The learning circle in square one – Apprentice #0

Apprentice Education Program – Day Zero

Six children and four mentors kickstarted a three-month project on 27th July, 2019 adopting Abheek Academy as their back drop for creative learning and independent thinking. The day began with play.

To dust off the cobwebs from our minds and joints, we partook in a lively game of dodgeball in the yard. It was a delightful variation from the original sport which kept us on our toes till the end.

When we were sufficiently warmed up, we formed a circle and learned to breathe with gentle movement; with every inhale, we walked toward the centre of the circle simultaneously raising our arms to reach for the stars that were floating just beyond our fingertips. Every exhale brought us down to earth with our arms resting by our sides. We repeated these movements as best as we could in unison till our bodies cooled and relaxed in the morning sun.

While indoors, seated in a circle on the ground, Captain Preetham led the group into a mind-stretching activity: The story of a man, a tiger and a red cherry. The open-ended tale activated different ideas and interpretations of its meaning and possible resolution. We also reflected on the “cherry moments” of our day – the unexpected points of joy and contentment that brought balance to an otherwise busy or mundane lifestyle.

In our journals, we individually mapped out fragments of ourselves – what we love and what we do – and then proceeded to combine them all into an elaborate web of values, interests and skills on the board. We discovered how many of our natures overlapped and how many of them we have yet to connect with.

Recently I began to cultivate my own vegetable garden at home. It has been such a thrill to witness the emergence of the first tiny leaves from the seeds that were planted, a foretaste of the mini harvest that I may receive one day. It’s no wonder that I experienced a similar excitement with this project that we’re part of. This three-month season will see us through many activities that will challenge the way we think and carry out our tasks. That day with the children turned out to be the first “planting of the seeds”; it contained hope and possibility for positive growth and endless benefits – both for us and for everyone else.

One can agree that it will eventually reap endless “cherry moments” in the days to come.

Mentor @ Skills Beyond Education

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