About my work
Welcome in School of Mindful Facilitation! My name is Silvena, I am an educational scientist and a practitioner adult educator. I believe that good educational work needs nowadays awareness of and sensitivity for its pedagogical aspects as well as ethical principles, which sometimes don’t fit in dominant economic logics and get lost in strives for organisational and entrepreneurial prosperity. It is this consciousness that provides the fundament of my work and that I aim to promote with the trainings and consultations I offer for educational actors and their teams.
For me Adult Education is one of the most complex immaterial goods for so many reasons: we pay for it, but we need to invest work ourselves to attain knowledge and skills; trust is essential for human learning to happen, but guarantees cannot be given. After having accompanied many individuals on their adult learning paths in different regions of the world, I have come to discover, that learning goals can be planed, but results are never predictable due to the singularity of each personality – which makes education so beautiful to me.
My practise has convinced me that it is true what research proves: learning involves both emotions & cognition and happens in time, space & atmosphere, which need to be favourable. Having accompanied the training processes of hundreds of educators, trainers and teachers from more than 30 countries, I have recognized, that to learn further, we need experience to build on, and above all – we need positive memories about learning. And if there are no, we need to create some. This is where adult learning can come so close to healing – which makes education so meaningful to me.
What I love most about it – human learning happens in the inner world of humans – of at least two, who co-create. And inner worlds are unique – as we all are. So luckily, they can’t be tackled in a standard way. This is what makes adult education so sensitive.
A bunch of many different skills and personal resources, a system of professional ethics as well as trustful patience, coming from the heart, are simultaneously needed to accompany successfully adult learning that unfolds potentials, including those of organisations.
Inspired by the uniqueness of human biographies, by our ability to develop our Selves in an imperfect world a whole life long, and by our gift as humans to be able to light a sparkle in another, I have devoted the last thirteen years of my live to the art of adult teaching and learning.
I studied European Studies (BA) in Ruse and Antwerp, Adult Education (MA) in Berlin, Psychology (MSc) in Veliko Tarnovo, Systemic Coaching & PBSP-Psychotherapy in Berlin and Osnabrück (certificates).
Services I offer
As a trainer I design and facilitate train-the-trainer educational events of high quality in a holistic and mindful way. As an adult education expert and a systemic coach, I accompany individuals and teams by the professionalization of their educational work, by the conceptualization of draft schedules and curricula for educational events, train-the-trainer and train-the-coach programmes, as well as by the strategic development of their organisations. As a founder of School of Mindful Facilitation I develop concepts of and write about education, which puts Integrity in the Focus of the skills to be fostered.
If you feel that my expertise may be of help for the realization of your goals, do not hesitate to contact me.
Education is for you an art and passion, too? Check my blog or subscribe for my monthly Newsletter. I’d be happy to share my insights with you.
My understanding of Adult Education
I have been supporting people on their learning path to becoming educators or to improving their educational work with adults for a considerable part of my life and I have been doing so in all possible ways – by giving trainings, by mentoring young trainers, by coaching and supervising individuals and teams of trainers, by designing self-learning tools for trainers’ reflexion on their educational practise.
My love for this work, my passion to chase the teachability of anything that can be useful for someone’s ability to create good educational events for adults, as well as the assuring Feedback of colleagues and partners – all that brought me motivation for this work as well as the treasure of encountering in a sincere, open way, hundreds of Trainers over the years, from cultures and backgrounds so diverse, on their training mat – and it brought me also the blessing of searching and discovering together, with each of them, their unique path of developing their teaching self.
This very real experience allowed me to develop my own understanding of what it really takes and needs to become a good trainer – and it is in my opinion not solely developing brilliant presentation skills or being able of using effectively interactive methods. More than that, good trainers are not just able of – their whole being knows how to hold a neutral, nurturing space for others to learn and renew themselves. Without that space, even the best educational programme doesn’t let considerable imprints in the learner’s consciousness. The word maturity comes the closest to what I have found to be essential for the ability I describe – maturity as knowing a great deal of who one has become and is; as awareness of the own inner contents and as the ability to overtake responsibility for those; and, above all, as awareness of and ownership for the own emotions.
When we come closer to that, we come closer to seeing our participants with clear eyes. In the space we hold for them they find space to search for whom they want to be, for a better version of themselves – better not because it is optimized, but because it is closer to their authentic self. When we, as trainers, make a judge-free, fear-free, honest and brave space possible, our learners find courage to experiment for themselves with new, different points of view. This I have discovered to be one of the fundamental aims of supporting adult learning for a free, socially & environmentally just democratic society.
My working languages are German, Bulgarian, English and Turkish.