Street style in vocational teaching in spring 2018

Street style in vocational teaching in spring 2018

Another season of fashion week is upon us—Spring 2018, to be exact. To be in, hip, you need to wear flashes of color – bright tangerine, shocking pink and tomato red.

To be a vocational teacher is also in fashion in Finland today. We survived the reform and now we just have to aspirate to the future. Vocational teachers need to be experts in teaching and learning among studying and exploring. They need to be experts in their sector specialism. Vocational teachers need to be trustworthy, team players, team teachers who respects others around. They need to have a good reflective ability and to be keen on evolving in that. They must be specialists on creating an atmosphere where collective aspiration can be set free and people are keen to learn from each other. They must be explorers who want to find out the best out of everyone. Very cleaver idea is to  complete the look with crazy ambitiousness.

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The new collection of 2018 consists of teachers who are gentle, kind and constructive. They must have passion to find success in learning, improving and opening up themselves to growth. The motivating concept behind the new collection, combines the continued professional development – and to maintain a healthy balanced work life for the teachers. In vocational education street style collection should be found learning new approaches to teaching, student assessment and new ways of using technology. Teachers should have utterly confident ways of combining students individual needs and need for skills in working life. Mix and match is very in.

There are various challenges teachers face in prioritizing continued professional development. The most important task on the way is personal growth. That is why we need teachers with reflective ability and good self-awareness that they can get the best out of their students. They must be aware of their own development tasks and they must be responsible for designing their own career development education, focused on the skills and knowledge they are lacking of. They must be able to pimp their own growth. Self-observation and self-evaluation are crucial in today’s fashion and that will lead to better self-awareness and confidence.

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Street style pros will get you out of your comfort zone,  they are dressed in their best, no matter the temperatures. Collecting information about yourself and your way of teaching, and by analyzing and evaluating this information, is very popular among street style pros. This will help you identify and explore your own practices and underlying beliefs. This will lead to changes and improvements in teaching. Healthy self confidence, which includes reflective ability is an iconic outfit in vocational teaching in 2018.

Teachers require, to ensure that the skills they coach to their students are in line with the needs of the workplaces. Skills need to be updated and this requires teachers’ work placement periods or that they will take the teaching and coaching to the workplaces. This will lead instant professional growth, the development of professional competence and expertise. Quality of teaching will change and improve immediately.

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Street style in vocational teaching in 2018 is all about taking the brave steps out of our comfort zone. There will be resistance, but when teachers will do that, it will

– increase teachers’ motivation and enthusiasm for one’s own work
– increase teachers’ will and courage to maintain contacts with the working life
– curricula and teaching are developed in a more working-life oriented direction
– increase workplaces’ knowledge of vocational education
– intensify co-operation between education providers and working life

(Guide for the Implementation of Vocational Teachers’ Work Placement Periods, Oph 2014).

So, what do you think, what should be found from every vocational teachers everyday wardrobe in spring 2018?

Photos Lia Heikkila

Written by Annele Heikkila

WHO AM I vol.2

WHO AM I vol.2

What do I gain from knowing myself? Why should I learn to know who I am?

According to my own experience as a teacher for 18,5 years now, I believe I know something about learning. It is easier for me if I admit it that my students won´t remember what I have taught them (what I have said). Does it mean that I am not a good teacher – could be, but I still have my doubts. Will they remember what I have done (no matter how much effort I put on updating my knowledge and making beautiful prezies or powerpoints)? I believe that they will and want to remember good experiences. If I succeed to create a feeling of prosperity and acceptance I have managed with something because they will remember the nice feelings they´ve had. This is something that has to do with me, knowing myself and knowing where I am standing professionally. I do care about what the student´s know and can do. The gap between my generation and the youth of today generation is big and growing. Among many other things this is why teaching right things in a right way is a interesting subject.

The employers are looking for the right person (and maybe suitable personality) and not necessarily the right competences or skills one has or might have. Work life competences are the skills one ought to possess. There we have the challenge to make it through and succeed as teachers in schools of today. We need to start teaching prosess by learning to know the life competences and learning to know who am I. What are those life competences then? To learn the student´s to know themselves. To find out who I am, what do I want, what do I know and what do I still need to learn. I need to have the ability to express myself. I need to have the ownership of my own learning as a student.

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How do I do that? I believe that the students capacity to find out who I am is not very good. It is not easy at all for a teenager all of a sudden at the age of 15 or 16 to answer a question about who I am or what are my strenghts, what can I do or what I am good at? Why is it so difficult? Because we are not tought to explain others about such things. This is something that needs to be tought at schools in Finland. We are lacking of self-confidence and encouragement for a stronger self-knowledge. Through stronger self-knowledge like knowing who I am and what do I want we will reach a stronger ownership in learning I believe. Attitude is a key word and solution for many problems, attitude fostering is important to invest at. Learning by doing gives a possibility to grip in that area.

 

We know what we are,
but know not what we may be.

William Shakespeare

Photos Mikko Hankaniemi Photos by Prince David & Luke Tanis on Unsplash

Written by Natascha Skog