A post from Alessandra Colombo | Materahub

The 658 motorway, in Basilicata, generally doesn’t have traffic jams, except when you find red traffic light. I’m driving to reach Melfi, a sunny town in Southern Italy. I have left my PC in the office: the trainers told methat for this kind of training, PC will be not needed, but actually I feel as apart of my brain is missing. I can’t work without my PC!

I have been working for 7 years in training. I started with the enthusiasm of those who want to find the right solutions, to write sustainable projects and to help young people to get not A job but THE job in the country they live, that makes them proud, satisfied, happy. You can be happy to work, even if the routine, difficulties to make people understand the importance of life-long training have – sometimes – made my job standard and boring. I wrote about classrooms, laboratories, case studies, I went beyond the fear with the Mastery Learning, but they are worn-out training methods and – let’s face it – not very effective. But it’s never too late to learn.

I’ve just reached Melfi, where I’m joining a training for trainers… apparently a tongue-twister, but it’s usually words for me. I’m expecting ladies in suits, with hair just set by the hairdresser, teachers wearing their jackets, chairs with little desks – very uncomfortable – neon lights and projections, all in an unnatural blue light. Instead, there is Marvi to welcome me, a woman with a sweet and relaxed face who – in perfect English – invites me to take my shoes off and to sit in the room where other people are waiting for me in a circle, on a warm parquet. All around are mirrors and books. I’ve ended up in a theatre school! Did I set the right destination on Google Maps?!

Should I take my shoes off? I ask for confirmation to the beautiful girl at the secretary’s office and, with natural spontaneity, she replies “yes” while inviting me to put my signature on a list of participants (form should never be missing!)

Classroom is a “NOTclassroom”. Marvi and Ilva (the second trainer) are inviting the participants to relax and share with serenity and transparency the expectations for this “course” based on SpotOn Methodology. It’s an innovative methodology, tested in the North of Sweden (a North so similar to my South, I will learn by talking to them) and aimed to encourage in young Neets, through theatrical techniques, the strengthening of those skills apparently innate in each of us, but so difficult to recognize and put in place. These are skills that give us more chances in life, in social relations and in the world of work: communication skills, self-confidence, time management, team building. They are all familiar keywords for those who do my job but I’ve never understood them so thoroughly before this training, maybe because I’ve never felt them on my skin… right on my barefeet.

I still have a wonderful taste of my “SpotOn training”, getting a different way of learning (and teaching). I still have on my mind the beauty of people with whom I have shared and overcome my inability to always bring out the best of me. This training has left me more confidence in my abilities, a positive vision and new hope in my work. I have heard that I can succeed (even in speaking English)! I’ve learned how to work with others, in such a natural and horizontal way… so similar though different, because being barefoot in the classroom makes everyone so terribly vulnerable and authentic.