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Insights from the onsite course: eTwinning ambassadors as advocates for a whole-school approach to wellbeing

The onsite course for ambassadors took place from 18 to 20 April in Athens, Greece. The attendants gathered to attend workshops, share their experiences and actively contribute to developing plans for promoting holistic wellbeing in the eTwinning community.
Group picture from the event

TheEuropean Commission and a representative of the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports opened the event by welcoming the participants.

Electra Bada, PhD, a cultural anthropologist at the Institute of Child Health, Department of Social and Developmental Pediatrics, delivered the first keynote speech that focused on the concept of a whole-school approach to well-being. Through practical guidance and examples, attendees gained an understanding of how a holistic perspective on well-being can positively impact students, educators and the overall school community.

Stavroula Bargiota, PhD, Psychiatrist and Scientific Associate at the Medical School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki delivered the second keynote session which focused on supporting educators’ vulnerabilities and mental health. The keynote delved into the vulnerabilities faced by educators, emphasising mental health, and focused on ways to foster awareness and understanding of the challenges that impact educators’ well-being. Attendees also learned about self-care strategies.

The first day was streamed online, allowing all the ambassadors in the eTwinning community to take part in the event.

The day ended with a networking activity. Ambassadors went out into the open air to visit some symbolic sites in the area, such as the National Archaeological Museum and the monumental Athena Parthenos statue, and reflect on how to achieve well-being through Ancient Greek philosophy, mythology and gastronomy, as well as physical activities related to Greek nature and Greek culture.

The second day started with workshop sessions. Workshop leaders focused on a variety of topics, including student well-being, building resilience, and the ambassadors’ role in fostering well-being and building a supportive eTwinning community. The day ended with ‘Peer learning circles activities’. Ambassadors were invited to reflect on the notions acquired during the first two days of work and how to implement them in their own school context.

The final day kicked off with engaging presentations by the ambassadors of the earlier interactive activities. Ten groups showcased their creativity on stage, offering unique presentations infused with songs or brief theatrical acts that highlighted discussions from the networking sessions in the preceding days.

The spotlight then turned to the ambassadors themselves, as they shared their personal experiences and insights into innovation and community development. Six ambassadors representing diverse nations took centre stage, each offering valuable testimonies and best practices from their respective contexts.

The European Commission officially closed the event by thanking all participants for their contributions over the course of the three days. They commended their dedication and enthusiasm as educators, emphasising their ongoing commitment to shaping the future through the education of upcoming generations.

Quote from an ambassador:

‘Attending this event has been an incredible journey of learning and connection. Meeting fellow educators from diverse backgrounds has enriched my understanding and broadened my horizons. I’m excited to carry back home the wealth of knowledge gained here and share it with my colleagues and students, empowering them to thrive in their educational journey.’

 

Additional information

  • Education type:
    Early Childhood Education and Care
    School Education
    Vocational Education and Training
  • Target audience:
    Teacher
    Student Teacher
    Head Teacher / Principal
    Teacher Educator
  • Target audience ISCED:
    Early childhood education (ISCED 0)
    Primary education (ISCED 1)
    Lower secondary education (ISCED 2)
    Upper secondary education (ISCED 3)
    Post-secondary non-tertiary education (ISCED 4)

Tags

eTwinning community