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eTwinning in times of school closure - Experiences from Slovakia and Poland

Teachers in Slovakia and Poland found their own ways to cope with the Covid-19 crisis by using eTwinning. Below are their experiences.

The daily routine of teachers is very different to the one before Covid-19 came into our lives. Teachers work from home, where they prepare materials for their students. If the students encounter problems with their tasks, they call their teachers who are ready to explain the subject in written form (chat) or in a video call. Teachers who have experience through eTwinning manage to tackle difficulties and challenges and make a positive difference.

Teachers like Katarína Hvizdová, an eTwinner with 13 years of experience, talks about how her reality changed:

My days as a teacher and mother are very different now. I must take care of my family and my students in the same environment. I must cook every day and take care of house chores and teach at the same time. But we try to have a good time and enjoy every minute of the day. We play games together; we talk a lot and we have time to do things for which we didn’t have time in the past. We remain positive all the time.

Another teacher, Kamila Bažíková, working in a secondary vocational school with 22 years of experience says:

Thanks to eTwinning I am flexible and experienced when it comes to working online. In every school grade, except the first one, I have groups who have worked on an eTwinning project before – and therefore are now able to continue learning without any problems. My students know how the internet works and know how to work with online tools. These pupils are independent, responsible (keep to deadlines) and are very creative. Some of them even present their own creative ideas.

slovak project

I use tools and pupils have learned to work within eTwinning. One group of my pupils convenes in the TwinSpace – there I combine project work with course book topics. We continue working on a climate themed international project Unser Klima - unsere Welt and together with the Italians and Poles we set up an “Online Learning” website to share links and present work with pupils.

Just a few kilometres away, in Poland, the teachers encounter the same issues that burden the lives not only of their Slovakian neighbours but at the moment the majority of the countries participating in eTwinning.

Anna Dziubek a Polish teacher from Wrocław with 14 years of experience describes below her project:

The project Fascinating Professions is based on children's' observations and their interests. Children are very interested in working people who they can meet in their daily life. They are especially keen on meeting people who help us (a doctor, a policeman, a fire-fighter etc.) Pre-schoolers often spontaneously roleplay being them. Children also show curiosity when they meet a post-woman or a baker on their walks around the town. The project gives the partners opportunities to gain hands-on experience and get to know some professions from a policeman to a writer. Partners share their experiences and exchange their knowledge.

The project in a very attractive way gives the children opportunities to explore their interests and environment. Pre-schoolers develop their cooperation skills among their preschool group as well as with their project partners. Children show great eagerness while sharing their project experiences with partners. At the moment the project functions online. I created online puzzles on the page “Games online”. We share games using LearningApps.org and Genial.ly, that refer to the project theme of “Fascinating Professions”. I also encouraged the preschoolers to become painters and create crazing paintings with Bomomo. I also use my skills that I gained on previous online courses to prepare online activities for the families. Additionally, I created a Padlet for the children so they can add and share their work.