I am really honored to be invited to this conference. It is always very inspirational to work with teachers from different countries. I think we teachers around the world are very same kind of people. We love our subject, we love the kids, students and we want to help them to get a better life.
On Thursday the 12th graders (3rd graders in high school) left the school. The day is called in Finnish “penkinpainajaiset or penkkarit”. So, the 11th graders became the oldest students at our school. Last months they have been practicing old traditional dances like mazurka, cicapo, polonaise, viennese walz, tango, fireman’s dance, … for the Senior Prom, “vanhojen tanssit” in Finnish. In some high schools the ball is on Thursday evening but in our school, it is on Friday evening. In our school we also have a tradition that on Thursday some seniors visit elder people at a local nursing home.
On Friday, during the school day, the seniors dance for the other pupils in our school. It is also a dress rehearsal for the official evening ball. In the evening, families and relatives gather to school to see the spectacular prom. 10th graders work for their senior students in the café and they also clean the ball room after the show.
After the prom we will have a sport holiday for a week.
The 12th Year students had their traditional last school day, called Penkinpainajaiset. In the morning they had breakfast with other high school students and teachers. After a very well-produced abi-video, they gave presents to their teachers and prizes to Abiturients. I got a bottle of beer. I wonder why.
Then they visited upper secondary classes giving candies to pupils. Finally, the trucks came, and they left for a ride around city with all the other high schools in Helsinki City.
The Matriculation exam starts on 10th of March, so now they have a couple of weeks time to study for the exam.