SSE Teachers' Training: Northeast Region, USA
The Northeast Region of the SSSIO-USA held its first ever virtual SSE Teachers’ Training over two successive weekends, November 28 & 29 and December 5 & 6, 2020. The workshop drew 37 enthusiastic participants, including new and current SSE teachers, as well as parents. Spreading the training over two weekends gave participants time to integrate and reflect on the content of the sessions. As a result, participants became more actively engaged over the course of the workshop.
The training was the product of a month-long collaboration between the Regional SSE Coordinator and the trainer, the SSSIO-USA National SSE Coordinator, and eight experienced SSE teachers from the region. Attendees viewed a stimulating multimedia presentation of the material contained within the SSE Teacher Manual. The training covered the fundamentals of SSE in seven modules: (i) the five human values (Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love, Nonviolence), (ii) the five Ds (Dedication, Devotion, Discipline, Discrimination, Determination), (iii) the Ceiling on Desires program, and (iv) Unity of Faiths, as well as (v) basic lesson planning, (vi) child development, and (vii) managing the teacher-parent interaction. Each module was facilitated by two presenters. Collectively, the modules provided attendees with a holistic understanding of the SSE program.
The training culminated with creative, engaging and thoughtful presentations of lesson plans developed by participants working in small teams. This year, for the first time, the training was also accompanied by a mentoring program. Attendees were divided into cohorts that were assigned a module presenter as their mentor. The teams began working together during the training to complete and present a lesson plan for a specific SSE age group.
These mentoring cohorts will hold regular check-ins for the upcoming year as the newly trained teachers begin to participate in various SSE-related tasks at their respective Centers. Many parent attendees noted that they gained many invaluable parenting insights from the training.
Here are some reflections from the participants on the impact of the training session and the key takeaways for them.