Some of our eTwinning UK ambassadors share what being part of the eTwinning community has meant to them – both in their professional and personal lives across 10 years.
“I registered on the eTwinning portal on 6th Jan 2006, about 9 years ago.
My Head had given me the time and space to start developing internationalism at the school and I immediately registered as I’d been to an eTwinning session in Waltham Forest the half term before and came back all enthused! That started a very long journey for me, both professional and personal, to a place where I am now supporting and training others to develop international and global learning in a regional, national and EU capacity. I even did an M.A. in Education focussing on the development of a global curriculum along the way! Who’d have thought it.My most enduring memories are of eTwinning people who have become lifelong friends and colleagues- I won’t name you all!- these are both in the UK and globally. The British Council team have always been a great support and I count them in this category, too. How something so small as attending a workshop can change your life is something I often ponder- but I am so glad I did.eTwinning in my opinion is the simplest and most fuss free way to make that first step on a journey for you, your school and your pupils. I’d say without any hesitation that if you’re not in it, you are missing out! I’ve learnt so very much. I was trying to avoid getting all gushy- but it is genuinely felt.Thank you eTwinning- looking forward to another ten years! Congratulations, all”.
“Happy Birthday eTwinning! eTwinning has inspired and re-energised so many teachers, which has had an incredible impact on their students! It opens eyes, minds and even doors! eTwinning brings sunshine into school!”
“I can see that colleagues/friends share the same enthusiasm and gratitude for the window(s) of endless opportunities eTwinning has opened to us all throughout the years! From learning, sharing, collaborating, many pupils/teachers have benefitted and many solid friendships have been forged! Our eTwinning family is a very special one. All through my illness last year this very special family supported me, kept me smiling and looking forward! I will never forget it! Thank you, eTwinning:-) Maybe I will sing a special song for the occasion…”
“Although it was 2007 before I discovered eTwinning, it has been a very big part of my teaching life since then. It has given me the confidence to try new things, work with colleagues from all over Europe, carry out some fantastic work through the projects I have either been involved in or led, and allowed my various pupils to learn about new technologies and Europe in highly innovative ways.
In terms of the network of teachers here in the UK, you guys have been inspirational to me in so many ways. Workshops at various events have demonstrated new ways of working that I had never thought of previously.And the network of friends I have developed over the years across Europe has allowed me (and my family) to develop many new friendships, and allowed us to visit lots of these colleagues whilst on our holidays in various countries! Can you even believe that a group of more than 20 of the Schoolovision partners met up for a long weekend with partners and families in Prague in August 2013 that I organised, with us all staying in the same hotel that the 2009 European Conference had been held in.I have much to thank eTwinning for… it has been such an amazing journey!”
“I started using eTwinning when I was only an NQT and it has enabled me to meet more experienced MFL teachers in the UK as well as enthuse my students to use MFL in more relevant contexts. For many of them, this was the first time they had contact with someone outside the UK. It helped break barriers of clichés and nasty feelings about ‘foreigners’ and/or languages. As a teacher, I have a lot along the way, by taking part in eTwinning conferences and CPD workshops. It has also pushed me to use IT in a more creative way and to try new things. I have made great friends and it is always a pleasure to meet them again every year!”
“eTwinning has been the best initiative I have ever joined. I developed professionally so much and met some many supportive friends along the way. This year to celebrate the 10th anniversary I am working with a new eTwinner in France and Germany on a Latin project, mixing classics and new technology, being inspired to meet the challenge last year. I’m also working alongside colleagues in the primary schools I’m in 2 days a week. So far one Christmas project completed, 1 colleague excited, another project starting next week. Thank you all for being such an inspiration. Who would have thought it 8 years ago when I joined :)”
“Before eTwinning I thought that international education was the preserve of modern languages teachers and primary but soon learned the cross curricular nature of it and have been hooked ever since! All ages of staff can be involved – never too young and never too old!!”“eTwinning has been a fantastic part of my international life and it has enthused, encouraged and connected students across the globe in a way that nothing else can. It is hard to imagine there was a time without eTwinning and I cannot praise it highly enough. [I’ve] just returned from an Erasmus visit and eTwinning was high on the agenda to get everyone in the project on board, so roll on the next 10 years!”
“It is a great pleasure and privilege to be part of this amazing family of likeminded people from across Europe. I have met all sorts of inspirational colleagues and formed so many friendships all thanks to Susan and her superb team in the UK and the wider eTwinning community. Thank you making me part of this and happy 10th birthday!”
“I have had the most fun and learnt from the best through my involvement with eTwinning. To celebrate this special year I am working with my very first partner in France from 2006 and am also participating in an Erasmus+ project. I have made amazing friends and know I can always call on them for help and support. [I’m] so pleased to be part of this wonderful group.”
eTwinning has been such a significant force in all our lives these last ten years and of course in the educational experience of so many students and their teachers. This message is sent to everyone from snowy Tallinn where Nick and I are waiting for Pasi, our great eTwinning partner and dear friend who is about to arrive from Helsinki on the boat. We will toast the first years of eTwinning tonight. Great memories too of the eTwinning band in Seville – a repeat performance at the next European Conference would be brilliant.
“I have been with eTwinning from the start since 2005 and made so many friends including walking group with Michael and dearest Sharon who I will see in February! I am very thankful for learning so muchIclal Lawrence about European countries through projects which made learning fun”.
“It’s very hard to overemphasize just how much eTwinning has opened my eyes along with those of many others across the world of education as to the vast potential that is offered in terms of improved teaching methodology, interchange of ideas and practices: innovation is writ large with the sky the limit. Congratulations – onward and upward.”
“I am so pleased to be a part of this fantastic family. eTwinning has been such an invaluable tool for me over the past few years and I am transferring its benefits to my new school and pupils.”
“Absolutely super to be 10 years old … again! eTwinning is such a great family and long may I be able to participate. I am delighted with all the developments, particularly the opportunity to develop links between schools within your own country! ‘Along the A47’ is flourishing between Mayflower PS (Leicester), Marsh St James PS (West Norfolk) and Friday Bridge PS (North Cambridgeshire)! 🙂 I reckon that my eTwinning journey must as extensive as Lisa’s. I cannot be as precise about the date, but I was working at Wells-next-the-Sea Primary and Nursery School in Norfolk. Having won a UK eTwinning Award with our ‘Red Balloon’ project, all classes were named after a European country and I know they continue this today. I moved on to Burnham Market Primary School – eTwinning came with me. I attended that amazing Viking workshop with UK and Swedish teachers took place (Paddy will remember!). Again, I was lucky enough to win another UK eTwinning Award with the ‘Erik the Viking’ story. As moved around, leading schools out of special measures, eTwinning came with me. Even 40 pupil Walsingham Primary School became involved. I have attended eTwinning workshops nationally and internationally, where I especially remember meeting Fatima. Now I have retired from headships and am semi-retired, eTwinning is a constant at my side. Marshland St James Primary School and Friday Bridge Primary School are beginning to see the benefits – children and school communities can celebrate similarities and differences, benefiting from the wonders of new technology. Long my association with eTwinning continue – so many friends made, so many places visited! :)”
I’ve been with eTwinning since 2011, not too long but I’ve learnt so much! I remember my beginning, when after planning my project I couldn’t even start because the initiative was so new, to my and similar settings, so the access to etwinning.net was denied on the computers at work. It took me six months to convince IT team that it is safe to use it!!! When I think about it now, it brings smile to my face but it was a battle (if not war:-)). I won:-)I work in the early years setting, I’m the only teacher there. I have a great team though. People are very supportive and open for new ideas. Our first project was an amazing team building activity and we are a great team since! There are so many benefits coming from being a part of eTwinning, we all know that.
Thank you eTwinning and happy birthday.
I have been an active eTwinnier for the past 9 years and have found it to be an excellent way of embedding IE into the curriculum. I have been to numerous eTwinning conferences – both national and European and have always come away feeling inspired. Many Happy Returns eTwinning – here’s to the next ten years!!!
My role when I started eTwinning was as the MFL Coordinator and I wanted to establish a couple of projects to support the school but was a bit worried as I hated ICT and didn’t want anything too creative. I now can’t really define my role anymore or the projects because they are so wide-ranging. What I can say, is that because of the support of this network I have been inspired in so many ways and been offered so many wonderful opportunities. The advice, ideas and guidance from some truly remarkable, passionate and humble people has enabled me to do things that I would never have considered. I’m even starting to like some of this ICT stuff as well. Happy 10th Birthday!!!!
I began my eTwinning journey way back in the beginning, quite by accident.. At the time, I was a classroom assistant in a primary school…my head teacher was unable to attend and asked me to go instead.. I returned from the event so engaged by the possibilities of etwinning, I started a small after school etwinning club.. This went from strength to strength and we introduced the ISA and Comenius projects to the school..I was fortunate to attend many CPD events, travelling all over Europe and met so many enthusiastic, inspirational and proactive teachers and educators. I learned so much from REAL schools and brought amazing new and exciting teaching ideas and methods to the children and colleagues – it was exciting.. I found that not only I was inspired, other teachers and more importantly the children were motivated by the connection and communication of their peers across Europe. Behaviour amongst the children improved, motivation hit the high notes and standards improved… Particularly for those with additional needs… Having been inspired to continue my own CPD, I had progressed to working as Head Of Departmentin a secondary school for teenagers with severe social, emotional and behavioural issues… And hey presto… ETwinning did it again… My students were so enthusiastic about our projects that they worked their socks off to create, exchange and provide resources for our partner school and looked forward to hearing news from their new found friends… So, success here, where next, from reception to Primary, secondary and now to Further and Higher Education… ETwinning is still playing a HUGE part in my career journey…. love it… Thank you sooooo much and Happy Anniversary to all our eTwinning community 🙂