Almost seventy persons, teachers, headmasters, social workers, came together for a training in Janusz-Korczak-Schule. We had planned to talk about serious behaviour problems of our students, of the borders of our possibilities to work with very challenging pupils.
But how can you deal with this important and demanding subject? With colleagues from your school you do not meet every day, of whom you hardly know their names, because our staff has become so big? We tried a creative input to stimulate conversation.
Five different kinds of sweets were put into a bag and every teacher took one piece. The teachers who got the same sweets were in one group and started the discussion. They were instructed to talk in twos or threes about an everyday topic. What was the last film you saw in cinema? What was your last holiday destination? Which kind of music do you like best? After a period of a few minutes the pairs changed and everyone could talk to another member of the group.
After this stage the groups entered the professional discussion about the topics that were the main focus of the day. For this discussion another method was used, the so called World Café. The preparatory group asked five questions to be discussed at five tables. Writable tablecloths were placed on each table so that the participants could immediately write down the results of their discussion. After about 20 minutes the group moved to another table to discuss the next question. So gradually 5 tablecloths were made, on which the results were recorded. At the end, when all teachers met again in the whole group, the answers to the questions asked were presented.
The two techniques enabled intensive discussions and valuable results. Especially the conversations with teachers you do not deal with every day were very stimulating and helpful. Both methods are excellent for achieving a result that is shared by all staff in school.