Living and working together
My work in the small schools is living and working together
After five months in the 24th program ‘Fighting with The Poor’, I think I can explain my daily life and work as a DI (Development Instructor).
In my case, I live in Tvind, the place where it all started.
This place is like a little village with many different buildings and working places. We have here the once biggest windmill built in the 70´s. This wind mill gives energy to all the community in Tvind.
Also, we have the DNS program, The Necessary Teacher Trainings college. This program follows the steps of the first members who built this place and this big community.
We have a place that is called "Villa’s" where students with different difficulties can live and develop, it´s a Care Home for people over 16 years old.
Finally, we have both PTG and our Day school (Dagskolen). These 2 places are closely related. PTG is a private and independent boarding school for young people ("ungdomshøjskole" in Danish). It is an alternative school where young people from different walks of life and nationalities can study, work and live together. The school caters for people aged from 17 - 25 years.
The ideal of the day school at Tvind, is to offer theoretical and practical education for children and adolescents from the 7th to the 11th grade. It also does HF teaching, which you need if you want to study at University. The school is forward-looking and the emphasis is placed on humanistic humanity. We regard it as the school's task that the students eventually learn to be the master of their own house.
Solid academic knowledge, readiness to adapt to living and working together with others, willingness to acquire knowledge, productivity, accountability, and compassion are some of the key concepts of this. We see it as the school's task, that the students learn to know nature and that they learn to move around in it. We also see it as the school's task to prevent that students with few ressources are marginalized.
But, what am I doing here?
My usual day starts at 8 a.m. and I take breakfast together with the pedagogues, the students, and my teammate. At 8:30 a.m. my teammate and I take part in the teachers meeting. In this meeting we talk about the situation with some of the students, planning the day and updatng each other about the day before.
After that we usually give a 30 min of morning presentation. It´s about one topic related to the period that we study, such as global warming, science...etc. My teammate and I usually manage all the Thursday morning presentations.
After the morning presentation, we follow the plan and help the teachers to generate a good environment in the class room. Also, we help in the subjects such as math, English, science... We also make some workshops like soap production, ‘under the skin of a climate refugee’ (where we try to explain this concept)... and so on.
After the lunchtime, from 13 to 14, we divide and I am in charge of the music room where we play some instrument and learn about music. After the work in the school, at 15:30, we are free to have the afternoon for our studies.
After dinner, we usually organize different activities with the students and the community, for the sake of being together and to have fun. These activities are usually movies, sports activities, games, jam sessions... etc.
Finally, during the weekend we usually organize a small trip, we do some cultural activities outside, or we prepare a special dinner where we share the food from the countries that we come from.
At the end, generally, my work consists in being an active part of the daily life of the students in such a way that they can have a stable environment, where there is peace and happiness, which enables them to improve and grow.
This work is hard at the beginning, because you get easily lost (language, new place, the connection with the students doesn´t exist yet, different culture etc.). But don´t worry, it´s just for a limited time, step by step you find your place. And when something happens to you, like it did to me last week, where one of my students said to me: “You can not go, because you are my math teacher”, after which he gave me a hug… In such a moment, I can not explain the feelings.