Advancing with Resolve – Bilingual Monitor Trainees 2018
01 December 2018 marks a glorious final session for the 13-week Monitor Training course. In a class of crouching tigers and hidden dragons (some of us having learnt the Lamrim for more than a decade), these students are finally ready to take a leap of faith and bear the responsibility of holding the fort to lead bilingual classes.
Under the superb leadership and guidance of Brother Francis and Sister Adeline as well as the mentorship of Advisor Dr. Pua, the 29 students started lessons on 08 September. During the very first lesson, Venerable Bensi asked the class why we wanted to take on this challenge and the simple answer is – we wish to spread the good teaching of the Dharma to more sentient beings. And spreading this wisdom ensures that we are planting the right seed towards the path of Enlightenment. Sister Adeline also added that this move must be an aspiration we had made before and so we have ‘choped’ a place long ago. Mega rejoice!!!
Every week, different experienced lecturers and monitors were invited to share on knowledge delivery and class management and engagement tips. Their selfless imparting of their know-how immensely benefited the trainees. All of them have their unique style of presentation to grab the attention of their audience and pens flew across the note-books as the trainees tried their best to write down the wealth of information shared. The first hour always flew past way before the trainees realised it. In the next hour, we were put to the test to show how much we had learnt. Each week, three trainees were selected to lead the class through a portion of the chapter shared in the previous week.
THAT is stressful.
As Sister Poh Jee aptly put it, “I still cringe when I hear the sound of my voice through the PA speaker”, many of us had to grapple with our insecurities as we led the class through our portion, and to be assessed by the guest speaker-of-the-week. Although it was a mere 10-minute presentation, most of us spent hours preparing for it – from selecting and memorising the information to share, to sourcing for the appropriate video or Insightful Praise to support learning and formulating the PowerPoint slides. However, with diligence and great aspiration, all of us did a marvelous job and widened the horizon of techniques in conducting lessons for the rest of the class. Needless to say, the classmates were ever supportive and words of encouragement were always exchanged at the end of the lesson.
The training course ended with a splash. We were privileged to have our graduation graced by twenty monitors and members of the management team. The class stepped up to organise a grand Vast Offering, which we had the honour of getting Venerable Bensi to lead us through. During his motivation speech to the graduands, Venerable Bensi explained that stress is good as part of our growth and development. It pushes us out of our comfort zone but stretches us to reach the next level of competence. Without it, we will never know what our true capabilities are. At lunch, the laughter was incessant and the web of camaraderie that we have been spinning is finally thick and secure. After going through these 13 weeks of intense training together, all of us now know we have one another to fall back on whenever we falter and need assistance in future.
Upon the completion of Phase 1 of this training, we will now garner all that we have learnt to the actual ‘battlefield’, where we will co-facilitate with monitors of a bilingual class for another 8 weeks before we are ready to soar. So if you see a strange but not-so-new face in your class, do extend your warm welcome and benevolent smile and give us a pat on the back and a vote of confidence!
On behalf of the BLG Monitor Training Class 2018