Sharing experiences and gaining new knowledge
Raija Luopa works as a language teacher in Sedu. Her school year began bit differently this time because an Italian colleague stayed with her for two weeks in Seinäjoki. Now Ms Luopa herself has returned from a two-week-visit from Senigallia. During the exchange periods the two teachers followed closely each other’s work and shared their free time.
Both of them agree that the idea behind a reciprocal teacher exchange is brilliant.
- It benefits both students and teachers when two teachers combine their pedagogical expertise. This way it is also easy to discuss the culture and daily life of the countries with students.
Italy and Finland - the differences of vocational education and daily life
The exchange teachers discovered that there are some differences between their countries. For example, at 11 am, when Italians usually eat breakfast, Sedu’s students and personnel have a lunchtime. In Italy lunch breaks are held around 2 o’clock and there is no rush.
-Raija gives lessons in three different buildings and her schedule is tight. On the other hand, the number of students in a group is smaller. That gives more time to teach students individually; Lorena Marchetti feels.
-The campus where Ms Marchetti teaches, Panzini is three times the size of the campus I mostly teach. The biggest vocational fields there are catering and travel. The teaching has been customized so that students will gain skills that answer the needs of Italian travel markets; Raija Luopa says.
Lorena Marchetti was amazed by Finland’s nature. It seemed that there are forests everywhere. Raija Luopa thinks that the best things in Italy were beautiful landscapes, ancient buildings and the presence of history in everything.
-There are traces of history everywhere in Italy and that is why archaeology and restoration are important parts of life. The lifespan of a human seems quite short when you notice that you are standing next to a building that was built in 9 AD; Raija Luopa points out.
An exchange gives new perspectives
Raija Luopa and Lorena Marchetti’s exchange was realized through the Global College Network.
-This is the first teacher exchange of this length. The partner countries in the program are the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Japan, Taiwan and the USA. However, the USA is not very active member; Juha Riippi, Global Education Manager of Sedu, tells.