Maria Saponaro, english teacher and Erasmus coordinator at Liceo Attilio Bertolucci explains us how schools can make a difference despite the limited autonomy due to the centralized control from the Ministery.
The frame is given by the Ministery so the differences can be made in the choices you make in performing and making the school. For example, if you want to be innovative you have to start acting innovative with an strategy.
You can also decide to apply for founds, but that implies extra amount of work. You can try to organize the school in a different way and it’s not always easy, you have also to prepare families for that.
They have a huge Erasmus work, because they believe that Erasmus offers lots of possibilities. One of the main objectives of the school is to develop the global competence, and the best instrument to develop this competence is experiencing the globality. Erasmus offers a great opportunity not only to develop personal, linguistic, and interpersonal competences, but also to develop so many soft skills that are important for the future: working in teams, solving problems, being creative or digital skills. These skills that are difficult to develop in everyday lessons.
An Erasmus project starts like this:
A group of schools from different countries decides to work together in an idea. They have meetings to design the Project they want to present for founding. The project has not to be focused on just working on a target, but this target has to be achieved together.
They have to fill an application form after several brainstormings and skype meetings. They present the form that has to be really detailed, and then, if it is granted the real work will start. They have the support of some local partners like the municipality, which is always ready to help. In her opinion to find good partners you have to build a reputation, you have to be open minded, innovative, and want to do something for education to change.
For Maria participating in projects is the key for building better relationships between teachers and students. This means having common goals, living together, spend the whole day together when they travel… the relationship changes. The teacher is no longer “the teacher”, she or he is part of a group working together with the students to achieve a goal.