Joe Klumper was born and raised in Minnesota, USA. He was exposed to Norwegian culture already growing up, as the people in Minnesota have a lot of Norwegian blood in the years since the great emigration in the second half of the 19th century. He had never imagined moving to Norway, never imagined moving from the USA at all. As Joe says, very few in the Midwest envision ever moving out of the US. But that was before he met a lovely Norwegian girl.
Now Joe is a 7th and 10th grade/MYP teacher in social studies and history. Next year he will also be teaching English, which will surely come naturally to him. The classes have an average of 15 students, which is very good because you get plenty of time to help the students. In addition, there is a lot of work in groups. All students are different, so it is important to be able to be there for each and every one of them, regardless of need.
Group work across subjects is also something Joe really appreciates when teaching at Fagerhaug. A group can, for example, be a “family” that has to deal with a budget, laws and regulations, application deadlines, repairs, etc., which is common in family life – but which the students here get to brag about as “responsible”, at the same time that they get into the subjects in a practical way of learning. “We give them a starting point to be prepared for life, and I think that’s great”
Fagerhaug is a starting point for being prepared for life
Joe loves being a teacher and being able to help people. Seeing that the students manage something new that they couldn’t do before, and knowing that he has been part of this development, gives him great joy. But the most important reason why he became a teacher is probably his older brother, whom he looked up to very much. When his brother was studying to become a teacher, Joe decided to follow in his footsteps. At university, he changed his major for one semester to try out a different direction, but then switched back to teacher training with renewed insight and belief that this was really what he wanted to focus on.
After his education, he first worked for four and a half years at a middle school, equivalent to junior high school in Norway. Then it was off to Norway for a few months in connection with the birth of their son. Unfortunately, there was no opportunity for a teaching job here in Norway during that period, so he returned to the United States where he had the opportunity to work at another school for three years. But the goal was to move to Norway. He got in touch with Trondheim International school, they didn’t have any vacancies, but the principal there suggested Cherise Kristoffersen. A couple of days later, Joe did a video interview with Cherise, and things happened quickly.
Two months later they moved to Stjørdal! In the first period they lived in Sona, with Joe’s in-laws before they found a house in Hommelvik. He started as a teacher at Fagerhaug in the first year at the new school in Evja, and he thinks it is exciting to see how the school develops from year to year, with new play equipment outside and new equipment for the science classes, among other things.
Joe cannot stress enough how impressed he is with the principal at FINT, Cherise. She is a driving force who ensures that the school develops as it grows, and is an inspiration to the teachers. She is a leader in the true sense of the word, and it is a pleasure to work with her.
“As teachers at Fagerhaug, we get the freedom to be individual teachers, with responsibility. And it’s up to us to make the best of it”
After a few years here in Norway, Joe has just passed a milestone. He has now learned to like old cheese! It wasn’t something he liked the first time he tried it, but now after a few years of Norwegian adaptation in his diet – he likes it too