Soft skills are nowadays becoming more and more important in the context of professional and daily life. Skills such as emotional intelligence and empathy, teamwork, conflict and stress management are essential inside and outside the classroom. By a combination of theoretical and practical activities, our participants learnt more about how to improve their communication skills.
The new edition of the course “Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence for teachers and education staff” took place in Tenerife from 25/06/2023 to 01/07/2023. The participants came from all across Europe, with Jasna and Metka from IC PIRAMIDA MARIBOR in Slovenija, and Katrin from Audentes school in Estonia. We had Erika, Rasa and Remigijus from Radviliskis Vincas Kudirka progymnasium in Lithuania, Angela, Salvatore, Alessia, Daniela and Michela from CPIA Ancona in Italy. Finally, from Romania, Isabela, Catalina and Mihaela from Colegiul National "Alexandru Ioan Cuza".
The first topic discussed in the course was Emotional Intelligence. This term indicates the ability to recognise not only our own feelings but also other people’s emotions, in order to be aware of ourselves and our surroundings. Another skill that was tackled during this session was empathy. Through a series of exercises the participants were able to learn more about practicing empathy, self-control, self-motivation and building a connection.
A good teacher is also a good leader of the classroom because they have to give motivation and guide their students to reach a specific goal. Leadership comes in different forms, but not all of them are effective in every situation. For this reason, participants were asked to think about the main characteristics of the leaders they admire and reflected on the different leadership styles.
One of the most important skills for working in a team is effective communication. The participants focused their attention on the different communication styles: aggressive, passive, passive-aggressive and assertive. Communication is essential when it comes to teamwork. Being able to show assertiveness can be tricky, however, by discussing this topic they saw that being assertive does not mean to be impolite, but it means to communicate what you want effectively.
In order to improve their communication skills they also had to prepare an exercise on public speaking. They learnt tips and tricks on how to present yourself, how to control your body language and your nonverbal communication. In order to gain confidence the participants were asked to prepare a short one-minute speech to perform in front of the class and to put at use the skills they had learned.
The last topic of this course was Conflict and stress management. Working with people can be difficult sometimes and we do not always know how to deal with conflicts. By sharing their own experiences they realized how these are common situations and that conflict doesn’t necessarily have to bring a negative outcome, but it is also a possibility for growth and development.
This course allowed participants to confront themselves with each other and learn from their shared experiences. Each participant had a different background that certainly contributed to the growth of the group as a whole. In addition, networking was also possible because of the planned cultural activities, showing that learning does not happen only inside a classroom!
Discover more about this course here.
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.