My time at Viborg Katedralskole is coming to an end in a few days, which saddens me greatly. The liberal Danish ethos towards education and the general willingness of the students to engage with learning and life has been a joy to experience. The staff are very collegial. I have enjoyed their company and appreciated the professional encouragement offered. There is much for me to think about on return to Australia.
I know that Carsten, my exchange colleague, has enjoyed his time in Australia, at my home and school, greatly too. We have communicated via Facebook, Skype, Facetime, our blogs, Twitter, email and Flickr for almost 2 years now. It has been a most rewarding, exciting time professionally and for our families. My girls enjoyed school in Denmark and I believe that the boys have made some good friends in Kiama.
I would like to thank Carsten and Pia for everything they have done to make this exchange work as well as it has. Tak!
I would also particularly like to thank Marianne, Helge, Allan, Lone and Lena. They have been incredibly open, encouraging and generous. I felt valued and appreciated the way I was given opportunities that suited my skills, non-Danish speaker that I am. Marianne’s sense of humour and willingness to explore new ideas with 3e was very rewarding for both of us. They are a great class!
Thanks to all the teachers who allowed me to teach their classes and attended professional development workshops with an open mind. The English teachers made me feel very welcome indeed. Kim, needs special mention, for the way he allowed his English class to try out some ideas using social media. The students responded very enthusiastically and I liked his class very much indeed.
The organisation of the school is quite different to what I have experienced as an educator in Australia and England. For example, basically, we have each subject with a Head Teacher, who is a member of the executive team with special responsibility to ensure leadership in terms of professional learning. In Denmark, I am still not certain how some structures work. There is a person who acts as a subject coordinator but this is very different to the role of a HT. It especially interests me how professional development is facilitated for teachers and who takes responsibility for ensuring that new methods are employed in classrooms. Is it just an assumed part of teacher ‘professionalism’? I hope to discover more about this aspect of the school in the next few days.
I first posted about Viborg Katedralskole and our exchange almost two years ago.
Established in 1060, the school, unique in many ways, has been at the current site since 1926. The famous Danish architect, Hack Kampmann, designed the school ‘in the Neoclassical style with a Scandinavian modern interior’. It is a truly impressive building, with quality materials and a unique atmosphere. The school has many fine traditions that bind the community together.
You can read about the history of the school here.
Helge Lien has worked, in many capacities, at Viborg Katedralskole since 1970. His generosity in showing me all the nooks and crannies around the school has been greatly appreciated. His understanding of the school is multi-layered and there is much love in his voice when sharing his knowledge of the place he has worked for such a long time.
It has been a privilege and pleasure to learn alongside the staff and students at Viborg Katedralskole in Denmark this term. I will miss you!