“To see what everybody else has seen, and think what nobody has thought.”
What does teaching mean to me? It’s a great gift to me as a teacher to watch my students grow into adulthood and see their curiosity with which they discover the world for themselves. When I teach, I focus on a problem to be solved. It gives the students more autonomy in learning. They aren’t fed the answers right away but have to find them individually or in groups, while they also have to take risks and try new methods on the way. As a teacher I provide a learning environment that gives the students the freedom to be creative, while they must learn to respect and take responsibility for one another. While working on a problem, they have to constantly cooperate and communicate with their peers. This way they learn how to solve all kinds of unknown problems in real life more efficiently.
What does learning mean to me? Learning is curiosity: the continuous search for the truth. Learning is openness: to be open to infinity and completeness. I’m incomplete, so all my life I must be open to infinity, to the world, to myself. Learning is a conscious endeavour to grow: whatever I learn, I can freely incorporate it in my life. Learning is not an end in itself but a means to an end: to achieve a more complete life. I learn a lot about teaching, and when I teach, I learn a lot from my students.
I believe that I’m able to develop. I was first captivated by the open, friendly and cheerful atmosphere of the school. I find that my colleagues are open-minded, knowledgeable and caring people. I would like to find these values in my everyday life, too, to abide by them and teach them to my students.
The programme enables teachers and students alike to work for a better, more liveable and peaceful world devoid of prejudice. It shapes the teacher as much as the student. It teaches the students to be active, compassionate, open-minded, sensible, caring and respectful individuals who are motivated to pursue lifelong learning. Together with the students, I can also develop and become part of an international community.