We have firmly stepped into the magic of autumn, and we can recognize the truth in John Donne’s thought: “No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”
Autumn has already well colored foliage on the trees and our activities were also very rich and colorful. The second half of October was very active with a variety of interesting experiences and two Erasmus+ courses.
Our first course was Teaching creativity in schools, inspired by Edward de Bono. The main objective of the course was to prepare participants to professionally lead creative and constructive thinking sessions in schools or their organisations. Our energetic trainer Nastja was engaging participants from different parts of Europe to actively participate and think in a creative and fun way. Participants realized a need for teaching creative and constructive thinking in schools, learned about principles of parallel and perceptual thinking, considered all factors involved in the matter of our thinking, looked at other people’s viewpoints, and discovered principles of Lateral Thinking. They learned that to use an idea creatively means to use it with a goal to develop other new or interesting ideas. By the end of the course participants had a very clearl understanding of creative and constructive thinking framework and models – following dr. Edward de Bono’s methodology.
Participants learned the theory through practical examples, group work and concrete ideas for their own school projects.
But the week in Ljubljana was not dedicated only to learning. Our guests also experienced Slovenia, especially Ljubljana. Together we explored the city centre through a fun game, visited Ljubljana Castle, and tasted the typical Slovenian and African food in socially responsible restaurant. We have also visited lake Bled where we admired the view of the Bled Castle, visited the island in the middle of the lake, and enjoyed the taste of Bled cream cake.
Even though Teaching creativity course has been implemented several times so far, each group of participants is a new and much appreciated experience for Primera team. We truly enjoy every minute with every participant and we are grateful that also in October we have met wonderful people with great stories.
Our caring and experienced trainers Blanka and Andrej ware engaging participants to think about their relationships and coaching principles. The main purpose of this course was to prepare the participants to professionally lead a coaching session and provide support to the colleagues in the process of peer coaching.
Firstly, participants learned about the importance of being aware of interpersonal differences. With the help of relationship awareness theory they got familiarized with different conflict styles, sequences and triggers and learned how to change existing and inappropriate communication patterns by using the principles of mindfulness. Second part of the course was devoted to basic coaching skills including active listening, empathy, summarising, reflecting and raising awareness. Participants practiced GROW coaching model, became fluent in asking powerful questions, and learned how to design a coaching session with different coaching tools.
Very positive atmosphere and connectedness were essential part of the course right from the beginning. We learned about Slovenia and the Slovenian language together and admired magnificent colours of autumn in Vintgar gorge and lake Bled. We have also visited the yoga centre where we explored the role of mindfulness for teacher’s professional growth. Study visit to Secondary school Škofja Loka offered us insights into firsthand experiences with peer coaching process in school environment.
We would like to sum up with the words of our amazing participants:
»My participation in the Peer Coaching course in Ljubljana was a great experience! The content of the course was very well organized and met our needs for advanced professional input. The concept of peer coaching was something new to me and I was guided to find very interesting ways of applying it in my school situation to improve staff collaboration. I liked the balance of theory and practice, and the fact that we had many chances of interacting with other participants. The organization was excellent, since everything was arranged in time and we didn’t have to worry about the details of our trip and stay. What’s more important, the positive atmosphere during the course helped us create strong bonds of friendship with the participants and the organizers and made our time in Ljubljana an unforgettable experience!« (K. T.)