If you had to name one teacher you will always remember, who would you name? Share your story and say #ThankYouTeacher!

Thank you, teacher!

Seela Sella, Ina Mikkola, Jani Toivola and Peter Nyman share their stories about teachers who meant a lot to them during their time at school. Now it's your turn. #ThankYouTeacher

Shaping futures

Teachers are building better futures for everyone. 

11 stories about commitment

Teachers are guided by human values.

Tasked to shape the future

We are building the future at all levels of education – starting from early childhood education – to benefit each learner and all of Finland.

It's time to say #ThankYouTeacher

Teachers have carried each of us forward. Ina, Jani, Peter and Seela share their stories about teachers who have meant a lot to them. Now it's your turn to say #ThankYouTeacher.

Teachers have an agenda

Contrary to popular belief, teachers do follow an agenda. They have committed themselves to significant values.


The future does not just happen – it is shaped together.

The future is often discussed through different concerns, especially when many things are changing around us. However, we can have an impact on the future today. 

Knowledge and skills are learned. Courage is learned. Compassion is learned. The ability to defend good things is learned.  

Learning gives us an opportunity to do the right thing. Therefore, teachers play a significant role in shaping the world and us humans.  

 Teachers see our capabilities. They encourage to us to dare and try. They provide us with tools to understand and question, search for the truth and think critically. Learning is an integral part of being a human. 

 Teachers are tasked with shaping the future. They are creating the foundation for tomorrow’s world. They create the future for everyone; for all of Finland and the world. One generation at a time. One human at a time.  


I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you. #ThankYouTeacher  

If you had to name one teacher you will always remember, who would you name? 
One person at a time, teachers make futures for the whole country. Again this autumn, teachers will support the learning and growth of over one million children, young people and adults in Finland.

Research shows that the work of teachers is valued in Finland. But have we taken them for granted for too long? Have we shown appreciation for and thanked the teachers who changed the course of our own lives?

Today, many teachers are exhausted from their work, and more than half of them have considered a career change in the past year. It is time to act and fix this, because Finland cannot do without teachers. Tokens of appreciation are needed from decision-makers and employers in particular, but we challenge you to participate as well. Let's show together how much the work and professionalism of teachers has contributed to what we have grown up to become!

Jani Toivola, Ina Mikkola, Peter Nyman and Seela Sella share their stories about teachers who meant a lot to them. Now it's your turn to say #ThankYouTeacher.

For each public #thankyouteacher post, OAJ will donate one euro to the Nose Day charity campaign, so that every child in the world can have a teacher by their side to help them grow and learn.

Read their stories and participate!


#ThankYouTeacher: Tips for participation

Read more about our social media tips and use the #ThankYouTeacher hashtag to tell us who has helped you get to where you are now.

1. Share your story as a Facebook post with the tag #ThankYouTeacher

Which teacher would you like to thank and why? Share your story as a Facebook post and say #thankyouteacher.

Share with your followers a memory about a meaningful encounter with a teacher. It can be as simple as this:

  • I remember my art teacher, Hanna, who let me be my creative self and try different techniques. Hanna encouraged me to express my creativity. Without her, I might not have seen the potential I had as a visual designer. #thankyouteacher

2. Share one of OAJ’s campaign updates

During the autumn, OAJ will publish lots of campaign content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, including videos and articles where Finnish celebrities talk about teachers who are important to them.

Follow OAJ and share the updates!

  • OAJ on Facebook
  • OAJ on Instagram and Twitter: @oajry
  • OAJ on LinkedIn: Opetusalan Ammattijärjestö OAJ

3. Share your #thankyouteacher picture or video on Instagram

Instagram focuses on visual presentation, so we would like to encourage you to use Instagram to publish a picture of you and a cherished memory from your school days.

For example, you can take a picture at your workplace if you feel you would not be in your current field without encouragement from a teacher. Of course, you can also share an old school photo or a photo of yourself during your studies.

Share with your followers a memory about a meaningful encounter with a teacher. For example:

  • I remember my art teacher, Hanna, who let me be my creative self and try different techniques. Hanna encouraged me to express my creativity. Without her, I might not have seen the potential I had as a visual designer. #thankyouteacher @oajry

Remember to use the hashtag #thankyouteacher in your post. We will publish some #ThankYouTeacher photos shared on public accounts on our campaign pages. We are happy to also share your photo on OAJ’s Instagram account. If it is OK with you, please mention @oajry in your post! 

3. Materials for associations

OAJ’s associations can use OAJ-areena to download and use additional messaging material.

Teacher appreciation project on OAJ-areena


Teachers are guided by human values

Teachers and the supervisors in the field are highly educated professionals who have committed themselves to values far more important than political ideologies. Teachers’ work is guided by human values, such as education and fairness.  
These values are reflected in the laws and syllabuses as well as in the ethical principles of teachers stated in the Comenius’ Oath .



Committed to shaping futures

More than 100,000 teachers work in daycare centres, schools and educational institutions in Finland. Usually the supervisors in the sector – from heads of daycare centres to principals – also have a teacher background. What do the teachers think about their work? What are the values they are committed to?

Read their stories!

11 stories about commitment


Piano teacher: Learning requires a feeling that we are on the same side

Born into a family of musicians, Kari Tikkala has become an award-winning concert pianist in his career. His career as a musician has taught...


Vocational teacher: Experiences of success build student's belief in themselves

Vocational teacher Kimmo Siuruainen says that commitment to work starts from understanding what kind of example he gives to young students. ...


Upper secondary school language teacher: The most important thing in the work is human interaction

Pirjo Väli-Torala dreamed of being a teacher from an early age as she enjoyed school so much. Twenty years as an upper secondary school lang...


The principal directs, inspires and leads the work community in the right direction

As a teacher, Tuula Herkepeus, the principal of the Kivimaa school, saw how important a teacher is for a child's growth. Now, as a principal...


Director of a daycare centre: Increasing positivity and openness to the world are the core tasks of education

When Annukka Hulkkonen graduated from the University of Oulu in 1996, early childhood education had only been accepted as a university subje...


"It is a rewarding moment when a child goes to play with a smile after crying"

Samira Ouazizi is studying to become an early childhood education teacher and, as a teacher, she wants to guarantee for every child a safe o...


Tips for participation

#Committed: Proudly tell us about your work

Teachers are the best experts of their own work. Participate in the Sitoutunut (committed) campaign by sharing a photo of yourself on your own social media channels. Use hashtag #sitoutunut #Committed and tell your followers and friends what you value in your work the most.

Do you have important things to say?

OAJ wants to help Finns reach a new kind of understanding on matters that make the teacher’s work so important. However, we are not hiding the shortcomings. All teaching professionals have experienced the difficulty of the work and work-related stress. We will give them an opportunity to tell their opinions by publishing their contribution in the Painava sana blog.

Vote for an education-oriented candidate

Teachers are masters of shaping the future. However, the future is shaped in cooperation. Show your appreciation to teachers’ work by voting for an education-oriented candidate in the Municipal Election. You can find them from OAJ’s candidate selection engine.




What do you value the most in your work and which moments are the most meaningful for you in your work? We encourage all teachers and supervisors in the field – from heads of daycare centres to principals – to proudly tell us about their work. 

Use a Facebook frame!

Facebook is the most commonly used social media service of OAJ’s members. No wonder, as nearly 70% of Finns use Facebook.  

 A nice way to tell about your own work in Facebook is to add a Sitoutunut frame to your profile picture. You can easily find the frame by searching the frame selection with word #Sitoutunut. 

 More detailed instructions are available here.

Share your photo in social media and tell us which values you are #sitoutunut #committed

Approximately 50% of Finns use Instagram. Photos are emphasised in Instagram, so we encourage teachers who are using Instagram to share a black-and-white photo of themselves imitating the advertisement photos of the campaign.   

Take a selfie or ask a friend to take a photo of you against a peaceful background. Upload the photo to Instagram and select the black-and-white filter.   

Share your commitments in your post to your followers. For example: In my work as a class teacher, I have committed myself to respecting everyone. This is what the world needs, and everyone should learn to respect others from a very early age. #sitoutunut  

We will publish some #sitoutunut photos shared on public accounts on our campaign pages. We are happy to also share your photo on OAJ’s Instagram account. If it is OK for you, please mention @oajry in your post!  



Make your contribution!

Teachers and supervisors in the field are the best experts in their own work. They know both the significance of the work and its disadvantages. The Painava Sana blog gives them the floor.

Do you have an experience you want to share that could help non-educators understand what makes work so important but at the same time demanding and stressful? Send your tips to OAJ's Heikki Pölönen at .


Make Futures in Municipal Elections

Teachers make futures with their work. However, responsibility for the future cannot be placed on their shoulders alone. We invite everyone to join us, because everyone also influences the future with their own decisions and actions.

Make a concrete act for the future in the Municipal Elections. Vote for an education-oriented candidate. One who sees the value of teaching and is ready as a decision maker to promote the opportunity for teachers to do their jobs well. Get to know the candidates of your municipality from the OAJ candidate election engine opening on May 18.

OAJ's Municipal Elections page

Follow us in social media

What is OAJ’s campaign about? 

The strategy approved by the OAJ Council in 2020 requires actions from the organisation to improve the appreciation of its members. This campaign is one way of implementing the organisation’s strategy. The campaign, in which OAJ highlights the significance of teachers from different perspectives, will last until the summer of 2022. 

 Where do the messages of the appreciation campaign come from? 

 Members were engaged already at the planning phase of the appreciation campaign. A survey carried out at the end of 2020 clarified what they are proud of about their work – and, on the other hand, what aspects of their work they would like Finns to understand better. All campaign actions are created on the basis of the results of this survey. OAJ’s activists were separately engaged in the preparations in January 2021. 

 Why use the members’ money for this?  

Our strategy requires that we strengthen the appreciation of the work performed by our members. This again requires that our communication reaches people other than those working in the field. This is the reason why we advertise on channels followed by Finns and these channels play a significant role in the campaign.   

The Council has allocated MEUR 1.5 to the campaign for 2021. This amount enables us to reach Finns comprehensively and, thereby, open up new perspectives on the meaning of the members’ work.  

 Wouldn’t it be more important to address the problems in the field? 

 OAJ’s key task is to monitor the interests of its members and create security for them as working life changes. OAJ implements this key task every day – at the national level as well as regionally and locally. 

 Although we area highlighting the meaning and value of our work, we are not hiding the problems in the field. We tell about the difficulty of the work and work-related stress, for example, in the Sitoutunut articles. We also publish the statements of teachers and supervisors in the field in the Painava sana blog, where we boldly address even the most difficult issues.  

 Give feedback and share your ideas!  

The teaching appreciation project is led by OAJ’s Web Communications Manager Heikki Pölönen. Give feedback or share your ideas via email! The address is