We have concluded the 4th edition of the ‘Education Inspiration’ Program

At the end of June, we celebrated the conclusion of the 4th edition of the Education Inspiration Program along with teachers and students. They were the ones who, during the school year, implemented educational programs and talked about their outcomes during our Zoom meetings – what had been special about those activities, what they had learned, and what they had done for the first time in their lives.  

‘The summary meeting already had a joyful, holiday vibe, provided by coaches from the ‘School with Class’ Foundation and our team – Anna Mazek, coordinator of the Horizons program, and Aleksandra Saczuk, chairwoman of the EFC Foundation. Almost 40 project teams gave their presentations. Many of them addressed today’s changing realities: e.g. the ‘COVID Kitchen’ presented traditional recipes for health-boosting foods invented by our grandmothers. They were analyzed in terms of chemical composition, health benefits, and their usefulness during a worldwide pandemic crisis. 

Presentations were mostly conducted by young people: they were the ones to talk about what they had done for the first time in their projects and what they had learned: ‘We played in a movie’, ‘We created an educational trail on protected bird species’, ‘We conducted a survey on young people’s satisfaction with the living conditions in our town’, ‘We wrote a newspaper article’, ‘We visited an apiary’, ‘We sowed flowers in front of our school’, ‘We built set decorations’, ‘Girls constructed smog sensors and were great at brazing’.

What was most important to them? ‘Our entire school, even an entire local community, got involved’; ‘We got to know each other better, we formed attachments, which was crucial during the pandemic’; ‘Everybody had the right to their say’.

We collected all opinions in real time on a jamboard – digital interactive board – as a suggestion and inspiration for the participants of the following editions of Education Inspiration.

An important, universal phrase was also repeated: ‘It’s OK to be wrong!’ In an atmosphere of acceptance, the participants became more open and shared their opinions on what had been most difficult about the whole process more freely. It was not easy to manage projects and implement them in isolation enforced by the pandemic. We talked about our problem-solving strategies in full honesty – and almost every team had had to face problems and obstacles. What was important, it was a team-building experience, giving the participants a sense of togetherness and agency allowing to shape the reality surrounding them – such as the ‘Buy a cutie for an animal shelter’ project which had moved everyone and encouraged the local community to participate in the activities. It only proves that throughout these years, the program allowed us to create a community of teachers who care about providing their students with a sense of responsibility for their actions and helping them explore their potential.

At the conclusion of that extraordinary day, we organized a workshop dedicated to the art of relaxation. We invited teachers from all previous editions of the Education Inspiration Program. We ended this difficult school year, overshadowed by the pandemic, together – and started planning our summer holidays, in a way that would satisfy our needs; but we’ll write more on that subject soon.