A Volunteer’s take-away from a teacher training workshop.

In the previous training session of Kahani aur Kahanikar – two groups were made, the observers and the story-tellers. The story tellers were put into pairs. In each pair, one person was asked to choose any object of their own and write a story on it. The other person in the pair also had to write a story about the same object. This had to be done independently, without discussion. The observers walked around this group and observed the storytellers working. After all the stories were narrated, these observers were asked to draw or sketch something based on the stories they had heard.

Training session with teachers.

Training session with teachers.

The second session of the teacher training workshop conducted at Ankur Vidyamandir Inclusive School, Pune, started with a short recap of the activity conducted in the previous session, as described above.

Key highlights of this second session:-

  • A discussion of the different ways in which a story about the same thing can be experienced, written or expressed.
  • Participants shared their thoughts and feelings about being ‘observed’ …

“What if I write something wrong?”
“What will they think of me?”
“Am I writing correctly?”

  • A participant mentioned that she learnt “no matter what the object is, you can find a story in it and everyone comes up with very different stories and perspectives about the same thing.”
  • The Group of Observers spoke of how they felt, saying that they feared disturbing the others, but they also mentioned that seeing the story tellers jot down different ideas and thoughts gave them new ideas as well. Some observers felt they were intruding into the private space of the story tellers.
  • One of the observers wondered how would this ‘story and story-teller’ work in the classroom and how would she narrate stories to her students. At this point Shikha intervened and explained how the project is about enabling children to create their stories from their own experiences and express themselves. She further explained that the purpose of these activities in the teacher training sessions is to give an idea about how one may feel while creating and narrating their own stories.
  • The point was highlighted that everyone has different skills, (like drawing) and people have different ways of expressing themselves.
  • Questioning assumptions. Kahani aur Kahanikar.

    Questioning assumptions. Kahani aur Kahanikar.

  • Four volunteers got ready for the next activity. In this activity, the volunteers were each given one word, a personality trait. Each volunteer was to describe to the group the typical behaviour associated with this personality trait, without actually naming it. The larger group had to guess which personality trait was being described. These personality traits were amongst the most commonly identified by this group of teachers when discussing their students. The discussion that followed helped everyone question their assumptions when describing the personality traits of another person.

The session ended with Shikha asking for feedback and discussing plans for the next session.

Mallika Padhi

When Mallika began volunteer training with Caregivers Link, she documented her observations and experiences with our volunteer program. Read what she wrote for us then – Pune Volunteers Speak.

A big thank you Mallika, your contribution to this work has been a huge help!



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