Encouragement, systematic action, and above all the institute process—these are some of the key ingredients to making growth sustainable. And they are all there Washington, DC (A). Participants in the institute courses and tutors alike are being empowered through a variety of means. Particularly intriguing is how Ruhi 3 is not a textbook that is put on the shelf once the course is over, but a point of reference to which the teachers continually return.
It is better to focus on one neighborhood that already has resources in place and make sure that it is self-sustaining before moving on to another neighborhood. If our focus is too diffuse, we will not be as effective.
An example of individual initiative: One family decided to host an “expansion phase day” during the consolidation phase in order to expand the community of interest in one neighborhood. This effort brought out 12 teachers and resulted in a gentleman declaring and enrolling his child. . . .
The growth in children’s classes is a result of the teachers’ increased confidence and unwillingness to get discouraged. It is also a result of their enthusiasm in bringing in new teachers to collaborate with them to support and sustain growth. Notably, teachers would return to Ruhi Book 3 and review it to refine their approach to teaching the class. They were willing to try something out, make adjustments, consult with one another, and look back to Book 3 for guidance.
Personal visits of the cluster institute coordinator to study circles to support the tutors helped encourage them. Monthly community “debriefs” and presentations at the Nineteen Day Feast proved effective for encouraging the friends.
Regular “tutor encounter” meetings that focused on a few key themes helped the tutors consider how to apply these to their own study circles, particularly the practice components.
Linking the practice components of study circles to the cycles of the intensive program of growth was extremely important on two fronts: It helped support the cluster’s growth, and it enabled the participants to practice their skills in real situations.