We met up with Tuuli, our grade 7 class teacher, to hear more about our learning community. As they are working with our senior students, Tuuli and her teammates are creating our secondary level in practice. Here's what she had to say about the first 6 months at FISM.
1. What were the main reasons you wanted to join FISM, and move to Maldives?
I was looking for new perspectives to teaching and learning; Finnish education combined with an international learning environment felt like an opportunity to develop myself professionally. I was also curious, because I have been travelling a lot, but didn’t know much about Maldives.
2. What is “the Finnish way of teaching” all about? What are the key things in your opinion?
First of all, I value the pedagogical autonomy in Finnish school system, including the right to choose the most suitable teaching methods for the students. Learning by doing is a big part of our daily school life.
Secondly, equality. Each student has individual needs. Assessment is part of the daily schoolwork, and instead of comparing the students to each other, we concentrate on the progress they make in their individual learning processes.
Lastly, developing students’ self-knowledge as well as thinking and study skills helps them to become aware of their own progress and learning.
3. What are the biggest differences with teaching at FISM compared to your career in Finland?
Team teaching is the biggest difference for sure. We do most of the planning together, and there are always two teachers in a classroom to share the work and responsibilities. Also, the working days are quite full here and life is more work-oriented than in Finland.
Personally speaking, teaching in English means that I need to use more time on lesson planning from the language point of view, but on the other hand, I'm happy to improve my English skills.
In addition, we focus more on developing our teaching skills and methods, both on a personal and school level. That is something I really appreciate.
4. And what are the similarities?
I would say that the focus is always on learning. Learning to learn, thinking and creativity are at the core of our daily learning. Collaboration between teachers as well as students is the tool which helps everyone to reach their full potential. Also, learning by doing makes learning fun.
5. What is the single best thing about FISM for you?
I’m happy to be part of this community where learning is not only for the students, but also for teachers who are willing to develop themselves professionally.
I also feel that everyone is taking good care of each other, which is important when you are far away from your home country. I moved here alone, so people I work with are not just colleagues, they are also friends and family. I spend a lot of time with my colleagues after work. We, for example, go diving together. I love it and It’s a good way to keep life in balance.