I met and became friends with Michelle MacGrath in the ‘80’s when she was working in Moscow after studying Russian Literature in St Petersburg; she began translating Iskusstvo byt’ soboi’ (‘In Touch and in Tune’) at that time. It was a difficult task: to preserve the spirit and detail of the original whilst transforming the text into one accessible to the English-speaking reader’s mind and experience. You can find extracts from the English translation of ‘Iskusstvo byt’ soboi’ (‘In Touch and in Tune’) below.
Michelle visited Russia many times and still does for pleasure and work: over the last few years she has run training for professionals to develop purposeful partnership relationships with parents. Half English and Irish (on her father’s side) Michelle is a writer, poet and lyricist in English, as well as having a thorough grasp of Russian. She has run training in the field of interpersonal skills and conflict management for many years and has an understanding of life and people that is rooted in experience; she is both down to earth and creative. She has two sons and lives with her partner David Mann with whom she writes songs. David is a psychotherapist and musician with the band The Freudian Slippz. This is what Michelle writes about her present work:
‘I am currently working for the Centre for Parent and Child Support, a self-funding part of the NHS which aims to support the wellbeing of children. The Centre’s work involves training professionals from any field who work with parents and families to enable them to work in true partnership using the Family Partnership Model. The aim is to increase parents’ self efficacy, enabling them to better manage their own lives, thereby promoting the wellbeing of their children. This is done by supporting parents through developing respectful partnerships with them.
I have used my experience in education to translate the Family Partnership principles into the education world and have developed training for teachers and other staff to work collaboratively with children and young people in schools, as well as to build respectful partnerships with their parents and carers. The different courses aim to:
- Enable school staff to work collaboratively with children and young people by providing clear frameworks whilst helping staff to develop their own knowledge, understanding and interpersonal skills.
- Enable school staff to engage and work more closely with parents.
- Help schools create a consistent approach to engaging learners and a whole-school ethos based on effective learning relationships in which adults model respectful purposeful relationships.
- Enable staff to increase motivation amongst students, leading to potential improvements in attendance, behaviour, learning and attainment.
- Promote the establishment of an emotionally safe learning environment with clear boundaries which enables children and young people to thrive.
- Support staff, increasing motivation and reducing stress.
My background includes translating, teaching, working in a Behaviour Service and running a range of training for adults including self defence, communication skills and dealing with violence and aggression at work.’
For further details please visit: www.cpcs.org.uk
For secondary school teachers: ‘The Art of Teaching Peacefully: Improving Behaviour and Reducing Conflict in the Classroom’ David Fulton Publishers, 1998.
For primary school teachers: ‘The Art of Peaceful Teaching in the Primary School: Improving Behaviour and Preserving Motivation’ David Fulton Publishers, 2000.
Revised and updated ‘Managing Behaviour in the Primary School’ by Jim Docking, David Fulton Publishers, 3rd edition 2002.
Prepared for the UK edition: ‘Get their Attention’ by Sean O’Flynn and Harry Kennedy, David Fulton Publishers, 2003.
Translated: ‘In Touch and in Tune’ by Vladimir Levi.
Poems in: ‘The West in her Eye’, Pyramid Press, 1995
‘Her mind’s Eye’, Pyramid Press,1996
Poems by Michelle MacGrath
Why is it that my heart...
April in Moscow
Behind the Waterfall
Miscarriage of Justice
The Shah-i-Zinda (City of the Dead) Samarkand
We Live in Dreams
Translation from Russian. “In Touch & In Tune” by Vladimir Levi ("The Art of Being Yourself")
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter I. When You Are the Neighbour
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter II, Female Logic that Men Share
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter III, The Pendulum of Common Sense
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter IV, Order Good Health
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter V, The Devil You Know
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter VI, Attend to Attention
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter VII, Strength in Rest
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter VIII, Your Inner Music
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter IX, Willpower Rules. O.K.?
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter X, Breathe Wholeheartedly
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter XI, ‘Would that You Were Hot or Cold’
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter XII, Chalk It Up to Morpheus
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter XIII, A Rest from Auto-Training, or One Day in the Life of Mr. Luckless
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter XIV, When the Slave Is Master
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter XV, What is It Like to Be Queen?
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter XVI, Help Me to Help Myself
“In Touch & In Tune”, Chapter XVII, Break Down Illusions