As a teacher of 3rd year students, I am still learning LOTS of things about the Gymnasium! I have the curriculum part covered, of course, but it's all those OTHER things I don't know! This is especially true since I did not go to school in the gymnasium system nor was I educated in the Danish university system.... so even though I have had these students for almost three years, each day it seems like I learn one more thing about the traditions of Herning Gymnasium and the processes of being an STX-gymnasium. So between now and graduation on June 24, I hope I can share lots of those things that make a gymnasium in Denmark unique from just about every other educational institution I know...
The first of such things is CABARET....
Cabaret at Herning Gymnasium is a very special and very.....SECRETIVE....tradition, so I can only share the basics!
Each year, the night before the 3rd year students' exam schedule is released, they are all invited to attend HERNING GYMNASIUM'S CABARET! The show is performed BY their teachers FOR them... and NO ONE ELSE can come except for the 3rd year students! No parents, no siblings, no friends... JUST THEM!
The teachers practice for WEEKS AND WEEKS leading up to this night.
We learn songs (ALL PÅ DANSK of course!!).... and the cool thing about these songs is that ALL of them have been re-written.... the melody is the same, but the words have been changed to be personal messages to our students. There are solos, there are dances, there are costumes, and I have a feeling that at the end....there are also tears.
We tease them in the songs, we joke a little in the songs, and we tell them how much they mean to us in the songs (yeah, and did I mention all the songs are PÅ DANSK? lol)
Well for this year's third year students (the ones graduating), the exam schedule is released at 5am on Tuesday morning, so you know what that means! Yep, TOMORROW NIGHT is CABARET 2011.
I am headed to school now for our marathon-dress rehearsal day.... 10am-10pm, so you can see this is something we take very seriously and something we want to do well for our kids!
I was nervous about participating because I am NOT a singer or a dancer or really even an entertainer, but I have 2 classes graduating this year and I decided to step OUT of my comfort zone so that I could be a part of the group telling these 300 kids how much they mean to us. So 3R and 3C, I am TOTALLY doing this for you guys! And I have a feeling.....like WILL.I.AM says...
What a great tradition! I'm sure the students will value this evening for a long long time to come...
That is so cool Kelli, can you imagine doing anything like that in the states and how the students would have reacted? I think it is wonderful that the teachers show how much the students mean to them...that gives the students a feeling of value, which i think lacks somewhat in the American school system? Would you agree?
Have fun tomorrow night and remember no one will be noticing how well or badly you sing, but they will notice the effort you are making for them and that is what counts!!
p.s. Thanks for the email- will answer you soon ok? A little bit going on here for the moment...
Oooohhh...will there be videos???
I've never heard of this tradition, but I do like the fact that it's between students and teachers. It must strengthen the bond, something you don't see at the high schools where my kids went. Good luck. I know you'll be great PAA DANSK.
I cannot wait to hear all about this. I am so glad you are doing this and it sounds like soo much fun!!
There are 2 things in your post that I think American education needs to sit up and notice. #1 is that Teachers stay with their classes for long periods of time. Students don't move year to year to different teachers. The #2 thing is that Teachers are personally honoring their students at Caberet, which is very rare in America. American education is still on the factory industrial model. It builds good dependable refrigerators but it does not educate unique individuals. It was never meant for humans. Every student need an Individual Education Plan (IEP), not just those with learning disabilities.
So cool that you are participating. :-)
I haven't really thought about it before but you are right it's a very special Danish thing to write new lyrics to well known songs and sing about the people we love like that.
Thanks for reminding me. I still remember when my gymnasium teachers performed for us (though they didn't call it cabaret and didn't do it on the same day) and I still giggle when I think about how my college teachers did the same thing. They really showed that they knew us and loved us by the way they made fun of us. :-)
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