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Love and Light

Region 1 - SSE Training Day

16th October 2015

I attended the Basic SSE training held in Tooting Sai centre, Region 1 as an office bearer and former SSEHV trainee who had had some limited opportunities to put that training into practice. The skills have been lying dormant as there are no children in my group in Wandsworth.

I was struck firstly by the great enthusiasm and dedication of the National SSE training team and by the quality of their presentations.

They started by setting the scene in terms of the aims of the Wing, mainly based on extracts from Swami’s guidelines on the purity of the child and the profound influence of the teacher, working in tandem with the parents. The presentation on Understanding Children provided the scientific setting in terms of the intellectual, social and moral development of the child as expounded by the great child development psychologists such as Piaget and Erikson.

I recognized the 5 Values and the 5 teaching methods and they took me back to Values Summer Camps in Croydon.

For me the most interesting parts were the sessions on how to conduct each of the 5 teaching methods. The trainer covered meditation using the participants as his “children” showing the step-by-step procedure for building concentration, starting with counting backwards from 100 to the full Jyoti meditation. Excellent notes were given out.

He also covered story-telling and absolutely brought the session to life with his tips. It was obvious that he had captivated/terrified/intrigued many a Bal Vikas/SSE child over his years as a teacher.

The teaching of singing, in particular bhajans was covered. The class matched the trainer all the way and sang along heartily. The need for short pithy quotations as theme for the day was also mentioned.

But the real excitement was reserved for the afternoon when we took part in Activities. The trainers had gone to much trouble laying out extensive art materials of all types and we enjoyed making our own creations. They explained the benefits of Group Activities and we all came away proudly clutching our little masterpieces, having enjoyed the fun but very aware of all the work behind the scenes.

I had a lovely day and it certainly piqued my interest as a teacher of the 5 values but whether it will lead me back to the role of “guru” has yet to be decided!

Maureen O’Hara, Wandsworth Sai Group

Advanced SSE Training for Teachers and Parents in Region 1

On a beautiful Saturday morning of 16th October 2014 we gathered at Fircroft Primary for SSE advanced training organised by Region 1. The morning began with breakfast and warm hospitality from the Region 1committee members. We met other teachers from our region and other regions too. These events are great for networking meeting old friends and making new friends. The training commenced by singing bhajans and then we are sent to our classroom. Eagerly waiting to deliver and share their fountain of knowledge were brothers Dr Mahesh Narayan and Dr Radia. The first session was on the Group 2 stanzas of the Bhagwad Geetha included in the SSE programme and after lunch, a session on Bhaja Govindam which is also part of the SSE syllabus.

Dr Narayan entertained, inspired and taught us the meaning of each stanza and gave us entertaining stories to illustrate the essence the stanza being taught. Time flew by listening and absorbing the stories as given by Bhagavan Himself to teach a message in these sacred stanzas.

Next Dr Radia gave us an in depth insight the Bhaga Govindam and showed us some teaching techniques to use in our classes so as to highlight the relevance of these sacred chants to our everyday lives. We recited the verses of the Bhaga Govindam and some of the teachers shared their experiences and their teaching techniques. Overall the day was filled with excellent vibrations and left us refreshed and motivated to go back teach our children with much deeper understanding of our scriptures.

Finally I am grateful to Region 1 and Tooting Sai Centre for hosting this event.

Dina Rawal, SSE Coordinator
Merton Sai Centre