Once upon a time…
In 2021, 19 to 21 April, we organized our one-off virtual project meeting which was organized and held in a unique way.
According to the original concept, we would have travelled to the Czech Republic where we were planning to visit many natural landmarks as well as our partner school, where we were planning on observing P.E. lessons. We had to rethink our plans for the meeting, taking into account the virtual environment. As a result of this, we decided to organize the meeting online, in real time this year.
We invited participants to a 3-day Microsoft Teams meeting where each partner country sent at least one group leader, one P.E. teacher and five students, meaning that the number of participants was between 50 and 65 people. In our group, more than one person accepted the role of the moderator, they helped team work in break out room-style channels.
Our main goal was to make up for the Czech meeting that we had to postpone, which we achieved in a playful manner with the help of our students. The group leader teachers had a virtual visit in the chatrooms, so they could take part in the team work as well. This event was a success, our students completed the challenge and we can all be proud of them. We used the Microsoft Teams platform during the online meeting. Each day we started with ice breakers and fun virtual games, for example Tic-Tac-Toe.
On the first day of the meeting, the Czech participants introduced their country, their school and the participants. AFter that, we played with ice breakers and did tongue twisters in foreign languages in the break out rooms in international groups. The rest of the day participants worked in these groups and they talked about the Olympic Games and about fair play. We closed the day with powerpoint presentations created for this occassion by each nation’s groups beforehand. These presentations were about interesting and intimate moments from their own countries’ Olympics history. We heard some really moving stories during these presentations.
On the second day, our programme was to get to know the good practices of the Czech partner school, which was introduced by the Czech P.E. teacher. After the presentation, we were interviewed two Czech professional athletes. The athmosphere of this interview was informal and friendly because the sportsment were close to the students’ age group. We continued the programme with conversations in smaller groups where students talked about the physical and mental effects of online schooling and about the advantages they experienced due to doing sports regularly in this mentally exhausting period. We talked about P.E. lessons during the COVID-19 pandemic as well.
On the third, closing day, participating students created presentations in smaller, mixed groups. We asked them to present about the things they got from this project in the past 2 (or 3) years. The title of this presentation was Two Years to Me in P.E.A.L.S. and the end products were fantastic. According to the students, working together was inspiring, effective and fun. The programme ended with a kahoot which was really enjoyable for the students. The team leaders and the participating teachers ended the meeting formally with a management meeting.