All posts by Lavanya Mohan

Welcome Monsoon!

final

The past 10 days have been hard for Chennai. With two back to back depressions, the city was flooded. Power connection was cut, houses built in the low lying areas inundated, access to basic amenities blocked, people had to hop, swim and travel in boats through the streets.

final2

The corporation, municipality workers, the disaster management force, Fire Service, Traffic Police, NGO’s and volunteers were working 24*7 .

monsoon

The relief and Rescue process was slow due to the flooded streets and roads. Schools, colleges and major IT giants closed, and the work flow got affected to a greater extent.

final1

Despite the heavy rains, our Creations Team had to be at Report Bee to keep things going steady. While few got house arrested due to the floods , few chose not to contribute to the city Traffic which subsequently slowed down the relief process.

 IMG-20151116-WA0064  IMG_20151117_131300

Right Now, we are collecting bedsheets , medicines and clothes from the team to be distributed to the flood affected areas.

IMG_20151119_152010

The rain is still not done and we have our Trio Nikhil, Pallavi and Jennifer narrating their official trip to Puttaparthi. With the sound of Rain in the Background, being in office with all those who belong, we are kick starting the Rainy Season! Welcome Monsoon!

  trio talk

RB-ian’s Day Out !

On the eve of Dec 4th, we were trying to get a presentation ready and settled in the corner of the Report Bee office to work on it secretly! But clearly we had chosen the wrong evening to work secretively, as the whole office was buzzing with excitement about for the RB-ians day out the next day, Dec 5th.

Pic 1

The team secretly discussing at the corner of RB office

Oh yes!We from Report Bee decided to take a break from work and have a day out for ourselves. We had the entire day planned out. We were all to meet at the Report Bee office the next morning around 8:30 AM and leave by bikes and cars together to a beautiful farm house in ECR.

Pic 2
A view of the farm house at ECR

On reaching the farmhouse, we greeted the entire Report Bee team. Made them sit and escaped shortly to have a discussion. But, the RB hive is big and one of the designer bees caught us practicing our presentation in one of the rooms. Seriously guys, all we wanted was sometime to perfect our presentation!

Pic 3

Presentation team busted!

We finally came out, accepted our defeat on being found. Asked the team to settle down for the presentation!
On September 2014, there was a team from Report Bee, set out to find out how schools, teachers, parents and students were using Report Bee’s product and Report Cards. This project was called crossroads. We had some very useful findings to improve our product and the company as a whole and we were planning to share the findings with the entire team through the presentation!

Pic 4

Team settled and enjoying the presentation

You might be wondering because you read RB-ians day out, and the entire team had to sit for a presentation? Well, that is how we at RB work. The entire team was so excited to hear about the crossroads findings. After all, it is our product and the learning will definitely help us grow. Moreover, it was important for us to introspect and learn soon because 2014 was the year for Report Bee as we successfully crossed 100 schools.
We made sure that the presentation was lively and every Rb-ian loved listening to the presentation. It was well thought, planned and interactive!

Pic 5

Meet the crossroads team – Planning the day!

To go more in detail, the presentation was split into two halves. The first half was a puppet show. It was so much fun! It was interactive, fun and interesting!

Pic 6

The puppet show: Puppets made and presented

The second half was a PowerPoint presentation. The interesting thing about the presentation was that the crossroads team used only pictures to explain their process and findings. Find a snapshot of the presentation below.

Pic 7

A snapshot of few slides from the presentation

By the end of the presentation, the Rb-ians were blown away!
Here is what a few had to say about it !!!

Pic 8

Pic 9

Pic 10

 

 

 

It was a huge learning experience for the RB-ians.The presentation helped the RB team to look at the product from a teacher’s perspective- being the primary users and to make the product better for them. In the process we learnt that when an idea when well executed will impact and reach out to more users and add great value to the product! We thank our teachers for being so kind and giving us the right feedback to help us develop a better product for them to use!
Post Crossroads Presentation at the farm house
Obviously our day did not end only with the presentation! After the presentation, we had a special lunch arranged by Karthik, head of the logistics team. We had a special separate cuisine for vegetarians and non-vegetarians with delicious sweets and desserts!
Right after lunch, we celebrated Christmas, had a small party which included few games .

Pic 11

One of the games being played

Playing the games was fun as it was a great team building exercise for us and we got to know about the employees outside Report Bee. Post playing games, we had our very own CEO giving the team a Pep talk and the journey about Report Bee over the years since its inception (FOUR amazing years). It was interesting to know the journey, the first school win and the way our team has grown today.

A interview was done in the form of a Coffee show adding even more fun to it The founding team was called on to get interviewed, to share and learn from their individual journeys over the last 4 years.

Pic 12

Founding team part of the chat show with CEO, Anant

 

And finally we ended the fun in the play area and swimming pool. Now we know why everyone says TGIF!

Pic 13

Until we meet again in 2015!
Crossroads team!
(Jack, Jayashree, Sharanya, Karthik)

Reflections: There’s More than Meets the Eye

 

A teacher’s concern, love, thoughts, and actions that nurture children are rarely ever ‘captured’. Goes without saying that stories have forever been instrumental in moulding cultures and societies! Reflections- Teachers’ Stories in their own Words, launched in February 2015, is a space where teachers can speak their minds, share tales from their lives and their classrooms so that everyone can appreciate what they do and learn.

Why Care?

  • Teacher-to-Teacher Connect: Personal stories foster learning from each other’s examples, enable exchange of ideas and establish deeper connection with teaching.
  • Adds depth: Researchers get in-depth knowledge. We can perhaps hope to get a more representative realistic image of the teachers.
  • Improve PTA Experiences: Parents could appreciate what some teachers do. It is heartening to learn that some teachers do go to great lengths to ensure a joyful learning experience.
  • Surprise for everyone else who has any pre-set notions about teachers.

Come to think of it, there isn’t quite anyone like the teachers! Teachers are the frontrunners in our education system; the progresses our children make in schools (and beyond) are solely dependent on the quality of our communication with them. They have a huge task and tremendous pressure under which to deliver upon their responsibilities. Yet we know so little about them and their views. To top this lack of knowledge, little do we know that there are heroes and role models in the teaching fraternity who successfully defy the prevalent wisdom of the day, which portrays teachers as overburdened, de-motivated and passive recipients of information. It is only reasonable for us – educationists, researchers, parents, individuals, civil society- to know the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of what they do:

How to Capture these Reflections?

That’s a good question! Teachers have no time; why would they care to share their stories with us, that too via a medium (technology) they don’t much like? Hence, the apparent challenge was in getting ‘the powerhouse of knowledge’ to write. With minimal chance of receiving even a handful of stories, we doubled the challenge by launching Reflections at the worst possible time- Final Exams!! Thankfully, this round was a pilot. We were so sure of receiving a scanty response that we were thrilled with just about 10 odd entries!

Lo and behold, they just kept trickling in by the dozen. Reflections stopped at 52 beautiful stories/essays from teachers’ lives, written by them. No, these were not just from the English language teachers but also from the teachers of Hindi, Sanskrit, Maths, Chemistry, Social Sciences, Geography, and Biology.  Obviously, we were overwhelmed and encouraged by their beautiful stories.

The stories were then evaluated to arrive at the winners (remember, it’s a writing contest). Nectar is proud to publish these unique stories under a special sub-category for them, obviously by the name Reflections. It is as heartening to read each of these real stories from real teachers, as it is to read some fantastic comments by other teachers. This is the true power of technology! It makes boundaries non-existent, renders physical connect obsolete in the path of learning and paves the way for a virtual community from the so-called tech-averse group.

Day 1 of Result Announcement: 3 of top-10
Day 1 of Result Announcement: 3 of top-10

 

In summary, Reflections:

  1. Gets us some great stories of change: Everyday problems need simple actions to solve; teachers do that all the time; we just don’t know what they do. Story of Little Johnny, of ALICE, passion for Psychology, compassion for slow learners, their appreciation of exam fevers, and of little innovations, use of technology to name just a few.
  2. Offers a platform for the Teachers to speak their minds, inspire and network: Healthy constructive communication among the teaching fraternity implies a deeper connection with the process of teaching.
  3. Helps empathise with the Teachers: Gives us a glimpse into their minds and lives so we can see what drives them or the challenges they face (for those who care).
  4. Enliven moments and live forever, in the hearts of others!
  5. Shows how savvy the teachers really are! The real handicap is lies around the right motivation.
  6. Shows their sense of commitment: They deliver on their responsibilities by sometimes going out of their way.

Teachers, keep sharing! We love your stories.