“It’s not about education – it’s about the adventure!”
„I have never been on a plane before” – said TeA to himself. However, the take of did not seem to scare him! In fact he found himself very excited! He was on his way to a top secret destination – Heidelberg Theodor-Heuss-Realschule – one of the most prestigious schools in Heidelberg. He was specifically chosen for this mission by his authority at the LEUS (the name of the organization is classified*).
His first stop before changing transport (to shake off anyone that might try to follow) was Mannheim. Not much surprised him there, for it was not the first time he had visited Germany, and this city seemed just like any other. Heidelberg was a different story altogether.
The high hills surrounding the city vexed him, calling like only the best kind of adventures do.
The old town was full of wonders ready to be discovered. The school was full of knowledge and experiences so eagerly awaited. The very first day he made a promise to himself – to climb one of the high hills of Heidelberg. But his mission always came first for agent TeA. He spent 10 days studying the schools life, learning the schedule, observing lessons. He found out that German kids are mostly learning the same stuff as Lithuanians. They have math, and English, and even home economics (you know, the one you cook and make the table all proper).
The infiltration was so successful that agent TeA even made a project with the students of Theodor-Heuss-Realschule about the power of tolerance, and got invited to see the city with the students. Having earned their trust he also started to see that his new friends are working a lot more than the students of Lithuania. The lessons start at 7.45 am. and end around 3 pm. For agent TeA that was a long time and his concentration was beginning to waver. Only the thought, of how important the mission was, kept him going.
The lessons and went on, as they usually do, one following the other. Agent TeA observed different methods and approaches used by the teachers in their lessons partly wandering how high the hill opposite to the beautiful castle of Heidelberg was. He met with students and teachers of the University of Heidelberg and was pleasantly surprised to find out that they have spent at least a little time in Lithuania. With some he even managed to speak about the adventure he had been planning from the moment he had set foot in Heidelberg. One student, Michael, gave some very useful information and within the very first two days the adventure was planned! But before TeA could set off on his epic journey, a very special event had to be held. He and his five, highly trained, special op’s agents met and had the honor to present their country on the day of the Reclamation of Independence, March the 11th. The students were very interested to learn about Lithuania, many thought about visiting this newly discovered land during their summer vacation.
After this very fun, and interactive presentation, agent TeA set out to meet his challenge – the very high hill of Heidelberg. Three times he stopped thinking that maybe this hill is stronger than him, maybe he should turn back. While resting he thought about the students he had met, and what they had learned together. Having gained strength from these happy thoughts he soldered on. An hour it took him to reach the very top. There he found the ruins of a monastery and a watchtower. Having taken a bundle of beautiful pictures he began his descent down the hill. It took another hour. Funny enough he was even more energetic upon returning!
All in all, it was not the beautiful old town or fantastic new friends that caught the eye of agent TeA. It were the students he had met, and lessons he had seen and the hill he had claimed by his strength alone.
Would you like to know what was agent TeA’s mission in Heidelberg? I bet you would – it’s classified**.
*- just kidding, it’s not; it’s Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences.
** – just kidding, it’s not – he was there to do exactly what he did 😉
J.V. May 5, 2016
Thanks TeA:) keep on spying and sharing your adventures with us!
V. K. May 3, 2016
Thank you for sharing your adventures, dear Tomai. Your articles are as vivid and capturing as always:)
Businessgeek May 3, 2016
Joint venture???? joint venture (JV) is a business agreement in which the parties agree to develop, for a finite time, a new entity and new assets by contributing equity. :p
Tomas Aleknavičius May 3, 2016 — Post Author
That is an amazing question! First of all – the super power of tolerance. They do have problems with it. Mainly because they are told what tolerance is, instead of figuring it out for themselves. By taking about tolerance in schools we take this concept to heart, we individualize it, find examples of it in our personal space. German students only have a definition and they have to stick to it no matter what.
I’ve heard some beautiful thoughts from the students I met. Their views are very similar to those of Lithuanian students, but German students are reluctant to speak their mind during class. That was very strange for me. As they explain it – they know what to say, and how to say it, on the matter of tolerance, and their personal opinion is not important in this matter.
Contrary to what people might think this problem did not begin with the current crisis in Germany. It was there for decades. However, the students don’t mind this strange order of business. They take it for what it is – a rule that has to be followed. The existence of this rule does not change their thoughts. I think tolerance is “strong within them” 😀
Secondly, I did only mean that they work longer hours. Overall, their schedules are just weird 😀 They have almost no breaks – when a lesson ends, the bell rings once, another teacher enters the class and starts preparing. While the teacher prepares the students chat or walk outside the class, but in roughly 5 minutes they are back in their seats, without the bell – another bell rings in 40 minutes. And this cycle keeps repeating itself, until it’s lunchtime, then they have a whole hour to eat and relax. After they go back for around 3 more hours of schoolwork. Weird, right? 😀
Best for last – would I ever work there. I would have to learn German first… 😀 I think I wouldn’t. Mainly because I love Lithuania, and no matter how cool my top secret missions to foreign countries are coming home is the best part every time. But I also love how open, democratic, and critically thinking our schools are. I wouldn’t want to give that up 🙂
Anonymous May 3, 2016
I know who J.V.is lol ????????????????
J.V. May 3, 2016
Dear agent TeA, what did you find out about the super power of tolerance in German schools? We often talk about it here in our school, how are students’ views different? Do they really have problems with tolerance? And what do you mean by “they are working harder”? Maybe just longer hours:)
If you ever changed your job, would like to work there as a teacher?