Sunday, 12 February 2012

RTNews 118. We're back!!!!!!

RT® News

A magazine on Neuro Linguistic Programming in Education
No 118 February 12 2012

Hello teachers,

Welcome to 2012 as we restart for the year. We hope you have had enjoyable restful holidays and are refreshed and recharged for the year ahead. By now, many of you will either have begun the preparation for the new school year or be taking advantage of the February training courses. Any opportunity for ongoing training is worthwhile because it gives us the chance to reflect on what we do, to learn new skills and to polish old skills. This process of reflection and learning ensures that we are life-long learners and it sets a great example to our students. In a world that is changing with seemingly increasing speed, it is natural that we will be constantly adapting to change and acquiring new abilities. Think of what you know and can do now that you couldn’t ten years ago. Consider what technological aids are available now that ten or fifteen years ago were not nearly so present.

We believe that one of the most valuable aspects of Neuro Linguistic Programming is that it helps us to learn HOW to Change. Very often people say such things as: “You must get in rapport with your students, show more of an interest in them.” “You should organize your time better.” “It would be a good idea to speak to him in a different way.” This is all very well but how can we do these things?

Practitioner training in NLP gives us a huge array of tools to help us recognise the way we think and communicate with others and many choices as to how with small significant variations and awareness we can start to communicate quite differently, allowing us to reach other people more effectively. It also provides us with techniques and approaches to plan our lives better, manage conflict wisely, fix learning and in short enjoy life to the fullest.

We will be commencing our new Practitioner courses on March 31. If you would like to know more, see section 2 below.

We will also be giving a couple of workshops in February. Learning English with GANAS given by Laura will take place on February 22 and Jamie will be giving Congruency in the Classroom on February 23. See the calendar in Section 3 for a link to more information.

Hoping you all have a very enjoyable and enriching month,

Laura and Jamie

1. How long does it take to learn?
2. NLP Practitioner courses
3. Calendar of activities for 2012
4. Workshops and coaching
5. Subscribing/Unsubscribing to our e-zines in English and an invitation to visit

1. How long does it take to learn? (republished from 2006)

Answer one: If you're ready you can learn very quickly.

Answer two: As long as it takes.

Many teachers would love to have students who are ready to learn, who absorb the new material quickly and are able to reproduce it perfectly in tests or exams. But is this a guarantee of learning? It may, in fact, just prove that the students can retain certain information in their short term memory for the purposes of recall. If that is what our assessment system requires, then we may have a perfect match. However, is this real learning and is it what we as teachers and learners ourselves and as parents in some cases want? Those of us with NLP training repeatedly refer to learning in the muscle which NLP expert Robert Dilts suggests we aspire to in order to really have the new learning fixed. Learning in the muscle is the feeling that you now carry the new knowledge skill or information in you in mind and in body and that in some way. That you are a different person from when you didn't know it. So, a useful question at this point is whether we really want to learn something or if it is just a temporary knowing that we seek. If we really want to learn we have to engage our full presence in the act: our mind, body and soul.

We learn what we want to learn, what we perceive as useful to us. Helping our students to establish wants and needs is very important as otherwise they may be physically present in our classes passing time, picking up things which may be incidental and enjoying the social interaction, but not actually committed to achieving a tangible addition to their skills and abilities. Any activity that we do to set goals for the term, the year or the course will help students focus on that. It doesn't even matter if almost subconsciously they learn something different to what they say aloud – what is important is setting a purpose. Imposing our purpose or that of the school is usually less effective unless the students share the purpose. It is their commitment that matters.

Whether our students are ready to learn what we have to teach can depend on factors way outside our control. They may have the academic preparation but whether they have the internal motivation, beliefs, desires and experience to make the most of our classes is unknown to us. Some will, others will fall short, be uninterested, start in a blaze of enthusiasm and then fade out. We are busy complex people living in a complex world and our energy and attention are often attracted in a dozen different directions, a fact which complicates our learning process.

Answer two is perhaps an even honest response to the question and yet the one that may most frustrate teachers and school heads. This is because our education system has been largely structured into packages and syllabi that pretend that in one year XXX will be learnt and that after a certain number of these years a student will graduate as proficient in YYY subjects.

What we can ensure as teachers and administrators is that the material is available as input. Can we guarantee that our students learn it? No. Even if we test it, we know that there can be a gulf between regurgitating information for a standardized exam and actually having the learning incorporated. It is a big challenge and dilemma for modern education. Teach to the exams or teach for lifetime learning. This is because we know deep down, however much different methods claim the contrary, that learning is individual and is not so easily programmed. We know that some people learn on the road to Damascus and have revelations in which everything falls into place. We also know there are people who take driving tests scores of times and still cannot handle the controls of a car despite hundreds of hours of classes. We know that some students pick a concept up with a simple explanation and others can pore over notes and diagrams for months and never show that they have grasped what we want them to. And we know of students who are whiz kids outside school in their own sphere of interest and seem to be brain dead when they sit in our subject. We know that there are learning blocks and moments of inspired flow.

What can we do then?

The first thing is to know that we cannot learn anything for another person. If they can't or don't want to learn they won't. We do know that certain factors help to foster the learning process.

1. Treating all our students as individuals and as unique and appreciating them for their uniqueness.

2. Ensuring that the conditions for learning are favourable – that the students feel safe and comfortable and appreciated as members of the class.

3. Creating an atmosphere of experimentation, play and discovery, which allows us to make mistakes and change our hypotheses. Neutralising the concept of failure is very important here. A concept that is regrettably widespread in many educational systems.

4. Giving students repeated exposure to the material in a variety of forms – that allows intake through the senses (VAK) and for the varied multiple intelligences to be employed. Also important is to give them repeated opportunities to put their learning into practice or test it against what they already know.

5. Helping students to become aware of the process of their learning and not just the content or the goals. This is a particular challenge as our students often focus more on the tests and the results of these than in what is happening to them as they learn. When they become aware of their own learning styles, they possess the tools to influence their learning in any subject and not be dependent on the type of teacher or method of learning they face. As part of this, our feedback and our planning of spaces for them to reflect on the feedback they get from others following their effort are two invaluable contributions for learning.

6. Believing that all our students can learn. Our faith in their potential to learn is fundamental. If we regard them as no hopers, they will prove us right.

7. Being patient. Everyone has their internal times. Some people take months or years to acquire a skill or knowledge that others pick up in hours or days. The difference is that the second group is ready to learn, has the appropriate preparation, motivation and mental programmes that facilitate fast acquisition. Others, for many reasons, need longer, need more practice and exposure, more chances to try out the material. They may progress relatively little in our class because they need the time to consolidate past learning or acquire other skills prior to those we are actually presenting. This is something that our education system often forgets.

We know that as teachers we can be extremely influential in fostering learning. We may also tend to judge ourselves or be judged on external results. But how can we judge externally, the inner processes of mind, body and spirit? We can expect visible results but ultimately the richest reward for a teacher is knowing that a student has fully acquired some new skill or knowledge which will be with them forever.
And that we know seldom takes place from one day to another or in a steady predictable way.

© Resourceful Teaching 2012 Ó, Laura Szmuch and Jamie Duncan 2006

2. NLP Practitioner courses

Practitioner Certificate in NLP for Education

Our next Practitioner Certificate course starts on March 31 and consists of 16 modules to be held on Saturdays on a monthly basis in 2012 and 2013. This first level of training involves between 130 and 150 hours of direct training in the form of practical activities and guided practice. 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!

To enrol or for further information: send a mail to or

Venue: Versailles, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
Time: One Saturday per month 9.00 – 17.00
Start Date: Saturday March 31
Investment: 380 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.

NB: This course is also being offered in Spanish

3. Calendar of Activities 2012

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.

February 22 2012 Workshop by Laura Learning English with GANAS 18.00 – 21.00, Versailles, CABA. contact for info.

February 23 2012 Workshop by Jamie Congruency in the Classroom: are you aligned? Time to team up Teacher Development Conference run by International House San Isidro and ITESL, San Isidro/Florida. Contact:

March 31 2011 Practitioner Certificate in NLP applied to Education, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The courses in English and Spanish commence on this day.

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.

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