Lviv Weekend of Isles' of Progress Representatives

On a sunny Saturday morning, 40 of the most active educators gathered for the "Isles of Progress" coordinators' training and joining the creation of Isles of Progress in their educational institutions, supporting the initiative of the NGO "Progresylni"
Oksana Chub
Head of the «Perspektyva» employment assistance department at KNEU named after Vadym Hetman
Once again, Lviv became the meeting place. Educators arrived from various cities, towns, and villages: Kyiv, Odesa, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Vinnytsia, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kryvyi Rih, Poltava, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Irpin, Uman, Kamianske, Tatarbunary, Bohorodchany, Kulykiv, Rudne and Horbanivka.
The offline events of "Progresylni," according to participant feedback, are always an incredible drive and friendly atmosphere. The training on May 18th, 2024, wasn't exception. Moreover, when the most active people gathered, small changes were made to the program, including taking a group photo at the beginning of the event.
The training continued as planned, starting with a welcome speech of the NGO "Progresylni" founder Bohdan FERENS, who thanked the Friedrich Ebert Foundation for support of the event, without which it would not have taken place.
Following the training rules, participants first of all discussed and established their own rules for group interaction:

– Maintain quality communication;
– Switch phones to silent mode;
– Adhere to the schedule;
– Work as one team under the principle attributed to the French philosopher Voltaire: "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it";
– Stay positive.
The training aimed at further planning, selecting quality tools, team building, and analyzing strengths and weaknesses.

Yevheniya SHELEST, the organizational development coordinator of NGO "Progresylni," shared the history of the "Isles of Progress" idea, its current status, and the results of the initiative's first year.
It is worth noting that much more was achieved over the year than initially planned. The latest event organized by the "Isles" representatives was the advanced training course "Progressive Teaching: Intensive from the Isles," which received 677 registrations, 15 presentations, and 17 speakers.
Another saying worth mentioning is that in diversity lies our wealth, and in unity lies our strength. Over the year, 44 memorandums were signed with educational institutions to create "Isles" on their bases, and this is not the end, as new applications are already coming in.

The training continued with the classic structure, moving on to getting to know the coordinators according to the following algorithm:

1. Who am I? Briefly about yourself.
2. How can I be helpful?
3. A bit personal.

Participants were reminded of the importance of the introduction stage at the beginning of the training, which helps "break the ice" and improves group interaction.
Strengths and weaknesses were measured using the question: "Where is our center?" The analysis of the "Isles of Progress" strengths showed that the real strength lies in informal communication and extensive coverage, team experience, contacts with those in the EU, proactivity, values, independence, formats, resources, membership, and engagement with the Islands.

Weaknesses: passive colleagues, lack of resources, weak student engagement, formalism, vagueness, lack of time, security situation due to the war, and bureaucracy in the educational institution.
Additionally, opportunities from the "Isles of Progress" activities in educational institutions include maintaining a focus on education, attracting additional funding, the snowball effect, learning, and development.

The communications team shared life hacks and secrets of effective promotion of the Isles. They discussed the importance of communication, the components of quality promotion, and the requirements for post texts. At the end, they prepared a small practical task to consolidate the theoretical material, which involved posting an interesting update or reel about the event. The winner, based on the number of likes, was Andriy STAKHOV, Deputy Director for Educational Work at the Odesa Professional Pedagogical College.
Tetiana KONOVALENKO gave a practical task and recommendations on how to enhance the capacity of the Isles and draft grant applications. By May 31st, group members are to meet in various ways and finalize the grant application on a chosen topic.

Natalia SHEVCHENKO covered the topic of public talks for educators or how to be heard through local initiatives at the national level. She emphasized the important components of an announcement, which should answer the questions "when?", "where?", and "what?". She also highlighted the importance of reminding about the event and checking the registration form's functionality at different times. Additionally, she stressed the importance of maintaining communication with participants after the event. She also assigned homework for the participants: to hold an event from the Island by September 15 in a convenient format (either offline or online).

During practical tasks, the "Isles of Progress" coordinators discussed topics for joint events and identified the following:

– TOP-10 motivation methods for ...!
– Different problems, one solution - PROGRESSYLNI.
– Restoring educators' internal resources
Bohdan FERENS delivered the final remarks to summarize and emphasize the tasks that coordinators need to accomplish soon. He reminded that in today's space, a brand is formed through social networks, i.e., through public positioning, and recommended that on Monday, they review their social media profiles. He advised updating profile pictures if needed, mentioning cooperation with NGO "Progresylni," or stating their position as a coordinator of the "Isle of Progress."

He also recommended holding in-person meetings at least once a month to support the team. This means making "Isle" meetings regular and participating in NGO "Progresylni" events, which are beneficial for educators. To achieve this, events that are useful for the team or university colleagues can be organized, all possible processes should be unified, short, and clear instructions should be developed, and self-presentation should be remembered.
In summary, it was agreed that the first assessment of the "Isles" activities will take place in December 2024. Soon, coordinators are encouraged to meet with their teams, define and assign roles, complete a meeting report form, and launch a nationwide campaign by the end of November in the form of a public discussion "Resilience in Education: The Role of Progresylni" with the involvement of local authorities, employers, or in the form of a master class with practitioners. Additionally, training participants proposed conducting a survey on the topic "Who Wins? Educators or Bureaucracy?" to identify issues related to filling out numerous reports, journals, questionnaires, and other unclear papers.
Finally, the organizing team congratulated the head of NGO "Progresylni" with a personalized gift. Now, if Bohdan forgets his last name due to work overload, he can remember it by looking at the cap with his name on it.
Did you like this article?