Saturday, 28 September 2013


September 26, 2013: AVEC for the first time was able to make an inroad into St. Francis High School - Borivili, thanks to the Principal Bro. Jose and Mr. Agnelo Pereira for following up with the AVEC office. Fifty three Teachers were able to participate in a full day's "Management By Values" (MBV) seminar. The words of welcome and introduction was made by Teacher Petal D’Souza. She welcomed the guests and hoped that this would an opportunity to introspect into one's life and make a difference.
Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes, AVEC Project Coordinator, thanked one and all for the warm welcome and invited the participants to listen to an inter faith 'Prayer Song' - Sarveshaam, Swastir Bhavatu'. The teaches were then taken through a short fantasy meditation coupled with moments of 'Rhythmic breathing', that enabled the participants to relax, slow down and focus on their positive energy and to exhale all that was toxic and negative. Mr. Fernandes, then introduced Fr. Glenn to them and made a reference to his 'kidney donation' as a model for significant contribution.
Fr. Glenn took the teachers through a progressive journey of 'Managing One's Live by Values'. The journey began by inviting the teachers to start making 'Qualitative Changes' rather than mere 'Quantitative changes' in their lives and in the lives of their students. The well spring of 'qualitative' changes begin with a 'perspective change'. "What you see., is what you get!". Perspective changes lead to procedural changes too. "Today's session is an opportunity to make a slight 'qualitative change' and any shift in one's Value system will have a quantum shift in the larger society around," he said. 
Using a lot of everyday examples, that contribute to more back-sliding than progress in life, was put across in a very humorous manner. A powerful PowerPoint presentation was backed by a lot of true life episodes - from the 26/11 terror attack to understanding the 'attitudes of the young people today'. He also focused on the important aspect of moving from looking at themselves as fulfilling a mere 'Career' to responding to a 'Vocation'. With the use of small groups sharing, personal insights, or solving the 'puzzle of constructing a perfect school' - the participants were able to slowing introspect on their own personal journey and to look at how they view Value Education and also to focus on the importance of 'aligning personal values' with that of the 'institutional values'.  
In the final part of the session, the teachers were asked to plot their Value Map based on the 'Brian Hall-Benjamin Tonna Value map'. The importance of the Value of WORD was also stressed. The participants took part in the entire exercise in a very attentive and enthusiastic way. In the midst of a plenty of humor, a lot of insights and thought provoking questions were randomly thrown at the teachers for their personal reflection and change. The four hours passed by so quickly.... no one realized how quickly time flew!
 In the end, the Vote of Thanks was proposed by Tr. Christene Petro. Floral bouquets were also presented to both the speakers. A few teachers came forward to write their comments in teh AVEC appreciation log book:
“Thanks Fr. Glenn for the wonderful seminar we had. It was very inspiring and will help us to instil theses values in our children” -  Tr. Shirley
 “Thanks to Fr. Glenford Lowe.  I have had an insight into the Values that I value the most and also thank you for strengthening our Value system” -  Tr. Emilia
 “Thank you Father for inspiring us and doing it with humour” – Tr. Michelle

Thanks to one and all for making it such a memorable day for all of us. I pray God's blessings on you and your institution and make you all continue to inspire your students through a personal shift.

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