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School in Poland - "hellish torture?


Shad  
16 Nov 2009 /  #1
I'm a Freshman in America and i may or may not be moving to Poland in the next 9 months. What should I know about school in Poland? I'm getting that feeling of hellish torture for the first few months.
jigsawv23 - | 6  
16 Nov 2009 /  #2
tbh i have no idea lol...but ill switch you spots in life :D
Juche 9 | 292  
16 Nov 2009 /  #3
What should I know about school in Poland? I'm getting that feeling of hellish torture for the first few months.

especially for the teachers
jigsawv23 - | 6  
16 Nov 2009 /  #4
lol are kids in poland extra "nice" to the teachers?
Mr Grunwald 33 | 2,019  
16 Nov 2009 /  #5
Depends, in saying goodmorning and all kinda yeah. But behind the scene it's something different hehe :)
cjj - | 281  
17 Nov 2009 /  #6
do you mean US-school or UK-school ?
krysia 23 | 3,058  
17 Nov 2009 /  #7
hellish torture for the first few months.

You mean for the entire time you're in school.
Polish teachers are mean. They will make fun of you in front of the whole class if you pronounce a word wrong, if you're dressed differently or if you're fat or if you didn't answer the problem correctly. They will degrade you and tell you you will never amount to anything and will try to put you down.

I know this because I have experienced this when we moved to Poland and I had to go to school there. One teacher told me I will never get into high school because she was jealous that I was from America and I spoke several languages and was smarter than she was. Another teacher was making fun of me because I couldn't pronounce "chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie" and since I was only 8 years old, at that age you tend to remember and retain a lot so I remember all those bad experiences with evil teachers in Poland. And I went to schools in Warszawa and in Kraków, same mentality all over - "how can I let a student down to show that I am a teacher and I know everything".

Couldn't wait till I could get back to my own country where I graduated with honors from my master's degree from several colleges.
Juche 9 | 292  
17 Nov 2009 /  #8
They will degrade you and tell you you will never amount to anything and will try to put you down.

I have heard similar stories, although I have known a few decent teachers..the old ones can be cranks, the younger ones tend to be cool. the system here is pretty rotten and bureaucratic, dont expect the high standards you are used to unless you go to one of the overpriced private schools for snobs...also be aware that you will be expected to fret over the stupid matura exam, which is hopelessly silly.
Gaa  
17 Nov 2009 /  #9
Depends, in saying goodmorning and all kinda yeah. But behind the scene it's something different hehe :)

if you ever receive a gift from them, something to eat : cakes,cookies, chocolates - don't eat it:)

Polish teachers are mean. They will make fun of you in front of the whole class if you pronounce a word wrong, if you're dressed differently or if you're fat or if you didn't answer the problem correctly. They will degrade you and tell you you will never amount to anything and will try to put you down.

it depends.it's not always like this but it happens sometimes, especially old teachers can make sarcastic remarks about make-up, clothes, piercing...
frd 7 | 1,401  
17 Nov 2009 /  #10
it depends.it's not always like this but it happens sometimes, especially old teachers can make sarcastic remarks about make-up, clothes, piercing...

Polish teachers are mean.

I'm a Freshman in America

I'll just tell you Shad that all these points of view are pretty biased, and single unlucky cases. There are pros and cons of Polish schools ( like schools anywhere else ) but they depend strictly on these schools themselves, there are good schools and bad schools, probably most are ok... you should fathom it out earlier, before going to such shool - what are the standards of teaching there, is the youth alright..

I have really fond memories of all schools I attended too, including 8 years in school placed in a pretty rough panel housing project similar to american Pruitt Igoe.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
18 Nov 2009 /  #11
The big problem with the school system in Poland is the lack of professional management - directors are chosen by the city, there's no full time management (directors actually teach some classes, which is nonsense!) and they only have fixed term appointments - bearing in mind that you need 2-3 years to really implement changes, it's crazy to have such a system.

There's also other issues, such as a teacher not being able to throw a child out of the classroom - and the fact that a teacher has quite a bit of power to dictate final grades. Teachers are also quite badly paid. Successive Polish governments have failed to really invest in education at the primary and secondary level (while completely overfunding teritary level!) - and schools have sometimes diabolical facilities. The programme can also be completely rubbish - teaching physics to kids on a 'journalism' profile in high school is one example of sheer and complete stupidity.

But on the whole, the system somehow works. It shouldn't, but it does.
frd 7 | 1,401  
18 Nov 2009 /  #12
directors are chosen by the city

Are you sure of that? When I was in primery and secondary the director was chosen at the teachers council by teachers..
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
18 Nov 2009 /  #13
It's definitely the case in Poznan, but I'm not sure about elsewhere...

(either system sounds awful to me - how can a director ever hope to manage people properly if he/she relied upon the people needing managed to gain his position in the first place?)

It mystifies me why Poland has no real system of management in schools - even down to the most basic principle of having heads of departments and heads of years.
OP Shad  
18 Nov 2009 /  #14
Yeah I realize different teachers do things differently and some are ****** some are nice. but I'm asking about school more academically. My only problem with the language would be vocabulary. If any one knows anything about in Podlasie or more specifically Augustow that would be great.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
21 Nov 2009 /  #15
but I'm asking about school more academically.

Academically, Polish schools are quite tough going. Very heavy subjects in general, no 'soft' subjects and a system that requires passing all subjects before being allowed to carry on to the next year.
frd 7 | 1,401  
22 Nov 2009 /  #16
If you were asking about unis from my experience with Silesian University of Technology, they are pretty underequipped, most of the laboratory gear is old, there are subjects that circle around technologies that are long forgotten in the modern world, and are there only to keep some professor's or doctor's cosy job until he can retire ( and these professors tend to dwell on how grand these ancient technologies are ). There's is less pressure put on specialization than abroad, so after finishing such uni you can go anyway, and have pretty broad knowledge in whole IT, but on the other hand unless you really tried to learn more about one subjects, you'll be mediocre in all of them... many more things ;)
ChrisPoland 2 | 123  
22 Nov 2009 /  #17
I taught briefly in Poland in a university prep high school. I noticed that while in the US, I had had Chemistry everyday for a semester (or 2? I don't remember) and then Physics everyday for another semester, the students here have Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the same time (although not all of them everyday).

Students attend practically all lessons with their class. In the US, I was better at Physics so I attended Physics a year earlier than my class. Something like that is not possible here. As a language teacher in Poland, I had kids at all different levels in one group leaving some bored while others were hopelessly lost (I tried my best to remedy that). I was also confused by the fact that there was no curriculum given to me so I had to beg around to find out what I was supposed to be teaching to each group.

As far as grading goes, I found the system chaotic. I tried to equate the 1-6 grading system to a % system and accordingly give a % result while scoring my students' work. For me anything under 70% was failing but I was informed that my grades were too harsh- that 50% was a sufficient score to pass. Strangely enough the teachers who told me that had never counted how many "points" the test contained or in any way objectively graded the works. In the end a student who had had 4 consecutive "1"s and a "2" was able to go over my head to the principal and negotiate a "3" for his grade. Not cool.

Also be aware the cheating runs rampant. I found that when I was a student, my fellow students were my competition so I didn't even think of helping them (or asking for help). I felt that by helping them, I was hurting myself. In Poland there is more of a group mentality of students against teachers (but not in a really bad way) which leads to students "helping" each other on a regular basis. Not "helping" can be seen as selfish.

I wish you all the best and I think no matter what, your stay in Poland will be a meaningful experience in your life.
Bzibzioh  
22 Nov 2009 /  #18
I was educated in Poland but went to college in Canada. The not-helping-by-a fellow-students attitude was a shocking discovery for me. And it also transcends to the other area of life, like work for example: everything is a bloody competition. I don't get that.
ChrisPoland 2 | 123  
22 Nov 2009 /  #19
In my case, not only were my grades considered in the university recruitment process but also class ranking and "weight" of the courses. That's why everyone was my competition.

Having said that, I'll tell you a little bit about my Spanish lessons. We were not required to take a high school exit exam of Spanish nor was I required to take a foreign language at university. Knowing that, our class put a lot of pressure on our teacher to lower her requirements of us so we could concentrate on the "real" subjects. When that didn't work, we collectively failed tests. That did the trick. Of course as an immature teenager, I could not see the benefit of learning a foreign language, but that's another story.

About everything being a competition, I guess it is in my blood. That doesn't mean that I won't stop to help a person in need. The last recipient of my helpfulness was not a seriously ill young man as I had assessed the situation, but instead a young Irish guy here for his stag party. He was seriously drunk and flat on his face in the middle of the day in the market square. Maybe it was still my competitiveness? I wanted to be the first and the best to help him ;)?
Mr Grunwald 33 | 2,019  
24 Nov 2009 /  #20
cakes,cookies, chocolates - don't eat it:)

Got a cake with a swastika on it from a Japaneese kid in the class in Poland it tasted badly.

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