New ways of working
This autumn, the student teachers have been giving English lessons for fifth and sixth graders over the internet. The pupils have attended school as usual, with their own teachers in the classroom to support them. In order to bring more authenticity to online teaching, the pupils have used different school facilities for learning.
“Our pupils have been persistent on these lessons, and they’ve shown plenty of initiative. Last spring’s online teaching has clearly prepared them for this model,” Lecturer of English Hanna Hotanen, one of the supervising teachers, says.
Koivistoinen points out that all skills relating to working independently are also skills needed in the future world of work.
“Studying like this boosts confidence and a more independent approach to learning.”
Of course, the teachers are available to assist their pupils. At first, the student teachers’ different accents and ways of speaking were a cause of confusion, so the pupils were asked to focus on the words they could recognise.
“This has taught us to change our attitude, and we’ve also learned about linguistic diversity. Our pupils have made huge progress on these lessons, and they are now more confident speakers of English,” Hotanen says.
The pupils agree.
“At first, it felt difficult to have access to the student teacher only online. However, it has been nice to get to know student teachers from different countries, and to learn new things in the process,” sixth grader Milli Tarvainen says.
The pupils have also grown accustomed to the student teachers’ accents.
“Initially, I was nervous about the student teachers not speaking any Finnish. All guidelines were given in English alone. Luckily, my fellow students helped me if there was something I didn’t quite understand,” sixth grader Naomi Mgaya says.
Teaching was delivered in pairs, allowing the student teachers also to learn about co-teaching and collaboration.
“We have also learned about different countries, watched videos from them, and played Kahoot. We’ve used various different ways to learn new things, and because the lessons have been so diverse, we’ve learnt more than usual,” the pupils say.