Twinning is linking one school with another with the aim of promoting health and sharing ideas and good practice examples. Working together with other schools across the European region is fun and a great learning experience - read the following example, written by Lynda Lattke, PhD student and SHE research group member.
Hello! Здраво! Ciao!
As a parent of a 12-year old and as a PhD student researching various ways for schools to acquire social-emotional skills, I was ready for this experience. Thanks to SHE's Twinning project and to the SHE secretariat's guidance, in late March 2021, my son’s middle school class in Turin (Northern Italy) was teamed up with another class in Skopje (North Macedonia).
Our logistical team, composed of two teachers and a parent/moderator (me) on one side and of the school director, the psychologist and a teacher on the other, started off with a virtual handshake. This allowed us to share how we envisioned the project and agree on what was possible given the short amount of time before the end of the school year.
As a result, we suggested to our forty 12/13 year-old students to create ID cards in which they described themselves including their favourite foods and places. Students prepared powerpoint presentations and even 2-minute videos in which they became the main actors; this material was then shared via a common drive which allowed them to prepare questions to ask one another on the day they finally met online.
Two more logistical meetings took place so we could check on the process and make sure we could find answers to any questions we may have had along the way.
Just short of one week before the end of school, students finally met online! Using English as the main language and with some translation assistance every so often, the meeting was moderated by a student on each side, who then explained how the school system worked in their countries. After students introduced themselves one by one, they spent more time sharing the topics that most interested them: language and music. The meeting was then wrapped up having hoped for a second one: they really enjoyed sharing with people their own age who come from another country.
We realized the twinning project also offered teachers an alternative way for their students to learn about their subjects, in this case, Geography and English. After this experience, I look forward to promoting the twinning experience for many other classes: I really believe it is a great opportunity to strengthen understanding and inclusion, values that are very much needed in the world we live in.