January 16

January 16, 2016

Today Rachel and I woke up bright and early to visit our 9th school system. I was excited to visit a school after last night’s class discussion about the possible publication of a book.

When arriving to out first school in Rovaniemi we were welcomed with a short presentation. When taking the tour at 9 a.m. I was amazed at how it was still pitch dark out and the moon high in the sky. The first room we visited was Chemistry..my favorite. There was much similarities between the Rovaniemi and Helsinki teachers.
Our next lesson was Music which was my absolute favorite. The teacher was very interactive with my small group and even decided to put on a performance. Our 3 7th grade tour guides sang while a student played the drums, guitar, and tambourine.  They sang Rolling in the Deep by Adele because it was American.

After several measures of practice the professor asked if we wanted to join. I got up and sang with students and surprisingly had a smile on my face the entire time. Even though we weren’t the best it was the experience. How often does one visit another country where you are actually immersed in their culture and included.

This will be a great memory.

Our next lesson was wood working and welding. This class still has me stumped. The 7th students that were in the classes were making knives, axes, and shovels. I am amazed how the students are disciplined enough to work with such dangerous machinery.

The teacher said that in his 20 years there has never been any major accidents. While he was conversing with us, students were in a separate room using machinery that professionals use. This intrigued me seeing how all the students knew what they were supposed to do. The amount of freedom that they have is more than we every received. It would be interesting to observe classes on the first day of schools. I feel that that could be a major component in Finland’s successful education system.

Once we ate lunch we gathered in the gym as a whole to participate in a game. It was similar to duck-duck-goose. This was my favorite school because they showed us Finnish culture through inclusion. I felt very welcomed and I feel that everyone felt special. Hey, I was even told I speak Finnish very well after I told someone kiitos.

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