I did not come here alone. Instead of having the whole family, I have my husband Heikki and our youngest child Lilja, 9 with me. So it is not only my journey, it will be a great experience for them as well. straight after the day we had arrived in Bloomington, we enrolled Lilja into local school: University Elementary School, where she is in the 3rd grade together with other 27 students in her class.
Everyone can assume that the first school Morning was full of excitement; she did not speak any English and the whole system so new for her. Now when she has been going to school for two weeks; She already has a friend, she speaks a bit English ( and even understands more) and it is not an issue any more.
You can just wonder, how easily children adjust. The system, Curriculum and all what is happening at school is quite different, but still the same. There is some learning going on, there is the teacher and the students involved within the process. You can either buy your lunch from the Cafeteria or bring your own lunch box. The school day starts at 9.00 and ends every day at 15.45; so it is a long day for a third grade student. I would assume that after this experience Lilja won´t be saying after a normal school day in Finland that it was a long one.
School busses run regularly, but Lilja has not yet taken it. Heikki takes her to school every Morning by using public transportation. During the lunch hour, Heikki is allowed to come to school and have lunch with her, so now in the beginning that has been a relief for Lilja.
So this experience is not only as being a Fulbright-teacher, it is also an opportunity to peek into U.S school life as a parent. That makes this even more interesting. Thank you for sharing these experiences with us!