Early school leaving is a multi-faceted and complex problem caused by a cumulative process of disengagement. “Dropping out” is linked to the feeling of being powerless, senselessness and to the extreme lack of motivation. Usually it is a result of personal, social, economic, educational or family-related reasons. During the course we were discovering how as teachers we can try to tackle this problem. Our energetic and experienced trainers Janja and Ksenja were engaging participants to actively participate and try to find ideas and suggestions how to address this issue. We have learned that the engine that helps to increase motivation and find the meaning is fuelled by relevant stimuli in a safe and significant relationship.
Participants have learned a lot about Relationship Awareness Theory with the help of SDI questionnaire. We were discovering that it is very important from which "coloured glasses" we see the world. And that it is even more important for teachers in schools to be aware of pupils' interpersonal differences. This was an excellent opportunity for us to learn also about our own motivational value systems, behaviour and conflicts. We have discovered important differences between individual's motivation and behaviour and we have found out that our behaviour and communication style can change when we come into conflict. Raising awareness about dynamics of relationships and interpersonal conflicts can contribute to better and more efficient work with pupils in schools and improve our and their personal development.
We were also practising conflict management and discovering different facilitation tools for students' engagement: World Cafe, Open Space, The Circle Practice.
Our course has also been enriched with two study visits. On Wednesday we have visited Cene Štupar adult vocational school and on Thursday we have visited Šolski center Ljubljana – Vocational centre with the following programmes: wood, mechanics, chemistry.
Ksenja has introduced us Robert Reasoner’s preventive programme of self-esteem in schools and stressed five protection factors for authentic self-esteem and preventing school leaving: security, identity, belonging, purpose, and competence. We were also practicing different pedagogical activities to prevent early school leaving.
We are very grateful and we are sending a big thank you to all our wonderful participants for their active participation, great atmosphere they have created and new friendships. Thank you, you are amazing! Opa!