Being a Discover Mentor is one of the most beautiful experiences a person could have. It’s tiring, but it’s worth every second. Just like every other job in MAD is. But being one of the biggest influences in the lives of our kids, teaching them their most important life lessons and skills, it’s a feeling like no other. Such is the feeling Mridul experienced in the ice breaker session and the two later sessions she has had with the girls at one of our centres. A class filled with enthusiastic girls, ready to learn(not always), but always happy.
She entered the class and felt the excitement in the air. Enthusiasm and excitement were the most evident feelings in there. Prepared for every obstacle and ready to start the best journey of her life, she decided to start her session. And once she did, everything was going really well. But in her class, Mridul noticed, there was one little girl, Rani, who just wouldn’t talk. She wouldn’t talk to anyone in class, not even her classmates. Being a mentor, it upset her to see one of her kids estranged from the others. So she tried to engage her, to talk to her, but she got no response whatsoever.
During the debrief, all the mentors were discussing their classes and children, and they started considering moving Rani to another class, but Mridul wasn’t willing to give up so easily. She asked them for a chance, two discover sessions is all she asked for. She knew Rani just needed her time to open up and feel at home. Some people take longer than others to feel comfortable, she thought to herself, and kept it in her mind while going forward from then on.
In the next session, she spoke to them about Time Management and got them to participate in activities and to answer questions, but she still hadn’t got a response from Rani, and she started to worry. So she spoke to her Ed Support counterpart, to see if it was just the Discover sessions that she wasn’t willing to participate in. Turns out she was just as quiet there, not willing to engage, and just not interacting. They tried to think of solutions to this issue, but were stunted. What to do next was a question swimming in both their minds. Still willing to keep trying, taking responsibility for Rani’s participation in class, Mridul went for her next session, determined to change the situation.
She started class as every teacher does, with revision. She decided to ask them what they remembered from their last class. She stood there waiting for the girls who participated most to answer. But to her surprise, and joy, Rani raised her hand and told her what had been covered in the previous class, then answered all the questions asked. The happiness that Mridul felt at the moment was irreplaceable.
She felt joy and success.
After the session, Rani stood with Mridul and spoke to her. That was the most priceless moment for her.
She learnt that sometimes we just have to be patient. Sometimes people are scared and need their time. And now she’s waiting eagerly for the next session, hoping that Rani continues to participate. The bond of a mentor or a teacher and a child is the strongest bond; these are bonds that mould you as a person. That was when Mridul knew; her best journey yet, had just begun.