KYS Retreat – Creating New Milestones For Ourselves In 2018
When we talked about March, we dismissed it as a quiet month. Well, I’m happy to report that we were entirely wrong! So much has happened that we spent our entire March retreat talking – and still had more to say the next day!
To begin with, we met for our customary pre-circle feast. After eating our weight in idlis, we headed over to the Brindavan Tent School for a special circle. Usually, our circles are a quiet time for us to reflect on what we’ve done recently, and on what our plans are for the following month. This time, however, we had some fresh voices who guest starred and gave us so much to think about.
First Circle Of The Day
We were fortunate enough to host Rajashree ma’am and Ashwini from TFIx at our first circle. To make things even more fun, Akanksha, the founder of Tarkeybein, also participated. As you may know from previous mails and posts, we have been selected for incubation by TFIx – Teach For India Cohort 2018-19, which is incredibly exciting – and until that moment, seemed quite unreal!
We were quickly brought down to earth in the loveliest way possible. We have been privileged to collaborate with a lot of wonderful people over the last few years, but Rajashree ma’am is definitely high on our list. Not only is she an experienced teacher herself, but she’s one of the integral parts of the TFIx programme. Ashwini too has a lot of experience in the field, and was a programme manager for TFI for a few years. So, as you can imagine, we were thrilled to be able to soak up all their wisdom.
In fact, before we even started the circle, my notebook page was filled with ideas and things to ponder upon. We knew immediately that the day was going to be an exciting and productive one!
Rajashree ma’am gave us a lot to think about. She encouraged us to think in terms of the long run – what will make us sustainable? What is the five year plan? She also blew our minds with this small piece of wisdom: focus on your strengths, after all, if you’re spending all your time correcting your weaknesses, you aren’t enhancing what you have a natural aptitude for. You’re failing to recognize the gift that – with a little cultivation – will blossom and grow. What a lovely way to look at the world! Too often we focus on our deficiencies and exhaust ourselves trying be on par with everyone else. Perhaps concentrating on building on our strengths is the answer!
In addition, she reminded us that we aren’t alone on this journey – not only are there countless others trying to change the world in small but meaningful ways, but we are also connected to this wider network through TFIx. It’s definitely something we intend to keep in mind!
We also had the opportunity to discuss our faculty development programme. It’s a work in progress but we can already see the shape it’s taking – and we’re delighted. We truly believe that to unlock the true potential of a child, we need the support and dedication of their teachers. We need a partnership to ensure that no child falls behind.
A Quick Break
After our circle broke up, we had the chance to introduce our kids at Brindavan Tent School to the TFIx team. The kids were thrilled to see some new faces, and show off their ‘smart’ position. They were so eager to answer questions and were so lovely and polite. We were practically bursting with pride!
After our circle, we realised we had really built up an appetite. Eating together has become an essential part of our retreat ritual – there’s really something special about connecting with each other over good food. And we were happy to introduce the others to our mini-ritual.
Over lunch, we got to know each other better and had fun discussing how we each ended up in this space. It’s always amazing to hear these stories because motivation and inspiration can be found in the tiniest of things. And after all, stories are our business! Once our bellies were full, we said goodbye to Akanksha, Rajashree ma’am and Ashwini and headed out to the next part of the retreat – some team time!
But before I go into that, I’d just like to express (on behalf of all of us) how grateful we were for their wisdom, generosity and encouragement. They didn’t have to spend their mornings brainstorming with us – but we are so glad that they did. We are all the richer for it.
Coffee & Conversations
We headed over to Church Street for some coffee. Once we had some caffeine at hand to pep us up, we got down to business. Over the last month, we had each come up with some small resolutions that we shared: to be more organised, to be more connected/ communicative, and to be more active. It was a good opportunity for us to reconnect and establish what we’ve been up to in the last month. We also discussed the challenges we faced over the course of February.
We also had a great time discussing the ideas that were generated in the first circle and putting them into perspective. We talked about what we wanted to accomplish, if it was possible to do, and how we were going to do it. Sounds simple, but it really helped us prioritize and understand what we need to do next.
We also discussed out least favourite thing – finances. As you know, we have been struggling to fund our activities over the last two years. But thanks to Rajashree ma’am’s suggestions, we have begun to seriously work towards sustainability and a steady source of income. More details as we figure them out!
After we were done with our drinks, we each split off and headed home, our heads filled with thoughts! We can’t wait to see what emerges in the next few months – we have a feeling it’s going to be good!
Before I sign off, I have to say thanks (on behalf of the whole team) for sticking with us on this journey – regardless of the twists and turns in the road. We know that we couldn’t have made it this far without the support and helping hands of many friends and family members. We’ve said it before, and we’ll probably say it again – every little thing counts!
Enjoyed reading about this? Then you might like to read Brindavan Tent School Kids Rocked Their First Annual Day Celebrations!