Coordinating a class full of children is challenging - making sure they retain knowledge, don’t disturb others, everyone gets along, helping whoever needs it…Not to mention remembering that you also need a bathroom break once in a while.
In this course about classroom management taking place in Bologna from the 1st to the 7th of May, we learned how to diffuse tension and take a more empathetic approach to managing a classroom. Participants from all over Europe - Helena and Manuela from Agrupamento de Escolas de Montemor-o-Novo in Portugal; Virien, Tamara, Eefje, and Katrien from BS Centrum, Renilde and Nelly from Go! Scholengroep Ringscholen, both from Belgium; Adriana, Oana, and Lăcrămioara from Liceul Tehnologic Mihai Eminescu Dumbraveni in Romania; and participants from two different Spanish schools: Dolores and Maria from Ceip Sant Josep de Calassanç, and Ezequiel and Alejandra from IES García Lorca - were taking part in activities from gaining awareness about yourself and your surroundings, to learning about tools to help them make more engaging content.
As always, we started with setting expectations for the week. This is a great way to set up realistic goals for the course, as well as helping us to be flexible with our curriculum. After finalizing the plan for this week, we started with talking about empathy. More precisely, we got to know the Awareness Map - an exercise that helps with identifying what we feel, and what we do with it. Throughout the rest of the week we explored the 5 Pillars of Social-Emotional Awareness: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, social awareness, and relationship skills.
We continued the topic of empathy during the second session by learning the difference between empathy and sympathy. We arrived at some interesting conclusions, as it turns out, both concepts can be understood differently depending on the country. At the end, we came to a mutual understanding of empathy, and tested our knowledge in a game of Empathy Bingo.
The next thing we explored were group dynamics. Membership and collaboration are key to a good classroom environment, which we found out ourselves by playing the Inclusion Race. It helped us to gain perspective of the kids that are at a disadvantage, and showed us how we can incorporate their unique skills into the team.
Another topic of high importance was feedback - and how to handle it. We focused on the growth mindset, and how to encourage kids to always do their best, instead of stifling their growth. We introduced the concept of Flipped Classroom, where the teacher getting feedback from students is just as important as them getting notes from the teacher. What has to be understood is that everyone in the classroom has to collaborate for the environment to feel safe, open, and inclusive. This concept allows students to have freedom to gain knowledge, whilst having the teacher there to encourage them. In the meantime, we explored different tools to create engaging content.
We finished the course with conflict management. During the brainstorming session about the topic, we could use the skills learned during the past few sessions. We had a discussion about how to handle conflict between students, but also between the teacher and the student, which usually is a little more tricky.
In conclusion, this week was an intense period for everyone involved. The participants are left equipped with new skills, tools, and knowledge that will definitely help them manage their classrooms, no matter how big or small!
We leave you today with one of the feedback that we received on the training: “This course was eye-opening on a lot of topics, especially the social emotional learning and the importance of the growth mindset, which, as a teacher, will stuck into my memory”
If you want to know more about the course, click here: https://www.erasmustrainingcourses.com/classroom-management.html
Welcome to the ELA Blog. Here you will find articles and photos of our courses and have a look at the topics addressed during the week in Bologna, Palermo and Tenerife. You will also have the chance to take a peek at our projects and check out what we have been up to.