The Day of Competencies: Kissing versus Screaming

A new day in this fairy palace located in Krzyzowa, Poland. It started with a bunch of excited and enthusiastic participants, willing to know what this course will bring to them today. The atmosphere in the group was energetic and ready to begin, so, as this course is about Training of Trainers, why not try to define what ‘trainer’ means to us as a group? I’m kidding, no need to start this course in such a serious way.

To get everybody to the same level of energy, we started by playing a kissing game but there wasn’t time to be too “loving” as speed was more important! Full of energy, it was then the perfect time to discuss the knowledge, attitudes and skills that a good trainer should have.

Somehow, the coffee during the break wasn’t enough, so…we energised ourselves with some more kissing! This time the group had an imaginary teddy bear to kiss, before transferring the same kisses to one another – Physical barriers officially broken!

Once this was done, we set the stage for: forum theatre. In our groups, we prepared a small theatre play highlighting contemporary social issues. Cyber-bullying, domestic abuse, Islamophobic discrimination in Europe, sexual harassment in the workplace and the overuse of social media, were some of the topics touched upon during this session.

The hours passed and the energy levels dropped; time to stop kissing and start screaming! We played a special energising game to wake us up – look down, look up, and if two people make eye contact you have to SCREAM!

We had a great time, definitely more awake and happy and motivated to start the next session looking at the competencies detailed in the framework of Erasmus+.

Speaking about competencies developed through Erasmus+, it’s not possible to ignore the “informal document” which is much more than just a document: the YOUTHPASS. Discussing this topic, it was understood that the YouthPass is a process to set learning directions, identify learning moments, igniting the passion for learning, knowing yourself better as a learner and becoming more aware of your own learning.

Next we worked in small groups to discuss how the 8 competencies listed in the YouthPass document may be developed through training courses.

Finally, we ended up discussing what is known as the “learning spiral”. In a nutshell, this can be described as starting with the experience of the participants, then, looking for patterns before adding new information and theory. Additionally, we learned about the need to practice new strategies and making a plan of action that leads us to the last step, which is turning all of the previous steps into action.

TOTALLY competent in kissing and screaming, our day is finally over. Now it’s time for another evening of intercultural celebration!

        – Alicia L. Bruzos, Spain