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WSD at Sanskaar Valley School, Bhopal

Guest blog by Naaz Hafiz and Lubna Niazi Warsi

WSD in The Sanskaar Valley School cropped up when Simon contacted us with the proposal. In the beginning it seemed a daunting task given our packed school schedules and procedures. However providentially the idea caught the fancy of the top brass and this whole event unfolded at such short notice. The enthusiasm of the students and parents was more than obvious from the way they responded. This set the ball rolling for a fortnight of activity with auditions and video recordings and preparations for the final event in Kalanjali: the school Amphitheatre.

What was very infectious was to see students walking about preparing and talking zealously. Eventually, even the slightly sceptical teacher’s community caught the bug and started recording videos. As part of the celebrations we changed our smart board screen savers to the WSD logo and put up posters around the block to create awareness about the program. Technology and specially WhatsApp came to our rescue whenever we could not interact during school time.

However, I am still not satisfied and would have liked to do it on a bigger scale nevertheless this is what we could manage with hectic new session plans.

We grew more and more ambitious and tried out different setting and plans.
With final day looming ahead there were more than our share of proverbial glitches technical and otherwise but we did not give up…thanks to Simon’s smile and gentle
encouragement. The school Junior council took charge and we had a literal photo finish…On the whole it was not just a speaking event but also served to forge new bonds among staff and students as they learned to collaborate and troubleshoot when things did not go as planned. All of us got a chance to tap into our hidden potential and get out our comfort zones. It was an amazing learning experience and I often found myself falling short. But all said and done..the vibes were perfect, the energy was divine and there for all to see and witness.

Furthermore the WSD WhatsApp group and FB page helped us to share the experience of remote countries like Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan and we felt like a small but significant part of an international community of speakers who wish to have a voice. It really felt as if our voices mattered and there are people interested in hearing us out. I fondly hope that if not for us cynical ,sceptical grown ups ,with warped visions of the world, then at least for the upcoming generations WSD will serve to ignite a fundamentally altered frame of mind and thoughts for a better world.

Naaz Hafiz
English Teacher

#Unexpected voices at TSVS

#Unexpected voices. I think it was this tagline that really caught my attention and stayed with me. ‘ From unexpected voices come remarkable ideas’. What an arresting line!

And unexpected voices they were .. from our Hindi and Drama teacher to the shy and reserved ones. Lesson plans, setting assignments and corrections were forgotten for a while and speechmaking took Middle School by storm. Everyone was busy taking videos of their speeches, judging angles, discussing makeup and quality of recording.

As for the students and parents- there was quite a frenzy amongst them too. We were inundated with calls on the whens, hows and whats. It was the beginning of term and our senior students were writing a public exam so the excitement had to be contained within Middle School. There were WSD posters dotting Middle School and once the junior council was sworn in, they just took over the event. I was really impressed with their choice of topics. They spoke on body shaming, reducing ones carbon footprint, bullying and saving our greens.

“Glossophobia” has now become an oft repeated word in our students vocabulary. They are discussing it and collaborating with each other to overcome it. The ones who think they have it are now coming forward for assemblies and MC roles. It is an exciting time for us here at Sanskaar. A time for ‘giving voice ‘ and ‘facilitating voice’.

The fact that schools from all over the world participate in this event and have a platform to share ideas makes it so exciting for our students and teachers. Next time we will include our parent community in this event too. After all, “ from unexpected voices come remarkable ideas”.

Ms.Lubna Niazi Warsi
Head Middle School
TSVS ,India

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