Mentioning fellow teachers and his employer makes the eyes of Tommi
Lehto, an Iisalmi-based teacher, sparkle and brings a big smile to his face.
“We have the best teachers in Finland here in Iisalmi,” says Lehto, a
teacher at the Juhani Aho school. Emphasis on the words ‘we’ and ‘Finland’s best’ indicate that the school’s teachers share a strong team spirit
and collegial pride.
“We are provided with regular training, and we have excellent tools and
devices for teaching. We also provide great learning tools for each student,” he continues. Indeed they do. Iisalmi has invested significantly in
digital learning: each comprehensive school student is provided with a
personal computer. Younger pupils carry iPads in their backpacks while
older students have laptops.
This digital transformation in Iisalmi’s schools was made possible by the
City of Iisalmi, with contribution from the Olvi Foundation and the A.E.
But Iisalmi does not rely solely on computers. “Thanks to our excellent
resources we are able to provide more tuition to students than other
Finnish municipalities on average.” In Iisalmi, each student receives ten
hours more tuition in comprehensive school every year than students in
other Finnish towns on average. This amounts to six months of additional
tuition during compulsory schooling.
However, it’s not quantity that counts, it’s quality. School buildings are
being modernised, students have easy access to sports facilities such as
the Kankaan liikuntapuisto sports park, not to mention the brand-new
indoor swimming pool to be completed in 2022.
“This is a great place for a physical education teacher. Access to the local
sports facilities ensures highly versatile PE lessons.”