Why Do We Need “Job Shadowing” Experience?

JOB SHADOWING

Suzana Poljak and Kristina Matika Ferrara

After a lot of courses they had taken part in, the teachers in Primary school Juraj Dobrila from Rovinj have decided to take another step in their professional development and applied a new project called “The 5i SCHOOL: Imagination, Idea, Inspiration, Innovation, Implementation” (financed by the Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes). The headmaster and 14 teachers are going to different European schools in order to experience “job shadowing” mobilities. The aim is to get acquainted with different education systems, to follow their colleagues´ work and exchange their experiences with them, to acquire new teaching methods and to make new contacts for the future cooperation. 

The first mobility was done in November 2019 by two foreign language teachers. They spent ten days in “Skola Podstawowa z Oddzialami Integracyjnymi nr 4 im. E.J. Jerzmanowskiego w Wielicze” in Poland. They attended English and German lessons, presented their school, town and country, and communicated with teachers and students.  

As the school in Poland is an integrated one which means there are students with special needs, our teachers had the opportunity to experience “biofeedback” method which provides an individual to learn how to change physiological activity in order to improve some functions. They also saw the way dogs are used to help children with special needs which was very emotional.

Exchanging experiences with Polish colleagues, our teachers have returned home with new knowledge and ideas for their lessons which are not very different or revolutionising, but this way of learning, where teachers who work in different environments learn from each other, gives an exceptional benefit in everyday life. It is interesting to enter the classroom in different surroundings from your own, to listen to something so familiar, but still somehow different. A new idea for a lesson is always welcomed. Then, to list their books, to see their way of evaluating the students, to compare the level of language competencies, to check on the use of modern technology…there are numerous things to list. 

And, it is not important that the view from the window is different, nor that you are miles from home – you feel at home in the classroom.

We are European citizens and, though proud of our own country, we are aware of the importance to think “outside of our borders”. That is the reason we travel and meet other nations and cultures. Learning foreign languages is the means to communicate wherever we are. And it is exactly what we teach our children. We want them to build better future. 

Teachers have a big responsibility and task to show the students the importance of lifelong learning, and personal and professional development. That is the reason “job shadowing” is useful – we exchange our experiences, and learn from each other, so we bring something new and fresh into our classrooms. The students recognize it and they are looking forward to the stories about their peers from other countries. 

So, we want to conclude this article with the statement that Erasmus+ is important and useful.