The world needs teachers
The aim of DNS is to train teachers who can respond to the challenges of our time. Teachers who travel and understand the cultural diversities, teachers who are willing and able to act and stand up for other people, teachers who are moved by passion and understand that the world can – and should – be a better place, for all its living beings.
Training Another Kind of Teachers
By training Another Kind of Teachers, we are blazing the way to empower other people because knowledge and awareness are the main tools for positive change. If a person does not know about a certain issue, how can a person change it? Teaching and creating awareness are our main allies in this big challenge that all of us, citizens of the world, should be responsible for.
The ways that we teach are non-traditional, and puts the learner at the centre of their learning process. Teachers and students learn from each other, constantly, through the hands-on, activity based programme. Forming relationships, showing your humanity and good old solidarity with the people you teach, work like magic if you really want to have an impact on someone’s life, for example as an educator. These are all skills you can learn, if you are not a natural born social skills person. You learn them by being part of a socially adept community, and as part of your extended family, that is your bus group or team.
The old and outdated idea that the teacher is the main figure in the classroom does not suit us. At DNS, the student is at the centre of their education. Indeed, the teachers are more experienced in some areas, but not about all the matters. Some of our teaching methods involve lively and interactive lessons, from teachers, other students or guest speakers as well as the use of modern technologies where students use media, documentaries and good movies to acquire knowledge.
“Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like”
Field investigations and meeting people from different walks of life and from different cultures are explored throughout the programme. We practise “the world is our classroom” in earnest, which means we have something to learn from any situation and any person in the world. For instance cultural awareness, the reality of the human condition and respect. Losing the fear of “the Other” is a fundamental aspect of this. Caring more about understanding, than of being understood.
Through our pedagogy, our community life and our DMM system, our aim is that students acquire both the theoretical, practical and personal skills to become Another Kind of Teachers that are prepared to make a difference in other people lives. And who understand that “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like”.
Develop your humanity by practising it on the campus
DNS shares the Tvind campus with three care homes where humans shaped by different life stories live and grow. For the most part, these people struggle with some tough personal or developmental issues which prevents them from living independently. They need at stable and sheltered home space – and that is why they have their home in Tvind. The care homes have professional staff who are in charge of the individual development of each and every one of the residents at the care homes, but the students and teachers at DNS have always played an important part by practising their humanity at the campus.
This means creating a friendly atmosphere at the campus, where everyone is welcome. Especially people from the care homes, who sometimes cannot conceal their flaws. It means extending your humanity beyond your personal needs, and to share it with those who need it. It means being that special friend who is willing to take responsibility for the development of a friendship. It means playing sports together in the evenings. Or sharing important football moments in front of the television as a guest in one of the “villas”– aka the care homes. Or sharing a passion for chocolate cake, or donkeys, or making fantastic Instagram posts.
The DNS students play an important part in enriching and simply by being the best version of themselves – and in that process develop their personal skills, their communication skills, their interest in others, their HUMANITY, for the benefit of all. Including themselves, and their future students. “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like”, remember? Well, having developed your humanity by using it on a daily basis will turn you into a positively likeable human being. It is a skill you will need when you want to TEACH. And the world needs teachers.
An educator can be many things
Not all the students that enrol DNS have the idea of being a school teacher in the future, but all the DNS graduated students are aware that we are all teachers, even if we don’t enter teaching as a profession in the traditional sense.
- Some work in the field of special needs, as care workers or pedagogues.
- Some work for NGOs as education specialists.
- Some work as teachers at non-traditional schools.
- Some go back to their home countries to work in the mains stream school system and set about to transform the system from within.
- Some use their bachelor in pedagogy as a foundation for further university studies, and carry the seeds of Another Kind of Teacher to whatever profession they end up in.
They all TEACH in one way or another.
Meet some graduates from DNS below
Forming relationships, showing your humanity and good old solidarity with the people you teach, work like magic if you really want to have an impact on someone’s life, for example as a teacher.
“Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”
Sharing a passion is a good way to connect with your students
Creating a respectful atmosphere
To choose the path of teaching took me some time, I must say. It started on my very first 1st of September, this is the day when the school year starts in Lithuania. I simply loved it. And I am not talking about the lessons and tests, but about all the kinds of people I got to interact with and about the learning process that was happening there, somehow in between lessons most of the time. Though I was in love with the school and Summer holidays always seemed too long of a break, I never thought I will become a teacher. It is now, when I reflect, I see lots of sense in my actions and choices that led me to choose this profession.
Imagine you had to make a list, a catalogue, of all that exists. Where would you start?
You would probably look around, and start to name or to write down everything that you see or that comes to your mind. Soon, you would come across some dilemmas, and start to notice that it is not always so easy to establish what exists and what doesn’t. Do feelings exist, since they are not seen in the material world but just experienced internally? Probably yes, you would say. But then, do fictional characters exist, since they are not seen in the material world but just experienced mentally? This is a bit more challenging. Another dilemma: is a chair something that exists on its own? Or is it rather nothing but the sum of the pieces of wood that it is made of? Then maybe we shouldn’t include chairs on our catalogue of all that exists, it is enough to write ‘wood’. But following this line of thoughts, isn’t wood just a sum of molecules, which in turn are just a sum of atoms? Shouldn’t we then just write ‘atoms’ in our list? As you might have observed, the catalogue is very much subject to interpretation: a particle physicist’s catalogue will probably end up looking very different from your very own catalogue.
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These things have touched my heart rather than my head, I was incredibly humbled by the humanity I encountered.
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