An ENABLE workshop has been organised at the eTwinning conference on 22-24 October in Brussels. eTwinning is the community for schools in Europe and offers a free and safe platform for teachers to connect, develop collaborative projects and share ideas.
More than 500 teachers, school heads and educators from 41 countries in Europe and beyond got together in the eTwinning conference with fifty-five workshops, a wide range of networking activities and two keynote speeches to explore how eTwinning has contributed to changing education in Europe.
The ENABLE workshop gathered over 45 enthusiastic teachers, willing to learn more about social and emotional learning and anti-bullying approaches.
Ken Corish from UK Safer Internet Centre covered the fascinating topic of the shifting perspectives of bullying in schools across Europe. The aim of the workshop was to give an overview on how ENABLE is contributing to the elimination of bullying as well as giving students the emotional tools they need to ensure that they are not a victim of bullying or even be a bully themselves.
We learnt how complex the matter is. It is not simply a bully and victim scenario. There is a wider social dynamic of audience, witnesses and a whole host of factors that young people must navigate to avoid bully situations. For example, if you passively watch a bullying act are you contributing to the act through your non action?
Children must learn a skillset, a vocabulary and a strategy to stay out of physical and psychological harm and also ensure that they are not the one issuing such mental and actual pain. In many cases bullies are not aware of the misery they are inflicting on those around them.
Children can help built social and emotional resilience through four building blocks, which we explored through group work activities:
- Self-awareness: do I recognise my own emotions and feelings?
- Social awareness: do I recognise the feelings and emotions of those around me?
- Self-management: can I manage my feelings and change them?
- Relationship management: can I influence others around me?
For instance, regarding block 1, we explored tools like Mood Meter in order to be able to track emotions over a period of time. As Ken Corish said “Hanging a little bit of Maths to emotions really help“.
These emotional intelligence skills become vital as they grow into adults and have to deal with bullying in the wider world beyond the playground.
Thankfully, these are all skills that can be taught and a with the help of the ENABLE project and the teaching aids soon to be published is something that will find its way into the classroom.