Ana Sofia Pimenta
I am a student from Denmark who, for the last couple of months, has experienced life working in a Scottish school. This has been quite an adventure for me and what a culture change I met.
I have seen how Storyline has been used. I have seen how good an influence a simple thing like stickers and house points can be. On top of that I have had to get used to being called Miss Pimenta which, in the beginning, felt quite odd. By now I have sort of got used to it.
You might wonder if the Scottish school system can possibly be so hugely different from the Danish system? The answer is: Yes!
The first thing I noticed when I started working at the school was that the children were all wearing school uniforms which in Denmark is very rare – only private schools have uniforms. Besides that the teachers as well have to wear some kind of a uniform; for example they are not allowed to wear jeans. The second big thing I noticed is (as I said in the beginning) that the children have to call you by the last name. In Denmark the children would call the teachers by their first name. Another thing which struck me is that a class only has one teacher to teach in every subject which I can imagine is quite a challenge for the teachers – they have to know a little about everything.
When all this is said I cannot help myself saying that the children at Kinnaird Primary School in Larbert are some of the best-behaved, disciplined and wonderful children I have ever met. They are open to new ideas; they want to learn and were very curious to know about Denmark and the Danish language which is not at all easy to learn. However the children did very well. I got the chance to know one class very well especially because I was allowed to take a little group of children out every day to do some teamwork games with them. It has as well been great to know some of the Scottish traditions like the celebration of the harvest festival, St. Andrews day, Christmas and maybe I will even get the chance to see how you celebrate Robert Burns.
It is said that when you are occupied and having fun time flies by. That is so true. I cannot believe that my stay is nearly over and know I am going to miss the children and the staff a lot.
Have the last couple of months changed me? I would say so. I’m more confident with myself. I have achieved new ways to discipline children. I have become even more sure that when I finish my studies I would really like to work with children because they are just amazing small people!