Quote of the week

What you can dream you can do, you can do

Some see things as they are and say “Why”

I dream things that never were, and say:

“why not?”

George Bernard Shaw


Fulfilling our dreams

This thought comes after an interesting comment to last week’s quote of the week, expressing that it is usually later on in life when unfulfilled dreams turn into regrets. I would say that it is never to late to start living a life that is a reflection of our dreams and a way towards making them happen.

This passage recently came to me via a friend and I would like to share it here

Keep what you have, forget what hurts, fight for what you want, value what you posess. Forgive those that hurt you and enjoy those that love you. We await much of, if not our entire lives for something to happen, to pass our way…..and the only thing that passes our way, and passes us by is life itself.

We don’t understand the value of each moment until it has become a memory. For this reason, do what you want to do, before it turns into something you would like to have done. Don’t write your life like a draft, as you might not have time to finish the final copy……..

in - us coffee - Seoul, Korea Photo by Manuel Carmona

Who is this blog for?

Alexanderplatz - Berlin Photo by Manuel Carmona

If you’re already reading this, then quite probably it’s for you!

But for those of you who haven’t already stumbled accross it, I would like to believe this blog is for anyone who has an inner, driving force to learn by questionning established ways of old and experimenting with new ideas that hold a promise for change. It’s also for anyone specifically interested in coaching and training, not only in second language acquisition, but also in a far more holisitic learning context, where learning comes by doing through the  magic of discovery.

The blog is also concerned with cognitive psychology, why we do what we do, think what we think and end up where we end up and the sharing of our individual perceptions and opinions on this subject can help to open our eyes to things that maybe before we overlooked.

Not least it is for those of you who dedicate so much of your time and efforts to learning English, in the form of a proposal to share your opinions with any of the threads in progress, in English, where WHAT you say, will undoubtedly be considered much more valuable than HOW you say it, regardless of your degree of Korrectness.

Time for action!

Time for action! Designed by Javier Perez

There is no coaching without change – and there is no change without action.

All sorts of coaching tools can be successfully applied to a language teaching context, this symbol therefore offers a meeting place where theory meets practice and where experimentation comes into the equation.

The ball is therefore in your court! Welcome, enjoy and see what happens…….

Quote of the week

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements

 Napoleon Hill

Kids climbing trees - Praia do Forte, Brazil. Photo by Manuel Carmona

Fiona’s Profile

Fiona in Aberdeen

My return to teaching English as a second language in 2008 after 15 years of working in international business stems from a need, a deep inbuilt desire to contribute something meaningful to the teaching, learning process and to facilitate the understanding of our communication barriers, both with our inner dialogue and dialogue with those around us, with the objective of creating change.

Old recipes for getting the best results in language acquisition left a lot of grey areas for me during my first years in teaching, many of which have remained unanswered. However, my decision to return to this field was to a large degree a response to an inner voice that was telling me to look for new answers to old questions, with boldness, humility, respect, but an unfailing drive to act as I believe right according to the world as I see it. A Tale of Two Hats tells the story of why and how all of this happened and how coaching came onto the scene. It is the beginning of a dream that each day becomes a more tangible reality, each moment casts a new light to make things that little bit clearer, brighter and bolder in the search for enlightenment.

A Tale of Two Hats….a story about how it all happened

Having tried her hand at numerous activities, Fiona decided that it was time to do something purposeful, or at least this is how things appeared to her at the time.

Her journey was to continue in the South of Spain, where on the completion of her training she set off to teach English.  It was at this time when Fiona first bumped into the hat. An unassuming character at first sight turned out to have quite a personality, sometimes even a little too big for his boots, before she had even had the chance to try him on he was full of advice of what she should be doing.

The messages soon started to sound like an old, scratched vinyl that shed very little light on where she was and what she felt she and her students needed, so much so that she never really took to wearing him. Something was missing, what, she had no idea but in absence of the necessary answers she left the hat where she had found him and changed direction.

Not until 15 years passed did the hat return to her in a dream, telling her of how much he had missed her, their conversations and challenges and life had never been the same since she left him.

With little faith in his endeavour, he implored her to return where together they could explore new and meaningful ways of working with others, using all of their skills and knowhow to assist learning. To his surprise Fiona turned to face him, a smile hovering on her lips as she nodded in assent to the new plan. Three months later they had embarked on a new course of action that was to change their lives in ways they had never even dreamed of.

Fortunately, after 15 years in isolation, the hat had had time to reflect and realized that working as a team was much more beneficial than spooning out often empty advice at will. Now he and Fiona worked together as equals with an independence of perspective, freely sharing opinions bringing them to the discovery that “going by the book” was in fact going nowhere. How could any “book” be more exciting and meaningful than the book composed of the life of the learner, or the sum of all of the learners in any given learning context. This naturally introduced a conundrum of how best to give learners what they needed to facilitate the process, that is until Fiona had another dream.

This dream brought a new hat into the equation. Nothing like the “teaching hat”, it loomed large and silent before Fiona’s eyes. She was struck by its sense of balance and harmony, emanating a definite air of inner beauty and confidence, but without appearing arrogant or self-interested.

As Fiona lifted the hat to her head, she could feel its velvet-like softness as the aroma of spring flowers magically pervaded the darkness.

But nothing happened…….

Only on removing the hat from her head did it speak to her, explaining that it was the coaching hat. It had come to assist Fiona in finding the answers to her dilemmas, by illuminating her reality so she could see and understand with a new perspective that would provide the necessary alternatives for change. BUT on the condition that she never used it as a hat.

Fiona intuitively knew that the coaching hat was the key to motivating learning from the depths of oneself, that could not only further people’s dreams, but also provide the right environment where English would come naturally, organically over time when the learner is ready, as the shift in focus from language to self frees the mind to observe, notice and creates the awareness we need to move forward.

It was in this way that “Made2Stick English Coaching” was born……and Fiona has never looked back.

A life-long learning process for Fiona and her hats lay up ahead, but like all things, they needed a window to a fresh beginning that would mark this new course of action, solely propelled by the search for enlightenment, truth, respect, acceptance and love, towards oneself, to others and to everything around us. The three of them had taken it upon themselves to look for alternative answers to old and unresolved conundrums and their ability to respond was slowly beginning to uncover the magnificence of what is inside them, as it is inside each one of us, waiting to emerge, yearning to bloom into a fuller, bolder and truer reflection of who we really are. The dream was only the beginning…………