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Principal Interview with Brynhild Idland

Nesbru VGS recently got a new principal who started the job on 5 February. Her name is Brynhild Idland, and she took the position after long-time principal Knut Jore retired in November of last year. On that occasion, we thought it would be valuable to hold a portrait interview.

After studying Financial Economics at BI in Oslo, Brynhild Idland worked for a few years in business before becoming a mother and later a teacher. In the early days of the internet she took an Information and Communication Technology course at Buskerud college. Her career in the educational sector began as a high school teacher when she taught corporate economics and accounting, social studies, information technology (IT) and financial management. She also taught a subject called “IT and economics” before the Norwegian school reform was implemented in 2006.

When I asked her why she wanted to be a Principal, she answered that it has a bit to do with her education. “Once you start studying financial economics you imagine that you will be working with economics, but there’s also a lot of management.” She laughed and explained to me that she has a younger sister who she liked to boss around when they were younger. “I like cooperation, making decisions and being in charge. I like that something is always happening.”

When I asked why she wanted to work here at Nesbru, there was a very easy answer! She was intrigued by the different courses we offer here, as opposed to the general studies schools where she has previously worked. “I’ve always had a thought that more diversity makes it more exciting to work at a school.” She also thinks it must be more fun to be a student when there’s a greater number of students and a greater diversity.

Brynhild has previously worked at Nadderud Videregående, a very good school for general studies. The average grade has been high and they have had great results. I asked her if she was hoping to increase the average grade and results of Nesbru, or if she saw a need for it; but as she hasn’t been here too long she didn’t really know. “I do want a higher number of applicants for the general studies course. There are many applying for the International Baccalaureate, YSK (Building and Construction, vocational and general studies combined) and Building and Construction courses, but I would like to see more girls applying to YSK!”

While talking about the courses that Nesbru has to offer, I asked her what she thought of the IB. She told me that the new national education plan that is coming soon has a greater focus on some of what the IB teaches, such as the IB learner’s profile. “The IB can actually be very useful for Nesbru, we should get better at spreading its message around the school.” Our new Principal believes that a good school consists of a good learning and a positive student environment. “It needs to be safe and to include everybody, across courses and classes. I think it’s the foundation for a good education.” She says that there also needs to be cooperation between students and teachers as well as between school and home, so that parents can be involved in the case of serious matters such as absence. Teachers need to be motivating and must “let the student know that the teachers support them and believe they can always improve, no matter which level they are on.”

My final question for Brynhild was what she thought Nesbru’s best qualities are. She hasn’t been Principal here for more than six weeks, but I thought that such a great school must have made a strong first impression. “The diversity!” She especially praised the teachers here. “The teachers on the building and construction courses are really good at taking the theoretical part of the syllabus and letting the students understand its relevance for the practical work. It’s an advantage you have here that you don’t get at ‘general studies only’ schools.” The teachers also seem to have created a positive, friendly environment.

I want to wish our new Principal welcome to the school, hope she will enjoy working here.

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