Northern Lights course: Integrative Practices for Leading the Classroom

Starting August 2021, a course offered with EUNEOS OY Finland to teachers & schools

Dialogue with Irina Sadakova, co-facilitator

Do you recognise yourself in a teacher coming home quite exhausted and a lot of thoughts in the mind that can be summarised only in one word: HOW? How to teach when half of your students in the class have an individual teaching plan and you have to find different approaches in one classroom? How to deal with reactivity and lack of motivation or slow learner? How to manage unmanageable? And probably the most important: how to keep yourself easy going, motivating, healthy and glad as a teacher and a person? 

If something of that resonates to you – so this course is for you! 

There are three keywords in the process: knowledge, communication and compassion!

After this course, you will be calmer. You know how to approach wellbeing as a person and sustainability in your profession, to compassion to yourself. You will take home methods for relaxation and taking care of yourself. 

You will get knowledge about how our nerve system functions and how it affects learning. You will be aware about early and development trauma and its impact on capacity to learn. The most important thing is that you will take home understanding and methods on how to help your students to become passionate learners. 

You will catch communication features in different and difficult situations and explore this tiny frontier between respecting the need for attachment and supporting authenticity. 

For sure you will get a broader perspective on modern education that never will be the same after the COVID- 19. This perspective you can share with your colleagues and leadership in your school in order to develop education where wellbeing for teachers and learners is one of the fundamental approaches in designing and organisation of the learning process in your school or organisation.  

And last but not least you will find yourself a beautiful environment and nature where you yourself will have a wonderful chance to relax and be filled with energy.  

COVID -19 towards an empowering learning

COVID-19 has accelerated the stress situation in schools, both students & teachers in Finland although reported that the learning continued, felt stressed due to unknown situation and very little predictability of what will happen next (according to Finnish authorities first findings of coping and learning during COVID). Also teachers have reported that they have used much more then before leadership skills, stepping up into the unknown but also very much part of the leadership awareness allowing students to co-create their learning experience, having to encourage more self-directed learning, these are signals on which we want to build. 

Learning integrative -having the support of neuroscience for new pedagogy- practices will assist teachers to lead their classroom ( meaning empowering students, supportive activated learning, self-directed learning, and co-regulating with students). One of the 4 scenarios for the future of education is where schools become even larger than they are today, more students as the population grow, more time spent learning and in schools, as life lifelong learning unfolds, technology is part of the school and facilitates learning relations. Learning today can happen anywhere and COVID 19 accelerated that, our practices rests on “engaging learning environments”. 

Attending this course you can expect to strengthen the capacity of reaction to change and adopt an integrative (creative) approach, building up leadership and resilience. Education is an infinite mindset and we practice.

Integrative Practices (embodiment)

Practice at the end of the day for 5th graders City as Designer project , in which students and class teachers learn in public spaces for 1 week, se

Skills we develop during course Observation; Awareness; Sensing. Practicing these basic human skills we heal the trauma of the disruptive change faced with COVID 19 pandemic while establishing practices to Lead the Classroom. This course combines the neuroscience research that supports 21st-century skills-based education ( team of researchers led by Prof. Kirsti Lonka, University of Helsinki), Theory U from MIT, as well as polyvagal theory and practice to support trauma healing from stress. Somatic approach and practice for wellbeing, Social Presencing Theater (MIT).

Creating new knowledge

In a post-truth world, we encounter new ways of problems ( wicked Kirsti Lonka names them) they are volatile, irepetitive, called VUCA or BANI model. Building up new knowldge as everyday learning is part of 21st century education. This program sets one frame in which we practice together co-creating new knowledge by practicing the 3 basic skills: observation, awarsness and sensing. Lonka ( University of Helsinki) and her research team in pshycology of education have been training teachers and supporting programs for insightful learning, trusting and practicing with students everyday insights.

Inari, Lapland a special place

Sajos, Sami Cultural Center, Inari

Creating new knowledge is a vulnerable practice, researchers ( from MIT, Presensing Institute) have indicated that while we learn with vulnerability we need a special place to hold the learning process. Inari, in Lapland it is such place.

Inari – the place of indigenous people

Inari or Aanaar Sámi are a group of Sámi people who inhabit the area around Lake Inari, Finland. They speak the Inari (Aanaar) Sámi language, which belongs to the eastern Sámi languages. There are an estimated 700–900 ethnic Inari Sámi in Finland, of whom approximately 300-400 speak Inari Sámi. They are the only group of Sámi who live within one state and one municipality. Inari Sámi are indigenous peoples of their area (wikipedia).

The environment 

Lake Inari (Finnish: Inarijärvi/Inarinjärvi, Northern Sami: Anárjávri, Inari Sami: Aanaarjävri, Skolt Sami: Aanarjäuʹrr, Swedish: Enare träsk, Norwegian: Enaresjøen) is the largest lake in Sápmi and the third-largest lake in Finland. It is located in the northern part of Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle. The lake is 117–119 meters (384–390 ft) above sea level, and is regulated at the Kaitakoski power plant in Russia. The freezing period normally extends from November to early June.

The best-known islands of the lake are Hautuumaasaari (“Graveyard Island”), which served as a cemetery for ancient Sami people, and Ukonkivi (“Ukko‘s Stone”), a historical sacrifice place of the ancient inhabitants of the area. There are over 3,000 islands in total. Trout, lake salmon, Arctic char, white fish, grayling, perch and pike are found in Lake Inari.

The lake covers 1,040 square kilometres (400 sq mi). It empties northwards through the Paatsjoki at the mouth of the Varangerfjord, which is a bay of the Barents Sea.

Northern lights

The alluring dance of Northern Lights across the sky delights visitors and locals alike from early autumn until late winter. This typical phenomenon of the polar region, also referred to as aurora borealis, occurs when the particles accelerated by the magnetic field of the Earth collide with airborne particles. Inari-Saariselkä is conveniently located under the Aurora oval, which means that the possibility for seeing the Northern Lights is excellent in the area. On average, Northern Lights can be seen in Inari-Saariselkä area up to 200 nights a year – whenever the sky is clear from clouds and it is dark enough. ( source: https://www.inarisaariselka.fi/things-to-do/northern-light-tours/

Special accommodation at traditional Hotel

Hotel Kultahovi traditional family owned with a sustainability pledge and with eco label for both the hotel and the restaurant, you can find their story here https://hotelkultahovi.fi/language/en/sustainability/ . Hotel has been a partner with EUNEOS OY for many years, and accomodated a sustainable approach to training programs.

Meet course facilitators

Andreea Gatman – Andreea holds BA in Political Science with a Master’s degree in European Studies and Public Management, ICF certified Coach for Individual and Team, EUNEOS trainer since 2016, U-Lab & Leadership Awareness from MIT practitioner.

Irina Sadakova– Irina is Adult Education Teacher in Sweden, educational facilitator & U Lab practitioner MIT, Qi gong guide, adult ; https://epale.ec.europa.eu/en/blog/irina-sadakova-community-story-swedeneducation teacher, and EPALE ambassador.

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