During our Erasmus+ 3T -visit to Copenhagen on 5th-9th of November 2017 we concentrated on a theme TALENT. We visited in three different kind of schools around Copenhagen area. In general we can say that all students, teachers and school leaders are very talented in various ways.
Now we understand why Danish are so well known as a designers, makers and producers. We saw a lesson where students had to make own knives. First students searched information on different kinds of knives. Then they started to design one on their own. During the design process conversation between students and teacher was very interactive and students got lots of feedback from the teacher. Students self confidence is high and they believe themselves as a designers. At the end students try to find right materials and really produce their own knives.
Students were also very proud of themselves and they had a strong self confidence on situations where they needed to talk and have a conversation with the teacher, other students or visitors. Their language skills, communication skills and social skills were fantastic.
Also teachers are seen talented individuals and team members. All kinds of talents are seen as gifts and teachers different talents are used to serve the whole school community. We admire how our colleagues in Denmark communicate and collaborate with pupils, parents, families, experts, visitors etc.
Teachers in Denmark have an opportunity to build their own career path with the support of principles and school community.
Teachers in secondary schools are multitalents because they are able to teach several subjects. Like all students in Denmark said, the best thing in their school are talented teachers! Even in very demanding areas teachers’ classroom management was extremely good and atmosphere in schools and classrooms was always calm.
The role and of principals is very different in Denmark and in Finland. In Finland teachers are more independent and every teacher is his or her own leader. In Denmark principals decide many things behalf of teachers. In both countries principals are facilitators.
The most important task of principals is find and choose the most suitable teachers in that specific school. In this role the principals in these three school were succeeded well. Schools are different and the story of schools are different, so principals need to have a courage to do things in their own way. The principals are very powerful.
The connection between parents and school lies on principals. We saw principal welcoming parents and students to the school in the morning.
Schools have a strong identity to be a big part or even a centre of a community. Everyone is important! The whole group is important, not an individual person!
We still have questions in our minds. We hope that in becoming meetings and visits we will find out the answers.
- How do you support very talented students?
- Do the teachers know that they are so good ones? Do they get positive feedback from principals?
- Do the teachers get bonuses?
- Why do you need to test your students?
- Can you / Are you allowed to / Are you able to criticise your school, your principal, pedagogy you use?
Raini and Minna, SYK, Helsinki