“Please, Stalk your Classmate”

“This week you will be secretly following Björn”, the teachers proposed. Make sure he never finds out you’re investigating him. Try to find out what his strengths are. At the end of this week, reveal to him that you were observing him and  give him a few strength-cards.” Yakov (17) and Björn (16) are taking a sabbatical year at the Arbeidsinstituttet Buskerud in Norway. Is it a special school?

“Students must feel good at our school, Yakov says. “We are trusted by our teachers and they take us very seriously. Teachers and students are always available for each other, willing to really listen to each other. That results in a school where everybody knows everybody.”

Nerds don’t exist
“Nerds or losers don’t exist in our school” Yakov continues. “There is no room for bullying, cutting class, or forming gangs competing against each other. We walk and talk together about our strengths.” “Please don’t see it as something cheesy or awkward” Björn laughs. “We just hang out and talk, as normal people do.”

“You can attend this school for one year” Yakov says. “After that, you go back to your old school and talk about your experience to other students and teachers.”

Dreams and goals
Björn dreams about building a house in the United States and own a classic Mustang. “My teachers are helping me to achieve that dream. I had to write down goals to achieve. If I reach my goals, I am much closer to achieve my initial dream. I wrote down that I wanted to learn to breakdance, produce hip hop music, and I want to learn how to fix broken down cars. Waiting for my dream to come true by chance is not going to get me anywhere. I must act. Teachers will help me to achieve my dream instead of flunking me because I haven’t reached my dream yet.”

Contact: Stijn Govaerts


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