by Laura Szmuch and Jamie Duncan
About twenty years ago, we felt we had reached a point in our teaching careers when we had the need to go further in understanding the learning process. In particular, we paid attention to some important aspects in teaching which were not generally covered in most training courses, like the delicate chemistry produced by the communication between teacher and student.
We began to play with this intuitively and change things in our teaching and we started to read a lot about NLP. We wondered what would happen if we took all these marvellous ideas and technology and used them in education. We realised we had a lot to learn and that there was an amazing world to which we had only just gained entry, so we decided to take some courses and learn about it properly.
As we were both very enthusiastic about applying what we had been learning to our classes, we began to try things out, take notes, read, and get books from the US, the UK and New Zealand that were not available here. Above all, we shared everything we were discovering. Individually, we started giving some workshops to friends and colleagues, until the day, when as we were about to finish the Master Practitioner training, we organised a study group together. From this group, there were requests or almost 'demands' from our colleagues who wanted something deeper and more structured than just a workshop, to be given in English and dedicated to education and language teaching. At this point we were completing the Trainer training and we realised that we had all the material and ideas in our heads. What was needed was to put it in order and form a course. And our first NLP Practitioner Certificate course in Education started, and we founded "Resourceful Teaching". As time went by, we decided to continue studying other disciplines and started to give shape to this new course, which expands the excellent basis that NLP has given to our teaching to include many other interesting components. Among these are Neurosciences, Cognitive Psychology, Jungian Psychology, Humanistic Psychology, Ontology of language and Coaching tools.
The wonderful thing about working with teachers is that we see almost instant results. They tend to have a phenomenal drive and come to us interested in acquiring techniques to help their students learn more easily.
Little by little, however, they realise that they are also helping themselves immensely. They become more open and more complete as people and discover that they have resources available to resolve conflicts and communicate more effectively. They see that they possess an enormous treasure in the form of their academic knowledge and training but that however rich this intellectual knowledge may be, it is still not quite enough.
Therefore, they acquire tools to transmit learning, not just from the mental perspective. It is incredible to see the difference in their classes when they learn to use their bodies, their voices, aspects of non-verbal and unconscious communication and to value their intuition. They improve their communication with their students, parents of students, colleagues, heads and other staff in a remarkable fashion. And this is because their communication reveals a different point of view, one which has been nourished by reflection, practice, application, and not only through academic readings, which is often the case with postgraduate courses.
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What most excites us is that they approach us as 'professionals', committed to their work and then they discover themselves as 'people'. They realise that they need to devote time and space to themselves and to the organisation and planning of their lives and careers in a wider perspective. Teachers normally live in a whirlwind of classes, preparation, marking, exams and different groups and undoubtedly this is a situation in which it is easy to lose oneself. The changes that we witness in teachers have to do with finding themselves again and reacquainting themselves with their subject, their pupils and their lives. Apart from dramatic improvements in their classrooms, they tell us of important changes in their families and with their partners, of new jobs or growth in their institutes, of more useful free time which emerges from better organisation and clear objectives. They also tell of better physical health and we insist a lot on this point as teachers need strong and flexible bodies, loads of energy and to eat well. Teachers need to set an example for students.
And what is "Resourceful Teaching"?
The vision of Resourceful Teaching is to see teachers growing and developing with wisdom, maximising their skills as communicators and models of excellence in their field. These teachers are committed to using their talents and strengths in helping the world recognise the supreme importance of meaningful education as a birthright of all human beings.
The mission of RT is to provide a structure through which teachers have access to the skills and technology of NLP as applied to education and to other relevant humanistic disciplines. This includes high quality training and support, materials and information, contacts and networking. Our graduates are empowered with the awareness, choices, communication skills and facilitating beliefs and values to make a real difference in their teaching context.
The strategy of RT has been to create a Practitioner's Certificate and Master Practitioner's Certificate course completely orientated towards practising teachers. It is also to run workshops, shorter courses and other training for teachers. We offer consultancy and information to teachers and to educational institutes. We develop materials and literature applying NLP to the teaching and learning processes. While NLP has been a major influence in our work, we have also incorporated learnings and techniques from the Neurosciences, Cognitive Psychology, Jungian Psychology, Humanistic Psychology, Ontology of language and Coaching. This new Resourceful Teaching Practitioner course is the culmination of our experience and expertise at applying these techniques and philosophies to the classroom.
The structure of RT is to offer training and consultancy in Education in the following ways:
* General Educational workshops
* Tailor-made on-site workshops responding to special needs of schools or other educational institutions
* Practitioner Certificate in NLP for Education courses
* Master Practitioner Certificate in NLP for Education courses
* Consultancy upon request
* Electronic mail newsletter and blog
* Free introductory talks
* Participation in major ELT events
* Ongoing access to instruction and trainers
* Networking and a forum for contact both within Argentina and internationally.
Education with a capital "E"
When people complain about the crisis in education, we consider that it is a good idea to teach those who teach. When those who are part of the teaching-learning process know where they are going, what their beliefs and values are and how to find their mission, the crisis becomes a path of opportunities. The huge changes that we are experiencing in the world are an excellent challenge and the better prepared we are and the greater our self-knowledge and our personal and spiritual development, the more chances we have for continued learning and growth in all aspects of our life.
Laura Szmuch is a graduate of the "Dr. Joaquín V. González" Teacher’s Training College and works as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in her studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She’s a certified coach and has trained in Psychoneuroeducation. She’s the author of Aprendiendo inglés y disfrutando el proceso (Learning English and Enjoying the Process), Las seis inspiraciones (The Six Inspirations) and A Teacher’s Motivational Grammar: The Reasons to Teach, for her Master’s Degree in Cognitive Psychology And Learning with FLACSO and UAM.
They are Master Practitioners and Trainers in NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming).
For further details check out http://www.resourcefulteaching.com.ar/