You´re about to read my first blog post in English, ever. I´m going to introduce you to the concept of ”pedagogical coffees”. Hope your eyes don´t hurt after reading it, because English really isn´t my strongest language!
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I must admit that I have no idea when the first pedagogical coffee took place in Finland. In our school, Winellska skolan in Kirkkonummi, we had our first coffee in autumn 2011.
The pedagogical coffees take place in the afternoons, often from 3 PM to 5 PM. They are open to all teachers from nearby schools – an invitation is sent in advance. Some schools even organize coffees on their own, for own staff only. The themes for the coffees vary a lot. We´ve had the opportunity to discuss social media, digital storytelling, presentation tools, differentiation and much more.
One teacher, or some other expert, gives an introduction to the theme of the day. The one who gives an introduction might get paid for doing it, appr. 50EUR/hour. After the introduction there´s time to discuss, share ideas and also network with teachers from other schools. And of course, while participating, you get to sip your afternoon coffee, maybe have a sandwich and some other refreshments!
There are approximately 1-3 coffees per month, in different schools and different cities. No one´s obliged to participate in the coffees, teachers can choose whether to join or not. Some teachers take part in almost every coffee, some never go. It´s optional. Participating in at least some of the coffees is, in my opinion, highly recommended though. It´s really nice to sit down with your colleagues and have the time to discuss different issues and get lots of new, useful ideas!