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Schild Upper Secondary School is located 270 km north of Helsinki. It is one of the oldest schools in Finland with 1200 students aged 16-19. Everyone has their own individual training plan, so they can choose not only subjects for their future profession, but also include hobbies and creative interests in their educational program. There are short and long (up to 30 minutes) breaks between lessons so that students can rest, have lunch, play musical instruments and generally balance their psychological state during the day. How it is to manage the individualized learning of such a large school and keep in touch with the parents of the students, says its director Ari Pokka.
The first thing I say to parents who come to the meeting: do not believe all the stories that the child tells about school. And I will not believe all the stories of the child about what is happening in the family. It happens that the child does not complete his homework and he deceives you. Therefore, ask how he copes with writing an essay, if it's bad, then help with essay will help you, which will cope with this task very well. He will help you that the child will trust you and tell you all the secrets.
I get very worried when I need to tell parents that the child behaved badly at school. These are negative messages. At my school I try to give parents one positive feedback weekly or monthly about their children. I remind them that it is an honor for me to work with such smart students. Then my parents begin to tell me about their work, success, career advancement. This is how we become closer, and dads and mothers feel proud when they come to school to hear about their child's success. It even happens when I advise them how best to write an essay. Of course, you can't do without essayassistant.org. This helps to win over the parents to themselves, and then they respectfully begin to listen to me.
When I was a kid, I hated school. There were many rules and I was forced to behave the way others behave. When I became a director, I decided that we would not have rules that exist only for students, they should be for everyone. Since then, we have very few rules, because adults hate them even more than children.
There are about 20 subjects in Finnish high school. Many of them are required, the rest are at the student's choice. Everyone chooses those disciplines with which his future profession will be connected.
Mathematics and science usually win, because it is for them that universities give the most points for admission. Least of all students choose the study of religion, philosophy, and other humanitarian subjects. English dominates the choice of foreign languages.
It would be impossible to manage the process of free choice of subjects by students without a strong teaching unit. There are four people in my school who work full time. Their duties are to advise students, talk with them about the advantages and prospects of a person who chooses certain subjects. That is, children choose based on proven information and expert advice. If Ukraine wants to introduce such a school education system at home, then these people are the most important.
Working with parents is of the utmost importance, especially in high school. We explain to parents that they cannot live their lives for their children. The motivation to study certain subjects must come from the student himself. Most parents trust the school and their children to make this choice. But now a new type of mums and dads has appeared - they behave like consumers and want the best for their child. These are the most difficult parents to work with, because they have, so to speak, “high hopes” for their children. It can be difficult to tell them: you know, maybe your son or your daughter will not be a lawyer, but there are many other options. We show opportunities for their child, and sometimes it happens that they themselves have not thought about other ways of a successful career.
My secret of communicating with my parents is public promises. What does it mean? When I stand in front of 500 parents of my students, I honestly say that as a school principal I promise to do this, this and this, but I cannot do this and that. Such an open declaration puts everything in its place - where the school can help, and where the parents should work.
I always tell parents: when your kids turn 18 and have to take their final exams, give them support, love and care. During this period, they do not need pressure from you at all, because they already have enough of this. I realized that we must teach our parents too - to be a support for our children.
I noticed that Finnish parents like it when the headmaster does not make official speeches, but opens his heart: when you can communicate like a friend about problems and successes. My advice to Ukrainian directors is not to be patronizing when dealing with parents. Speak as friends that you are ready to help each other.
I have one request - please put your child at the center of your work.
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