On July 28th (or, as we call it, Big Saturday), our Master Trainers went to seven schools across Patna to oversee Day One of Be! in schools.The idea was to be there on the first day to assist and guide the teachers and to also assess the responses of Grade 9 teachers and students to our books and activities. At all the schools they visited, the master trainers received an overwhelming response.
Asif, one of the trainers, told us, “There were 500 students there. We couldn’t find a big enough room for everyone so we took them out to the sports field. Even 10th and 12th standard students joined in and told us they wanted to take part. They were very disappointed about not being chosen to do the Be! program.”
In another school, one of our master trainers, Abha, told us, “There was a section of 200 students. Teachers who hadn’t come for training also joined in and started participating. They sat down amongst the group of children and played the Trait Cards game with them. When it came time to learn about the skill of social connection, these teachers advised the kids about the importance of the skill and how people’s social connections are breaking nowadays.” The teachers then told the trainers how they all wanted to be trained in running these activities with their students.
Probably the most dramatic individual transformation was seen in Fateh Narayan Singh School. Abha told us the story. “When I went to the school, I started handing out the Trait Cards [our first book] to students. I gave one card to a student who was sitting in the back. The teacher said, ‘Don’t give him a card, he never participates. Give it to the student who is sitting in the front.’ But once the game started, this boy was really involved in the game and the teacher was really surprised. She said, ‘I’ve never seen him so involved; he never speaks in class and always sits in the back.’”
This reminded us of an earlier session at Girls High School, Shastrinagar in Patna where Suman, a girl who according to her teachers and friends never spoke, completed a beautiful skills project and made an impressive speech while presenting her artwork.
The master trainers will be visiting a lot more schools in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more dispatches from the field!