An international project Erasmus+ is an exciting way to give children a new sense of belonging, to study topics and ideas they never knew existed. Our students need a greater or different intellectual challenge from what they get at home.
It all started in 2015 in Austria with the idea to serve kids from Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Latvia and Hungary, aged 13-15, a starting point for exploring the theme of tolerance, diversity and empathy.
This year Latvia took turn. Eleven teachers and 32 students were invited to Dagda and got pleasure to coming together to collaborate out-classroom strategies and activities since it is a larger block of a project.
Throughout five days all the participants were engaged in workshops and informal dialogues inspired by the daily themes. Most of activities reinforced out-door practice, reading, critical thinking and speaking skills. The underlying goal of all events was to provide a smile and an awareness that communicating has a lighter side and a potencial for having fun.
There were nether ‘lessons’ nor ‘classes’ because the children were always given different ideas for each day. These covered things like research, games, reading stations, nature walks, etc. Various spaces throughout the mobility included child-friendly seating and materials to help keeping them welcome and encouraged to attend all events. Such special experience helps kids to build self-confidence, makes new and long-lasting friendship, develop understanding and appreciation of different cultures, establishes memories which last a lifetime.
I have been fortunate to join an international team of my colleagues from around Europe. During these days we had taken actions and done so collaboratively; we all acted together and develop a strong fellowship. By the time passed, I know I have much to do to get my ideas and thoughts ready till next mobility in Czech Republic. But what I know for sure is that such way of teaching provides the students elements of peaceful living and harmonoius relations among families and friends; neighbourhoods and social groups; on school, county, state and global levels. Helping our children to follow these important concepts will enhance their understanding and develop their skills as our future peacemakers and peacekeepers.
Dagda Secondary School.