Great action of setting up this group, Richard!
It triggered lots of thinking and here are my second, even third thoughts.
Enhancing the Purpose of this Group
I would like to make the purpose of the group more precise by using an almost literal quote from the invitation Sue and Steve sent around for the February Teachers’ workshop:
"Bringing people together who would like there to be events and workshops providing ongoing development opportunities for existing co-counselling teachers and those who may become teachers.
CCI teachers can make good use of the knowledge, experience, and facilitation skills of others in UK CCI and worldwide. Together we can create and offer interactive workshops facilitated by skilled peers enabling UK co-counselling teachers to explore topics and themes that impact on co-counselling teaching, with the longer workshop time providing for an increased focus and depth to the activities and sharing.
Such workshops & events can provide both individual and group development to the benefit of the CCI Network and Community."
I propose to add the above text as first purpose of the group because social Web sites like CoCoInfo become much more effective when they bring those people together who do, or support each other to do, ‘real’ things in the ‘real’ world. That is also what I understand Sue and Steve’s intent is with their CCI UK teachers workshop: bringing people together with a shared common purpose of teaching co-counselling in the ‘real’ world.
Sharing and Inner Circles
Sharing experiences, ideas and documents is more likely to happen among people with a common purpose because they perceive more clearly the relevance of sharing. When this collaboration happens, lots of experiences, suggestions, discussions, documents, photos and videos are exchanged. These appear almost automatically as a kind of side-effect of practical events. Therefore it is almost superfluous to note that people who actively ran fundamentals are much more likely to have more experience, documents etc to share, than the people who are not involved in teaching.
However, most of those teaching materials and experiences, if shared at all, stayed with the people involved in teaching, in teacher workshops before CCIs or in the rare teacher training workshops. At its best some reports or materials has been printed in a co-counselling newsletter with a limited circulation and is now dusting away on a shelf or in a box.
Generally co-counsellors do not know what teaching materials exist, where to find them, who to talk to or to collaborate with when interested. If motivated enough to start teaching, they often need to reinvent the wheel.
In other words, teaching related materials are hardly available for people outside the inner circles around the more active teachers. If you are not part of those inner circles there is no clear way of knowing what to talk about to whom, especially when you are new to co-counselling.
CCI Teachers Network & Teachers workshop
Sue Gray and Steve Roche’s initiative to create a ‘CCI Teachers Network’ is interesting in several aspects. If successful it actually brings together those people who represent a huge source of documents and experience related to teaching co-counselling.
From this several challenges follow:
- How can we encourage people who actually have these teaching materials and teaching experiences to share them effectively with other people on a wider scale than the relative exclusiveness of a teacher workshop and of conversations among individuals?
- If shared, how can this pool of information inherent in ‘CCI Teachers Network’ be made transparent and available at any time to the wider co-counselling community?
Creating a group on a non-Co-Counselling site as Linked In or Facebook, however great for creating a presence in the real world that might be, is at the same time creating another inner circle.
Steve and Sue use the word ‘Network’. However, the real challenge of any social Network is to bring those people together who do not know from each other how relevant it is for each of them to meet and to collaborate. Compare this with a ‘dating network’: bring the wrong people together and the relationship won’t work; bring the right people together and a fruitful relationship will develop.
- How can productive collaborations be set up among people attending the forthcoming teachers’ workshop, and among the members of the CCI Teachers network internally?
- How can this internal networking be made transparent so that a) other co-counsellors can join in and contribute when they see the relevance of it and b) the creation of another inner circle is avoided?
One suggestion might be that the forthcoming Teachers Workshop would produce a meaningful report to the wider co-counselling community that clarifies which topics are seen as important and - not to forget the networking - who can be contacted about what topic. Publishing this report on CocoInfo as well ensures that in the future when the newsletter versions are dusting away, the report is still easily available.
In short, will the CCI Teachers Network workshop in February be innovative and actively share with the wider co-counselling community the issues, discussions and documents brought into this workshop while offering opportunities for further collaboration.
Or will this workshop run the patterns of previous teacher workshops and only deliver for the people attending like other teacher workshops in the past and creating or renewing another inner circle? This of course could be a nice experience for the people involved, but I m afraid of much less relevance to the CCI community.
Proposals for the ‘Teaching of Co-Counselling in CCI’ group on CoCoInfo
1. Rename the group into ‘CCI Teachers Network’
I would like to see the title of the group to be changed into 'CCI Teachers Network' so that it becomes clear that it is the mirror of the 'CCI Teachers Network' on LinkedIn. The title puts also the focus on networking among teachers and would-be teachers, as these are the people who are more likely to have the experiences and information.
2. Put as its first purpose a variation of Sue Gray and Steve Roche’s proposed purpose of the ‘CCI Teachers Network’ as described above. Preferably done in consultation with Sue or Steve.
3. Leave the existing great text by Richard Mills as its second purpose.
4. Amend the statement for who this group is meant as follows: ‘For all teachers, would-be teachers and any other co-counsellor who would like to contribute indeed to this group.
5. Add some clarification about transparency: “All content in this group is made visible to co-counsellors. In order to view what is available and to respond to posts in this group, you do not need to join.”
This creates greater clarity about the people who are actually committed to make the group work or are prepared to do something around teaching Co-Counselling.
6. Create an Event Announcement of the Teachers workshop in February displayed in the group. This enables all co-counsellors to see what is happening and what has happened.
7. Add the Workshop Invitation as article so that it can be commented on and/or as attachment of the Event Announcement displayed in the group. Preferably added by Sue or Steve.
8. Make a web site link to the ‘CCI Teachers Network’ group on Linked-In, and link it to the group.
9. Publish a report of the Teachers’ Workshop in February 2011 in the Group on CoCoInfo.
Any thoughts or Comments about this issue?
Please feel free to add your comments.
I’ am looking forwards to your responses and contributions to ths group.