A Tale of Two Back to School Nights

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Excitement and enthusiasm were in the air as teachers in my new high school in a middle class neighborhood prepared their classrooms by decorating their bulletin boards, displaying student work, and straightening desks. Welcome messages abounded, Remind.com messages were sent, and we opened our doors to meet the parents.
I have done these events for 24 years, four times a year at my former school in South Central L.A. But this year’s Back to School Night left me reflecting, and perhaps shedding a tear.
First, my new parents were fantastic. They were friendly, enthusiastic, and supportive of the new ideas I bring to the school. I knew in them I would have allies to incorporate my findings from my Fulbright exchange in Finland earlier this year. Parent after parent nodded their heads and strongly affirmed that break time was important to students, teachers, and workers in general. They were excited to hear about the summer travel programs I had prepared.
As I looked at their warm and s…

FULBRIGHT: Countdown Day 3

What I Want to See

Student Break Time

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/06/how-finland-keeps-kids-focused/373544/

For every hour of instruction, Finnish students receive 15 minutes of unstructured break time. What do they do during this time? How much is spent outdoors? Do teachers influence student choice? Are there gender differences in break activities? I want to know. Here is a great article by ex-pat Timothy Walker on this topic. He also writes a great blog called Taught by Finland. where the intrigue with Finland first began. I hope to meet him there!

What I Will Miss

Friends and Family

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/014/159/bitmoji-tshirt.png

On the one hand, I have the best friends one could ever hope for. On the other hand, many of them will have a chance to come visit me in Finland! I will miss my family, and my husband's family, especially our children.

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