do trigger mapping for the vision statement they listed down for their schools the previous day. He shares —
I adopted methods and practices that the Reap Benefit mentors were using such as listening first and then in a subtle manner shaping an influence. This was the first time I used the three rules of ‘don’t assume, don’t defend and don’t direct’. I observed that by using these maxims, there was a lot more space for ideas to flow through the different participants. By enforcing a better flow of ideas across the group, decisions regarding what contributed as a ‘why no’ or a ‘why yes’ were being made faster. This also gave me insights into how teachers plan their work, how they engage with stakeholders other than the students and how they can change the perception a student has in terms of being a citizen of the nation first and then a professional.
There were hands-on activities planned for the teachers using our tech solutions - Breathe and Solve Ninja Techno Tiger Kit, they very popularly received. Some of the mentions in the feedback —
“Hands-on experience, so many activities to give visualization of the whole process — Dr Madhvi Agrawal”
“Dust bin activity — New ideas to develop bins for my schools with the help of students — Reena Singh”
Overall this experience reiterated the belief in our processes and frameworks with more than 50% of the teachers mentioning at least one or more frameworks we use in curriculum and recalling them.
These methods combined with the mentorship and engagement of our mentors is proving as a catalyst in building the civic muscle amongst youth and our curriculum designer Rashmi believes —
The civic muscle is building where teachers are co-partners to the students journey to build vertical gardens, follow up with corporators and use our problem solving techniques. If teachers are on-board, we can be very hopeful for a bright future.
We definitely have more work to do, towards creating activities which include hands-on more outdoors based on the feedback shared but as a teacher aptly shares:
Reap Benefit isn’t just a space for great ideas fuelled by behavioral insights but a movement in the making.
We are determined to build this movement where we continue empowering youth in identifying and solving problems along with holding their local government accountable.
Interested to join the tribe of warriors in solving local civic and environmental issues? Drop us a line at email@example.com