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Various education and school issues in Poland. Opinions, stories, controversies.

OP pawian 221 | 24216
25 Mar 2023 #691
The first day of spring, 21March, is an opportunity for students to play truant. Sort of tradition, already cultivated in communist times. There are differences, though. In primary schools only a few students skip classes on this day. In high schools, most do.

In my younger times, we used to get together somewhere in town and go to the park for a picnic or campfire.
Today, generation Z students just stay at home and contact their peers through electronic media.

OP pawian 221 | 24216
25 Mar 2023 #692
This polonaise dance prepared for a high school prom ball in the city of Toruń by a professional choreographer has attracted very positive reviews. Most viewers are enthralled.

However, I hate it, personally. The decor and costumes are depressingly dark. Students look unnaturally stiffened and dance like robots. And the music is so horribly shrill. Were they crazy when they did it???

Kashub1410 6 | 649
26 Mar 2023 #693
The costumes and colour looks elegant and classy sort of, but honestly. It lacked passion and love, especially the lack of connection with the melody being played was noticeable. The dancers were too stressed and clearly "drilled/controlled to do it"

Shortly speaking, too much fear, stress and lack of knowledge. A bit more love would fixed it
Atch 21 | 4158
26 Mar 2023 #694
Pawian, thank you for all the pics and the info on 'real life' in Polish schools. A very valuable and interesting contribution to the forum.

However, I hate it, personally.

I don't hate it but it's not good. It's an attempt by the choreographer at being 'arty' and doing something unconventional with a Polonaise purely for the sake of being different. The worst part of it is that it's totally joyless. These are young people, full of energy, promise and possibilities, embarking on adult life. The dance should capture the spirit of that. Instead they look as if they're taking part in a military training exercise. A bit like a cross between a march and an old fashioned drill display.

Here are some secondary school students from Ireland. They actually all go to different schools but they go to the Irish language college together every summer so they're singing in irish) I think you'll enjoy it :)
jon357 73 | 22638
26 Mar 2023 #695
They look so unhappy in that Polonaise video. They're dancing for FFS and should be enjoying themsleves.
mafketis 37 | 10776
26 Mar 2023 #696
embarking on adult life. The dance should capture the spirit of that

The ideal polonaise for studniówka should balance the old fashioned elements with the idea of embarking on a new stage of life. A little bit corny so that the dancers are a tiny bit embarassed but also excited about the future.
OP pawian 221 | 24216
26 Mar 2023 #697
thank you for all the pics and the info

Thanks for your thanks, it will encourage me to work harder in this thread. :):):):)

In practice it means that a lot of teachers stopped assigning any homework to avoid confrontation and arguments in class.

This means they are considered bad teachers in this conservative, traditional Polish education system. Not only by parents who had to do homework when they were students themselves. Also by students! I learnt about it a few times while doing replacement classes for teachers who went on a maternal leave or quit the job. Students complained they had learnt nothing under those previous teachers and one of the reasons was they had barely assigned any homework or tests.

Parents love it when students are a little busy with school work at home (of course within reasonable limits). Instead of playing with their smartphones or PCs all day long, they can do some useful stuff at last. The immortal question: Nothing for school??? is asked in tens of thousands of Polish home every day.

I am fully aware of those expectations, that is why I assign a lot of homework and tests. Students hate it but when they finish school, they are immensely grateful that they didn`t waste time. :):):)

Most of books I use at schools come in two volumes: SB for classwork and Workbook for homework.

Here, a book for 4th graders. 2 pages from SB and two from WB.

OP pawian 221 | 24216
5 Apr 2023 #698
School life always comes to still a few days before Easter - tomorrow it is holiday!!
Fekk, I have made it!!! Since mid Feb, when winter holidays ended, I have been working like crazy and now we can enjoy one week break at last. Lady God can be so amasingly merciful when She fancies being such.
OP pawian 221 | 24216
5 Apr 2023 #699
School life always comes to still

Comes to a standstill, of course.

Coming back to my Ukrainian students. We often talk when I monitor the corridor during breaks. Of course in English coz I don`t know Ukrainian and my knowledge of Russian doesn`t allow for a free conversation.

What do they think of Polish school? I mean their opinions based on their views and earlier expectations on Poland as a European country, instead of simply comparing Polish and Ukrainian systems

They noticed the following pros:
- good, dedicated, helpful teachers.
- friendly atmosphere, no violence, very few cases of bullying etc.
- a lot of special days, celebrations, theatricals, traditions.
- Ukrainian students are allowed to use phones for translation while in class. Polish students mustn`t. :):)

- crowded classes
- too many tests
- science subjects like biology, physics lectured mostly in theory, no experiments in chemistry class etc
- difficulty with analysing Polish literature, especially poetry, due to language inadequacy.
- Polish students are sometimes too reserved and shun a closer contact with Ukrainians.
Bobko 25 | 2046
5 Apr 2023 #700
- crowded classes

Ukraine has a school system designed for 50M people, but there were only around 37-39M people living there before the war. Very few of them young, because of the demographic collapse of the 1980s and 1990s. At the same time, the government is loathe to shut down schools and fire teachers (who's gonna vote then?). Despite hundreds of schools being shut down, there are still many thousands open with quite a small number of students.

Same thing with universities. Ukraine has enough universities to educate all of Europe. The overwhelming majority are just diploma mills.
OP pawian 221 | 24216
24 Jun 2023 #701
Sigh! I have made it at last - another school year is over. Now I need to recharge the batteries for a new one.

When it starts in September, I am usually full of energy and optimistic but I run out of it in late winter months, especially March. Then I function like a cyborg - performing my duties in a purely mechanical way without giving much thought. If I did, I would go crazy. :):):)

the government is loathe to shut down schools and fire teachers (who's gonna vote then?).

The gov doesn`t need to get involved in taking decisions about closing or opening schools. That`s what local authorities do.
Alien 22 | 5195
25 Jun 2023 #702
Now I need to recharge the batteries for a new one

Best to reconnect to PF. This is where your batteries will recharge. 🔌
OP pawian 221 | 24216
1 Aug 2023 #703
Because of PIS` deforms and their general ignorance and unwillingness to solve the problems of education, the shortage of teachers has reached its record levels this year.

School head teachers have been reporting a shortage of teachers for several years, but it has never been so bad. There are over 24,000 vacancies in Poland. The list prepared by the Dealerzy Wiedzy website (retrieves data on job offers from the websites of education authorities) shows that the worst situation is in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, where there are 4,307 educators missing. The Lesser Poland voivodeship ranks second. The number of vacancies is 3,080.

Lesser Poland lacks, among others, pedagogues (521), psychologists (477), pre-school teachers (453), English teachers (166), vocational teachers (138), mathematics teachers (117), Polish language teachers (110), early childhood education teachers (101).

According to the Krakow magistrate, 527 teachers terminated their employment contracts this school year. It is not known how many did not extend fixed-term contracts.

So far, school principals have reported that there are 851 vacancies in Krakow. "Taking into account the number of schools and institutions (317), the statistically indicated shortages are within 2-3 full-time positions at the school" - informs the magistrate.

To make up for staff shortages, the Ministry of Education introduced regulations allowing teachers to work two full-time jobs. Their time spent at the blackboard is currently 18 classes a week, with the consent of the teacher, the head teacher could increase it to a maximum of 27 classes. From September the limit of 27 classes will be abolished. However, the minister's idea may not work out. School principals in Krakow have been filling up teacher vacancies for years, granting working teachers overtime hours. Will teachers take even more?

Thank you PiS.,44425,30026657,nauczyciel-pilnie-poszukiwany-w-krakowie-wolnych-az-ponad-851.html
OP pawian 221 | 24216
1 Aug 2023 #704
Will teachers take even more?

" Teacher, will you accept more overtime?" - asked the weekly "GłosTeacher" before the holidays, and more than half of those taking part in the survey wrote that they would not be able to do it, because they were already too busy with work.

In Krakow, the situation is also saved by retired teachers. There are currently 949 of them in schools. This is over 7 percent. the entire teaching staff.

The situation is similar in other cities. Dariusz Chętkowski, a teacher from Lodz, writes about it on his blog. "For teenagers who will start high school in September, I advise you to spend a few days with grandma and grandpa (...). This will help you understand the teachers in the new school. They are very old (...). If someone came across a teacher, attached to a portable oxygen tank, please don't be surprised" - he appeals. And sums up the situation: "Actually, in every big city, a crisis team with the participation of the education superintendent should be convened to determine what to do if teachers are not found."

Alien 22 | 5195
1 Aug 2023 #705
There are over 24,000 vacancies in Poland.

It's time to get a raise, if not now then never.
OP pawian 221 | 24216
1 Aug 2023 #706
It's time to get a raise

You mean teachers should organise a Raising? No, too late. We are old and disappointed. Most teachers just want to live in peace until retirement which is near. And then they will say: and now, dear children, you can kiss our asses.

Except me. I will be still working when retired coz it is my passion, hobby, duty and we will certainly need money for our high standard of life.
Alien 22 | 5195
1 Aug 2023 #707
organise a Raising?

I was thinking about a pay raise.
OP pawian 221 | 24216
8 Sep 2023 #708
Amasing reasons for the dismissal of the headmaster of a high school by the local council in the small city of Sieradz: the guy is divorcing his wife but also bragging of a new partner in social media - she`s an attractive female, incidentally a teacher in his school. The local council fired him for unethical conduct and creating bad publicity for the school. The head master promises to take the matter to the court, pointing to the hypocrisy of the people who gave him the sack - he suggested they aren`t so perfect themselves. .

Really incredible. I thought such things happen in Ireland, not Poland.

The article here:

OP pawian 221 | 24216
8 Sep 2023 #709
the guy is divorcing his wife but also bragging of a new partner in social media

A Russian proverb could come in handy here: the quieter you go, the further you will get. :):):)
Charliesy 2 | 19
9 Sep 2023 #710
Really incredible. I thought such things happen in Ireland, not Poland.

Agree it's surprising but I don't think it would happen in Ireland any more, maybe 30 years ago?

By that I mean society is less sensitive to these things, more likely for the guy to get fired if he forgets James now wants to be called Jane. This petty morality I think started to fall away at the same time as the church's control over people started to wane...leave it up to you to decide if that's a coincidence or not.
OP pawian 221 | 24216
9 Sep 2023 #711
it would happen in Ireland any more, maybe 30 years ago?

Atch would tell you it still happens in Ireland in clergy run facilities.
Charliesy 2 | 19
10 Sep 2023 #712
Perhaps but even there it would be more subtle, the result might be the same but the process different to avoid an obvious unfair dismissal case.

The days of the church dictating how people live their lives is long gone in Ireland, thank God. Not to say they don't try but they are a busted flush now.
Atch 21 | 4158
10 Sep 2023 #713
Atch would tell you it still happens in Ireland in clergy run facilities.

Would I?? When did I ever suggest such things? Practically every school in Ireland is run by the clergy btw in as much as they are under religious patronage, either Catholic or Church of Ireland (Anglican).
OP pawian 221 | 24216
10 Sep 2023 #714
suggest such things?

I heard similar dismissal cases took place in Irish education. E.g,, female teachers were fired if they were unmarried mothers.
Atch 21 | 4158
10 Sep 2023 #715

You said I'd say it still happens today. Your example is from forty years ago! Rules for staff and pupils in those days were very strict. Your behaviour outside of school, either as a pupil or staff member, was noted and pupils were routinely expelled for something like smoking in school uniform, or behaving in a hoydenish fashion in a public place - lovely word that, 'a hoyden'.
Novichok 5 | 7761
10 Sep 2023 #716
Can atheists attend clery-run Irish schools?
Novichok 5 | 7761
10 Sep 2023 #718
I am relieved. As I said, in my next life I want to be Irish. Or Russian if the Irish won't have me.
Atch 21 | 4158
10 Sep 2023 #719
I am relieved.

Novichok 5 | 7761
10 Sep 2023 #720
It's good to know that Ireland does not discriminate against people with brains.
I know many people who are Catholics or Jews. None practicing so it's just pro forma.
Later, a necessity if one decides to run for any office higher than a village dog catcher.

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