When I was planning what to do in Norway during my studying period in One World Institute, besides traveling and hiking, I wanted to have the opportunity to visit a public Norwegian school. This chance appeared after our investigation to Palestine and we prepared a short presentation about how a refugee camp and a school in Palestine look like. We tried to put the focus on the simplicity and meaning of our presentation even if the Palestine situation is not easy to explain. The most important thing from our experience was that we had the chance to interact with Norwegian students and teachers and we could have felt the positive vibe between them.
Firstly, I was impressed by the openness of the students and teachers there, we were kindly helped by a student to reach the right entry and the reception of the school in the morning. They were happy to have us there and we felt really welcomed by them, more than this when we had a little issue with the technology, they were patient and encouraging us by applauding until we solved the problem. The focus on the student’s needs was the first thing that I observed at the teachers, they were concerned to speak slowly and to make sure that each student understands what is going on during the presentation.
I am amazed by the genuine intelligence of children and it was a good experience for us to observe with what from our presentation they could connect it. I was happy to see that they had the confidence to interact with us and put questions, in this way, I found out more about their curiosities. Another lesson for me was to notice that no matter the context of the country where they live, children around the world are very similar. They love playing and they are empathic especially to other children’s suffering.
I hope it was a meaningful experience for them too because the goal of us being there was to bring something new and relevant to their learning. I’ve missed school after more than one year break from teaching, that’s why I was happy to go “back to school”… in Norway.