by Felix Jatko Staalnake

Hey once again! So far we mostly written about ourself and the life we have here. That’s why this post is going to be about the work we do, starting with assertiveness training.

First off you need to understand what assertiveness is. Shortly put it’s being able to stand for your own rights without stepping over others. Expressing your needs, feelings, ideas and thoughts while considering the outcome. “Will this hurt my surrounding?” Expression through empathy, respect and confidence.

Every Tuesday and Thursday we head to Traian high school just 5 minutes away. We start with finding our class because we’re never able to remember, in this maze of classrooms. It’s always the risk of stepping into the wrong one and having the teachers yelling at you or if lucky a helpful one. Once we find the right one, we go inside and prep our computers, poster and other material while we wait for the students.

The best thing about Romanian classes is how respectful the students are. We take a laid back approach to calming the class, as they tend to be quite energetic and restless when we arrive. For the most part, just standing at the front and quietly looking at them does the trick. Thereafter, we start with either a activity or something theoretical to get them into the subject.

For example our forth session had the topic emotions. What is it? How do we process them? What is Emotional Intelligence? We answer all the questions by starting off with a self reflecting exercise. This session we all let them bounce one balloon each with the purpose to find meaning in why they bounce it? How can they apply it to their daily life. Basically we could interpret the balloon as distractions with the goal to “drop the balloon” and focus on our emotions. After some self reflection we discuss and go into some facts we have researched.

I would say that the most amazing feeling is when they open up with their own experiences. It takes a lot to expose your personal thoughts and emotions. The age varies from 12 – 18 but even the youngest ones can be so brave and mature. When we go in there, it doesn’t feel like we’re teachers instead it feels like a group of friends having a talk.

Assertiveness Training