Get ready to welcome the green-eyed monster
A bit of jealousy is healthy, especially if it ends up inspiring us, so get ready to welcome the green-eyed monster. Let’s travel to Finland from the comfort of our chair. It’s a teacher’s paradise. Finland’s teachers have kept the nation near of the top of the influential Pisa performance rankings since they were first published way back in 2001. No surprise Finnish teachers are treated like royalty and a career in teaching will always be one of the most respected careers in the country. Here are a couple of Finnish Educational System facts, which will definitely inspire you.
Training to become a teacher
Prospective educators are given high-level intensive training, as well as the knowledge to be able to choose which methods they should use in the classroom for different circumstances. Teachers learn to make pedagogical decisions and judgments for themselves. Lifelong learning is their mantra and academics spend the majority of their working hours researching and ensuring that they are true masters of their selected subjects. Teachers are given the time and space to do what they love… teach.
Focus and Collaboration
Finnish schools have a small classroom philosophy, giving educators time to get to know each and every student individually and plan and monitor each child’s growth. Educators consult and collaborate, they share experiences, and they spend fewer hours at school than most educators anywhere in the world. They are encouraged to use their free time to build curriculum and design creative learning experiences.
The Finns believe that academically, the best students are not necessarily going to become the best teachers. They are on a constant mission to find people who have a passion to inspire, motivate and mentor younger generations… individuals who place knowledge at the heart of it all.
Quality versus Quantity
Compulsory schooling does not begin until the age of 7 and children aren’t given tons and tons of homework. This gives students the chance to start to adopt a school-life balance and get introduced to extra curriculum activities from a young age. School is perceived to be the place where you enjoy learning – a space where you can be creative and develop your passions.
At this point you’re probably a little green with envy. I don’t blame you. We all have lots to learn from each other, but undeniably, we have loads to learn from the Finns. Rather than thinking of how you’d love to pack your bags and move to Finland, let’s all work together to bring a bit of Finland into our teaching community. In the next couple of blogs, I’ll be sharing ideas inspired by the Finns, which are sure to come in handy!