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We have joined the ERASMUS+ family!
Our planned activities will be held from 1st September 2021 to 31st September 2022 and we are going to take part in teacher training courses, which will help us achieve 3 main objectives:
- Expanding the course offer to cater to the local community in connecting language learning with local heritage
- Improving the existing practices regarding the courses we already offer with the main focus on assessment
- Creating and maintaining a healthy working environment for the school employees through leadership mentoring
We are looking forward to connecting with other similar schools to exchange the best practices and offer insights from our experiences and enabling our teachers to further develop their skills. We strongly believe that happy teachers = happy students, so all of this is going to have the greatest impact on the people we teach daily.
The Key to Effective Leadership Mentoring Course in Berlin
Our school director, Eva, has recently finished our first ERASMUS+ Mobility program. It took place in Berlin from 1st to 6th November 2021 and it consisted of a training course about Effective Leadership Mentoring.
As the description of the course states: "Leadership Mentoring is like holding up a mirror in front of your mentees, helping them recognize their functional or dysfunctional emotions and feelings in a natural manner, enabling them to become aware of and to address their actions and behaviors. A good mentor will know how to draw a mentee out of his comfort zone into more leadership-oriented environments and scenarios.
Mentoring is not the same concept as coaching. Mentoring is concerned with the development of the whole person and mentors are focused on providing individual support, growth, and maturity to mentees in order to attain their own work/life goals. Mentoring has a positive effect on one’s essential and hard skills and it facilitates socialization."
The course helped the participants to:
- Develop assertiveness, self-awareness, and self-confidence;
- Manage and prevent conflict in training environments;
- Apply transactional and transformational leadership in training environments, the principles of transactional analyses and cognitive-behavioral schema and situational leadership in training environments;
- Promote problem-solving contexts and attitudes;
- Manage reverse mentoring and delegation.
More about Eva's experience in this course can be found on our social media sites: Facebook and Instagram.
Transfer of Knowledge about Leadership Mentoring
Transfer of Knowledge is one of the key aspects of ERASMUS+, as it helps promote and share our new skills and knowledge with our immediate colleagues and then they can share it onwards.
That's why Eva, Antonia, and Katarina held a knowledge transfer session today, where Eva gave them all the info about her ERASMUS+ experience and shared the best practices from her course.
They have tried out various methods and techniques that can be used in leadership mentoring and the session was very productive. The best part of it was that it felt like a team-building session as well, where everyone got to know each other better.
If you would like to try out some of the activities and learn some of these methods, here's a link to the padlet that Eva created about her ERASMUS+ experience.
Intelligent Assessment and Evaluation Course in San Cristóbal de la Laguna
Last month our English and German teacher Antonia traveled to San Cristóbal de la Laguna in Tenerife to take part in an ERASMUS+ mobility program. She attended a course on assessment and evaluation from 21st March to 26th March 2022.
Evaluation and assessment are something that we as teachers deal with consistently throughout our teaching. It can easily become a routine for the teacher and learners tend to develop a certain aversion and fear towards it. However, Antonia has learned that it can be a powerful and motivating tool in a classroom, beneficial to both the teachers and the learners.
The description of the course sums up this everyday predicament: “All learners want to pass, but they are too often in the dark about how their habits and attitudes are preventing them from achieving their true potential. By negotiating and sharing evaluation processes that value behavior and attitudes, as well as procedures and contents, learners begin to take responsibility for their own education; ‘What mark did she give you?’ becomes ‘What mark did you earn?’.”
During the course Antonia has learned:
- how evaluation and assessment can help us guide our learners’ learning process
- how to implement a self-evaluation scheme in order to help our learners take control of their own learning process
- how to use checklists as an immensely useful and practical tool to keep track of our learners’ progress
- how to foster inclusion by adjusting the evaluation and assessment criteria
After returning from her course, Antonia will share her new knowledge and skills with the rest of our team, so that we can all apply these new methods in our everyday work. So, dear learners, get ready to move your learning (and assessment) processes onto a new level.
Transfer of Knowledge about Intelligent Assessment
After returning from her ERASMUS mobility, Antonia has shared her new knowledge and skills about intelligent assessment with the rest of our team, so that now we can all apply these new methods in our everyday work. So, dear learners, get ready to move your learning (and assessment) processes onto a new level.
She shared the theoretical background and taught Eva and Katarina how to include assessment in our weekly classes with students.
As a result, we have developed two special assessment questionnaires - one for the teachers and one for the students. These are going to be used in every class so that the students can get a better understanding of their own progress and participation in their learning process.
Antonia shares her newly acquired knowledge with the rest of the team, so both Eva and Katarina can use it in their classes as well.
CLIL Course in Reykjavik, Iceland
We are approaching the end of our project, so our last mobility comprised of two courses and one of the was the CLIL course held in Reykjavik, Iceland from 21st to 27th August 2022. This course was attended by our teacher Antonia.
This CLIL course focused on CLIL methodology in a practical way as well as Teaching Foreign Languages techniques to improve our teaching practice as much as possible.
Theoretical background in this course was supported by practical activities in every single topic, so the participants were able to learn everything about CLIL principles, how to design a CLIL course, and how to adapt current resources to the needs of CLIL methodology.
CLIL stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning. This means studying another subject (for example, science, history, or literature) and learning a language, such as English, at the same time — integrating the two subjects. The definition is broad because integration can happen in many different ways.
We are planning on integrating the knowledge gained from this course in our existing courses, so that we can offer our students more comprehensive courses, which don't focus only on the language, but also on other skills.
Legends and Culture course in Reykjavik, Iceland
Another course held in Reykjavik from 21st to 27th August 2022 was the Legends and Culture course attended by our teacher Eva.
This course aimed at teaching the participants how to preserve and disseminate the local heritage we all have in our cities.
The course was based on practical lessons and trips to discover local heritage based on different fields of education. Various tours through Iceland showed us old legends and stunning places and all the participants had to create travel journals with inputs received every day.
In the final days, the teachers summarized the course in a short presentation making comparisons between Iceland and their own countries.
Our biggest takeaways from this course were many ideas we got to produce a new English language course which will incorporate the local tradition of our school's city and enable the students to learn both the language and their heritage in one course.
Transfer of knowledge from courses held in Iceland
Last week, after returning from Iceland, our teachers Antonia and Eva held a special working meeting with the rest of the team to share their new knowledge gained through the courses they attended in Iceland.
Antonia presented the topic of CLIL and Eva talked about the course Legends and Culture.
Everyone agreed that we already do a lot of different things in our school that could be classified as CLIL, and the session was overflowing with ideas for a Legends and Culture course in our city.
Global practices in a local context project finished
For the past year, our school has participated in the Erasmus+ program through a project called "Global practices in a local context", the goal of which was to improve working conditions for professors, improve existing teaching practices with a focus on assessment, and increase the variety of foreign language courses offered.
The project included four mobilities of teaching and non-teaching staff across Europe, so the participants visited Germany, Tenerife and Iceland and improved their skills in the field of management, assessment, CLIL and the development of new language courses that include content related to local culture and tradition.
"At Škola stranih jezika ERYIA, teacher training is one of the priorities of our activities because we want to enable our students to attend courses with the most contemporary methods and our teachers have to be able to provide them," says school owner Antonia Brazdil.
After returning from each mobility, a transfer of knowledge took place within the school so that the other team members could take over the newly acquired knowledge, and during the following period, the results of the project will be presented to the participants of the courses.