Last week, I was invited to join a discussion about the lessons that U.S. schools can learn from other nations. Many American educators will be writing blog posts about valuable practices and policies from abroad. Of course, I decided to write about lessons I’ve learned while teaching in Finland!
My post, “A U.S. Teacher in Finland: Teaching Less, Collaborating More”, was just published yesterday. Read it here. Please consider commenting and sharing it, too! Here’s an excerpt:
“When I received my timetable in early August, I was dumbstruck. As a 5th grade classroom teacher, I would be contracted for 24 hours of teaching each week. What's more is that there would be a built-in break of 15 minutes every lesson. Factor in the breaks and I would only be spending 18 hours in the classroom each week. On average, that's less than four hours of actual teaching time every day. This is a typical teaching load in Finland.
At my previous school in the U.S., I had about 5 ½ hours of instructional time every day. That's a total of 27 ½ hours of time in the classroom each week, which is nearly 10 hours more than I spend teaching in Finland.
I was often exhausted when I returned from school in the States. In Finland, I'm finding more time to pace myself, reflect, communicate with parents, and plan lessons. I also have more time to meet with students and colleagues.”
To learn more lessons from other countries, consider watching an insightful five-minute video I've linked below.
(Photo by JNN13; CC BY-SA 3.0)