Trainers Unlearn to Learn

Hats off to these inspiring team members who have found that motivating teachers is not about preaching, but about practicing individual excellence themselves.

Being aggressive and pushy had become the personality traits of Himanshu Sharma. With a sales background, he always felt the pressure to meet the target and developed a very competitive attitude towards work and colleagues.

“It was stressing and the continuous strain of maintaining the target was making me very violent and harsh in my expressions and body language. Things got worse when this behaviour started reflecting in my personal life,” Sharma, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, said.

After spending 11 years in the corporate sales world, he felt the need for change and to transform his professional as well as personal life. But he was not sure how to do it.

He got the opportunity to work with Rupantar as a ZIIEI trainer in Nov. 2017 and become a channel to motivate and encourage government school teachers to enhance the quality of education in government schools by adopting and sharing zero investment innovative ideas that make teaching and learning process easy and engaging.

The ZIIEI session starts with talking about moral values and establishing the identity of teachers by emphasising and re-emphasising their importance in building the future of the country.

Supriya during a training session

“Teachers do not lack knowledge but they feel demotivated at times. We weave certain human values like empathy and sensitivity in our session so that teachers have an inner transformation and self awakening,” explained Supriya, ZIIEI master trainer and training content developer.

She stressed that Rupantar’s work is to reach out to the teachers’ hearts, motivate them and not impose anything on them.

Human values are the core of ZIIEI training sessions and while delivering the content again and again to the teachers, the trainers themselves begin to evolve as a person, enhancing their soft skills and nurturing certain values like compassion in their lives.

Sharma started questioning his behaviour and his outlook toward work after he started delivering the ZIIEI sessions. He has till now covered four states, including Sikkim, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. He has conducted 120 sessions, orienting over 7,000 teachers.

Himanshu Sharma during a training session in Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh

In the process, he gradually started becoming more aware about himself and his conduct.

“You are dealing with teachers here and your tone and tenor automatically softens when you are in front of them. My expressions became polite and I became receptive to what my audience had to say and share. Also, I developed lot of patience while working as a ZIIEI trainer,” he said.

Apart from delivering the ZIIEI content, he also believes in connecting with teachers on a personal level and “there is always something new to learn when you are interacting with them.”

“You adopt the culture you live in and get influenced by it. It is very important to live and work in an environment where you can grow as a person and nurture and enhance his/her positive traits,” Sharma feels.

For Prashant Rana, another ZIIEI master trainer who hails from Himachal Pradesh, it was the door to a new beginning. Leaving behind a flourishing engineering career, he became a ZIIEI trainer just to connect with people and remove his fear of facing a large audience.

“I wanted to grow personally and Rupantar opened the doors for me to realise that. I became more confident, my public speaking and expressions improved. The sessions with teachers taught me modesty,” he said.

Rana, who always nurtured the dream to work in the education sector, especially at the grassroots, grabbed the golden opportunity to work for Rupantar in January 2018. “It would be a job well done if I am able to transform the life of even a single child.”

He has till now covered four states of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar. He has conducted over 200 sessions and oriented 10,000 teachers.

Rana said that gratitude, love and support that he gets from teachers during sessions is what keeps him going.

Prashant Rana during a session in Samalkha, Haryana

“A teacher in Patna during one of the sessions gifted me a sweater as it was cold there and he was concerned about me. Also, I was presented the best motivator award in Sikkim after the sessions. Mostly gifts have to be returned but their gesture is truly heartwarming. These are the memories that stay with me and motivate me to work harder,” he added.

Marching forward with deeper human values, it is more than a job for these trainers. With enthusiasm and grit, they take on the mission to improve the quality of education in the country and at the same time grow as individuals.