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Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,439 ratings  ·  239 reviews
Finland shocked the world when its fifteen-year-olds scored highest on the first Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a set of tests touted for evaluating critical-thinking skills in math, science, and reading. That was in 2001; but even today, this tiny Nordic nation continues to amaze. How does Finnish education—with short school days, light homework lo ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by W. W. Norton Company (first published March 29th 2017)
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Heulwen Sweet Definitely read the book and then pop over to Twitter for the slow chat #teachlikefinland. You'll see plenty of middle school teachers on there, who a…moreDefinitely read the book and then pop over to Twitter for the slow chat #teachlikefinland. You'll see plenty of middle school teachers on there, who are enjoying sharing their thoughts and the joy the book has brought to their reading. (less)

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 ·  1,439 ratings  ·  239 reviews

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Oktaviani Sri
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tittle : Teach Like Finland
Author : Timothy D. Walker
Type of book : Non-fiction-education
Publisher : W. Norton & Company.
Publication year : July 2017
Number of pages : 270
price : Rp. 75.900

Teach Like Finland is a book written by Timothy D.Walker, he is a teacher from America. This book tells about the educational system in Finlandia. What happened in Finlandia? The answer is this country was shocked the world by fifteen years old students who got highest scored on the first Programme fo
I liked it, but I'm surprised that more of the ideas didn't feel new or fresh to me. Especially considering for the last four years I've taught at a school that's in the bottom three districts in all of Missouri. I'll just say we aren't always on the cutting edge of best practices in education. I'm not sure if this all felt familiar because so many of Finland's strategies have already made their way here, or he's totally out of the loop with what's actually going on in U.S. classrooms. Or a mix ...more
Salma Nabilah
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Do you know where Finland is? Have you ever heard about Finland before? Finland is known as a country that has an amazing education system in the world. In 2001, Finland surprised a whole world since the students there succeed in achieving the best score in PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). For that reason, many countries make Finland the orientation of their education system.

Are you curious about the Finland education system? Here, the book enti
Farid Ramadhan
Farid's Review "Teach Like Finland; 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms"

Synopsis: Teach Like Finland; 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms
It is no longer a secret that education in Finland is education with the best education system in the world. How could that happen? Isn't Finland a country that applied shorter school days than other schools around the world? Based on a survey conducted by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2001, Finland amazed the world wi
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a mindful walk in and outside the classroom, with passionate and positive practices for one who is committed to bringing joyful explorations into the classroom.
I have taught for more than a decade, levels K-12 in the U.S. and find multiple strategies from this insightful piece that will work for my students as well as bring balance to my life.

Really it’s about you and your mindset, and if you’re committed to building autonomy, building trust, and supporting
Lm Huffman
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
As someone who has been teaching for 17 years, I didn't find much here that was new. While it did affirm previous works I've read on the importance of mindset, purpose, autonomy and mastery (adding the importance of 'belonging,' which I found interesting since my independent school uses the hashtag #youbelonghere), I was looking for the holy grail: how do Finnish School teach curriculum with so little class time/homework and so many breaks? As someone who, like the author, works (or in his case, ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
I am a brand new age 47. When I first went back to school, I read a lot of articles on Finland schools and was fascinated by their success. Now that I've finished school and am ready for my own classroom, this book is timely. I really enjoyed this book because it fits well with my teaching philosophy. I appreciated the ways to incorporate strategies into any classroom. This book is a really good guide for new teachers, or anyone who wants to bring more joy into their classroom. I vi ...more
Crystal W
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: unschooling
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, education
I've heard a little about the education culture of Finland so was very excited about what I might find in this book. Overall, I was disappointed. While there ARE a lot of good ideas, they are strung together by quotes from other authors and studies. What links them are anecdotes from the author, who appears to have only four years of teaching under his belt -- two in Boston and two in Helsinki. He has a semblance of knowledge, enough to have opinions about how both America and Finland could lear ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The ideas in this book are not new and once read they are simply common sense stuff. But why, then, are they so foreign to most classrooms around the world? Timothy Walker reminds us what matters in education, and the challenge is for us is to remind ourselves how and why 'simple' works and that at the core of any productive and quality learning environment are learners who are relaxed and feel valued and teachers who feel successful. Read this as a strong testament to an education system that i ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katelyn Howard
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was very engaging and interesting to read. It presented many strategies (33 of them.. lol) for consideration and allowed me to reflect on my own teaching practice as well as my schooling experiences. Really enjoyed reading through this and considering how I could incorporate simple strategies to foster a sense of belonging, well being, autonomy and mastery into my classroom. I did feel that many things would be difficult to implement in my own classroom simply due to cultural and educa ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
I think this is going to be a book I come back to frequently.
Lea Goossen
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Timothy Walker’s book does an excellent job of describing the attitudes and classroom atmosphere that has made Finland’s schools some of the best in the world. His provides practical advice and insights on creating a classroom in which the students are engaged, empowered and enjoy their time at school. I greatly appreciated Mr. Walker’s openness and honesty as he shares stories of both his successes and failures in the classroom. I could tell from the first page that he loves what he does, loves ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
There are a lot of good strategies in this book though I didn't find any overly eye-opening. Though perhaps the strength of Finland's education is that they continually apply all of these strategies instead of only picking and choosing a few.

A couple of strategies that really stuck out to me were the 15 minute breaks, simplify the space, keep the peace, and have a thicker skin. The 15 minute break idea requires a school wide policy; however, it brings up a good point that I should look to incor
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
There is an entire American publishing trend of "Why Americans suck at everything," but there's plenty of cause to think that we are not rocking our education. What's especially fascinating about the Finnish success story is that it came about quite recently, and largely based on American Progressive principles; they just stuck with them, while we dismissed them in the 1930s. But in our American zeal to Do Everything Different This Time, we sometimes think that Finnish-level reform is politicall ...more
Shelley Whittaker
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I eagerly anticipated the release of this book, and placed an order for my copy on it's release date. I had previously read some of Walker's articles via 'The Atlantic' and lived what he had to say and share about education in Finland. I was excited to learn more from a North American educator teaching in progressive Finland.

The book was amazing! I loved every minute of it, so much so, that I've deemed this book 'the best professional read' of my 20 year career. Walker has provided a meaningful
Karol Hanley
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a MUST READ for all teachers who want to being joy back to their classrooms!
I teach 2nd grade in Ohio and have been feeling the stress or our state's teacher evaluation system and the constant testing. I have followed Tim on Facebook and was intrigued by what happens in schools in Finland. As soon as I saw that he had written. a book. I knew I had to have it! I read Teach Like Finland in 2 evenings after 2 long days of teaching. I could NOT put it dow! After the first night, I decid
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I always wanted my school to feel as wonderful as it does when visiting DisneyWorld. DisneyWorld's biggest priority is making you happy. This is the Finn's educators biggest priority. Although the American school system prevents us from applying what makes Finland's school system so successful, Timothy Walker's book provides 33 strategies all American educators can do that Finn teachers do that contribute for a joyful classroom/school environment. As I read this book, I thought, "Yeah, I do some ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
Loved this book. It was a quick and easy book to read with practical strategies that were clearly laid out. Unlike many of the other teaching books I've read this one focused heavily on not just being a better (and more joyful) teacher in the classroom, but things you can do beyond that to bring joy to you outside of the classroom itself. One of the things I am most thankful for from the teachers my first couple years teaching is their emphasis on sitting, eating, and talking together at breaks ...more
Joannie Johnston
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring. Hopefully teachers take these ideas and use them to help students and themselves. I hope American education hasn't become too corporate and controlled to scare teachers away from these concepts.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A lot of positive things to say about this book.

The only real reason I'm giving it a 4 is because it seemed to be more elementary based.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this book inspiring. I found a few things that I will implement in my homeschool. I enjoyed getting an inside look at the school system in Finland. I would recommend this book.
I read this book as a book study with teachers in my district. One one hand, it was a great book for sparking interesting (and sometimes heated) discussions when discussing the chapters in the book. Each chapter compared teaching in Finland with teaching in the USA. It's like comparing apples and dinosaurs we found. Unfortunately, statements that bashed Matt Miller (author of Ditch the Textbook) and advocated giving students stapled packets of worksheets caused the group to lose interest.

Jennifer  Cutler
The ideas he espouses are neither "revolutionary" to education, nor ideas that most dedicated classroom teachers, who have emerged from more recent teacher education programs, aren't using. What's most problematic in the US is the educational policy and the administrative bureaucracy. Working in private vs public schools, I've seen the first hand results of running schools through politics (public education.) Certainly more teachers are demanding recess, music, art, collaborative time, but the b ...more
Sean Kottke
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, professional
I picked up this delightful book for two reasons: I'm enamored of the Finnish approach to everything, including education; and I heard a prominent speaker use a quote from this book out of context to convey a message that I suspected was contrary to the main ideas Walker promotes. I was satisfied on both counts. What's remarkable is that in addition to detailing particular approaches to instruction and working with children (organized into five broad values: well-being, belonging, autonomy, mast ...more
Mell Simons
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I had one major take away with this book: allow students the freedom to move and take breaks throughout the day in 15 Minute intervals. Much of the anecdotal pieces about his experiences didn’t do much to inspire me, nor did it help me understand what I could do with my colleagues to initiate a shift in school culture. A bit disappointed, and to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t ask my colleagues to buy this book.
3.5 stars. Interesting and convincing enough.

I wish I were one of the Finnish children. I am very envious of their amazing learning environments (that are very different from mine).

I will be very happy if these strategies are adopted by some educational institutions in my country.
Agathe Houle
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must read for all teachers! Walker clearly expresses how you can apply the Finnish educational teaching philosopies anywhere in the world. He walks you through the strategies that will enrich your teaching skills and enable you to instill the joy of learning in your students.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When Walker says simple, he means it! Every educator can dive head first into this book and come out ready to easily implement satisfying solutions to make teaching and learning better for all involved. Start spreading the joy and pick up your copy today!
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First grade teacher,
author of Teach Like Finland,
contributing writer for @theatlantic

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