“You may be thinking I mean ‘extraordinary’ in a way that these teachers taught whimsically or put on a show during classes, or perhaps magically changed my life, but no, rather, it was actually the opposite, it was a lot more simple,” Pasi recalls.
It was the earnest nature of how they approached all their students as individuals and provided them with a safe space to explore and challenge themselves that was so impactful to a young Pasi.
“They gave me a reason to come to school, exercised my curiosity enough to want to learn more about the subjects they taught, whilst I simultaneously tried to figure out what I could do with my life.”
Pasi explains that it was because of this simple yet crucial acknowledgment of him as an individual, and a teaching approach tailored to his learning needs, that he ended up staying in school and eventually becoming a teacher himself.
Timo, a maths and science teacher, was one of those teachers who was able to captivate Pasi on a deeper level. Timo’s classroom mimicked that of a laboratory, bland and uninspiring. Aesthetically, Pasi has no positive recollections or warm memories about the space. In fact, for the most part, schooling in Finland was not as decorative as the lively classrooms we witness today. It was, however, Timo’s love for the arts that fascinated a young, music-loving Pasi. Here stood a teacher, a mathematician, who was outwardly plain and traditional, explaining the world of numbers, the wonders of logic and rationality, yet all the while openly exhibiting an unexpected passion for arts – everything from theatre and literature to music.