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Seminar Work

Teamer Trainings

At our teamer trainings, beginners are given a wide pedagogical basic knowledge for working with groups and we offer our "oldtimers" a deeper dive into certain topics.  

Teamer Training 2016

Designing spaces – with this motto this year’s teamer training took place from May 4th to 8th at the Parzival School in Karlsruhe. From Wednesday till Sunday 130 former volunteers designed together with people from the Friends office the space of the teamer training. All of the preparatory and returning seminars, under pedagogical seminar leadership, are accompanied by teamers. Teamers are usually former volunteers, who the Friends found during seminar work and have been qualified for this task through specially designed training and continuing education courses.

How do we want to design spaces for volunteers at seminars?
How can I prepare my own inner space for encounters with volunteers?
How much space do I give to others, how much space do I take for myself?
How does the space around me affect me and my work?
Which space do I want to fill?

These questions and the motto “designing spaces” were the common themes which carried through the whole event; the very different facets of the topic “space” were highlighted and addressed. As artistic opening to the training a defined space was formed in the hall on Wednesday evening. In it, everyone could place his own space. This showed visually how differently space can be defined.

Everyday was opened with a communal morning circle. Then workshops were offered by former volunteers themselves. On the schoolyard and in the different spaces of the Parzival School Centre very colourful and diverse going-ons could be observed: Former volunteers directed other former volunteers in drumming, yoga, singing, meditation, jogging, dance, and strolls. Competences and excitement were shared with one another.

In order to bring across what characterises being a teamer in the different areas of volunteer services, there was this year for the first time a presentation of the different volunteer services: Incoming, domestic service (BFD/FSJ), and Outgoing presented the special characterises of their seminars and pointed out the differences. With this knowledge in the back of their minds, all of the teamers could align themselves to a particular area and be assigned to a seminar date. In the end all seminars could be filled and almost everyone had found a place to work as a teamer.

The content area trainings were designed by pedagogues from the offices. All future teamers are specifically prepared for the work in their area.

The content area trainings were supplemented by workshops, which picked up on topics relating to teaming and offered deeper insight. Included in this were for example speaking before groups, leading experiential pedagogy games, designing posters, or non-violent communication.

A special way to become closer with the surrounding space was presented to us in a lecture and workshop from Linda Thomas. On Friday evening she told us very lively about how conscious care of spaces affects our lives. On Saturday this knowledge was practically applied in multiple cleaning workshops.

In addition to the outside spaces, we also looked closer at our inner space, and traced it during the evening quiet time. A nice ending to the day took place on two evenings with a premiere in the form of a camp fire. Singing and talking with each other …so turned the evening into night.

Decisive for a good mood and the “Friends feeling” were the culinary contributions of the cooking team which made sure everyone had a full belly and satisfied face. Thanks to the good weather we were able to eat all of our meals outside under blue sky.

In short: these were wonderful days and we have our organisation team to thank, who made the whole thing possible! Now we are excited for the new season and look expectantly at the spaces, which we will fill together with each other and design.

To say it in the words of Joseph Beuys which accompanied us through out the whole teamer training:

“The future, which we want, must be invented. Otherwise we get one we don’t want.”

For the organisation team

Beatrice Garff


Quote from a participant: “As future teamer, this was not just a teaching example for designing seminars, I could also formulate a concrete goal for myself as teamer: create space.”

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