Thursday, September 15, 2011

Started my university teaching career

A couple of days ago I had my third class as a lecturer at BI Norwegian Business School (Handelshøyskolen BI). This is something I have been thinking - and sometimes dreaming - about for several years.

In summer I was invited to be responsible for the course "Organisation of New Venture" for Bachelor in Entrepreneurship students. This is a very exciting, yet humbling task. It is a big personal challenge for me too. Despite my long-term involvement as a trainer for several years (first in AIESEC, then for Youth in Action in Estonia and in Norway), I have never been a teacher in formal education before. An additional challenge is that this course is... in Norwegian and all the students are Norwegians. My Norwegian is far from perfect, although I use it on everyday basis.
The building of BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo
Despite these difficulties that I could foresee, I nevertheless took this responsibility - and I am the teacher at the course for around 40 students during this autumn semester (until the end of the year). As this course only takes place once a week late afternoon, I can just as well combine it with my primary work (and with occasional freelance training courses I deliver for Aktiv Ungdom).

Why did I agree? Well, first of all, as mentioned in the beginning of the post, this is something I was imagining to do after some time anyway - I just did not think I was to start precisely now. Higher education, teaching and facilitating are the areas I have been interested in for years. I enjoy contributing to enhancing the knowledge of people and I feel comfortable doing it.

On the other hand, BI Norwegian Business School (or simply BI as it is known in Norway) is among the best business schools in Scandinavia and being part of it on the faculty's side is a great honour for me.

Last but not least, the purpose and the structure of the course have been very appealing to me. The students must start their own student venture in groups during the course - and we cooperate with Junior Achievement in this process. Several organisations such as NHO (Norwegian Employees' Organisation), JCI (mentorship programme),and Oslo City Government (guest lectures) are involved. Besides, I engage several acting entrepreneurs in this process. Thus, I am acting as a facilitator of the course connecting students to different people from the professional world - and support their learning journey by providing a theoretical framework as well as concrete tools to assist them.

I feel I have to be on top of duties every week I meet the students - not an easy task when one is confronted with a heterogeneous and demanding bunch of ambitious young people. It is time-consuming too - as with any teaching assignments, one needs to do quite a lot of work "behind the scenes", before and after the classes. Well, I have evenings and weekends for that whenever I need to... :)


proovibloog said...

Welcom to the bittersweet world of teaching. Its hard and its also rewarding. Dont scream at the students to much and I hope you are able to control your violent behavior.


Anonymous said...

Teaching is awesome! Hope you enjoy every minute!

Deniss Rutšeikov said...

Hi guys,

Good to hear your encouraging words. I don't plan to use violence, no ;)