Italy, Soverato, JUMP Association International Teachers Training Academy, Erasmus+ mobility. Those are not simple words, but a series of opportunities for us, three primary teachers from Romania, ”Prof.Paul Bănică” Gymnasium – Profiroiu Cristina, Șerban Tatiana and Voinescu Cosmina. After a challenging journey from Bucharest, Romania, to Napoli, Italy, then Soverato city, we arrived at a beautiful location, Villa Gabriella International. There, Pipi, a feline ”princess” welcomed us, together with Erika Gerardini, Pietro Curatola, Ylenia Azzaro, Roberta Muratore, Giuseppe Perotti and others.
We were eager to find out more about non-formal education and inclusion at school. They approached the theme in an ingenious way, involving us in a city game to get to know the local culture, traditions and history of the places. Also, we understood the definitions related to NFE, by combining practices of outdoor education and INCLUSIVE education. It was an eye-opening experience practicing inclusive education, also improving our english language competences. The course addressed the transectorial topics connected with SEN and cooperative learning with other teachers. We developed lesson plans using Non Formal Education Working on how to create an inclusive plan for our school.
For us, the course organized by Jump Association, ”Let’s make inclusion at school; Non-formal education is the answer” was a great opportunity to reorganize our strategy involving inclusive education and non-formal activities. Back home, in Romania, we followed the implementation of all the concepts learned in the course.
We have organized several activities with our colleagues, where we disseminated the results of our activity. They used materials from nature, and then created an autumn painting. They cooperated to get a new product. This activity is easy to do with the students because it activates them, giving them the opportunity to get involved with all their resources.
The students were delighted to participate in activities outside the classroom, especially since they used materials around the school, such as leaves, branches or stones, all chosen according to a certain criterion (size, shape, color, etc.)
We carried out with the students a series of activities with the aim of forming a civilized behavior in the students, to convey to them the love for their hometown, but especially for the environment. Primary school students worked in partnership with their older colleagues from secondary school. They went in the company of the teachers to the neighborhoods around the school to collect the garbage. They used disposable gloves and cleaning bags. At the end, the bags were taken to the large dumpsters to be picked up by the sanitation company.
With the help of materials from nature, like leaves, chestnuts, cones, sticks, students had to create landscapes or different things that they preferred. At the end, they made a large umbrella out of leaves, under which they sheltered from the rain. In this activity, children showed creativity in making the products, involvement, collaboration and attention towards their colleagues and towards the teaching staff. They understood that they can make paintings and toys, even with the help of elements from nature. They learned that it is not necessary to purchase them from the store.
Together with the students we went on a hike on the mountain paths. The purpose of this trip was to consolidate the knowledge learned in geography: the cardinal points, orientation in space, the horizon and the horizon line, and landforms. During this trip, the students made different games and toys with the help of materials from nature.
Activities were carried out such as jumping bunnies, rope and painting on canvas, making mandalas or landscapes with the help of materials from nature, and visits. All these activities helped the children to collaborate, work in groups, socialize, develop harmonious relationships with those around them, but also to bond with the environment.
The Erasmus+ mobility experience at the JUMP Association International Teachers Training Academy was one of the most valuable moments in our teaching career. The professionalism of the team and their involvement made us have more confidence in ourselves. Simple at first glance, but significant as a whole, the ideas shared with the mentors from Italy and colleagues from the other partner countries, made our students very happy. Thus, a simple rain cape, recycling and playing in nature have created unforgettable memories.
Teacher Șerban Tatiana
Teacher Profiroiu Cristina
Teacher Voinescu Cosmina