Author Archives: Amit Sharan

I remember the day when I went to attend one of the Super Sunday workshops (Super Sunday is a language support workshop for the facilitators who did not perform well in language assessment). Although not a facilitator anymore, I was learning alongside. During a break time, a facilitator, who was once my student, came to me and inquired softly, “Sir, how come you are also a part of Super Sunday? I thought that it was only for ‘weak’ facilitators so I don’t know why I have been nominated for this workshop.”

I wondered why people see the assessments in so many different ways? Why people have such strong arguments against self-improvement – believing that they scored poorly, they have been asked to attend Super Sunday. I went to attend this workshop with a thought that it is meant to make me identify the skills I need to acquire and how to improve them.

Imagine, a man walking on the road, falls into a heap of garbage. Should he get up, brush off the dirt and continue to walk, or should he continue lying there now that his clothes are already dirty? This is so relevant in our education culture. Thousands of students just stop trying after having failed an evaluation. Whatever be the reason, be it peer pressure, stereotype thinking, it is quite evident that the perception we have developed over the years about failure, lacks growth mindset.

In 1997 when Steve Jobs took over the company he had cofounded, the company was in deep trouble and lacked direction. Three years later in 2000, Jobs had turned Apple completely around.

Did Steve Jobs use magic to turn the company around? Hardly. He and Apple just went back to the basics.

When I identified that I needed to brush upon my skills, I nominated myself for Sunday Language improvement workshops. Who doesn’t want to relax on Sundays? There were multiple reasons to not nominate myself for these Sunday workshops, but a reason to improve, was above everything else.

Language assessment is one of the most important feedback tool in FEA. It is a time to provide feedback, recognize quality performance and set expectations for the overall growth.  It is also a time to have candid conversations about your areas of improvements and how performance can be improved.

Enhancement of language skills through these wonderfully guided workshops makes for an enthusiastic, reflective and responsible facilitator. The facilitators pass on these learnings to their students who in turn employ them as they learn how to be capable, self-motivated, independent, lifelong learners.

There isn’t a set formula to help you improve your skills but constant efforts will take you there eventually.

Amit Sharan

Associate Manager- Audit and Support

 

It was July 2013, when I went for an interview to FEA office in Vasant Vihar. I was impressed with easy tone and temper of the recruiter. After the interview, I was very expectant and hopeful. When the anticipated phone call came through,  I was found not ready for the job and recommended to the Training Academy so that I could polish my language before being assigned a position.

The Training Academy threw a series of revelations and realisations. There were some words that I repeatedly mispronounced and the organisation was keen that I correct those sounds before I can be entrusted to lead, guide and teach the students. For instance, I struggled with ‘zoo’ and ‘preposition’. My sounds were clearly all over the place. I was struggling with my facilitation skills as well. Within a few days, I nearly convinced myself that this was not my cup of tea and decided to quit. While I had given up on myself, the organization had not.

My trainer made me understand that FAIL means “first attempt in learning” and it is not the end. In fact END means “efforts never dies” and if I received NO for an answer, it means “next opportunity”. It made me optimistic and hopeful.

never-give-up

 Photo Courtesy- www.funatiq.com

After successful completion of my training, I went for induction. I was rejected and asked to work on my facilitation skills. But I did not give up this time and was called for induction again. Having learnt from my past mistakes, I got selected and was assigned Freedom English Academy at Wazirpur Industrial Area (110052A).

The road to the center was covered in industrial ash. It meandered like a snake across the landscape, dotted with factories on both sides. At the end of this path, stood my center. With the help of gloomy looking factory workers, I was able to locate it. My center was a dim lit room with one window and witnessed regular power cuts. The students were the proverbial silver lining, beaming bright in the dark. That was all that I wanted. My reward for the perseverance and efforts was their smiling faces and confidence while conversing in English.

A few months later, I was given a new responsibility – Field Support Trainer – to guide and support facilitators. Initially, it was a struggle. Earlier I had to take care of only one center and 90 students who were keen to learn from me; now I had 28 centers and 56 facilitators who were reluctant or resistive to my guidance.

I did not give up and realised that because they were distinct individuals, they have different needs and strengths. That made me individualise my attention and focus to make my support more relevant for them. Within a few weeks, I started enjoying my job. This made me more flexible and responsive to the needs of the facilitator and made me polish my tools and enrich my repertoire. I was able to work consciously to fix my grammatical errors and pronunciation.

I am determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I encounter.  For me -“Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to wait for; it is a thing to be achieved.”

 

Amit Sharan

Field Support Trainer