Face of the year

AS A TEACHER I feel I have had a privileged role. I get to work with smart, positive young people who are at the top of their age group. It is completely different from working as a lawyer who mostly encounters problems and angry people, or as a doctor who only hears about people’s complaints.

A teacher must stay up to speed and follow developments. You become interested in things you know nothing about when you have to learn about them. You learn something every day.

MY COLLEAGUES are smart and usually nice people. It is often easier to spend time with them than with, for example, relatives who live in an entirely different world. My colleagues and I understand each other without having to explain ourselves. We speak the same language – even when we don’t.

THE LANGUAGE CENTRE has given me the space to grow. I have been encouraged to attend training, travel and make bold choices. I have been involved in many things. Nationwide projects have given me the opportunity to see what others are doing. And it is comforting to find that we are all in the same boat.

I have followed the development of WEB-BASED TEACHING for 20 years and actively used related teaching methods at the Language Centre. In a way, I took my own “digital leap” a long time ago. You absolutely can use digital tools successfully in teaching, but you have to do it wisely. People learn in different ways.

One of the reasons why I was named FACE OF THE YEAR is that in November I received the Board of the Student Union’s 2016 award for the promotion of bilingualism at the University.  I have supported Bachelor’s students at the Faculty of Law in their Swedish-language studies. I appreciated the award particularly because it was given by students. But I think that it is actually the students who have dared to complete a third of their degree in Swedish who deserve an award.

I have always enjoyed working at the Language Centre and feel that my WORK is meaningful. I feel that this is my thing. And at the conclusion of all the amazing things I have been involved in, it also feels good to leave.


Lis Auvinen

The writer is a university lecturer in Swedish and the head of the unit for the second national language of Finland. Lis Auvinen will retire after a long teaching career in summer 2017.

Photo: Janne Niinivaara