Erasmus projects- a great opportunity for teachers
Between 16-21 May 2022, a delegation made up of teachers and students from the secondary school’ Avram Iancu’ from Dej participated in an exchange of experience with the ICS Casella school in Pedara, Sicily, within the Erasmus project :’ Developing educational techniques starting from regional context- Sa dezvoltăm tehnicile educationale pornind de la contextul regional’.
The experience was wonderful, as the proposed activities were varied and entertaining : presentations, contests, outdoor activities, hiking and sightseeing. They were all designed in such a way that they mirrored the theme of the project. The atmosphere created by the host school was a warm one, full of enthusiasm, good mood, beneficial to the development of the educational approach. The students of the school were distinguished by the originality and natural behaviour with which they presented the materials, proving solid knowledge of English. They also showed empathy, interest and openness towards the proposed activities, managing to integrate easily.
I was excited about the way the teachers of the school received us and the way they thought about the activities. The hike to Monte Gemellaro was extraordinary. Accompanied by a guide and fascinated by the view that fell before our eyes, it was the perfect opportunity to combine theory with practice. The specialist’s explanations and the fact that we were able to observe the geography of the region crowned this hike.
Therefore the Erasmus + project meant: learning experience, exchange of experience and opening of new horizons, all accompanied by the following lyrics that describe so well the atmosphere of the region.
Con la chitarra in mano
Sono un italiano”.
Lador Iulia, teacher at Avram Iancu Secondary School, Dej, Romania
Impressions from Pedara
During the week of May 15th-21st 2022 I had the opportunity of accumulating experience and developing my management skills, but also didactic, in Pedara, a village in the Province of Catania, Sicily, from the south of Italy.
The international project Erasmus+” Developing educational techniques starting from regional context” has reunited schools from five countries including also L’Instituto Comprensivo” S. Casella”, Italy.
Even from the first day I felt a certain energy, Sicilian energy which you can not ignore. Full of emotions and thoughts I had started an amazing experience from the moment I had arrived at the school in Pedara, where we were all welcomed in a certain manner. An explosion of joy and warmth from the hosts were manifested through traditional games and Sicilian songs, which the Italian students had prepared for us. The contact with one of the most ancient civilizations made me emotional. While the pupils, guided by the teachers, were singing and dancing to us their prepared songs, my mind went directly to the Romanian civilization, at the human and cultural diversification, emperors, Caesar, gladiators, conquerors and conquered nevertheless, at the mob movies, at what I had seen imprinted with large letters on the inside walls of the school “STOP Mafia! “. I realized that this small community was well aware of the dangers their children can be exposed to, and also the educational importance to stop it, even eliminate it.
A true history lesson followed. The two cities that we had visited, Catania and Noto, offered, through the well-kept ruins, the architecture, the buildings with Italian style of the city and everything that appears at every step, a time-travel up to the time one of them was covered in lava from the volcano Etna, and the other one, divided into lay people and clergy/ poor people that were obligated to live on the hills above the city and wealthy people who stood out through opulence and luxury.
In Catania I took part in a gastronomy lesson offered by a higher education unit which was partnered with school from Pedara.
The students from Catania were our guides through the historic center of the city, and were even exceptional chefs, because they offered us a wonderful lunch prepared with their teachers in the school’s laboratory.
My biggest regret was that we were not allowed inside the laboratories. I would have been honored to see how they had prepared that delicious ice cream they amazed us with as desert, but also the other culinary products they served us is a very elegant way.
Of course, the ultimate show was offered by Etna which I saw fuming right from the first night we had arrived. During the hike on the Mount Gemelaro, it started so “grumble“! We got scared wondered if our arrival bothered her or enjoyed her. What it was shown to us during this hike confirmed, once again, the greatness of the nature and the divine force of it! We are so small and weak in comparison to the nature, that the only thing we can do is to admire its manifestations and powers! A night before we prepared our luggage to return back home, Etna felt our feeling of sadness and offered us an impressive but also scary show. From the balcony of the guest house we stayed in, we watched the eruption of the legendary volcano. Light show raised to the sky, amazement and feelings which I had never thought I would ever experience ended this learning experience, a life experience offered us by Erasmus+.
Thank you, Erasmus!
Nicoleta Varga, deputy headmaster at “Avram Iancu” Secondary School, Dej, Romania
C4 meeting from Erasmus project:” How to tell our stories !”
The project meeting “How to tell our stories”, part of the international Erasmus+ project “Developing Educational techniques starting from regional context”, that was held in Mersin, Turkey between 22nd and 27th February, was a story itself. Due to the current situation in the world we could use one word to describe the beginning of our Erasmus journey, that word being uncertainty.
But the uncertainty turned into certainty once we’ve passed the airport’s security, sat on our seats and took off to Istanbul. We arrived in Turkey really early in the morning, a group of 3 teachers and four students, with no internet connection or any other app that people usually use nowadays to get to their destinations. We only had an address and a lot of nice, kind and wonderful Turkish people who helped in in any way they could.
Our Turkish week started with a meeting at Ozel Mersin Ugur Okulari, a private school, where you can meet students from kindergarten all the way to high school. The days continued according to schedule with activities which brought students together and made them want to know more about the countries involved in the project and about their stories. All the presentations and activities that were part of the project managed to bring all of us together, teachers and students, no matter of our nationalities. One of the things that offered all our students a good way of using their English was the fact in every activity, painting T-shirts, pottery , History class or field trips, students blended and tied friendships. If at the beginning of the week teachers used to remind them to talk to all the students involved after a few days they behave as if they knew each other for years.
Our Turkish week was full of great activities from morning until late in the afternoon. One of the activities that I enjoyed the most was the field trip to Hatay. We visited Hatay Archeology Museum, a museum which left us, all, breathless. We have never seen such beautiful mosaics in our lives. Each one was more spectacular than the other. Another stop in our field trip was to the church of St. Peter, which is a must see not only for Christians, but for everyone, no matter what you believe in. The activity which really caught my eye was the History class taught by the Turkish History teacher. It started as an ordinary History lesson , but it turned into a practical activity that allowed students to put in practice what the teacher had already explained at the beginning of the class. Students were asked to build a fortress out of sugar cubes.
Erasmus+ meetings don’t mean only travelling and tasting traditional food. Erasmus meetings mean, in the first place, learning and improving ones knowledge. We learnt to want to be better, we learnt to want to improve ourselves, to try to improve our school system, our school as a building, to make it colorful and lively, to try new ways of teaching, to have fun from time to time with our students during the classes we teach.
Laura Cîmpean, teacher at ”Avram Iancu” Secondary School, Dej, Romania
Hello, I’m Cigdem Gezici. I am a physical education teacher at Mustafa Kemal Secondary School. This is my first time participating in this project. The school we were in Mersin welcomed us very well. Everything proceeded as planned and programmed. The activities we did with our students outside the program were remarkable and enjoyable. We had good conversations with foreign schools and shared our cultures. I think we got on well with each other. Last week was a good experience for me. I feel both happy and lucky to be in this project. Thanks for everything.
Çiğdem GEZİCİ, Physical Education Teacher
Bağcılar Mustafa Kemal Secondary School, Istanbul, Turkey
Local museums and local manufactures help me to learn 11-17-th October 2021, Lublin, Poland
As a teacher who have been involved in several projects so far, this was the most challenging mobility we have ever experienced, but this was due the pandemic.We had encountered many problems. But after all,we could deal with all the handicaps and got to Lublin. Discovering new cities is a hobby of mine.I was ready to meet my dear project partners and experience new things with them. This was my second visit to Poland but certainly the most exciting one. Here are some first impressions of mine.
My first impression was formed by the people and their warm welcoming us. Everyone treated us well and quite hospitable.
This was my students’ first experience abroad.it they never felt like foreigners.They got used to project atmosphere swiftly. Malgorzata and her colleagues did a great job and we felt home during our visit to LUBLIN which was Quiet and clean.
They took us to Nazi death camps which was the most terrifying experience I have ever went through duringy meetings in Erasmus project. But thanks to Poland team, we learned a lot about things that happened in these camps with our own eyes.
The teachers in the host school were very friendly and they prepared wonderful activities with our students. They had quite fun.
The school was extraordinary considering it is military based. So my students were surprised to see students in military uniforms but still they made good friends and had great time. It was good chance for every one of us to broden our horizon.
It was a perfect experience for us and we thank to Malgorzata and her team for welcoming us warmly and hosting us.
teacher to Özel Mersin Uğur Okulları
My impressions of the Erasmus visit
Our Erasmus guests from Romania (Dej), Italy (Padera), Turkey (Stambul and Mersin) and Bulgaria (Sofia; the Bulgarians were present online) gave me the impression of being very open and eager to learn people. Me and my colleague were to teach them some Polish language, including the lyrics of the Polish version of the internationally recognised song about the sleeping Pan Jan (literally: Mr John), who keeps staying in bed the ringing of the morning bells notwithstanding. All the participants of the meeting mastered the lyrics in Polish and while singing excelled at imitating the sounding of the ringing bells. The song was performed in different configurations – in national teams and transnationally – and the performers definitely derived a lot of pleasure from singing. Sharing this experience no doubt contributed to the feeling of belonging to one singing community, united by their common aim of telling the story of Pan Jan. I think it was one of those moments one deems his/her life worth living for – many thanks to the Erasmus Project for enabling us to meet and to share this moment. Monika Majewska, teacher to XXVII LO im. Zeslancow Sybiru w Lublinie