There was no single time where the teachers met each other and engaged with each other as people.

Watch Kiran share the incident which sparked the design of the Congenial Meets process.


Try the empathy lens:

Shadow a teacher who goes through a typical professional developement day at school.

Notice how that teacher feels throughout this process, and how they and others react to the PD they are engaging in.

Observe how many times the PD focuses on personal development or how often teachers get to have fun with one another!


  • We found that most teacher gatherings involved serious conversations that were about work, and therefore the atmosphere was only professional.

  • There was almost no interaction and collaboration between teachers in different Key Stages and they functioned as separate entities.

  • We noticed that on the rare occasions that we did a game or an activity that was non-academic, it created a wonderful sense of lightness and congeniality amidst the team.

We therefore, started planning for these times by design, and we started seeing a dramatic change in the teachers’ sense of well-being and how they performed in the classroom.



the school could intentionally design experiences for the well-being of a teacher as a person and not just as a professional?



Simple spaces/times called Congenial Meets where teachers engaged with each other at a personal level through a facilitated activity or game.

Teachers got a space where they could interact with each other and bond as people. They enjoyed being a part of a group that likes each other and shares common interests. They became comfortable in approaching each other as allies.

Through multiple Congenial Meets different talents of teachers blossomed and were showcased. Teachers started knowing each other beyond their professional capacities, eg. Math teacher as a jokester or Sports teacher as a dancer.

In the long term, it created a sense of comfort and safety that this is a space where everyone is on the same team, that people here genuinely like and care about one other.



This video helps make visible the Congenial Meets process from ‘intention’ to ‘action’.


The video shows the rationale that underlies the process and what is done in preparation for it. You will also see how the event unfolds, as well as teachers’ reflections on the process.

  • 3:02

    a) Alma Mater Case study

    This video shows an example of a Congenial meet at Alma Mater school, Rajasthan, where they use this process as a way to build community as a group!

  • 2:24

    b) I Can School Case study

    This video shows an example of a Congenial meet at I Can School, Vietnam, where they use the process as a way to build community as a group!


In this section, Riverside edu-heroes share strategies and insights from their experience of the process and how the process has impacted their practice.

  • 4:00

    FAQ Video

    Watch Nikita sharing tips and guidelines on how to plan for and execute successful Congenial Meets.

  • 2:20

    Impact Video

    Watch Nikita share about the impact that Congenial Meets have had on her journey at Riverside.


  • Plan to start your next Professional Development session with a simple activity or game, and see how it can change the tone of the meeting!

  • Be thoughtful while assigning the responsibility of facilitating the first few Congenial Meets – choose teachers who are confident in their interactions with their colleagues.

  • Use Congenial Meets as an opportunity to build skills such as public speaking and confidence in teachers who may be less comfortable in front of a group.