Agata Warywoda: adult education and its real impact
I am a coach and a librarian. I work in the Krosno Public Library, at the Centre for Personal Development and Psychotherapy of the University of Rzeszów and in the LABiB Association. If I were to define exactly what I focus on in my work, I would say “change”. I prepare and conduct various educational activities, workshops, workshop series and projects. Each of the activities I undertake involves guiding participants through the process of change.
I use the EPALE platform, although not as often as I would like to. I am usually reminded about it by Facebook. If there is a post about a new article, about a topic that interests me or that is written by someone I know or consider to be an authority, I go onto the portal and read it. I also come across EPALE when I look for information on a particular subject.
My journey of teaching others began in a library. It was there that I conducted my first workshop for children and young people, and later for adults. Straight away, I knew that passing on knowledge and skills was something that brought me great satisfaction. Above all, I had the feeling that what I was doing was needed by the people I was working with. Many participants came back not only for further training, but also to give me feedback about changes that had taken place in their lives as a result of our meetings. This motivated me to develop further and I completed, among other courses, a group and teamwork course and a business coach course. Every day, I discover that coaching is very demanding, but that it also provides many opportunities to observe changes that occur in people. Being able to teach and help others is great fun.
Nowadays I mostly work with adults. I conduct training in two areas: digital competences and soft skills. One of the topics I am very interested in and keenly explore is empathic communication. The training that I remember most was one that focused on turning dreams into goals and on achieving them. These are very important life skills with which we can consciously manage our development. The training was offered to women living in Oświęcim, a town in the south of Poland. We worked using, among others, the SMART method and the Pole method developed by Marek Kamiński. During that training, I made a contribution to unfulfilled dreams. About a year later, one of the participants wrote to me to tell me that she had attended the training and was now saying hello from Nepal. It was one of her dreams, which she turned into a goal and succeeded in achieving.
Thanks to this story, every time I have a moment of doubt as to whether what I am doing makes sense, whether adult education is having any real impact, whether change is really happening, I recall this very workshop. It may seem like the topic of the training was not particularly interesting, but it contributed to the realisation of this woman's dreams (and a few more) and this is why I really like to remember it.
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