THE SCHOOL | GETTING AROUND
The first mobility in our project took place in the coordinating school, the ICS Giorgio Perlasca, in Rome. During a whole week, from the 19th to the 25th of November, a group of teachers and students from the partner institutions could experience the true Roman way of life, both at school and outside. It was a wonderful experience for every participant and everyone went back home feeling richer and wanting to experience more.
As usual in these mobilities, the first day was dedicated to getting to know the school. While the students were already with their hosts, in class, the teachers had the chance to visit all the schools that are part of ICS Giorgio Perlasca (the primary schools and the secondary school).
JOINT STAFF TRAINING
During the week, the group of teachers met daily in work sessions, either to work on the project technicalities, such as distributing responsibilities and tasks that have to be done during the project or in workshops that were specifically designed to address the topics that the project will be focusing on, like reflecting on what type of teacher each one is, as an example.
We had the amazing opportunity to hear a lecture by the former Italian Minister of Education, Mr. Luigi Berlinguer, about the importance of the European Spirit in Education and how teachers have to be pro-European as well as keeping their own sense of national identity.
Ms. Claudia Sabatano, the HeadTeacher of the Italian school and project coordinator, who is very well known in Italy due to her research on education and paedagogy, also presented a workshop on the topics of paedagogy, more specifically the models of teaching and learning that exist, revealing some interesting reflections concerning the (mis)use of certain strategies.
Some of the teachers – those not so directly involved with the committee – had the chance to do some job shadowing, being with their Italian counterparts in class and experiencing, learning and sharing ideas concerning methods, strategies and so much more.
The students involved in this kind of project gain so much that it is very hard to describe in words. Not only do they share family life with a completely different family from their own, in a different country, with people who are – at times – so different from them, but they also go to a different school, with different habits, different rules but at the same time similar experiences.
It is natural – and it happened – that some of the students miss their home and their families so much, that sometimes they cry and need their teachers’ assistance. Still, while it may be difficult, this whole process contributes so much to develop their resilience and their coping skills.
All the students enjoyed their families and their experience in Italy. Some of our students cried on their way back home, confessing that they would miss their Italian family. This is exactly our aim – to make them feel at home while away from home – and we believe it worked for most of them, especially for those who opened up to the experience and allowed it to happen naturally.
MEALS | EXPERIENCING THE DELICIOUS ITALIAN FOOD
While in Italy, of course everyone had the chance to experience the fabulous Italian cuisine. Pasta was a must – every day! – and pizza was a favourite for most students. Everyone went back to their home countries a bit heavier (!) and with several new recipes to share with their families.
Teachers had the chance to taste the delicious Roman food in some amazing Roman restaurants and as you can see by the photographs, it was amazing.
Some students brought home recipes that they learned with their host families and have already cooked for their own families!
ITALIAN CULTURE AND HISTORY | VISITING ROME
During our stay, we had the chance to visit some of the most beautiful sites in Rome. Despite the rainy weather, Rome is a beautiful city and not even the rain can bring its glory down.
Now, until our next meeting in Tonbridge, in March 2019, we have many tasks to do, like, for example, working with each partner school’s students about what they think the ideal teacher is like or sharing the experience with colleagues from the different schools, building a network of people who will be working together, for the next two years, on building the profile of the European teacher.