Advances in Service

1. Evaluation of Values Classes

Upon completion of the first five months of service in Rene´s Gym the group held a meeting with him and his team to evaluate the Values Class effectiveness.  

The group had four questions:

 

First: How have the Values Classes influenced the Gym?

Responses:

  • The children and teens attending the Gym have shown more respect for each other; they think of themselves as a family. 

  • Now they talk about values, where before they didn´t consider them.  

  • Values are used as a reference to resolve differences or conflicts.  

  • Values are now a characteristic of the Gym, which sets it apart from any other.  

  • They have better interaction within each group. 

 

Second: How do they feel about the Values Classes and Yoga Classes?

            Responses:

  • The children and teens say they like them.

  • They suggested using dynamics.

  • The parents said they were finding out more about everyone´s lives.

 

Third: How to motivate them to continue coming to classes?

Responses:

  • “Awards” are not recommended to motivate attendance.  It´s preferable to have consistent attendance from personal conviction.

  • It was suggested that a phone line and Internet service be installed in order to be able to do research on Reading Class books online after classes.  

  • The main obstacles for Saturday attendance are:

    • Some teens work and most of the parents too.

    • This is when the parents are home and want to spend time with their families.

    • They have other family obligations.

    • Some parents do not let them attend, as punishment for misbehaving at home.  

    • Why go to a values class for them to tell me that I´m doing bad things, when I already know that? René calls this reasoning “The Trap”.

 

Fourth: How are is the group perceived?

Responses:

  • They are intimidating.  The cars the group has influence their opinion.

  • They are not seen as equals.

  • In reality, the group spends very little time with them, so they feel that they don´t really know them.

 

Proposals for improvement:

  • Have Rene make a survey of all the children and teens. 

  • Link the Reading Hour with the Values Classes.  

  • Investigate which topics or issues interest the parents, and analyse them based on values.  

  • Organise different kinds of social gatherings.

  • Celebrate the birthday of each child born in that month.  

  • Evaluate the children and teens for Reading comprehension and math skills in order to give Remedial Classes for those needing them.  

 

The proposal to give Remedial Classes appealed to the teachers in the group and they immediately went about acquiring the teaching material required.  At a later meeting, someone commented that if the group is going to evaluate the children and teens, it could conflict with the teachers at their school who might feel that they were infringing on their duties or criticising them.  It was decided that before making the evaluation, the group should go to the school and explain things to the Principal, and ask for his opinion.  

 

A week later the group was able to see the Principal and informed him in detail what we were proposing to do.  Far from opposing the idea, the Principal asked us to give a Workshop on Values to the personnel at the school in July.  The group accepted immediately. 

 

2. Values Workshop for Teachers-  Frida Kahlo Elementary School

 

On July 12 and 13 an eight-hour Introductory Workshop on Values was given to 16 teachers at the Frida Kahlo Elementary School. This group of teachers gives classes during the morning.

Frida Kahlo Elementary School teachers at “Introductory Values Workshop”

Another group of teachers gave classes in the afternoon, so the group promised to give them the Workshop a week before classes begin, in August.

 

At the end of the Values Workshop the group asked the teachers to tell them what they had taken away from the Workshop.  Below are some of their comments:

 

  • This workshop is important because it makes us reflect, value and strengthen our work as educators, beginning with the firm conviction that we can first change as people and then change our students.  I appreciate the kindness shown to us in the workshop and hope that soon we can have more workshops as important.  I hope my co-workers left the workshop just as strengthened. 

 

  • I appreciate this opportunity you gave us to show us that we are all equal, that there is no hierarchy in human beings.  That values are put into practise by people, not just talked about.  I hope to be able to make better decisions to improve myself, and to be able to forgive and heal bad traces in my soul from other´s actions.  Thanks for giving us this workshop and I hope you can give us more.

  • First of all, I would like to thank you for the time you dedicated to giving this workshop, filled with caring, hard work and love.  I really took away many new things.  I believe I actually experienced a moment of transformation, which I hope will help change and improve me as an educator.  Congratulations on this beautiful work you are doing.  I can only say that you are a great example to follow, thanks very much for everything. 

 

  • Thanks a lot for this workshop full of information that we, as teachers, can use to teach better.  Hopefully everyone will put all this into practise to be able to improve our work environment.  I hope we can stay in touch and you can give us more advice on improving our lives, and as a result the education of our students. 

  • I loved the course-workshop because it was really different.  Each topic was introduced with the attitude that we were not familiar with it, fully explaining it with an accessible vocabulary so that each of us could understand it.  Everything mentioned could be applied to the group, thinking of how it could be used.  I hope I have enough perseverance to continued using it during each school year.

  • I want to congratulate you for this very constructive workshop, and for the time and patience you showed us.  I loved the dynamics, breathing exercises, etc. and hope that you come back soon.  I took away a lot from this beautiful workshop.  CONGRATULATIONS!!  P.S.  There should be more people like you.

  • My most profound appreciation for the work, preparation and devotion in giving this workshop.  I believe that you have touched on a topic that, undoubtedly needs to be looked at today, and that we as educators often do not know how to deal with in our group, especially in an environment as complicated as ours.  I believe that as a team we are always able to improve to impact the children, but sometimes we feel defenceless.  That is why we are infinitely grateful for your help.  Thank you!  God bless you. 

 

The group intends to invite these teachers to participate in the “The Mindful Teacher Course” Workshop that Doctors Suwanti and Ron Farmer from Australia, will give here in Chihuahua in January 2018, and in this way, be able to give them follow up.