Before I begin to share my experiences here is a little background information about the Erasmus+ programme.
The Erasmus Programme (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is a European Union (EU) student exchange programme established in 1987.
The old Erasmus programme focused on student and staff mobility between universities whereas the new Erasmus+ launched in 2014 is the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. Many of the initiatives are based on opportunities for students and recent graduates. Funding is also available to assist teachers, lecturers and non-academic staff to develop their skills in schools, universities, colleges and adult education environments around Europe via job shadowing, teaching and training activities.
Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, Macedonia, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Turkey.
What interested me most about the course was the course delivery methodology was based on providing maximum practice and feedback with minimum amount of theory. The course delivered a 3 day one to one training, including a day’s excursion to Pathos and a day off to explore Cyprus. Here are ILC’s aims for the course:
- Provide opportunity to reflect on what does it mean to be a “good trainer”
- Raise awareness of supportive and limiting beliefs and how they affect performance
- Build in the participants awareness of their own beliefs related to being a trainer
- Build in the participants awareness of their own strengths
- Raise trainers’ ability to create supportive learning environment
- Introduce mind expansion techniques to tap into creative force of the mind
- Enhance the understanding of feedback as motivational factor and provide practical tools for giving constructive feedback
- Improve the educators ability to include play and laugh in their sessions
- Enhance public speaking capacity
- Boost in the participants their motivation and passion for teaching
- Provide tools for trainer’s optimal self-care
- Provide techniques for improved trainer-learners communication
- Enhance confidence in the participants
- Expand paradigm of a trainer and hence allow the participants to engage in new creative ways of teaching
- Provide opportunity to give and receive feedback from other participants
- International dialogue and exchange of experiences and resources
Once I decided that this was the right course for me, I then enquired how I could apply for funding. I followed standard process in applying internally within my institution where I was required to complete an application form in order to receive additional funding to cover all the costs associated with the course which included 1090EUR for the course fees, accommodation (half board) between the Erasmus and the internal staff development funding.
After the funding had been authorised I booked myself onto the course and was sent pre-course material which included a list of study materials along with details of other relevant content of the course available on the Internet.
Here is a list of some areas that was covered during the course:
- Relaxation techniques to create optimal learning state
- What does it mean to be a good teacher/trainer?
- What do you love about being a teacher/trainer?
- Understanding and utilizing different learning styles
- Understanding interpersonal differences and group dynamics
- The importance of teacher’s self care
- Generating different states in the learners (e.g playful, focused, reflective, active etc.)
- How to give and receive feedback
- Handling ‘difficult learners’
For the final day I was asked to either deliver a presentation or workshop so feedback can be provided and areas of improvement can be discussed.
Using my tablet I decided to deliver a 30min workshop on how to create an interactive online board called Padlet to Aga and Karolina.
I received really positive feedback on my workshop which was reassuring to hear that from another experienced trainer.
For more information about the Erasmus+ programme please visit - www.erasmusplus.org.uk
Useful place to find programmes being offered - staffmobility.eu
ILC inspired Learning Centre in collaboration with Lifelong Learning Association - llpcyprus.eu