The “path of knowledge”, traveled together with the students of Bilbor Secondary School
The meeting at the Secondary School “O.C. Tăslăuanu” Bilbor, within Activity 3.5 – Provision of health, hygiene and nutrition education for children and young people at risk of dropping out of school and/or learning and psycho-behavioral difficulties
My educational experience (Lect. dr. Monica TURTUREAN) augmented through my participation as a trainer-expert providing health education in the project „Integrated children and youth for a better world”, financed by the call “Inclusive education for children and young people at risk” and implemented within the Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Enhanced Roma Inclusion Programme.
I was greeted with many smiles and good cheer at the Secondary School “O.C. Tăslăuanu” Bilbor (Harghita county), where I met a group of curious students eager to learn new things. They welcomed me as if we had known each other forever, I felt a lot of warmth and a feeling of well-being in their souls.
We started with an ice-breaking exercise, where everyone had to introduce themselves and say three attributes about him/herself, then three characteristics of the bank colleague. They responded promptly to both requirements without feeling inhibited or embarrassed at all. Moreover, they knew their colleagues very well, which gave me the impression that there was good communication between them. After this exercise, I moved on to discussing why we were meeting, asking them to engage in all the activities I proposed. We had a unanimous YES.
I handed out worksheets that included information related to body hygiene, home hygiene, physical health, school and playground/park safety. Some applications were individual, others involved teamwork; I was pleasantly impressed by their naturalness, but also by the spirit of solidarity, of helping each other: they lent their carios and colors to each other, they politely waited for their turn to use the coloring tools, there was no envy and malice, only the desire to respond and to be appreciated. They were grateful when I gave them the long-awaited feedback (“Very good!, Bravooo!!!, Wow, what a nice answer!!!”) and they couldn’t wait to see the next exercises.
The atmosphere was very relaxed, engaging, and my discreet interventions had the role of stimulating the discussion. Questions related to hygiene and healthy eating wanted to be answered as fully as possible, and the students had a great need to feel validated throughout our meeting; we took care of this aspect, which was by no means free, but was a consequence of their involvement, of the fact that they responded with interest. They constantly had their hands raised, they found new explanations for everything I asked, they looked with great interest for other examples than those provided by me to show me that they know, that they master a lot of information, but also because that’s how they saw learning, as a total involvement, no mean lines and no raising of the tone.
In the next stage I showed them two short films in which they had to identify what the children were doing wrong. With great interest and innocent pride, they responded very well to this task, being extremely happy that they managed to identify all the mistakes, thanks to the knowledge about hygiene and health accumulated previously.
In the third stage, they proposed a healthy menu that included three main meals and two snacks (an application that they made quickly, with a lot of enthusiasm and with the certainty that they did a good job), including information about calories – which required internet access on the phone.
At the end of the day, I made a synthesis of what was discussed, to fix the notions better and to make sure that they understood it (constructive feedback). I was pleasantly surprised to find that the students had absorbed all the information, and I no longer needed to come up with new explanations.
As a conclusion, this activity filled my soul with beauty, with positive emotions because I connected with innocent young people, full of energy, eager to learn new things, constructive receptive to everything.
Lector univ. dr. Monica Turturean
 Monica TURTUREAN is Lecturer at the Psychopedagogical Department of the Faculty of Educational Sciences, “Ștefan cel Mare” University in Suceava, with over 12 years of experience; teaches subjects such as: Educational Psychology, Intercultural Education, Curriculum Theory and Methodology , Theory and methodology of training, Theory and methodology of evaluation. http://www.dppd.usv.ro/dppd2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=16