The main goal of It’s up to me it’s to give young trainers all the necessary skills they will need in their work: team management, conflict resolution, communicational skills… For this fifth edition, we decided to maintain a regular “diary” of what was happening during the project so those who haven’t been able to assist can have access to the day to day summary of what the project looked like and what the participants were learning during every session.
Today was the first day of our training course “It’s up to me 5”. After getting to know each other, name games, and security measures, the attention was shifted to the main goals of the day: setting fears, expectations and contributions, Erasmus+ and Youthpass, team dynamics, and the trainer’s competency model.
After that, the participants were divided into groups and the main objective of the day was transforming those groups into teams. It’s a tricky thing to be introduced into a group of strangers and get that group to become a team, for this you need to build trust, and that usually takes time, which participants don’t have in this specific scenario. That’s why the groups were asked to participate in some trust building exercises. Some of the participants did, some didn’t. Both options are perfectly fine, something that our trainers kept expressing. It takes a lot of courage to do a trust fall with a bunch of people you just met, but it may take even more courage to say “no” when everyone else is doing it.
Finally, the participants were introduced to the competences of a trainer adopted by the European Commission, and the concepts of self-assessment and self directed learning. At the end of the day, the goal of this project is to help the participants become better trainers and to do that you have to know your starting point and where you want to go from there.
In the begining of the first session our teams chose their names and worked on building the team’s identity: a slogan, a shout, a logo… Creating something that gave the members of the group a sense of belonging and made them unique and recognizable for the others.
They continued with the a theory about the 4 basic needs of the human being . The mind wants to learn, the heart wants to love, the body wants to live and the spirit wants to leave a legacy. As a leader you should keep this in mind, and satisfy all these needs to keep the team and every individual motivated.
In the afternoon a discussion about the methods and tools that can be used in workshops took place. Our participants were introduced to the ways of learning and the phenomenoms that can happen during a learning process. Is your workshop going to be learner centered or content centered? Do you want your audience to experience age regression or age progression? Taking this into consideration will help you achieve your expected outcome and take your audience on the “journey” you want.
This morning session was about developing the participants’ public speaking and presentation skills. They were divided in 4 smaller groups, each one facilitated by one of our trainers, and were given the task to prepare a 3 minutes speech on a topic that was randomly given to them. After each delivery the participants got feedback from the trainer and the rest of the group. The objective of this workshop as for them to realise their strengths and be aware of the details that they can still work on. Each group selected one of its members to deliver the speech in front of the whole group.
In the afternoon, again divided into smaller groups, the participants had the chance put their self-expression abilities to test. They were debating in teams against each other and the trainers facilitating the debates gave them feedback afterwards. After that the whole group gathered in the seminar group and they reflected on their feelings, experience and learning outcomes.
The day ended with participants watching and analysing some powerful speeches that can serve them as inspiration and from which they can extract some useful tips and tricks.
Our participants have been given a lot of new information in the last few days, so yesterday’s agenda was a bit more relaxed, this way they had some time to assimilate all the knowledge they are absorbing.
During the morning they worked on their listening skills. By this one can’t only understand listening to each other, it also implies listening to the room, the environment and oneself. After this, they had a free afternoon to go to explore the city of Bremen.
But… this is “It’s up to me” so of course, they could not be so relaxed the WHOLE day. That’s why after dinner, when everyone was chilling out, the trainers called participants for a surprise workshop on crisis management. During this workshop the trainers and the logistic team let their acting skills shine in a role-playing exercise where they recreated one of the possible crisis that could take place during an Erasmus+ projects, and the participants had to make fast decisions on how to manage the challenge.
Even though it was an edgy situation for some, participants must be aware that unpredictable situations sometimes do happen, and as trainers, they are going to need to be ready and able to react at any given moment.
This morning the participants worked on non-verbal communication and body language. They learned how big of an impact this has on how we perceive others and others perceive us. They explored the concept of collaborative drawing as a tool of non-verbal communication, how to speak with another person through a more creative process.
The afternoon sessions were focused on how to design creative workshops, the steps on how to design an educational program starting from the very beginning (choose one of the burning issues in society that needs to be addressed) all the way down to the final evaluation.
They continued into future projects workshop which was an open space method where they have discussed new project ideas with their peers. Every participant proposed their own topics they would like to debate and work with and then they explored the subjects in smaller groups.
Last day before the participants have to deliver their workshop!
This morning session was focused on team management. Each trainer was sitting at a table and participants were free to go to any or all of the tables to ask different questions about how each trainer deals with different team management issues. It was done in this way because our trainers have very different backgrounds and approaches, and the participants could get a glimpse of all of them and choose the ones they agree with and learn which one they don’t resonate with.
The afternoon workshop was about personal and professional goal setting using The Wheel of life as a method. This consist of dividing a circle into sectors representing the different areas of a personal life (family, romantic relations, health, money…) and then grading your level of satisfaction in each of them. The following step is doing the same thing but with how you would like them to be.
After that, the participants had time to work with their teams on their workshops for tomorrow, and some of them ended up staying up until 03:00 am to make sure every detail was taken care of.
Finally. The day when the participants got the chance to deliver their workshops. During the whole morning, each team conducted a 45 mins session in front of the group and the trainers. After each workshop the teams received thorough feedback from the trainers, pointing their strengths and advising them how to improve and polish some details that they still need to work on. In the afternoon they discussed how to take the learning to the next step.
During this week the participants got so much new information, tips, advice, perspectives… that now need to be put into practice. This session gave some of the participants new energy to keep fighting to achieve their dreams.
And in the evening we finalized the program with the closing ceremony. After handing out the Youthpasses, everyone got the chance to share what they desired with the group (the whole group this time: participants, trainers, logistics, support…). The room got filled with appreciation, gratitude, hope and so much intensity and emotion it is difficult to describe.
However, the good thing about “It’s up to me” is that this is not the end! Part of the project consists of 12 months of mentoring after the end of the training course. Participants had the chance to choose a mentor among the trainers who will be there to continue guiding and helping them in the next year.
My world, my dedication, my past, my happiness, my relationships, my learning, my chances, my choices, my love, my friends, my present, my work, my success, my future, my career, my attitudes, my passion, my actions, my expectations, my life. Every single day. It’s up to me.
This project was financed by the Erasmus+ program and Jugend für Europa.