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C2 Learning/teaching/training activity  (Tukums, Letonia ~  October 9 – 14, 2017)


   We left Arad at 3 o´clock in the morning... some of us extremely stressed, others relaxed and very talkative... We stopped at Milan, where we entered the Latin atmosphere, smiling and welcoming people, sunny day and of course a strong espresso. Two hours later we took off to Riga where we were met by the punctual Linda. We did not find the sun, but we found the landscape shaped by autumn with a large array of yellow and brown hues, it was very impressive. Common landscapes, but, Latvia, was going to impress us later with its modernity.

   At 4 pm accommodated, and tired because of the long way, we crossed the street to a nearby restaurant, a place that became our dining room.


   Like any other Monday, we had breakfast and, at nine o´clock sharp, we were led by our host to the school from Tukums. We were introduced by our coordinators, nice people, relaxed and willing to find new things about the Mooodle system with the hope of solving a part of their school´s problems. We were presented the school, their educational system and the agenda of the week.

   After lunch we were presented Moodle educational platform by means of a test about Latvia. It was nice to be students again and to feel the thrill of a test.
   At 2 pm we visited the Jaunmoku castle and museum where we searched all the rooms to find Dorothy, a ghost…. The old story, a haunted castle where a pregnant nanny that took her life because of an unrequited love. Some of us saw her…. some didn´t……..we are different.



   The first day ended with a festive dinner offered by our guests at TLH where we were offered a variety of dishes, delicious and fast…




   After breakfast at nine, the bus was in front of the hotel and we were taken to school (German punctuality)
   We were presented some information about Moodle and we were invited to assist at Russian and Geography lessons. The students were given a test, they proved that they can manage, they surfed the internet for information, and they made it through. It was interesting that there were some students for the first time in school, they can move, the school being a second chance to continue their studies.

   At 10 D. Miska from Oxford University press, presented some strategies that were meant to teach students to learn more effectively, Learning to Learn, and to develop their abilities and skills. Interesting presentation. We learnt some new things ourselves.

   At 1 p.m. we visited No. 2 Tukums Primary School; we were very impressed by the material base existent there. We had fun, we took part in a music lesson, a very interactive one. We danced and sang - we had no choice… the atmosphere was so contagious…. We felt like kids again.

   Tired in the evening we went to our dining room.


   Same programme. At 9.15 we started. The Belgians were the first. They presented their school and a very different system. It is a different school, with many migrant students of various ethnic and religious backgrounds trying to integrate in Flemish society. The Croats were next and they presented the modern methods used by them in the teaching and assessment process and the way they approach special needs students.

   In the afternoon we set off to Slobenska Mansion, a magic place surrounded by the colorful autumn landscape.


   At 9.15 as usual the activities started with an incursion into the Moodle system, discovering ourselves the possibilities offered by E-Learning, digital tools Leraning Apps - a modern European educational tool.

   At 11 we visited the Tukums Special School. We were impressed by the warm welcoming of the students and teachers that even though they have deficiencies, proved to have special artistic aptitudes. They put on quite a show. We were really impressed.
    They showed us that they were really good bakers, the girls- we ate delicious cakes made by the students in the school´s kitchen.




   At noon we visited the castle where we had the nice surprise of a classical concert offered by a trio of music teachers (piano, violin, acordeon).



   Conclusions day.
  Every team suggested new strategies to prevent early school drop-out, offering a model of good practices, each of us having the possibility to see if the method can be applied in its school.

   Certificates were handled to all participants.


   The day ended with a festive dinner and a bowling game.
   We said our good-byes, looking forward to meeting them again in March, in our country


   In the morning we went by train to Riga, the capital of Latvia. We reached a city that charmed us with its mélange of old and new, a town that managed to hold on to the traditional without ignoring the modern architecture. Opera was on the sights that fascinated us with its grandeur. Next to it is the monument dedicated to the Latvian heroes that sacrificed their lives to protect their country.

   A perfect relaxing moment, was given to us by the nearby park, sadly the weather was not on our side. We tried to discover a gem of the city, The House of the Black Heads, but it was being renovated…. But we tried to find another landmark, The House with cats, no luck, and when we finally found it, we were soaking wet like …cats.


  A perfect day ends with the perfect cup of coffee, thinking of the next day, at home in Romania.