Erasmus+ is the beginning of it all! For those who have never given it a try, it may be a dream to achieve in the future. For those who are involved in it, Erasmus+ is quality education for the 21st century. Personally, I find this fantastic programme like magic powder spread over my teaching.
In the summer of 2022, „Zinca Golescu” National College starts a new session of training activities within the Erasmus+ Program, Key Action 1, School Education, number 2021-1-RO01-KA121-SCH-000019456. On 17.06.2022, we started new informational discoveries on the territory of Turkey through a job shadowing activity regarding the career guidance strategy for students. And where did we find the door open for a new collaboration in the educational field? Canik Karsıyaka Anadolu Lisesi from Samsun, Turkey, an older partner school in the Comenius project “Young entrepreneurs step-by-step” which I coordinated at Dacia Technological High School between 2012 and 2014. So, a partner who became a friend opens the doors for me to research another field of common interest due to the cooperation with Elif Giral, English teacher.
The main purpose of the observation internship, for which I received funding from the European Commission, through A.N.P.C.D.E.F.P., was to learn about the career guidance process for students, implemented at the partner school level, but also to become familiar with the efforts of the Turkish Ministry of Education to offer students a clearer professional orientation. The program included a series of face-to-face meetings with different key factors in the high school, who are responsible for identifying all the steps that need to be taken to ensure that the student is able to make the best career choice.
It was a real joy to walk my steps again in the hallways of my partner school, to startle with joy at every corner that I recognized, to feel the excitement flood me when meeting the teaching staff with whom I had collaborated in the past and with whom I exchange professional experiences about how each of our high schools helps students to discover and develop for the best possible integration into the labor market.
The discussions with the representatives of the institutional management, the debates with those responsible for the establishment of local/ regional/ national/ international school partnerships, the round tables with the leading teachers, the seminar on the career guidance of students organized by the school counselor, the debate on the approach to career guidance in the Turkish educational system and Romanian one, the field trip carried out in the host city to identify academic and labor market opportunities, together with the numerous informal interactions with fellow partners led to my professional and personal enrichment with a diversified range of hard and soft skills which have the gift of polishing me like a diamond waiting to get an extra gram of shine. And when I say shine, I mean all the extra knowledge I will transfer into my professional environment to give my students a better chance to make the best career choices.
Of course, the conclusions of the whole Erasmus experience were scored at the end of the job shadowing in a final meeting. Even though we live under the impression that other education systems offer more support to teachers and students, my observation placement in Turkey revealed more similarities in the approach to student career guidance than differences. If the local/ regional/ national/ international partnerships, the involvement of the form teachers and the school counselor are equally valued in both partner countries, the strength of the host high school is the annual research of the students’ interests, but especially of their skills, the correlation of the results of the questionnaires with the types of institutional partnerships for the year to come and the encouragement of internships at partner economic agents. What may seem like a drop in the ocean or a small discovery offered by this job shadowing meant to observe the national and institutional career guidance strategy in Turkey, for me it primarily represents an added value through the lens of the European experience facilitated by the Erasmus+ Program , but also more knowledge, more confidence in the personal ability to transfer various good practices into my teaching process, a higher ability to guide students on the path of insertion in the labor market, an increased ability to disseminate and last but not least, a personal fulfillment generated by strengthened friendships with counterparts from the partner school.
My participation in the job shadowing activity organized at Canik Karsıyaka Anadolu Lisesi in Samsun, Turkey was realized with the financial support of the European Commission within the Erasmus + Program. The information presented is the sole responsibility of the author of the article, and the European Commission and the National Agency in the Field of Education and Professional Training are not responsible for the way in which the content of this information is used.