THESE DAYS, people often ask if I’m experiencing culture shock. It’s a legitimate question. Just a few months ago, my family and I moved from Boston to Helsinki, Finland. To be honest, the culture shock isn’t so dramatic — especially since my wife is a Finn.
But I’m definitely experiencing classroom shock — a shifting of my pedagogical mindset — as I settle into my new job as a 5th grade teacher at a Finnish public school.
My family and I plan on living in Finland permanently, but I can’t help but think about what I’d do differently if I returned to an American classroom. Talk about reverse-classroom shock! I’ve already identified three big shifts I’d make right away.