The main goal of this course was to make the participants reflect on what it means to have a supportive classroom and how to create a positive climate for the students. How can you teach students anything if you haven’t taken the time to construct an environment where they feel comfortable and safe to express their ideas? This week we had the opportunity to analyse what kind of classroom we would have wanted as children, and how we can give this to our students.
These were the main topics discussed in the new edition of the course “Effective Classroom Management Strategies for teachers and education staff” that took place in Bologna from 21/08/2022 to 27/08/2022. The participants came from all across Europe, with Niamh, Barbara, Anita, and Marie from College of FET Ennis Campus Ireland; Sofía from IES Monastil in Spain; Mihai-Radu, Daniela, and Silviu-Cosmin from SCOALA GIMNAZIALA HELESTENI, IASI COUNTY in Romania; Teodora and Ileana from ȘCOALA GIMNAZIALĂ PORUMBACU DE JOS in Romania; and Nick from Sint-Franciscusinstituut in Belgium.
We kicked the week off by establishing what makes a good classroom. Similar themes emerged, such as engagement, supportive and comfortable environment, but the most important was the safety of both students and teachers. The classroom should be a safe space, both emotionally and physically. This led us to talk about what a good teacher should look like, and each of the participants had a turn - with the help of abstract artistic cards - to voice their opinion.
Then, they learned about Social Emotional Learning, the capacity of individuals to recognize their own and other people's emotions, to distinguish different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. This specific skill is essential in creating a more tolerant and supportive atmosphere. What made this topic even more important was an exercise where participant teams had to portray an emotion, then walk around the room to other teams and describe what that team had in mind. Everyone got different results.
Then, group dynamics were explored. The participants engaged in a competitive team building exercise where they had to build the tallest tower (Just one tower, because why would you have two if you have this one?). We played more cooperative games, to really understand group dynamics and what exclusion can feel like. In order to be more inclusive, the group later performed an activity to approach various aspects of diversity that was called “learning stations”: in each station, one of the diversity topics was discussed in a different way.
The participants later focused on communication, especially investigating the difference between fixed and growth mindset. After being put to test and challenged on the assumptions they had about their own mindsets, the group analyzed the characteristics of what is called “growth mindset” and put their knowledge to practice by doing some group exercises. They learned how important feedback is and to praise the process of a student, not to assign attributes to their personality.
Later, the topic of “Flipped Classroom” was presented. In a combination of theory and practice, the participants tested some ICT tools that could be beneficial and helpful in managing a Flipped Classroom, in order to make the management of their classes efficient and effective.
Finally, we tackled the topic of conflict management. After exploring their own perceptions and preconceptions, the participants gained insights on how conflicts can also be extremely beneficial if managed in the right way. After a few role plays and an insightful video, the group could confidently define the conflict, get to the source of it, and handle accordingly.
We were happy to leave our participants with so many ideas on how to change their classrooms. This week has been equally rewarding and exhausting, so we hope they have some time to rest before the school rush! Good luck, and hopefully see you again!
More info on this course at: 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.