How to be a good GROW trainer

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Welcome to GROW!


If you are here is because you had the courage to try this new experience. Let us introduce ourselves to you. We are a group of volunteers that came to Romania to participate in GROW. Once we finished it, we developed this guide for new volunteers like you. We know that you will be nervous and anxious to know what is all about. We understand you, we were in the same situation as you are now. But take it easy. You are about to discover everything through our guide. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for you. But above all, we want you to enjoy this wonderful experience as much as we did. And trust us, is really worth it.

So here we go!




What is GROW?

iTTT Conference



Your role as a trainer

LPM and Ambassadors



Contents Icebreakers and Energizers

Super useful tips


Our testimonials


What is GROW? GROW is the only program in Romania focused on non-formal education designed for high school students who want to be their own mighty heroes and add value to their free time. The program offers high-school students a professionallydesigned educational curriculum complementary to the formal educational system. Learning through the process is the saying of Grow. The workshops are delivered in English by international trainers, coached by the Scoala de Valori trainer’s team and other professionals.




“The whole Grow experience was unforgettable from start to finish”

PRACTICE Teenagers explore real life situations through exercises, games, debates and team activities LEARN They draw conclusions, learn from experiences and get fresh insights about the subject. STEP UP They apply the new skills by creating some impactful project and implementing them in their communities.

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GROW in numbers 20,275


years of GROW

Scoala de Valori



training hours

45,247 applicants





Scoala de Valori (School of Values) is a modern nongovernmental and non-profit organization whose vision is to change the core values of Romanian society. Scoala de Valori was created to guide Romanian youth on the path of self-discovery that takes place during their high-school years and help them develop a strong moral compass. We help them find out who they are and what they like. We help them believe in themselves and the choices that they make. We help them trust their inner voice. Our most popular and most successful project is GROW. The word “Grow” is full of meaning, full of thoughts that let us think regarding of its power.



local coordinators


corporate partners



community challenges


media partners


international trainers


iTTT Conference As the first part of the GROW experience, you will attend iTTT. This acronym stands for International Train The Trainers and is a conference which will give you the tools to deliver GROW sessions and, therefore, make a positive change on Romanian high school students. For a start, iTTT will give you the opportunity to get to know people from all over the world who are as eager as you to make a positive national change happen. Just to name some you will be meeting:


Will be taking part in this conference to become GROW Trainers as well

Team of Trainers


Who are empowered teenagers responsible for making GROW happen in their cities

Which is made up of professional trainers from all over the world who volunteer themselves to offer their support to you by sharing their know-how on how to deliver sessions. They will be the ones delivering trainings in iTTT

School of Values Members Who have a role in organizing iTTT

“Challenging, worthwhile,


Which are corporate or social organisations who support GROW and, therefore, the iTTT



Values of iTTT


HEALTH: make sure you sleep at least 5 hours per night, eat properly and drink plenty of water! iTTT is an intense training event. So, this will help you to keep your levels of energy up!


OWNERSHIP: the truth is that you are the creator of your own experience. iTTT will only give you the framework and the tools. It is up to you how much you take of what it is given to you


RELIABILITY: remember that GROW is a long term, non-formal educational program. So, if you see things that go against what GROW and School of Values stand for during the iTTT, please, let the organizers know


CURIOSITY: ask, explore and do not be afraid to make mistakes! This is all part of the experience


PUNCTUALITY: BE ON TIME! and keep in mind that when you miss trainings, the others miss out to

How iTTT works iTTT is a conference which will take place in Romania and will last for 5 full days. Here, you will be equipped with the skills you need to deliver the GROW sessions in English to Romanian teenagers. Regarding the content of iTTT, you will start this conference by getting familiar with the other iTrainers through funny and unconventional ways of introducing yourself and getting to know others. These are perfect to break the ice and the discomfort of being in a foreign country away from family and friends. The other iTrainers, just like you, are coming from all the corners of the world. You will become aware of the similarities and differences between you and them and, believe us, that will only bring you closer. You will also get in acquaintance with the role of a trainer. Basically, the Team of Trainers will explain to you the expected behaviour patterns associated with your function as an iTrainer. Afterwards, it is expected that you will set intentions and decide what kind of a trainer do you want to be. Keep in mind that this is totally up to you and is closely related with the kind of impact that you want to have on the Romanian teenagers you will be working with.


How iTTT works As a warm-up - and also with the goal of checking your public speaking skills -, you will make, first, a little introduction about yourself and, second, an improvised speech. You will also be guided on how to deal with the moody, but mostly authentic, creative, fun, gritty and kind, Romanian teenagers and learn how to handle some difficult situations that may come up during the sessions you will deliver.

The world of facilitation skills will also be introduce to you - both in theory and practice - because you will be the one responsible for shaping and guiding the process of working as a group in your sessions in order to make sure you accomplish what you had to do and meet the goals effectively.

One of the main goals of the iTTT it is to prepare you as much as possible so you won’t have any problems facing the most different and peculiar situations.

In addition, you will be instructed on what a debriefing is and how to make it. The debriefing part, which will be deliver at the end of every session, will be the key moment: the part when you will focus on the consolidation of the knowledge the participants acquired during your session.

Hereafter, you will work on your presentation skills putting in practice what you have learned so far. Feedback, based on the descriptive-cvbn method, which consists on describing the action and explaining the impact it had on you, will be provided to you by the Team of Trainers and by your peers. Moreover, you will learn about the importance of storytelling in the process of gaining knowledge and what tools you can use to help your message get through in an effective way. Of course, once again, you will put into practice everything you have learned so far throughout the presentation of the sessions you will be delivering on GROW sessions.

Through the 4Fs method - facts, feelings, findings and future -, the participants will become aware of that in the middle of all the joy and fun they actually learn something that will bring value to their lives, reaching the so expected “aha” moment.


How iTTT works

We do not know if you are aware, but when you reach this point of the iTTT you will be able to deliver a whole session from the beginning - storytelling through the middle - facilitation skills - to the end - debriefing. So, it will be time to practice all of this at once putting together everything you have learned so far. As a cherry on the top of the cake, and because GROW wants to help you develop your creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills, you will have a whole session dedicated to how to design a session. Note that you will have the golden opportunity to deliver the session outlined by you and share with the Romanian teenagers your thoughts on any given topic of your interest.

Prepare for engaging nights, when, after the dinner, you will have the time to truly mingle and bound

Some of the fun activities you can expect are a get to know Romania game, international night - when you will have the opportunity to share your culture -, improvisational theatre, world cafe - when you will have the chance to share with the other iTrainers and the Team of Trainers some of your passions and interests - and chill and party night, after an always emotional farewell. Now that we gave you an idea about the main concepts you will learn on iTTT and how you will learn them, by the end of the last day, you should have had met or, at least, become aware of the five goals of the iTTT:

Values of iTTT 1: To gain full understanding of what GROW is and your role as an iTrainer 2: To get the right tools that enable you to do the best job in GROW 3: To gain practical experience by being in the center of attention 4: To get a big bag of energy for the trip ahead 5: To get the chance to meet the rest of the GROW team


Role of iTrainer To explain the role of a trainer, we are going to use the method of the 6W:

Where The project takes place in different cities in Romania and you can choose in which one of them you would like to be the trainer, depending on the demand and the number of the trainers that each city requires.

What The trainer is the person in charge of delivering the sessions in GROW. The sessions are already made and you just have to prepare them in order to deliver it. Nevertheless, there are one or two sessions that you have to design and prepare by your own. This means that you have to choose a topic you are passionate about and you would like to deliver.

Who / To whom The sessions are delivered by international trainers from all around the world, like you. They have to be at least 18 years old, come with a lot of enthusiasm and willing to learn and live new adventures. They are going to deliver sessions for the participants, teenagers from 15 to 18 years old that will be organized in groups from 15 to 20 for each trainer.

When The sessions of GROW are carry out for a month more or less. These are developed just after the ITTT conference. The schedule is not fixed and it depends on the city where you will be and the number of groups that you will have. Anyway the maximum is two sessions per day of one hour and a half each, with free days in between.

Why From our experience we recommend you to participate in Grow as a trainer because it brings you things for your personal and professional life. Personally you have the opportunity to meet people from all around the world, the chance to be with the Romanian teenagers and hang out with them, overcome your fears and get to know yourself better. Regarding to the professional life you can gain experience in the education field and improve some skills like public speaking, body lenguage, teamwork, foreign lenguage, creativity, leadership, intercultural awareness, entrepreneurship... and a lot more that you will discover if you take the adventure of being a Grow trainer.


Why On the other hand, you can bring to the participants your culture, language, traditions and personal experience, so they learn a lot from it. Also they like to speak about Romania and their love for it. They feel so proud to show their tradions and culture. So it is an exchange of experiences in which everyone can learn. Moreover, through the sessions they are nourished with new learnings. They discover and develop new habilities and adopt other points of view. Apart from this you can hang out with them after the sessions to get to know each other better. It is one of the parts that you and them will enjoy the most since it is not that formal, the approachment is more friendly.


To have a good development of the sessions and try to involucrate everyone in these, it is important the treatment with the participants. In this sense you have to clarify that you are the trainer, not a friend, teacher or psychologist. Sometimes they trust in you and they want to explain to you their problems as a friend. They will have doubts that you cannot solve because you are not a professional. To conclude this point we are going to talk about the debrifing part. It is the last part of a session and the most important because is when they realize about what they learnt during the session. Formally we recommend you to do it with all the people being in the same level, preferably seated on the floor. The contact with them will be closer and more direct. They will feel more comfortable and with more predisposition to participate and share.

In order to deliver the sessions is important to prepare these previously. For this you have to read each topic carefully, prepare the material that you might need, and change whatever you want to adapt it to your style. That means that the goal of the session will be the same, but you can change an activity or the way it is implemented in the session. With this you will feel more comfortable and confident and therefore the message will arrive better to the participants. While you are preparing the sessions you have to take into account the space that you will have in order to adapt the session to that space. It is important to bear in mind other possibilities or options in case it appears an unexpected problem, related with the weather, number of participants, space for the session... So you must be farsighted and have a plan B for those cases.

Furthermore, we would recommend to set some rules since the beginning. Rules in which everyone could feel comfortable and agree with them. Everyone can add a rule if it is coherent and positive for the good development of the sessions. 11

Role of LPM and ambassadors LPM

Ambassadors Ambassadors, are the other part of the family together with the LPM and iTrainer and they are there to help the LPM with the various tasks before, during, and after the event. Also, they are the main actors in trying to make everything flawlessly reducing at minimun the problems that can happen, with the goal project in their mind. Depending on the size of the team, they can have different tasks, like logistic, social media, photography, etc... And they can be there to help the iTrainer with the activities to be done daily.

LPM stands for “Local Project Manager� and is that person that has to manage, organize and put together all the parts of the project. He needs to find the financial supports, through the sponsors and, of course, the participants. He needs also to find the place where to host the iTrainer and of course the meals. But this changes from city to city. He needs also to plan and manage the logistic part, helped by the ambassadors, that the iTrainer will need to do the activities. Also, really important, the LPM has the delicate task of make the team the best way possible. Trying to keep the vibes high and make everyone feel like in a family where everyone knows what to do to reach the common goal.

Prepare to meet the best teams that will help you during the project. You will have a lot of fun!


Super useful tips Set the rules

Focus on enjoying more than thinking in the session

Be yourself

Don’t frustrate yourself if the session was not like you planned Be ready for any unexpected event

Prepare 3 different energizers for each session

Do not compare yourself with other trainers. Everyone has its own style Create empathy with them by putting yourself in their shoes

Tell them why you decided to participate in Grow

Hang out with the participants

Tell the participants the story of your life

Be energic, be aware and learn to manage it

Agree with them in one word to remind them that you do not speak Romanian every time that they do


Icebreakers and energizers


Icebreakers Icebreakers are used to start the first session, when the participants do not know each other. It is a great way to break the ice and make them feel comfortable enough to enjoy the time and learn.

This game is perfect for the first day of a session or training, because it makes you remember the names of everyone. It starts shaping a circle with all the participants and one person in the middle. The one in the middle has to say the name of someone of the circle three times very fast. Everyone should be in alert, because the goal is to say your name before the person in the middle finishes to say your name three times. It’s important to remember all the names and to say it very fast to be the first one, otherwise you’ll be the one in the middle.



One of the best icebreakers to get to know eachother. Basically it consists of thinking about three trues and one lie about ourselves. Then you should choose a person with who you want to share your trues and lie. Each one of the members of the pair have to guess the lie of the other. The goal of this game is to develop and reach the maximum level as fast as possible. There are five levels: ameba, fish, crab, monkey and human. If you guess the lie of the other person you’ll develop to the next level. There’s one rule that you should follow, and is that you can only talk with animals of your same species. It means that if you’re a fish you can only talk with fishes. The game ends when you realize that the goal is achieved and everyone got the chance to get to know each other.

MATERIAL: Blanket (or something to separate two spaces) This is an icebraker to get to know each other. To start we need to make two teams, separated by a blanket or something that doesn’t let you see the other team. One of the teams will be in one side of the blanket, and the other on the opposite side. Each team has to choose one person who has to seat in front of the blanket . We’ll count three and leave the blanket. The two people chosen should say the name of the other person in front of him as fast as possible. The fastest will be the winner and remain in their team. The slowest will go with the other team. The winner will be the team with more people at the end. The game ends when the time of the icebreaker is over or when everybody knows the name of everyone.

REMEMBER ME! This is an icebraker to get to know each other. To start the game you need to create a circle with all the participants. One person has to start saying his name and a passion or hobby accompanied with a gesture that has to be related with the hobby that he mentioned. For example, if I’m the first one I would start saying: I’m Marta and I like to travel (meanwhile representing with the hand a plane flying). It’s a memory game, because the next person in the circle should continue with the round saying first the name and the hobby with the gesture of the first person and continue with the name, hobby and gesture about himself. The third person should remember and say the same about the first and the second participant and then add his name hobby and gesture, and like this until the end. The last one is the most difficult, because he has to remember the name, hobby and gesture of everyone and then say one about himself. 14

Energizers EL PISTOLERO Energizers are used to start a session, in order to rise up the energy and to level up the mood of everybody. They can be used as well in the middle of a session when energy is low, or at the end, to end the session with a big smile. I LOVE YOU BECAUSE MATERIALS: Chairs First of all we need to create a circle with the same number of chairs as of partipants. Everyone would take a sit except one person, who would stay standing in the middle. The one in the middle should adress to one person of the circle and say to him a sentence that starts with: ‘I love you because...’ And continue with something about this person (apparence, nacionality, personality, clothes, physical aspect...) For example: ‘I love you becuase you have black shoes.’ All the people that have this characteristic in common would have to move and change places with the others. The goal of the game is to take a seat as fast as possible, because otherwise you’ll be the one in the middle! The slowest one is going to lose his sit and stay in the middle to say the next sentence, starting again with ‘I love you because...’ You can make as many rounds as you want, until the end of the time or until everyone is energized!

PAPPER ROCK SICSSOR This energizer is the typical game of paper, rock, scissors but in a major way. Everyone starts playing the game with one person. You’ll play it three times with the participant that you choose, and the one who loses has to go behind the winner, animating and supporting him or her. The winner of the first round have to choose another adversary, and repeat the same process. If he loses he has to cheer his adversary up in the next round. If he wins the adversary has to be the one cheering up. At the end only two persons will be playing, and the others animating behind the two last participants. Everyone will be screaming and cheering the name of the person they’re following. The winner will be the one who wins in the last round, and then everyone should animate and celebrate his or her victory.

El pistolero is an energizer in which you can develop your reflexes and your speed. It starts with a circle with all the participants with an exception of one that has to be in the middle and has to point one of their mates. The person that is pointed has to bend over, and the two persons beside to their right and left have to duel pretending that they shoot each other (pointing with the hand simulating a gun). The first person that shoots will remain in the circle and the other will be desqualified. The one between the two persons in duel has to bend over in order not to recieve the shot, otherwise this person will be disqualified. The game continues like that until the end, where there will be only two survivors. To have a winner these two last participants have to fight in a duel. For that the two members have to position themselves in one side of the room, facing against back to back, so they could not see each other. The trainer has to count until three and the two participants have to shoot each other with the imaginative gun. The first one pointing is going to be the winner of the game.

ZIP ZAP BOING First of all we need to create a circle with all the people playing. The game consists on pass the imaginative ball as fast as possible and saying the correct word with the respective gesture, if you get it wrong you’ll be disqualified. Zip, Zap boing are three different movements to pass the imaginary ball. Zip is to pass it to the person beside you in the circle. Zap is to pass it to everyone, but not the ones that are beside you. And boing is to change the way of the imaginative ball. The three movements are accompanied by a gesture. To make Zip and Zap you should make a clap focusing and moving the hands to the person you’re sending the ball. In order to change the direction of the ball and send it back to the person who gives the ball to you, you should say Boing and jump with both hands over your shoulders. It’s important to be alert and have the movements and gestures clear in order to arrive to the end of the game. The two last ones have to do a duel in order to have a winner, that will be the last duel of El Pistolero (alredy explained in the previous game). 15

Energizers QUICK HUGGERS Easy, quick and effective energizer. It starts with two rows with the same number of participants each row. The goal is to hug as fast as possible the person that is after you in the row. Therefore you have to turn back in order to hug the person behind you. The first person in the row starts making a hug to the second one, and the second to the third, until the end of the row. The last person will have to run forward and start again hugging the first person. The game finish when an entire round is made and the person who was first at the beginning runs to be the first one again. The team who gets this first is going to be the winner.

FEEL WELCOME! A perfect energizer to move our bodies and wake up a little bit. Easy, fast and useful! It starts with everyone moving around randomly. One person should be the one leading and giving orders. The goal of the game is to create groups of x number of participants. The person leading has to say the number of members of each group for each round. For example if the leader says: Create groups of 4! . Everyone has to organize and join the others in order to create the groups. The one or the ones that stay outside without being part of any group are going to be disqualified. The game finish when only three people are playing and the goal is to create a group of two. The two members that join each other to create the group of two will be the winners and the game will end.

Prepare yourself to feel the GROW energy! 16

Our testimonials The all GROW experience was awe-inspiring! Starting with the iTTT, which was consuming but rewarding in so many levels. To sum up, for 5 days, I went through intense training on GROW procedures, sessions and ways to engage the participants with each topic discussed. All this surrounded by, in one hand, an awesome team of competent and supportive trainers and, in the other hand, super trainees from all over the world who shared with me every moment of joy and tiredness, which made of us a big cosmopolitan family. Ending with the GROW sessions, where the participants made my whole experience worthwhile. At each encounter I was amazed by how inspired I was by their authenticity, creativity and fun, gritty and kind remarks. It was challenging at every turn and I would not have it any other way! Andreia Mendes Correia

GROW is where magic is created I want to share with you my experience. So you will know how it feels to be a trainer in Grow. I have never done anything similar in my life before, and I was afraid and anxious to know what it was about. But everything was wonderful: meet people from all around the world, activities, spare time moments hanging out… However the best was about to come. I had several groups of participants, and I connected more with some groups than with others. But when I connected, it was magic. Looking back, I remember once I was making the debriefing part of the session, in which I created an intimate atmosphere by sitting in the floor making a circle. Here we talked about the messages and learnings from the session. At some point they trusted me so much that they started talking about their personal concerns for their future. I felt so grateful and happy that they trusted me and asked me for help and advice. I could feel the confidence they put on me. It is a wonderful feeling. Because I gave a little of myself, and by the end I received much more than I gave. By the end they taught me to dance “hora” (traditional Romanian dance). This is what I enjoyed the most and one of the most beautiful memories. Rocío Benito Cólliga


The teenagers were amazing! I arrived in Bucharest full of fears, I had a low English level, I never had a trainer experience before. I will remember my first winter edition not because it was my best experience, but because it was very important. It was the first time I spoke in public and I had to get out of my comfort zone, as well as getting over my shyness. Grow Games were amazing, day by day my English was improving and during summer I felt more comfortable and more confident. I really enjoyed this experience, the teenagers were amazing, they tried to learn everything from me. I really recommend this experience to everyone. It is amazing for your personal growth and your personal development, while you can also inspire other people to become better.

I was completely out of my comfort zone The first day in Bucharest when I met all of my colleges I was very nervous and afraid because everyone was older that me and I start to thought that I chose wrong, that this was not my place. After the first week I realized that all of them were amaizing and I didn’t care anymore about the age. But then the fear start again with ITTT, I had to speak in public in English and deliver sessions for teenagers. I had never done something like that before, and I was completly out of my comfort zone. The sessions were amazing, I had so much fun and I learnt a lot from them and about myself. Because of this first experience the summer edition was better and I was not that nervous, I could enjoy it more. I would definetly recommend to participate in GROW as a trainer, it was a big challenge for me, I’ll never forget!

Alberto Antonacci Marta RodrĂ­guez Gaspar


They were waiting for the best of me Without a doubt GROW has been an unforgettable experience for me in many ways. At the beginning it was like an obstacle course in which I had to overcome different difficulties that I was encountering along the way, such as speaking in public and in English. At the same time, I had the opportunity to meet wonderful people who helped me during this process and who made easier those days. When it came time to deliver the sessions to the participants I was nervous and with uncertainty to face something new because I was going to expose everything I had learned in front of many teenagers who were waiting for the best of me. At that time I no longer had the ‘safety net’ of my ITTT’s trainers or my colleagues, I was so to say “out to dry.” The first session left a lot to be desired, since I was very nervous and could not give my best. Even so, the participants were very understanding and from the beginning I was able to make ties with them which caused me to feel more confident for the upcoming sessions. Little by little I learned to take it easy and to recognize in the sessions an environment in which to share and have fun.

Having fun is the best way to learn It was an unique experience, totally recommendable, during two very special weeks. I was nervous at first for speaking in public in front of teenagers but very satisfied at the end, because I had the feeling that it was really helping some of those teenagers. I felt very good when I saw that I could help someone. We developed activities to learn, and because having fun is one of the best ways to learn, everyone participated. You get the feeling that you belong to a great family, with very good values. Also all this helped me to learn about myself, improve my English in public and meet wonderful people. I completely recommend everybody to join this beautiful and remarkable experience.

Pedro Cantero Soto


I learnt that teens are the future My experience in GROW was amazing: the places, the people, the activities. I met a lot of awesome people, ambassadors, LPM and teens. All of them made me feel welcomed, I had the best team I could wish to work with. Each one of the persons I met, even the couple who hosted me and the sponsors, everyone gave me something of him/herself. I got to know a little bit of the story of everyone and I just loved it. I loved the connections we built during this short period of time. The only negative point about it were the mosquitos during the night :) From this experience I learned that there is nothing that I can’t do, that I should trust myself more. I realized that with just 5 minutes and a smile I can change someone’s attitude, at least for a while. I discovered that teamwork is really good but sometimes being alone is cool as well. I learned that the teens are the future and I want to do anything I can to help them become the best versions of themselves. Antonio Carnicelli


We wish you a lot of luck Go and rock it!