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Sept 2013

Page 1 of 4VOL. # 7 ISSUE #9

Inspiring Teachers
Human Excellence

From the editor..


'When the student (pupil) is ready, the teacher (master) appears' is an old saying. For a long time I used to apply this only to spiritual gurus and was looking forward to finding 'my guru' some day when I was ready. But now I know that this doesn't mean that some 'guru' will accept me; it means that when someone is ready to learn then everything around him or her is a source of learning. I have experienced this and it is true for both academic education and spiritual growth. This readiness is the ability to observe, to think, to ask and to reflect. And also the willingness to put in the effort and take the risk of moving out of the comfort zone (the comfort zone is actually uncomfortable or even painful!). I am not sure if this 'readiness' is a character trait or it can be induced. Since all children are eager learners, I feel that somewhere in the process of life one loses this readiness. Does this readiness appear again through some huge challenge or by a stroke of luck or can it be systematically created? Does it depend on the capability of the person? I have no answers. But as teachers or trainers we have this challenge. In my experience, very few people can make a person ready for learning. Most of us can work only with eager learners and feel happy with the outcome. On others, we can try many alternate forms of motivation, cater to their personality styles, or use persuasion but finally the choice to learn or not lies with the learner. Coercion and discipline can make them sit in class but all teachers know that just because someone is sitting in your class he or she is not automatically ready to learn.

In this issue: Faculty of the month LIFE . Must Read Links .. Activity for learning from life

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I am referring to real learning vs. passing an exam through rote learning. But I do know that very often even to make someone do rote learning can also be very challenging. Whenever I have some new insight to tell someone, or when I am trying to train teachers on new forms of learning, I noticed that when they are not ready, I am not sure how to approach the situation beyond the above few methods. Its not that these people rebel or refuse explicitly. In fact, some of them appear very enthusiastic. But they just continue doing things in the old way. At some point I realize, this person is either incapable or unwilling to even try. Capability does play an important role in adopting new things but there is no effort to try, which is what readiness is all about. Though I talk about motivation to teachers, I must confess that I didn't succeed in making anyone ready to learn new skills or accept new ways of looking at life. If I was doing this only as a passion, as a service, probably things would be different. But I wanted to make a living out of this! At this point in life, on this Teacher's Day, I am wondering aloud: I have some skills and knowledge that I want to share. Are they irrelevant for others? Or Am I supposed to look for 'ready' learners? If yes, how? or am I supposed to learn the skill of making someone 'ready'? or do something else that is more

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Sept 2013

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VOL. #7 ISSUE #9

Learning Inquiry For Ever


Tips on how to learn from life Life is the biggest teacher everyone says. Most of us may also feel the same when we are mature and experienced. We not only learn skills and knowledge in specific disciplines but also about relationships, about people, about priorities and so on. Often we complain about some life situation or difficulty we are having and then after the phase has passed we say we learnt a lot from that situation. But is there a structured and systematic way to learn from our experiences? From our relationships with people around us? Q: Thats quite a long journey already! So how is learning as a child different from learning as an adult? A: As a child, the people around you, especially your parents or your care takers are your world. Even God is understood through the views of these people around you. So if you are cared for, assured that you are worthy of peoples attention and love, then you grow up to be a human being who believes that the world is a safe and loving place. If you did not get attention unless you made a big noise, you will have that as the model of your world and as an adult you may be still throwing tantrums! So essentially by the time you are into school, you have a model or map of the world and you view everything as per this model. If you believed people were trustworthy, thats what you will see around you. But if you believed that the world was an unsafe place, you will probably have more such experiences. Q: So essentially you are saying that our beliefs that formed during early childhood will decide the type of life we have. So then how can we learn anything new from life? A: You are correct that your initial map or model determines your life experiences. But the whole purpose of your life is to validate this model again and again, and change it if necessary. This is what is learning from life or what you call growing up. People who dont integrate new experiences into their life and change their behaviors will not be able to cope with life. When you were a small child, you saw your parents as large and powerful people and saw the world through their eyes. As you grow up, you change this model and view them as people with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Before caption a goes here We are observing 5th Sept as Teachers Day in India. This was the day Dr S Radhakrishnan was born. He was one of India's most influential scholars of comparative religion and philosophy and showed how the philosophical systems of East and West are each comprehensible within the terms of the other. He held several prestigious teaching positions in India and abroad from 1909 to 1948. He said "teachers should be the best minds in the country". After he became President of India when some his students wanted to celebrate his birthday, he seems to have said, "Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if 5 September is observed as Teachers' Day." On this occasion, this months interview is with the biggest and greatest teacher in this universe. Guess who? Life is the biggest teacher! So we have an interview with LIFE as a teacher!

Q: When did you start your journey? A: Born on the same day as you, but probably started the journey a few months before being born. There is a concept of a personal life as well as LIFE as a general word denoting all life forms on this earth from times immemorial. So I really cant answer your question. Q: At what point of time did you decide to become a teacher? A: I have always been a teacher as well as a learner. Humans are meant to learn and evolve from one life to another. So in that sense I am also the taught!

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Sept 2013

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VOL. # 7 ISSUE #9

MUST READ LINKS


Whats happening in education
Cloud is the answer to our faculty shortage http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/cloud-could-fillthe-gaps-in-india-educationsector/1/197270.html?google_editors_picks=true Make interesting online presentations http://prezi.com/the-basics/

One more digital content provider http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industryand-economy/info-tech/iprof-launches-digilibrary-with-free-content/article3840307.ece Youtube starts live streaming for select channels http://ibnlive.in.com/news/youtube-live-streamingnow-available-to-channels-with-over-100subscribers/411790-11.html The attack of the MOOCs http://www.economist.com/news/business/215 82001-army-new-online-courses-scaring-witsout-traditional-universities-can-they
A guide to online education
Even your interactions with other people like extended family, friends and in later life your colleagues is many a time dictated by this early childhood image without your own awareness. This is what is called subconscious. So if you were discouraged as a child whenever you tried to ask questions, then you may become a shy person or be afraid to question authority in adult life too. Psychological learning is to understand your adult behavior and to see if any subconscious beliefs are causing you problems. This can be easily seen in repetitive patterns of behavior or relationships. Q: You have said that our belief systems have to

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change, how does one go about doing this? A: There are many techniques to do this. It is not possible to explain the details. These techniques need some guidance. Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Regression, Emotional Freedom Technique, Louise Hays mirror work, Wayne Dyers Erroneous Zones are good starting points. You can read these books or visit their websites and download their videos from the internet.

June 2013

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VOL. #7 ISSUE #6

Activity for Learning


There are some interesting ways of looking at life that will enable you to learn. One exercise is the following. 1. Think about 3 or 4 most important people in your life - either someone with whom you interact most or someone who influences your success or failure in work 2. Select one person from this list 3. Bring an image of this person 4. Become aware of your feelings, thoughts, memories etc without any analysis or judgment 5. Write five words that best describe your impression of this person 6. In what way are you similar? 7. In what way are you different? 8. Do this for each person that you initially thought of. We project ourselves on the world around us or in other words, our world mirrors us. People in your life are reflecting aspects of yourself. So if you hated this person, see what aspects of that person you hate. Do a very honest analysis and see where you have that quality or qualities that you hate in this person. Probably, it is a signal for you to change that aspect in you. Or may be you need to develop that quality? For example you hate someones guts, how they take risks and succeed. It is possible that you are playing too safe and this anger is telling you that you should also come out of your comfort zone and take some risks. Or if you are already a risk taker then this anger at another is telling you that may be you should reduce your risks. If you loved this person, then the qualities are those that you appreciate in yourself. So when you analyze repetitive or strong influences in your life, you can learn something. The key point here is to integrate the learning into your situation. Once you get this, it can be fun!

Q: Is there any other way we can work on ourselves and become better? A: Simple Meditation is a great way to energize yourself. Using Chakras, sounds and colors will enhance meditation benefits. Meditation is a great enabler. It starts giving you new insights into situations. You become open to new ideas and your capacity for discipline and thinking will improve. In fact, once you get accustomed to meditation practice, whenever you have a difficult or challenging situation, you can just relax and ask yourself What is this situation trying to teach me. What can I learn? How can I handle this? and the thoughts or

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ideas that come to you may be your answers. So with meditation, you can start having conversations with your subconscious which is the seat of your wisdom that is connected to the source of life. You dont need any other guru! LIFE is nothing but Living In Fruitful Enquiry. Or Life Is Fantastic Experience!