Love in Action: Junior Teacher Training

Three-day teacher training 2019, Den Bosch, Zonnelicht, Holland

By Meike Bosch

This year the neohumanist school, Zonnelicht in Den Bosch organized their annual three-day teacher training on the theme Love in Action. The training, which took place on 7, 8, 9 March, consisted of two parallel programs at two separate venues. For the junior teachers it was held at the Lotus Centre in Den Bosch and for the senior teachers in Reek, a nearby village. The trainers for this year were Didi Ananda Devapriya, Ada Merz, Satya Tanner, Tonke Kuijt, Lisette Smulders, Tim Rammelt and Jasmijn Baten.

Junior Teacher Training in Den Bosch

As a brand-new HR employee, I was lucky to be involved in the development of this training. The purpose was to let the teachers discover and shape their own gift to the world. The ingredients were: Yama Niyama, the layers of the mind, storytelling, singing, dancing, meditation and games. I also participated in the training myself. I’d like to tell you about my experience during the training in this article.

Day 1: Yama Niyama, qualities and gifts to the world

The first day of the training Didi started with yoga. With serenity and radiant eyes Didi told us about the Yamas and the Niyamas. We did an exercise to find out what we want to give (more) time and attention. In the afternoon, under the guidance of coach Lisette Smulders, we did practical and educational exercises about our qualities and our role in a team. Finally, we drew our own gift to the world! What a beauty I saw! It was amazing. Everyone gave an open and honest insight into something personal, into something beautiful. It was shown with love and viewed with love. There was genuine interest and room for everyone’s ‘being’.

Day 2: Layers of the mind, storytelling and musical expression

The second day Satya started with an exercise about our perception of the behaviour from others. We laughed a lot. Didi gave us concrete examples of how we can develop the different layers of the mind. Tonke told us to sing upright from the sit bones and to use the own voice from within. Sounds are beautiful and should be pronounced in their completeness. We danced and sang in a circle of love. Ada and Satya told us about the ingredients of a good story: to the point, expression, lively voice, metaphors, pictures and emotions. Connection with the story is important. Images become more complete when they get the space to be formed in the mind of the child. We made stories, we practiced storytelling and we received tips from each other and from the trainers. The baby-teachers made and sang baby songs.

Day 3: Practice, presentation and evaluation

The third day started with a nice warm-up with coach Lisette Smulders. The baby-teachers sang under the guidance of Tim and Jasmijn and later for the whole group. Tim recorded it to make a CD. The other teachers rewrote the story about the apple tree (that was made during day 2) and visually designed it with drawings and attributes. The story was nicely rewritten and designed. Creating something together with everyone’s unique contribution gave us positive energy. After that Didi shared her projects with us. It was a touching story about her beautiful work. The end of the training was very nice. We stood in the circle and Didi mentioned all kinds of things that we had done and experienced. If it applied to someone, that person was allowed to take a step forward and received ‘applause’ from the colleagues.

Every morning colleague Elly Musscher created a serene atmosphere with candles and aromatic oils. Every day she also prepared a delicious healthy lunch. Thank you Elly for that “Love in Action”!

During the evaluation, the teachers said that the training brought them love, connection, positive energy, creativity, insights, tools and inspiration. I certainly felt and saw “Love in Action” during these three days. Thank you colleagues and trainers for this lovely experience.