The colourful shamiana set a festive mood with the swaying trees and interestingly designed and painted school walls. Each teacher was welcomed into the circle of chairs with a chocolate. The small white slip stapled on each chocolate read an animal name. The icebreaker was each teacher in the circle saying her name with the animal name, then each making the sound of the animal while moving around to find others of the group and finally singing the Old MacDonald song.
A Mock Assembly, as usually held in schools Good Morning greeting, News reading, Announcements, Though of the Day and School Song was held by the Fab Four, where the participating teachers were students arranged in classes based on the animal groups formed. (The Deen's Art Dept. had created each animal's cut out with lamination and mounted on a pole beautifully). The teachers mirrored student behaviour which is seen at Assemblies – including coming late, disturbing others, pushing.
Thereafter, as a whole group we brainstormed how Assemblies could be improved.
- What is an assembly and what is its objective?
- How best can we utilize the 15-20 minutes that we get for an assembly?
- Can it be used as a tool for learning i.e. impart knowledge (through trivia, quizzes, extempore etc)
- Since the numbers at an assembly are large, are we able to reach out to the students - especially since it is a mixed age group? Should students be first educated about the importance of an assembly.
- How important is news reading in an assembly? Should this also be done at the classroom level?
- The ideas of participants regarding a theme based assembly. Sharing ideas about the probable themes.
- Can assemblies contribute towards confidence building among students?
Each group was given a slip of an Assembly theme and 5 minutes time to plan the Assembly presentation. - Go Green, Festival - Deepavali, Convey a Moral / Value. In these Assemblies songs, stories, skits, quotations, physical exercises and jokes were used.
TTF then shared what an Awesome Assembly is not and what is. They could be led by Teachers, Students or outsiders. Examples were given of Assemblies for Special Occasions, Global Interest, From another Country/ Culture, Subjects, Emotions, Sports and Individual Interest.
Posted by Firoza Maneksha-Sinha, Sr. Centre Coordinator, TTF Bangalore