After the completed sixth session of education, the participants took some time to fulfill the “positive flower” – every participant got a flower. Into the middle of it, he wrote his name. Then, the flowers circled and every participant wrote a characteristic, which he appreciates in the owner of the flower, in the flower petal. Thus, everybody got his “positive flower” back at the end. The participants liked this exercise because they realized how the other members of the group see them. They thanked each other for positive thoughts.
In the end, we made a short reflection of the past three months at the end with the participants, how they experienced education within the framework of the REC project, what they learned, where they see the usefulness of the acquired skills and knowledge, etc.
The participants in all the groups pointed out that together we managed to establish a pleasant and confidential atmosphere which enriched the meetings in a special way. Friendly ties began to emerge between the people which had not existed before. This was especially important, as we heard a coworker’s life story within the educational program which we did not know. With every meeting, the trust among the participants increased. The debate was increasingly more relaxed and together we were looking for the solutions for certain situations and discovered that in life and at work similar problems affect us. However, we are different in a way how we tackle the problems.
The teachers told that they found the techniques of personal growth very useful. If they know themselves, their emotions, and responses to emotions, they understand students and their parents, and the people, which they are in any kind of relationship with, more easily. One of the teachers said that in the course of education she received the confirmation that it was right that she took more time with her students and performed exercises to develop relational and emotional competencies and that it was very encouraging to her that in the process she was not alone and that at least the coworkers from the group supported her. The other teacher concluded the sense of our education very nicely: “Let us not forget… that what we give to our children, students, friends, and the family… we will receive that back.”
All the participants agreed that it is the hardest to work on themselves. The latter is the work which is never finished. However, a relaxed time of summer is in front of us when the moments, thoughts, and new knowledge acquired within the framework of the REC project will land in our hearts and every one of us will be able to become connected with oneself. Thus, we shall start the new school year relationally and emotionally much more competent.
Dr. Marina Volk