Today and yesterday have been my first time in a public school since the end of first grade.
Here are my thoughts and observations:
-The organizational structure of the school works well for connecting the students with their different classes and teachers. Between the sensible structure and my host brother guiding me, I had no trouble finding where I needed to go or getting to classes on time. Also, you are free to move about as you wish. You should be in class on time, but if you don’t have classes for a while you’re free to go home and come back later.
-The teachers are pleasant, welcoming, and I get the sense that they care for all of their students based on how they interact with us. One teacher even expressed interest in learning a little about my life in the US; I thought that was very thoughtful. Their teaching style is well based and sensible for their classes. In Art, we are designing jewelry to commemorate Finland’s Centennial birthday, which is coming up soon.
-The students are also pleasant and welcoming if introduced to me. I think they are all good people for the most part, and I would be happy to spend time with any of them. I think that I will have friends by the end of the year 🙂 Currently, there are 800 students enrolled in the school but I believe that more are coming sometime during the year. Potentially as many as 1000 people may be in the school at some point.
-My textbooks are in Finnish. I have an old phone that I am using to translate, but it’s not perfect. I’m working with my teachers to determine a the best thing to do based on the situation. I think it’s working out nicely.
-The lessons are all in Finnish, but some teachers know enough English to give me a rundown after telling the rest of the class the information. Again, I think it’s working out nicely.
-Lunch is included in the enrollment. They had a buffet-style double row set up. Lunch was salad, bread and sausage patties which was fine. I believe there is some menu variation. When it’s your time to eat you head downstairs to the cafeteria and start serving yourself. It’s a clean and efficient process. If you have time, you can go to your home for lunch.
-Homework doesn’t seem too crazy from what I’ve seen. It’s been pleasant to do for the most part. We’ll see what happens in the future.
So far, so good! Praise God!