I can’t believe it was our last full day in Finland today. The past few days have just flown by! Today we had the opportunity to go to a teacher training school, this is a public primary school that is run by the University of Lapland, and it is where students in the teacher education program there fulfill their practicums and student teaching experiences. Each university in Finland that has a teacher education program has one to two schools where their students go for those experiences.
Also, what is different from the US, or Iowa at least, is that student teaching is only a few weeks long and students complete it in pairs of two. As someone who will start student teaching in less than a week, that sounds much less scary and awkward than what I will be doing! I’m not gonna lie, I am very excited to student teach and to practice what I have been learning about for the last two years, but I am also very nervous.
We had lunch at the school and then went to the Arctic Circle to Santa’s Village. I got my picture taken with the jolly man himself, and I finally got to see my reindeer friend Sven! (He said Anna, Elsa, and Christof say hello! 🙂 ). After some exploring around the village, we didn’t do much because it all cost money, we headed back to the hotel. I chose to relax because my arms are pretty tired from yesterday’s adventure. Then, we all went for a late dinner at an Italian place close to the hotel and surprised Trent (the professor who had the original idea for this trip) for his birthday today. We got him a card, a t-shirt, and a small cake and sang him happy birthday at the restaurant. I am sure we embarrassed him a lot!
Now I am relaxing a bit more and procrastinating on packing because I don’t want to leave this wonderful country. I truly have had a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to share more pictures and stories with all my family and friends back home!