The team met for a KYS retreat after what felt like ages! December and January have been months filled with a lot of activities and travels for all of us, and we finally managed to meet earlier last week. For the first time we started the retreat at 7.30 am, which means all of us were up and about super early! While waking early during Bangalore winters is a challenge, it was worth it when we got on the road to experience traffic-less Bangalore!
Misty Mornings And Warm Sharings
We were welcomed by our big, old and wise tree friends of Indiranagar. As the sun rays finally managed to pierce through the foggy weather, it was a beautiful sight to begin our day with! Our first stop, as usual was for breakfast! We were the first ones at the Vasudev Adiga’s restaurant in Indiranagar. It didn’t look like they were used to early risers! Haha! Sumptuous south Indian fare and filter coffee were just what we needed to get our motors running. The idea was to start our meeting post breakfast, but we were super eager to find out more about what each of us had been up to, professionally and personally, and caught up on most things by the time we stepped out!
Celebrating Our Precious Solidarity
From there, we walked to one of our favorite cafes in Indiranagar, Cafe Terra, where we held our circle for the day. First, we checked in with our personal life updates, and what stood out from everyone’s sharing was the inner strength we seem to have cultivated. We reflected on where we stood a year ago, and how visible the changes were amongst us when it came to our approach to life. We savored the fruits of our persevered practice, and were very happy that we have always been there for each other; nudging, pushing and holding space to support both individual and team growth.
Opening Up New Lines Of Thought
What followed that, was two hours of intense brainstorming on what this year is going to look like. From fine tuning our offerings, based on the lessons we learned last year, to ensuring that our programs completely align to our vision, we shook our tree really hard! We tried breaking down our own model to find the loopholes, the missing links, and the fluff. It was a rigorous, but an enlightening activity, at the end of which, we emerged with so much more clarity, while bubbling with new ideas!
The main question we asked ourselves was – how are we going to sustain the growth of the seeds that we plant in the minds of our students – such that the harvest was reaped not just by the kids that we engage with, but also by the upcoming batches, other classes, and the whole ecosystem! That was when we realised the importance of a stronger Faculty Development Program.
Welcoming Fresh Challenges With Purest Intentions
As part of Mentor India, we have been engaging with teachers at close quarters as well, but we now realise that the key to ensuring that the kids reach their highest potential is not by sidelining or replacing the teachers, but by empowering them further. We don’t want teachers to support us anymore, we want to support them. We don’t want teachers to help the mission, we want them to drive it!
Designing a program to empower and engage with teachers in a pre-existing setup is a huge challenge, but we have come to a consensus that this is what the schools need. And the best solutions can be designed once we accept that the problem may be big, but is very real, and that is what we did. In the education field, it’s not easy to show efficiency of a program within a short time of its inception, because of the nature of it. But we are determined to go for the long haul, and not pull back for the sake of instant gratification. That’s a lesson we have learned from the last couple of years, and one which we plan to apply this year!
After our many ‘Eureka’ moments and a couple of pots of Darjeeling tea, we headed to Imli to nourish ourselves. We treated ourselves to hot food and celebrated the start of another new year of KnowYourStar adventures. We’re so excited about the different ideas that are yet to emerge, the many new people who are going to become a part of our family, and the many wonderful students and teachers who will impact our lives. We will never be the same! Constantly growing and eternally evolving! 🙂
Enjoyed reading about this? Then you might like to read Behind The Scenes At The Brindavan Tent School – What A Year It’s Been!