Come along and join! 5 tips from teacher to teacher to organise an event

“It was a fantastic experience that really brought our class closer together”, says Tiina Halttunen, a class teacher from Vattuniemi Primary School, who participated in the international Clean Energy workshop with her class in 2020. In the workshop, students came up with new ideas supporting sustainable development. “Our future ministers and presidents are in school right now. It was so great to encourage my students to build a bright future for both Finland and the whole world”, Ms. Halttunen sums up. To this story, we collected five of Ms. Halttunen's best tips for teachers who are thinking of organising an event for the Helsinki Education Week.

1. Start with joy: Participation helps to create community spirit

“The students were eager to participate, and we had a lot of fun. It is so valuable to be able to create a common experience like this together with the students”, Ms. Halttunen says. “Events like this are the spice of our profession.”

2. Leave enough time for excitement and hands-on activities

Ms. Halttunen urges the event organisers to keep presentations and introductions quite brief. This leaves time for energetic participation and lively discussions. “My students truly enjoyed planning the workshop task and its content,” says Ms. Halttunen.

3. Be creative and enjoy yourself – it’s going to be just fine!

Ms. Halttunen encourages teachers to take part in the week's activities: “You don’t have to do everything just as planned or follow any script. Be creative and enjoy yourself, and make the event unique for your own students. It’s going to be just fine!”

4. Take a chance on a foreign language

Ms. Halttunen participated in an English-language workshop with her third graders: “I really want to encourage everybody to take part in events that are held in some language other than your own. You can divide your class into groups in advance to make sure that there is someone in every group who knows the language.”

5. Book a space, set aside time and ask for helping hands

Make sure that your tech is working. Ms. Halttunen advises: “Set aside enough time to check that your internet connection is solid, and make sure you have someone providing support if technical problems arise. Whether you are a participant or an organiser, you should make sure that your event space is free of distractions.”