Story

Toni Lehtimäki: Dreams come true

Toni Lehtimäki TAMKin Proakatemian tiloissa
My name is Toni Lehtimäki. I study at the Professional Teacher Education Programme organised by TAMK’s School of Professional Teacher Education (TAOK).

I‘ve studied a lot in my life. Hence, it was not a big surprise that I applied for this study as well. I got interested in pedagogical studies while studying positive psychology and coaching psychology at the University of East London, where I accomplished my second master’s degree.

I had worked as a business coach in teleoperator settings earlier in my life, so I knew some practice of coaching. Nonetheless, I got to know through UEL studies that a great deal of similarities between coaching and teaching can be found. I thought pedagogical studies would support my diverse background nicely. In addition, I've always considered teacher profession as noble and meaningful.

What have I gained through these studies?

Most of my studies in my life I have done among international students. For this reason, I wanted to apply for the English implementation of the Professional Teacher Education programme. In my cohort here were about 10 different nationalities all the way from USA to Ireland, Russia, Italy etc. For me it has always been fascinating to get to know people from different countries, and this makes teacher education more abundant and increases the richness of it, because you can get many different perspectives from peer students of different nationalities.

I cannot highlight the importance of participatory pedagogy enough. Teacher students take responsibility for their studies and personal development and growth. Thus, they take an active role in their own personal learning, growth and development. This is also part of positive psychology and so close to my own values that I just love it.

The most interesting module for me was Module C, Inspiring Teaching and Learning. It was perfectly designed so that we were able to try different pedagogical methods while carrying out our practical training. I think it is important to try different pedagogical methods and apply them into practice in order to learn them more efficiently. This was made possible by TAOK studies. Thirdly, extra mention needs to be given to all our teachers of Professional Teacher Education, who gave full support and encouragement for teacher students in order to make their learning journey as rich as possible in every angle. I consider it important that one of the teachers was a native English. This was perfect and worked really well.

I was hired as Senior Lecturer and a Coach at Proakatemia. Proakatemia belongs to Tampere University of Applied Sciences and is specialised in Team Learning and Entrepreneurship. As a matter of fact, I can use all my skillsets that I have gained through my studies while working at Proakatemia. In other words, my dream has come true sooner than I would have expected. Without TAOK’s pedagogical studies, I would not be here. So, I would like to say thank you!