Within the mobility project “Learning and Sharing for Better Teaching” Zorica Djukic, ELTA serbia member, attended 'Teaching Difficult Learners' course. Below you can read her experience during the mobility.
In contrast to the title, attending the course Teaching Difficult Learners “was easy and enjoyable”, just as the trainers wished. Organized by Pilgrims at the University of Kent at Canterbury, the course was held from 22nd July to 4th August 2018. It is the perfect choice for everybody who wants to understand difficult pupil behaviour and who is interested in how therapeutic approaches could be effectively integrated into classroom teaching. The course aimed to look at the reasons why some learners cause difficulties for teachers and how teachers could develop a better understanding of their behaviour developing better responses to "difficult" situations.
Before the Mobility started, the participants had received:
1. Detailed course program;
2. Recommended reading list;
3. Travel and housing information;
4. The trainers’ introductory email with a pre-course task.
The participants were warmly welcomed and thoroughly informed about the campus and transport facilities, places to eat, afternoon and evening activities programme.
The course covered:
- Teachers roles and teachers levels
- Strengthening teaching response through high-performance states
- Classroom management – rules and consequences
- Types of difficult learners: aggression, disruption, rejection, case studies
- Emotional intelligence and emotional literacy
- Attachment patterns and how to identify and minimise their impact
- Creating tasks on different levels
- Interaction with students and parents
- Trauma, anxiety, and SEN in the classroom to promote inclusion and integration
- Coaching principles and methods
- Use of Myers Briggs personality instrument to accelerate learning and motivation
- Conflict management
- Behaviour changing strategies and techniques
- Creating a more motivating learning environment
- Overcoming learning blocks
- Using the creative arts and play to stimulate engagement and develop learning potential
- Maintaining calm and de-stressed in the face of difficult classes
As an outcome of the mobility and training provided, the participants acquired the following competencies:
- Language enrichment and improved English language competences
- Better understanding of types of difficult learners
- Better insight into coaching principles and methods
- Better insight into behaviour changing strategies and techniques
- Better understanding of using creative arts and play to stimulate engagement
- Better understanding of emotional intelligence and literacy
- Building up a bank of practical and motivational teaching ideas
- Understanding different educational systems in Europe
The whole concept of the course was structured with such expertise that all the participants' questions and needs were answered in detail. The impact of the course on the mindset has been enormous. Expanding of the professional network was also impressive.
Thanks to this mobility and participation in Erasmus+, the participants improved as well: analytical and practical skills, organizational and management skills, teamwork abilities, and emotional skills.