It's 4.00 am when we leave our homes to go to the airport and when I look in her eyes the last colleague that comes on board, we start laughing. The atmosphere we breath is very friendly, but everyone of us, in her heart, knows that we are a heterogeneous group, that isn't already joined and, above all, that we're leaving for job! The real aim of the trip is CONTRIBUTION. The Comenius project, that uses European Community funds, allowed us to work at distance for three years with Norway and Portugal, and to meet, during our mobilities, in the different countries.
This time the destination is Norway. Haugesund is a small village with 36.000 people in the south-west: a group of houses scattered on the banks of a wonderful sound and a small urban centre.
The morning of the day after we arrive at the bus stop near the school , rolled in a tale scene, everything is covered of a pearled fog, scented woods. Five norwegian children with nice faces guide us discovering their school...playgrounds, classrooms, laboratories and all the rest.
We feel a bigger freedom. Would we ever send five of our 11 years old pupils alone in the street to meet a foreign delegation?
The children attending the school, from 6 to 15 years old, choose to leave their shoes on, to wear sleepers or to take them off, they have their own space to leave their things, they go round the school with confidence.
Just like in our schools, pupils live their spaces without fears, but with more freedom, expecially during group works.
But children are the same everywhere!
We took part of their lessons, they interwiewed us with curious eyes and then, little by little, they started to come nearer to talk. English, as always, makes its magic, completing with words a communication made of movements and giances, curiosity and friendship.
I had already noticed some kids with a particular behaviour, with special eyes, something you can do after some teaching years, and that evening, during the dinner with their teachers, I had the confermation to my suspects.
"Children with special needs" they say.
The route that ends with a diagnosis is almost the same than in Italy: talking to the family, to a doctor and than a long waiting for a support teacher.
For the day after again, was organized an our lesson in the sixth grade class. Me and my colleague have prepared a power point presentation about Rome's monuments. At the beginning they looked the slides very interested...S.Peter, Trevi fountain, S.Angel Castle, but a little bit later I noticed that "those" children started thinking about something else. The temptation to catch again their attenction had the best and, quickly ended the presentation, I sat down between them, looking in their lives, their interests, their passions.
And so the topics were football, videogames, basketball, disneychannel, High School Musical 3 and many more.
"In which role do you play? Who do you like the most, Chad or Troy? I don't like Gabriella at all! Have you got the R4 for Nintendo DS? Do you go to the cinema? Do you eat pop-corns? Hanna Montana is going to do a concert, are you going to see it?"...here they are...still alive! They start moving, rising their hands to speak, feeling to be sitted on fire, even who has some difficulties with English tries to tell me that plays football and follows Roma team because there's a norwegian football player . "Yes, but he's not something special!" and we laugh a lot!
He is there, piercing me with his eyes, with his eyebrows down on his green dark eyes, I feel like he's fighting a war inside of him, something that bolis like lava, and finally he rises his hand! He tells me that football is his passion, that goes to the court even if it's very very cold and that he plays with his friend, this friend! I hear his words just like he's giving me the numbers to win the lottery...and we're both happy and satisfied. At the end of the lesson we take a photo all together, some girls come around me to ask something more and we start going out for a break, I look for him with my eyes, he waves his hand and makes me a present of a light smile!
I'll keep the memory of that smile as the symbol of the whole trip. Now I know that children have the same souls even at different latitudes, the same fears, the same problems, but even the same passions and likes and dislikes.
The sensation I brought with me is to be a part of a huge scholastic world, where teachers and pupils speak the same languages, basing on the same values...takk Norge! Thanks Norway!