Estonian partners of From a Rookie to an Expert project from Kuressaare Ametikool had interesting interviews with experienced teachers and project managers from several VET schools.
Following benefits for the teachers who are professionally active in international activities came out: taking part of projects gives you positive emotions and new friends. You become a better teacher and it widens your perspective. It helps you to nurture student’s motivation and perspective for their speciality. You familiarize yourself to new teaching methods. It helps you understand what’s important and sometimes how well you’re doing. In addition to that drinking wine was mentioned.
To the contrary, bringing new staff members into Internationalization involves also challenges: it’s hard to participate without adequate language skills. Still, with careful mentoring it can be overcome, language can be improved on the go. There are success stories to prove that. There is always time/money issue when the teacher is overwhelmed with classes.
Or interviewees said that soft social skills are even more important than language in order to be successful in internationalization. These are open-mindedness, flexibility, communication and other interpersonal skills. And of course, willingness and motivation are most important.
There has been some positive feedback from different VET schools in Estonia to the project. We hope that the upcoming VET staff members career model of internationalization will help to clarify more the different ways and possibilities on how to be internationally active. To be a source of motivation and inspiration.