Teacher Trainee Life

As you know, our university offers us interesting courses that go well with our degrees. I am an English student, so I was given the opportunity to study either translation, method or pedagogical studies for my degree. For me, it was a no-brainer to study pedagogical studies for subject teachers. In my opinion, pedagogical studies can give you resources that are useful in many kinds of professions and job tasks – they are not only for the ones who will want to become teachers. Pedagogical studies for subject teachers can help you to be more organized and to work with different kinds of people in a changing, innovative environment.

I embarked on this journey not really knowing what to expect. Sure, some of my friends had already completed these studies and they told me both horror stories and fairy tales about their own experiences. I had heard that these two upcoming semesters would be excruciatingly exhausting and hectic. But my friends also told me that they had made life-long friendships and learned a lot about themselves thanks to their teacher training. And this kind of practical training is not quite common in universities, so I thought that this would be an interesting experience to have.

Basic studies in education consist of basic practice, and in addition to that, students need to complete different kinds of courses which include planning, implementation and assessment of teaching and psychology of learning and development.  During the first semester, we had lectures and our basic practice. In spring, we will complete our intermediate studies by following lectures, taking exams and doing advanced practice in teaching.

You basically need to “sacrifice” your whole study year for pedagogical studies and be prepared to hang out at the university, or your training school, from dawn till dusk. Because in addition to teaching, you will have to make lesson plans, attend seminars and have meetings with your tutors. There are so many things that you have to do and learn before you can even go and teach in front of a class!

I have now completed my basic studies in education (hopefully – I am still waiting for my final grades, so fingers crossed). I was a teacher trainee at Helsingin normaalilyseo where I was able to teach both junior high schoolers and high schoolers. I was surprised how digitalized everything is in schools nowadays! Everything is interactive and proactive, and teachers often use phone applications and whatnot throughout their classes. I love how passionate some of the teachers are about their profession, and how they spend a lot of time to make perfect 75-minute-long lessons for their pupils and students.

These basic studies truly gave me a lot to think about. They made me respect teachers even more, as I realized how much effort is put into making interesting lesson plans and executing these plans. I never knew how challenging class management could be until this fall. But I also did not know how fulfilling and rewarding communication with students could be. This fall has been a real learning experience for me, and I will never forget it.

 

So, I salute all you out there who are, or will become, teachers! R-E-S-P-E-C-T!