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The challenging journeys into VFIS

Congratulations to all Finnish teachers who completed government-regulated quarantine in order to enter Vietnam and fulfill their roles at VFIS this year. The following statements have been provided by some of our new Finnish teachers, to share with you their challenging journeys into Vietnam and VFIS, as well as the academic activities they will bring to our students during the school year. We sincerely thank all the teachers for overcoming such challenges in order to bring high-quality education from Finland to VFIS students!


Mr. Ville Huuri 

The work environment is very exciting. Finnish curriculum in Vietnam. It is very interesting to see how that works. The most impressive thing was how well we were treated. I did not have any fear regarding the flight but of course leaving my family behind is heartbreaking. 
I did a lot of work preparing for VFIS. We have a lot of planning to do. Also 7 days in quarantine went being sick. It has been very challenging mentally and physically. I hope to bring the experience of «I can» to the students. Also a group spirit that welcomes everyone and no one is left behind. And of course the joy of music!


Ms. Viktoria Malvisalo

The flight was the longest I have ever taken in my life. The layover in Doha was difficult but everyone kept saying: ‘What a story to tell to the grandkids!’ I now joke that this is my solo honeymoon! It’s been a surreal experience. I was sick for a fair amount of time, so probably lost a lot of weight. I ordered food using apps, so that’s been great, and our principal sent us some goodies too. 
Most people don’t like chaos, but I thrive on it. Not knowing what is ahead in a time of uncertainty is a unique opportunity to test our limits and perseverance. Change is the only constant thing in life, so learning to harness the power of it has become one of the cornerstones of my skills and abilities, both as a private person and as a teacher.
Without the established rigid structures of the pre-covid life, I see this as a huge opportunity to create a sustainable, humane and ethical world.
I hope that I can bring lots of fun and heart to my class and school community. I am an advocate for dialogical learning, which means guiding the novices through their thinking process  with inquisitive questions: what do they know now, what else would they like to know, how does it relate to the curriculum. Creating these intricate webs of knowledge and interest, and weaving fun and kindness into it can be challenging, but that’s half the fun for us teachers. 


Ms. Hanni-Tuulia  Hovila 

It’s hard to prepare oneself to be practically locked in a room for two weeks. Luckily we had work to do! I also took along a book and even some exercise equipment - my husband laughed at my travelling this far with a pair of hand weights! Being alone in a single room does make one more passive and feeling weird. Anyway, I think it was just good to get even something done. Things will slowly clear out when we get to see VFIS, the city - and colleagues! 
My subjects form quite a big picture on life: handling information, critical thinking, understanding different people and aspects of life. A curious and respectful attitude to others and the whole world is an attitude I wish to encourage. And also resilience, a positive kind of stubbornness, the sisu that is mentioned in the school values!
Hopefully we have enough students to make a play or something - but that is not all there is to drama. It too is finally about being human: self-expression, interaction, accepting faults in self and others, facing fears, learning to cooperate and trust.