Reflections One Year on

Montage of a Year: Vindhya and ETASHA friends
Montage of a Year: Vindhya and ETASHA friends

It seems like it was only yesterday…

I still remember that blank expression on Meenakshi and Ian’s face when I introduced myself as a biologist during the first round of my interview. They were clueless as to why a biologist would want to work for them…..but I had answers to all their why’s!

I told them a long story of my love for teaching. I had worked as an intern at All India Institute of Medical Sciences before joining ETASHA and I knew that I was taking a big leap by doing something completely different from my profile. It was worth it! It was an hour long interview followed by a visit to both our centres and I got the job!!
1st August 2013, oh I can never forget this date; my first day at ETASHA – first job, new people, new environment and new responsibilities. I still remember Meenakshi asking me on my third day, “Is everything alright? Why are you so quiet?” I didn’t really have any answer to her question but I think I was still adjusting to the environment.
After observing a number of English and interpersonal classes for around twenty days as part of my training I finally got my first English class. It was “Future continuous”; I had already done that class several times in my mind before actually doing it with the trainees. The batch was familiar with me because I used to observe other facilitators taking their classes so making a connection with them became a lot easier.

I entered the class and I was really nervous (I was sweating… literally!) I wasn’t scared of seventeen trainees waiting for me to start the class but I was damn scared of Tridib, then a facilitator with ETASHA. He played a crucial role in my training, moreover he helped me in coming out of my shell. I learnt to dance; cry, scream, jump, laugh and what not in front of twenty some trainees sitting in front of me to learn something new every day.
Once the silent prayer was over I started with my first English class; I demonstrated, elicited and weaved, some of the core ingredients of all our classes. Class went exactly the way I ha d planned. At the end of the class like a small kid I looked at Tridib asking, “Was it good?” It was (at least he said so). Yay!! I did it!! was the feeling and I never looked back….classes, back to back classes-English, computers, interpersonal, world of work, social confidence …I can’t think of my day without facilitating a class.

The best part about classes at ETASHA is that every day is new and different; new learning, new topics and new challenges. You have to deal with the different moods of a trainee…one might just have had a tiff with one’s best friend, or is coming from a funeral, or one’s parents’ fight every day and night, or one could be under pressure of getting a job so that he can support his family as soon as possible. And I had to make sure that I make them forget all their worries and let them learn freely and not with any burden.
Besides classes I completely admire people of ETASHA how they help you to grow with each passing day. I understood the importance of taking and giving feedback in the right manner only after joining ETASHA. Not to forget I also enjoy the variety of food we get on our tables during our lunch breaks!
Soon I’ll have completed a year with ETASHA but it seems like it was only yesterday…
-Vindhya Vatsyayan

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