A few weeks ago, I walked into a room at Hackney Community College nervous about the uncertainty of what was ahead. It was time for the facilitator training day for a new pilot programme, where we were going to discover the methodology we would be using to deliver our live workshops around a few MENA countries. Fear had slowly set in my mind during the days before the training, fear of working with new cultures, with new people and with new methodology. That all quickly disappeared as we facilitators did what we do best, and environment of safety, experimentation and play was born through energisers, introductions and creating our own learning agreement.
Our first task was to share our purpose of joining the programme and working with Spark+Mettle — why are we here?! Sometimes a hard question to answer but for most of us it came naturally. For me, my why all came down to the name of the programme — Taqaddam. Taqaddam means to move forward in Arabic, which perfectly sums up the intention of the entire programme and why I feel privileged to be a part of it. I want to help young people move forward as individuals, to move forward as leaders in their communities and most of all to help them to move forward together.
My values really align with Spark+Mettle’s, making this a really exciting programme to be a part of. I truly believe that we all must play our part to help future generations reach their potential and create positive systems that support their development, confidence and well being. Spark+Mettle do just that — they are the champions of the soft stuff and are paving the way for new ways of learning, where play, digital and self awareness take centre stage and your core strengths and soft skills become your competitive advantage when you start working life.
Our training day proved to me why Spark+Mettles methodology really works, it was designed using experience based learning where we facilitators got to experience first hand what the young people will feel and go through during the workshops. I didn’t come into the day with many expectations, but I did not expect to leave feeling more grounded in my own character strengths and developing my own soft skills proving that learning and growth really is life long.
The training was fun and energetic, buzzing with lively conversations, trial and error and openness. The activities allowed us to question our own growth mindset, share knowledge and design parts of the workshop collaboratively which made the whole day feel authentic.
I left the day with a few key learnings:
- Never underestimate the power of collaborative experiential learning, it is, for me, the most positive way to learn.
- You are never to young or old to continue developing your own strengths and soft skills.
- If programmes like this happen more often, the future looks very bright!
I left the day feeling energised and grateful to be part of the programme. Most of all I feel like we experienced what Taqaddam is all about; we all moved forward – as individual facilitators, as leaders in our community and most importantly together.
Written by Priya