Thursday, 22 April 2010

RTNews 110

RT® News

A magazine on Neuro Linguistic Programming in Education
No 110 April 20 2010

Hello Everyone,

April is a busy month for us all as we are back fully in the swing of things. Once we find our rhythm, we can begin to reflect more on what is happening in our classes and conduct the sort of classroom research, however informal that it may be, which keeps us developing and growing as teachers. To complement this we may choose to pick up other courses related to education or not, courses which help us understand our work, courses for relaxation, for fun or simply to satisfy our curiosity. As teachers, being a model of life-long learning is so important as we have a huge impact on our students and unconsciously our model as teachers and as citizens lasts in their minds for a long time. If we show no interest in continuing to learn, what message are we giving our children and young people?

Laura is running Viviendo en Gratitud, a second ‘season’ of the highly moving Proyecto Gratitud and you can visit the webpage and sign up for this free online community experience at

Our new Practitioner courses have begun or are out to begin. You can still join up or recommend them to someone (we have a version in Spanish). See item 2 below.

More information is available about the course in Spanish at

Keep smiling and healthy,

Laura and Jamie


1. Denial – when you ignore the other in order to be right

2. Practitioner Course 2010 – versions in English and in Spanish

3. Calendar of activities for 2010

4. Workshops and coaching

5. Subscribing/Unsubscribing to our e-zines in English and Spanish and an invitation to visit


1. Denial – when you ignore the other in order to be right

Some weeks it seems that all roads lead to Rome. Or at least the signposts we see all seem to point in that direction.

This has been my (Jamie’s) week for exploring and evidencing denial.

I guess it all started with that terrible plane crash in Russia that killed the Polish President and so many other dignitaries. From what we know about the weather conditions, the option of flying off to another airport was denied sufficient consideration.

At school, a student reacted to my giving her a failing mark on an essay (after her rewrite did not correct the original mistakes and added a slew of extra ones) by refusing to speak to me for the rest of the week. “I’ll pretend it never happened. I’ll pretend the teacher is not in the classroom.”

At university, a student gave a fascinating talk on Armenia which included details of the genocide at the hands of the Turks in 1915. Just the week before I had been talking to an American living in Istanbul who referred to the continuing denial by Turks of their role in this tragedy or in the more recent genocide of Kurds in neighbouring Iraq in the 1980’s which affected parts of Turkey too as Kurds fled into the country. While they were supported by the sizeable Kurdish minorities living in the country they were also subject to severe persecution by some sectors of the Turkish population

Finally, the rubbish collectors in my neighbourhood denied the existence of rubbish in my street for several days. After 5 days I rang the local council to report the fact. Result: everyone else in the street gets their rubbish collected but me! Next evening I stand outside when the rubbish man comes past and ignores my neatly tied bags. I point them out and he takes two of the five bags and walks off.

“What about the rest?” He continues walking to the corner.

“Stop, I’m talking to you!”

“I didn’t hear you.”

“What about the other bags?”

“I haven’t got any more hands,” he replied stomping off.

Now, it may be true that the rubbish company is denying him the help he needs as they no longer bring the truck down my street, nor have at least two collectors picking up the rubbish, so this guy reacts by removing only some of the garbage in the street, dumping it on the corner and moving on to the next block. The Council agree with me that the service is not what it should be but it remains to be seen how the company react to the complaint and whether I will be targeted for daring to make a complaint.

All of this got me thinking about denial. About how denial emerges when we become too attached to being right. To thinking that our point of view is the only valid one.

Of course, there are times when denial is used as a convenient excuse. “Where’s your homework?”

“I never knew there was homework.”

“Everyone else copied it from the board and has handed it in and you were in class that day. What happened to you?”

In this type of situation, the person may be denying a fact publicly but is probably aware that an ‘alternative truth’ shared by everyone else exists.

What is perhaps of more concern is when denial occurs because:

a) it is used to avoid being accountable for something, or,

b) the person really cannot see beyond their own interpretation of reality (their own map as we say in NLP)

The first situation is typical of those being too attached to being right. In our fear of admitting a mistake we may end up attacking the other or his/her viewpoint.

“You must have been dreaming.”

“Who are you to tell me what to do?”

“It’s not like that at all.”

And this is the most insidious feature of denial, that of not acknowledging the legitimate other, someone who has an equal right to their perspective and opinion. We think we are the only holders of the truth and so we deny the existence of the other. Another tactic is to cast the other in the role of ‘them’, the other, the enemy, the opposition. “If you’re with me, you can’t believe what ‘they’ say.”

This binary approach ignores the fact that there is no ultimate difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’. It is all ‘we’. We are part of the same world and the same energy. We all have a right to be here and share in the universe. It could be us in the position of the ‘other’ person’ and in fact it is ‘us’ in a way. When we deny another his or her voice, we are in fact denying the voice of a part of ourselves.

One of the skills I am teaching my students is that of seeing the world from different perspectives. I am nudging them into widening their view of the world. In the activities I choose, they learn how to step into the shoes of the other, of seeing what it is like to contemplate the world from someone else’s position and of standing in the position of a neutral observer. They learn to widen their look so they can see things from above and below, from the front, the back and the sides, from the past, the present and the future. This helps them to incorporate the idea that we all have a valid point of view which sometimes we can’t see if we stay rooted to our own place. Using tools like Robert Dilts perceptual positions, students learn that others have equally valid points of view and that acknowledging this is not a sign of weakness on our part, in fact it is quite the reverse. If we are flexible enough to accept the perspective of another in our universe, it enriches us.

And in the end we don’t need denial at all. We accept the differences and the varied interpretations of ‘reality’ and focus on what is the most functional way of handling a situation to meet all our needs. When we deny something, we often expend a tremendous amount of energy sustaining this ‘truth’ which could be used for other purposes. Denial may work for some people in the short term very effectively but what happens in the long run? At the very least, it can be tiring to keep up the pretence about something.

So, let’s listen to the other as we would ourselves and respect the fact that that person will never see things exactly the same way as we do. And let’s remember that we don’t always have to be right. That no one is right and everyone is right at the same time! It all depends on our unique maps of the world.

© Resourceful Teaching 2010


2. Practitioner Course 2010 – versions in English and in Spanish

We have just had the first module of our new Practitioner certificate course, which runs this year and next. This first level of training involves between 130 and 150 hours of direct training in the form of practical activities and guided practice spread over 16 modules. It gives students acquaintance with the methodology and many of the techniques comprising NLP and leads to an internationally recognised certificate as Practitioner of NLP in Education.

The Practitioner certificate with Resourceful Teaching offers you the chance to get an NLP certification and practise your English at the same time!

It is still possible to join the course in the second module and we have a couple of places available.

For a course syllabus and further details see our website: or send a mail to or

Venue: Versailles, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires

Time: One Saturday per month 9.00 – 17.00

Next Module: Saturday May 22

Investment: 260 pesos per module

The course includes written material and a full bibliography and morning and afternoon refreshments. As much as we encourage reading, the real value of NLP is the putting it into practice and our students have constant opportunities to employ what they learn in their daily work and lives.

To enroll, please contact us for an enrolment form. Your place is guaranteed upon payment of the first module.

In Spanish

This course will also be offered in Spanish on Friday evenings twice monthly from April 23. If you are interested, contact Laura at for more details.


3. Calendar of Activities 2010

We are publishing below a list of the main events for Resourceful Teaching for the next few months. As each date gets closer we will give you more information and we will of course be updating the calendar with new dates as they arise.
Friday April 23 2010 New Practitioner course in Spanish begins

May 22 2010 Second module Practitioner course in English


4. Workshops and Coaching

If you would like a workshop or training in your city or town, please contact us soon as we have only a few dates available on weekends each year.

We can offer you workshops as listed in the website or design something especially for your needs. In English and in Spanish. Please contact or if you are interested.

Laura is also available for Coaching. If you wish to advance in your career or personal life and wish to design a plan of action to do so, why not have a coaching conversation with her. Contact:


5. Subscribing/Unsubscribing to our e-zines in English and Spanish and an invitation to visit

To subscribe simply send a mail to: with your name and city stating 'subscribe' in the subject box. To unsubscribe, follow the same procedure but write the word 'unsubscribe'. We only send this e-magazine to those who have expressed the desire to subscribe by the above means.

To subscribe to the Spanish sister e-zine, send a mail to Laura at
NB En contacto has different articles from those which appear in RT News and they are about NLP and other associated areas.

Visit our blog teaching resourcefully – nlp in the classroom

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