I received a letter. However, I would rather have received a different letter

This week, I and all the teachers at the independent schools received a letter from the new Danish Minister for Education Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil.

D 16. august 2019

af Uffe Rostrup, Formand for FSL

It is really nice to receive a letter. Especially a real letter in which someone has written to you. To me, it happens way too seldom – maybe because I do not very often write letters to others.

Today, we receive most letters via e-mail – both the pleasant ones and the unpleasant ones.

This week, I and all the teachers at the independent schools received a letter from the new Danish Minister for Education Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil.

It is an established tradition that the country’s Minister for Education sends a letter to the teachers in which she thanks us for the great work we do every day, providing formative and vocational education for the future generations, and for that reason I duly thank her for the letter.

This year's letter, however, was more in the nature of a reminder for all the independent schools to take social responsibility, and as a consequence we must all be prepared for the discussion about the introduction of a social taximeter system at the independent schools, which will start now.

You see, you do not get to choose which letters you receive. However, wishing is permitted. And the thing is that I would much rather have received the letter that the teachers at the municipal primary and lower secondary schools (Folkeskolen) received.

In the letter for the teachers at the municipal primary and lower secondary schools, the minister focuses on the children as the most important thing in our lives and as a mirror of our society, showing us whether or not we perform well enough. In the letter, she also writes about how she will work to “... rebuild the confidence that was broken last time the Social Democratic Party had the governmental power. The process was ugly, and it will not be repeated (...). Through actions, trust must be regained”.

As a teacher at an independent school, I would have liked to receive many of the same messages. I know that she has not forgotten that the teachers at the independent schools were also part of the conflict in 2013, and that we also work in accordance with the absurd Law 409.

Just like in the municipal primary and lower secondary schools, the hearts of all the teachers beat for the children, and for that reason, the many fine thoughts for the teachers at the municipal primary and lower secondary schools might as well be directed at us.

I hope that it is not a token of distrust of or disdain for the teachers and the independent schools that the letter we received is a lot more ... should we say reserved. Because the more than 120,000 pupils at the independent schools have great teachers who deserve exactly the same credit and recognition for their work as their colleagues at the municipal primary and lower secondary schools.

In the future cooperation, I hope that the new minister will recognise all of us at the primary and lower secondary schools for the hard work we perform every day to be the best teachers we can for the future generations.

In the meantime, I will look forward to receiving a letter from the minister again, because I actually greatly respect her knowledge of and insight into the area.