I find it refreshing and enlivening to be sitting behind the “bench” of a student. “Good students make good teachers”, they say. Teachers are usually in the position of giving, of instructing, but they, too, are continuously learning, growing, developing.

This summer TKG Academy staff had the good fortune of participating in professional development organized by ISKCON’s Ministry of Education in Houston, TX. We had the honor of attending classes by teachers such as Prana Prabhu, a very experienced educator and curriculum developer, Subhra Mataji, the principal of Goswami Academy, and others. We reviewed concepts such as Inquiry Learning, The Reflective Teacher, Assessment, Storytelling in the Classroom, Teaching in Multilevel Classroom, Early Childhood Growth and Development, Vedic Math, Restorative Practices and more.

The training was followed by an Educational Conference, attended by ISKCON educators from North America. We specifically connected with other K-12 teachers and administrators, exchanged ideas with them and paved the path for future collaboration. Resources were shared and the beginning of ISKCON NA Gurukula objectives were laid out. We felt inspired by their association and look forward to continuing to serve along with them.

Finally, during the official “in service” days, we also had the pleasure of exploring the AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and its essential components, under the tutelage of Mani Manjari, a former TKG Academy teacher. She walked us – hands-on – through the process of collaborative learning and left us all enthused to enter our respective classrooms and put model into practice.