As a part of the FDAT program in the Indiana University we are visiting a local high school called Bloomington High School North. BHSN has about 1,600 students and about 90-100 teachers. In addition to that there are obviously staff members to deal with student welfare and administration.
BHSN has a bookstore in the school where you can buy school t-shirts for sporting events or other merchandise. Something you don’t see in Finnish schools.
The vending machine for pencils was again something I’ve never seen before. Back home I am constantly handing out new pencils for students as they keep losing theirs. Maybe my students would take better care of their school supplies if we had vending machines like this!
I am often asked about the differences between the U.S. and Finnish school schooling. One of the major differences that I wished we also had in Finland are the extra-curricular activities. Finnish schools don’t have their own sport teams, marching bands or cheerleaders. Schools might have school bands but besides that there is hardly ever their own orchestra. I was also impressed by the facilities that this public school has to offer. They had several special music classes and also their own swimming pool. As a teacher coming from a small school of only 250 students it really made me think about how we value arts and music in our school. I think we need to make an effort to improve that back home.
I was set to trail history and social studies teacher. The classes have been interesting as they have dealt with both the U.S. and world history. It has been very interesting to see American high school and how the students work. All the students receive a laptop from the school and students work on their laptops on almost every lesson I have observed so far.
At the end of the day the school busses come and pick up the kids.