The training was part of a large-scale European project for the dissemination of best practices created by innovative teachers
Teachers and principals from 18 schools from different parts of Bulgaria got together on Feb 8/9 in Plovdiv and on Feb 22/23 in Veliko Tarnovo to share experience and hone their teaching skills. The training is part of the European project FIERST whose goal is to disseminate best practices for inclusive education through the development of 21-st century skills in the classroom and the establishment of professional learning communities at school. The partner organizations from Bulgaria are Teach For Bulgaria, the Ministry of Education and Science, and New Bulgarian University. The Bulgarian Union of Teachers is an associated partner.
All schools, selected to participate in this phase of the project, attended the training. As part of FIERST, their teams are learning how to create professional communities at school and how to teach 21-st century skills in the classroom. Each school has to pick one skill and focus on developing it throughout the school year. At the end of the school year teachers and principals from all partner schools will have the opportunity to share their results with a wide audience of colleagues and experts at a special event.
The project trainers are Teach For Bulgaria alumni. They all have teaching experience and expert knowledge acquired in a variety of educational institutions and organizations. Besides participating in such trainings, partner schools are also supported by Teach For Bulgaria coordinators throughout the school year.
“We introduced this project in Bulgaria in order to encourage more teachers to address the needs of their students, especially those from vulnerable communities, by using contemporary methods of teaching. Professional communities of practice are a key element in this process and give teachers a platform to share their challenges and solutions, to work together, and to implement best practices in order to improve their classrooms,” shared Ivelina Pashova, Head of Training at Teach For Bulgaria.
Here is a list of the 18 schools in this year’s phase of the project:
- Secondary School “St. Cyril and St. Methodius”, Garmen, Blagoevgrad
- “St. Kliment Ohridski” School, Debren, Blagoevgrad
- Secondary School “Hristo Botev”, Kozloduy
- Professional Vocational High School for Management and Food Technology, Pleven
- Primary School “Anton Strashimirov”, Bohot, Pleven
- Primary School “Hristo Botev”, Pelishat, Pleven
- Secondary School “Lyuben Karavelov”, Plovdiv
- Primary School “Geo Milev”, Belozem, Plovdiv
- Primary School “St. Paisii Hilendarski”, Ezerche, Razgrad
- Secondary School “Hristo Botev”, Kubrat, Razgrad
- Primary School “Mitropolit Avksentii Veleshki”, Samokov
- Primary School “Stanislav Dospevski”, Samokov
- Primary School “Peyo Kracholov Yavorov”, Gyovren, Smolyan
- 106 Primary School “Grogorii Tsamblak”, Sofia
- “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” School, Razhena, Stara Zagora
- First Primary School “Georgi Bakalov”, Stara Zagora
- Secondary School “Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov”, Venets, Shumen
- Primary School “St. Cyril and St. Methodius”, Tsarev Brod, Shumen
FIERST is a 3-year, Erasmus +, Key Action 3 project which is implemented in 5 European countries – Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, the UK, and Sweden. The project is currently in its second phase; over 80 teachers from 8 schools participated in the first phase of FIERST last year. They received training and professional support as they established school-level professional learning communities. One of the key conclusions at the end of the year was that sharing best practices and exchanging teaching resources were exceptionally crucial for teachers. You can read more about the results of the first year of the project here.
Take a look at some photos from the trainings in Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo:
Photographers: Ilia Dimitrov and Daniel Yordanov