A Workshop for Teachers in Spain

SPRING 2005 / Sevilla, Spain / Bailey Cunningham

Sharing cultures and exchanging ideas

In April of 2005, I had the opportunity to visit Sevilla at the invitation of Marian Bravo, Secondary Education Advisor of the Centro del Profesorado de Sevilla, Spain. I facilitated a workshop for 24 educators, mostly English teachers, which was held over a 5-day period in the Teaching Center.

The theme of the workshop was "The Hero's Journey." The Spanish people are intimately connected with this concept, as the mythical story of Cervantes' don Quixote permeates so many aspects of their culture.

Each day of the workshop represented an aspect of the Hero's Journey:

Day 1: The Call
Day 2: Threshold Crossing
Day 3: The Abyss & Challenges
Day 4: The Transformation
Day 5: Return with a Gift

Each day was filled with activities and thought-provoking discussions which could be used in our personal lives as well as to enhance teaching methods in the classroom and growth in the individual student.

When time permits, I hope to write in more detail about each day of the workshop to give you a better idea of how many of the activities and lessons we used can be adapted for use in your own classrooms from the Hero's Journey model.

My personal experience in Sevilla was rich and deep - so much so that I am still processing the impact it had on me. Marian Bravo, Concha Julian de Vega and José Pedro Lopez were gracious hosts, showing my cousin and invaluable assistant Sondra Stenius the sites and sounds of their wonderful country.

Below are a variety of photos taken during the class, including the making of a spiral mandala on the last day. Mandalas made during the five days were placed on a string spiraling outward from the center. At the center was a platter containing clam shells I collected from the beaches where I live in the Puget Sound, Washington. Each person wrote a word or phrase of wisdom on the inside of the shell. When all mandalas had been placed on the spiral, we each stepped to the center and selected a shell to keep as a memory of the class.

Fotos from the workshop

Teachers working on their personal mandalas Teachers working on their personal mandalas
Teachers working on their personal mandalas Teachers working on their personal mandalas
Choosing a gift from the center of the labyrinth Placing mandalas on the spiral string labyrinth
Mandalas made over the 5-day workshop were spiraled together A teacher's personal mandala
Some of the mandalas "strung" along the labyrinth string  
My cousin Sondra Stenius, me (Bailey) and Marian Bravo