Mind Action Mentors

THE MIND ACTION MENTORS

Mind Action Mentors originated as the training division of Allcopy Publishers Pty. Ltd. It is a unique organization that has grown through the past 16 years alongside Allcopy Publishers and the South African educators.

The “Circles of Empowerment for Academic Leadership” training programme has been created with the combined expertise of Sandy Geyer, Bruce Phillips and Marguerite Hull to address the challenges faced by educators in the fields of leadership and communication, in a manner suited to the schools’ budgetary and time allowances.

Whilst Allcopy Publishers, through the Mind Action series provides high quality textbooks and additional teaching resources to educators throughout South Africa, Mind Action Mentors focuses on the well-being of educators in a more personalised and direct way.

Research indicates that there are six core areas of competence that contribute to the proficiency of the educators as a team, and which ensure that a high level of education is achieved within their own school environment.

These core areas include:

  • Academic qualifications
  • Teaching experience
  • Classroom skills
  • Self-Awareness proficiency
  • Communication skills (conflict resolution)
  • Leadership competences

Whilst Principals and Deputy Principals might have these skills in abundance and play a vital role in the leadership of their school, their ultimate success can be limited to their ability to harness and focus the strengths of their leadership team to extend their own vision.

It is commonly found in South African schools that whilst the first three areas are more common to most educators, the last three could be lacking. This imbalance contributes to an environment where educators can feel insecure, ineffective and unfulfilled.

The “Circles of Empowerment for Academic Leadership” training programme has been explicitly designed to “grow” these competencies from the “leadership centre” (Headmaster and Deputy Headmaster) of the school to the immediate leadership team (Head of Departments, business manages) to the staff (subject teachers) and ultimately aims to stretch to and empower school leavers to enter the advanced academic and business world with improved communication and leadership skills.

“Circles of Empowerment for Academic Leadership” was launched officially in
September 2012 after four years of research in South African and a number of international schools. It has already been piloted in two of South Africa’s top schools with great success.

Here are the testimonials written by the school principals:

31 August 2010
TO THE HEAD OF SCHOOL
Dear Principal
MIND ACTION MENTORS WORKSHOP
I am sure that you, like me, receive a number of unsolicited flyer-type e-mails offering all kinds of staff development courses and the like. Many of them deserve no more than a cursory glance. From time to time, however, there are products that are certainly well put together and genuinely beneficial to staff. One such offering is the Effective Communication for Teachers workshop presented by Mind Action Mentors, in association with Allcopy Publishers.
Sandy Geyer ran a pilot workshop for the Executive team at Bridge House in August this year, and the shift in relationships within the team was almost instant, but lasting. The workshop was non-threatening, enlightening, highly informative and helpful, and also a lot of fun. We gained real insights into what makes each one of us tick, and how to understand and get the very best out of our colleagues in the team. Perhaps the greatest benefit that came from this learning was the acquisition of a safe language which now allows us to be frank with each other, but without that frankness becoming personal. We were an effective team before the workshop; we are far more effective and at ease with each other now.
It is therefore a real pleasure not only to recommend Effective Communication for Teachers to you, but also to commend Sandy as a knowledgeable, professional and sensitive facilitator.
Kind regards
Mike Russell Head, Bridge House School

CIRCLES OF EMPOWERMENT
As per usual teachers are sometimes very reluctant to attend a staff development programme that will be stretched over more than an hour. But the eight staff members at Abbotts who attended the ‘Circles of Empowerment for Academic Leadership’ training programme were astounded by the manner in which the workshop was conducted.
The teachers were actively involved in the pre-work until and during the actual 4 hour seminar. It gave them great insights into their strengths and behaviours. It taught them how to function successfully in a team consisting of multiple personalities and strengths and how one team member’s strengths can compensate for another’s weakness. The seminar tickled the interest of every participant to such an extent that there was no time for boredom to creep in.
Through all the laughter and fun experienced during the seminar derives a sense of understanding and how to tread softly on the personalities and emotions of others.
We were fortunate to be part of the ‘Circles of Empowerment for Academic Leadership’ training programme and I would encourage other schools to get involved.
Heartfelt thanks to Marguerite Hull for granting Abbotts College, Claremont the opportunity to participate.
Regards
Saleem Jackson
PRINCIPAL

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