Guiding Light of The Month

O LORD, Thou art my refuge and my blessing, my strength, my health, my hope, and my courage. Thou art supreme Peace, unalloyed Joy, perfect Serenity. My whole being prostrates before Thee in a gratitude beyond measure and a ceaseless worship; and that worship goes up from my heart and my mind towards Thee like the pure smoke of incense of the perfumes of India. - The Mother

My Learning Journey

My IEP (Integral Enrichment Programme) journey started when I was still in Junior College. Being the inexperienced self that I was, I mostly assisted the facilitators by managing the children. It was not a task that I enjoyed fully but it certainly instilled a lot of values in me without even me being aware of it. I understood that when I was loud and impatient, I would probably discourage the children from participating fully in the activities. I slowly became more tolerant, less impulsive, and learnt how to encourage the children in a more positive manner. However, my learning did not simply end there.

As the years rolled on, I began to discover more of myself through the various activities that we conducted for the children. With the encouragement and words of wisdom from the other facilitators, I was able to see my strengths and areas that I could improve. Through sharing our experiences and planning for the activities that we conducted at IEP, I was able to hone my skills as a facilitator. Today, I can confidently step into the shoes of a facilitator and conduct physical education activities for the children only because of the long journey that I have gone through in IEP. However, the journey has not been easy and I still face many challenges today.

One of the challenges that I faced and continue to face as a facilitator who does physical education would probably be coming up with new activities. Initially, I thought that being the sports enthusiast that I was, I would be able to easily devise games for the children to play. However, I learnt that just having interest is not enough to succeed. I have to consider the age of the children, their competency, whether they would be able to understand the instructions given, and whether they would be able to follow through with all of the instructions. While considering all these constraints, I had to modify games to suit the children’s age and ability. I learnt that I needed to break down the instructions into smaller units so that the children could grasp them easily. Sometimes, what seemed like a great idea to me did not work well with the children. It made me take the perspective of the children when I planned games at later dates. Moreover, through facilitation, my individual communication and interpersonal skills improved greatly.

While it may seem that only the IEP children learnt many new things and gained new experiences from their participation, I would say that I probably gained much more than them. Their participation is limited to the two hour fortnightly sessions. However, my learning is a continuous process, which carries on outside of IEP sessions. I hope that I would be able to pass on whatever I have learnt to others as well. While I do not know how effectively I would be able to pass on my learning, I definitely do know that this learning journey would carry on for a long while more.
- Shree Valliyammai Murugesan, Facilitator

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