Giorgia De Musso
When I arrived in Poland I was a bit nervous about the job I was going to start learning. Even though I had taught English to some girls before, teaching to very young kids in a public school would have been completely different. I expected it to be extremely difficult to gain the attention of such small children and I was afraid that they would have never paid attention to my lessons and that they would have been bored to have me in their classes. It took me only one day to understand that I was completely wrong: not only the teachers but also the children themselves seemed to be enthusiastic about our coming, and I immediately felt at home. The teachers made us feel at ease from the very first day and they turned out to be some of the most helpful and hospitable people I have ever met, and the kids are amazing. The great majority of them is composed by very polite and well-behaved boys and girls: they seemed to be interested in our lessons and they took part very actively to them. It was very exciting to teach them Italian and see how they could communicate with me using my native tongue, putting into practice what I had taught them. I grew fond of so many kids and I'm afraid I'm going to miss them very badly once I'll be gone. Going to the school trip with them was a very exciting experience as well: it brought me memories of my childhood and it was like being a kid again and going to a school trip with my friends: during those days I have re-experienced the excitement of the first trips, the first friendships and also the first loves! The children have been so kind and sweet to me that I'm sure I'm never going to forget them. Most of all, this experience was a great help to understand that I really want to teach my native language as a job in my future. And it taught me how kind and gentle Polish people can be, and how can they make you feel at home even if you are very far from your hometown. I didn't feel alone even for a moment in this place, and I can't even begin to thank my Polish colleagues and friends for that.
Roberto De Santis
I have spent 3 months doing an internship as English teacher at “Szkola Podstawowa nr 2” in Lubon thanks to the Erasmus Plus 2015 program. When I arrived on the 17th of April, I had no idea of what would have been my duties here and how I would have liked Poland and the school. But luckily the warm welcome of all the school staff and also of the students made me feel at home for the very first day. The little shows of the students, the meeting with the headmaster and the greetings to the teacher’ staff helped me orientating in this new reality that would have been my new house for the next 3 months.
The first 2 weeks of the internship consisted of class observation and were really helpful in order to understand what I would have had to do in the next months. I noticed many common elements between Italian school system and the Polish one, but of course the differences impressed me the most. What struck me was to see how teachers relate with children: in Italy is common to see the teacher explaining the subject of the lesson, some grammar rule or giving exercise while students are expected to listen or do their exercise silently and quietly. Here, teachers use different ways to involve students into the subject: songs, videos, dances and also games are used to catch children’s attention and the result is an interactive and stimulating lesson, very different from the classic lesson in Italy. So, after the first 2 weeks I had to put into practice what I have observed before and I had to run from 12 to 16 lessons every week, of course under the supervision of the teachers, who were ready to help me in case of need. Some lessons were easy and some were not, I had difficulties especially due to my lack of experience and to the linguistic and cultural barrier between me and the students, but it was possible to find a way out almost every time. After the first weeks I have started feeling more comfortable and self-confident and lessons became easier to run and in the end this internship resulted to be a really formative experience and I hope it will be the starting point for my teaching career as Italian, English or Japanese teacher.
Finally, it must be said that what made this experience nice was the hospitality of Polish people and the kindness of the other teachers that turned out to be good colleagues at school and good friends in the private. Their support and their hospitality helped me understand better what a teacher’s job is and I am really grateful for their continuous help throughout those months.