Text size: A A A

Please Click Here
to Return to
Love and Light

Region 1 - Basic SSE Training

Saturday 9 May

After all activity relating to Easwaramma Day 2015 had passed, the Region 1 SSE Wing turned its attention to training the next batch of SSE teachers. Relatively early for a Saturday morning, around 20 people arrived at the venue in Tooting to attend basic-level SSE training for the whole day. The following is an account given by one of the attendees.

“From the outset the entire team put in so much love and hard work into creating this teaching day.

“The session began with brother Roni (R1 SSE Coordinator) taking us through the purpose of Swami’s mission, which is to remind us of who we are (divinity) and why we are here in this human body.

“We were then given an in-depth understanding about how every child is different in the way they learn and their learning styles. Sister Vidyu (National Secretary and former National SSE Coordinator) took us through the various stages of a child’s development, both emotionally and cognitively; and went through Jean Piaget’s developmental stages of child psychology. This gave us an understanding about how SSE pupils would behave in their respective age groups and what sort of activities would be best suited to keep children of each age group engaged. I found this session to be invaluable.

“Aunty Thana (National SSE Coordinator) covered the importance of the tripartite relationship, i.e. the relationship between the student, the teacher and the parents. We were reminded that the parents invariably have a greater influence on their child than the teacher, since they spend much more time with the child each week. The image of having the student riding a bicycle comprising the parents as the back wheel (for support) and the teacher as the front wheel (for direction) was a powerful one.

“Sister Vidyu and Uncle Yoges (former R1 Chair) then taught us how to teach bhajans (group devotional songs) to young children. The important aspect that I learnt was that one has to read out the lines of the bhajans first to the pupils, following which one has to teach the tune and the lines.

“Although I have been doing meditation for a while, I never knew how to teach meditation to children. Uncle Chun, who taught the silent sitting section, broke down the steps of meditation and made it really simple and easy for us to even teach three year-olds meditation.

“Story telling was another great aspect of the SSE training. We were narrated a story and I was sat there giving my fullest attention because of the narration style of uncle Chun. There was modulation of voice, animation of the story using apt body language and puppets that were handcrafted and used for the same purpose. We learnt that the above-mentioned aspects were essential to narrate a story to any SSE pupil.

“Sister Vidyu then gave a very useful presentation on the value of prayers and this reminded me about the importance of the act of praying.

“On the whole we found the training to be very interactive and there was not one moment when we felt like we had learnt enough. There was a practical session at the end of the day on group activities, run by sister Geetha Maheshwaran. In this, we were given the task of making puppets to put a story together with a moral for SSE pupils. I learnt that it is important to awaken all the five sense organs while engaging a child, e.g. have some bhajans playing in the background while engaging a pupil in a task; use some incense to awaken the olfactory sense; use paint and various textures of paint to involve tactile sensation; and overall engage the child in a fun-filled learning session of human values.

“I would like to convey my humble thank yous to Swami and the team who facilitated this experience for the entire day, including the yummy lunch and snacks provided.”

Archana Raman
Sathya Sai Centre of Brixton
SSIO UK, Region 1