Monday, 6 February 2012

Introducing our friend...

Introducing our friend: NLP

This article is for those of you who are new to the wonderful three letters.

Let us introduce them to you:

NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming.

This acronym reminds us of the fact that our mind and body are interconnected and that we are responsible for the models of the world we create.
NLP training has two areas of application:

1. How we communicate with others
2. How we communicate with ourselves

It also aims at revealing the underlying structure of excellence. It offers answers to the question of "how" to do things effectively, or rather, how successful people in different fields do what they do wonderfully. It analyses subjective experience, taking into account patterns of behaviour, capability, values, beliefs, mission in life and internal representations of reality.

It offers a learnable technology which can help us improve performance and communication, overcome limitations, achieve goals and confidence in different areas of our lives.

With training in NLP we learn how to get rapport with virtually anybody, how to become flexible in our communication, how to use language effectively. We learn how to deal with conflict on a win-win basis, how to tap our resources (such as confidence, competence, inner peace, motivation, health, abundance, etc.), how to discover our strategies (of excellence, creativity, good memory, etc.), how to work with our beliefs and other levels of growth and learning and how our brains code our subjective experience.

NLP is an eclectic body of thought which is a branch of the Cognitive Sciences and Cognitive Behavioural Psychology. It grew out of General Semantics (Korzybski), Transformational Grammar (Chomsky), Anthropology and Cybernetics (Bateson), Reframing (Watzlawick et al), Family Systems (Virginia Satir), GestaltTherapy(Perls), Medical Hypnosis (Erickson) and several related studies. Its founders were Richard Bandler (a mathematician) and John Grinder (a linguist) who, in the early 70s, set out to discover the "structure of excellence".

Who benefits from the practice of NLP?

Any person who wants to improve the way they live their lives and develop an understanding of how to maximize their potential. Any person who wants to explore new tools and models for communication and learning through high quality training and assessment.

Why have we decided to give birth to a course specially
designed for teachers?

NLP has been successfully applied in different fields such as sales, business, medicine, mental health, law, sports and so on. We believe good teachers and good learning are the answer to many issues in the world we want to live in. Highly prepared teachers, skilful in communication techniques, with very clear beliefs and values, and who have very specific goals to make this world a better place to live in are at the most important leverage point in the quest for positive change.

Our dream is to see professional teachers who know that their role in our society is even more important than what we have been led to believe.

© Laura Szmuch and Jamie Duncan, 2001

What is RT?

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 through the application of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). 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. 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.

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
* Free introductory talks
* Participation in major ELT events
* Ongoing access to instruction and trainers
* Networking and a forum for contact both within Argentina and
© Laura Szmuch and Jamie Duncan, 2001
Who are we?

Resourceful Teaching was founded by Laura Szmuch and Jamie Duncan. We are Master Practitioners and Trainers in NLP, teachers and have done several post graduate degrees. We have both written books about teaching.

At one point in our careers we felt 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, 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 a course 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, 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 Practitioner Certificate course in Education started.

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 NLP.

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.

Our mission to make NLP accessible to all teachers in the country, in Latin America and other parts of the world who are interested in improving their work situation and their lives with this powerful tool.

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 and Jamie Duncan, 2001

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