Journalist, director and author Ina Mikkola became interested in the media industry while on the Voice of the Young Editorial Board, where her oral communication skills teacher had encouraged her to get involved. The oral communication courses have also proved beneficial later in life, as Mikkola needs diverse argumentation and self-expression skills in her line of work.
Ina Mikkola says that her most memorable teacher of upper secondary school was Kaisa, her speech communication skills teacher.
“Kaisa had an especially passionate approach to her work and I could feel her desire to do her job
with precision and thoroughness. She regarded each student as an individual and wanted to bring everyone’s unique talents to the fore,” Mikkola explains.
She says Kaisa could be both kind and demanding at the same time: she was extremely considerate, but knew how to provide constructive feedback and even critique when it was necessary. With Kaisa, it was easy to be yourself.
Kaisa was extremely considerate, but knew how to provide constructive feedback and even critique when it was necessary.
“The best thing about Kaisa was how she displayed her own enthusiasm and interacted with the students as they worked. I still remember Kaisa’s bright smile that lit up on her face when she saw one of her students succeed, like me or one of my classmates. She was not afraid to show her excitement to others openly, which was her of way of giving us support whenever we succeeded in something, as if to show we were on the right path,” Mikkola says.
Kaisa’s courses provided valuable competence
Upper secondary school offered several speech communication skills courses, all of which Mikkola took. As a competent teacher, Kaisa made the courses interesting and inspiring.
As a competent teacher, Kaisa made the courses interesting and inspiring.
Mikkola learned many lessons during these courses which help in her journalist job even today. She can not only express herself eloquently, but also pose arguments for her own viewpoints. You learned to read and analyse societal discourse on the courses as well.
“Kaisa’s courses and the competence that Kaisa passed on to us through her work has had a big
impact on the development of my own professional competence, as oral expression is an integral part of my job.”
Work in the Voice of the Young Editorial Board inspired Mikkola to pursue media as a profession
One day, Kaisa brought a handout to class with her. It was an advertisement for the Voice of the Young
Editorial Board, which is a media education project of the City of Helsinki.
Kaisa encouraged Mikkola to join the Editorial Board, and after that Mikkola spent nearly all of her spare time there during her years in upper secondary school. She got excited about journalism and media work in a broader sense as well, and ended up studying film and TV at a university of applied sciences after upper secondary school.
Kaisa encouraged Mikkola to join the Editorial Board, and after that Mikkola spent nearly all of her spare time there during her years in upper secondary school.
Of her teachers at the university of applied sciences, Minna in particular sticks out to Ina.
“I loved how Minna challenged the students. She also listened carefully to the students’ wishes. I also specifically requested her as my thesis advisor, as I wanted to develop and knew that she would not let me cut any corners. That type of teacher is what we need if we want to foster competent professionals.”
And quite the professional Mikkola turned out to be, and she still walks the path paved with encouragement from her upper secondary school teacher Kaisa.
“I have often wondered what would have been if Kaisa had not brought that piece of paper with her to class. I wouldn’t necessarily have become a journalist, and I might be doing something else for a living.”
If it wasn't for Kaisa, I wouldn’t necessarily have become a journalist, and I might be doing something else for a living.
“I am a real fan of education”
Mikkola tells us that, especially as a woman, she is grateful for the education she received, knowing full well that it is not something everyone can take for granted. Visiting schools in Nepal and the United States, for example, has solidified her perspective of how good things are here in Finland.
Especially as a woman, Ina Mikkola is grateful for the education she received, knowing full well that it is not something everyone can take for granted.
“One of the most essential things in the world would be for all people to receive a high-quality education where everyone is treated equally. Education is the way to ensure that we are developing as individuals. It teaches us to think critically and hopefully helps us treat each other better in the process as well. Education is everything when it comes to a civilised and democratic society. I am a real fan of education.”