Being A Teacher and Student Again
Once a week between 6-8 PM, I’m in a classroom at the Rødøy school as a student. To learn Norwegian. Now, on a different day of the week between 6-8 PM, I’m a teacher. I’m teaching drawing and photography for the Youth Club.
The Norwegian Student. Since I’m officially an immigrated resident of Rødøy County, I’m entitled to Norwegian language classes. Got to love socialism. In fact, Rødøy school was notified, through official channels, shortly after my resident permit was granted. I find it amusing, and touching, that the government has so officially recognized my presence and working to make sure that I become an integrated and productive member of the society. A workflow bearing my name has been initiated — my BPM friends take note! I have received an extremely well written textbook with a CD and an exercise book. Free of charge of course. And the great instructor is no less than the principal of the Rødøy School herself.
The class has three students: a teacher-student ratio that I have never had before, nor will I ever have again. The three people include me and a young couple from Poland. There is another student entitled to the class — a Pilipino — but she’s so advanced that she came to class only once since October. The four of us together make up the officially registered Rødøy Alien Squad.
The Youth Club Teacher.The Youth Club is the after-school program for the students from grades 8 to 10. 10 kids altogether. While the medical intern was here, she took these students hiking in the evening. After the new year, the teachers, including my wife Kristin, tried to figure out who else can teach them something useful and fun. I was volunteered for drawing and photography. And they thought it’d be good for these older students to be in a classroom with an English speaking teacher.
Half of the them came because they want to learn something. The other half came because they’re bored. I think they had fun, though. It was half social hour and half classroom for them. I taught them some basic drawing techniques, which they’d never had before. If I can make half of them slightly better artists or slightly more interested in art, I’ll consider the mission accomplished.
These hours at Rødøy School let me feel like a part of the community. The language class, if nothing else, has made me more comfortable speaking a little bit of Norwegian here and there. The people here deserves my effort to learn, and to try. With teaching, I’m gratified to be able to give something back to the community that has given us so much. Even if I’m just teenage boredom relief.