By Tim Walker • Apr 1st, 2014
In late-November, I wrote “Classroom Shock: What I Am Learning as a Teacher in Finland”, a piece about three lessons I’d bring back to an American classroom if I ever returned. Since this article was published, it has appeared in three different Italian publications, and just earlier this week I granted permission to an Italian teacher magazine to feature it in an upcoming issue.
Why have my observations resonated with an Italian audience? I was clueless until Chiara, an Italian high schooler, emailed me about her experiences as an exchange student in Finland, explaining why her “heart still feels a bit of pain thinking of the great school life there.” My latest post is all about Chiara's perspective on life at two very different high schools. Read it here.
By Tim Walker • Mar 1st, 2014
An American teacher now teaching in Finland, Tim Walker has learned that, In Finland, “specials” are not bonus classes. Exactly half of his students’ classroom hours are made up of art, music, P.E., textiles, woodwork, and foreign language studies. Out of 26 total hours of classes, 13 are devoted to “specials.” Three hours are allocated for math and music each week. Crazy, right? Read more about the amazing facts about classroom practices in Finland!
By Tim Walker • Feb 1st, 2014
I'm definitely experiencing classroom shock—a shifting of my pedagogical mindset—as I settle into my new job as an American 5th grade teacher at a Finnish public school. My family and I plan on living in Finland permanently, but I can't help but think about what I'd do differently if I returned to an American classroom. Talk about reverse-classroom shock! I've already identified three big shifts I'd make right away.
By Tim Walker • Jan 1st, 2014
An American teacher working in the Finnish school system reveals surprising differences between math tests in the US and those given in Finland, a system praised for its successful school. What the Finnish tests tell us about American curriculum and teaching...