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


delphiandomine 85 | 18,273
20 Mar 2020 #181
I watched the press conference, and all I can say is that it's going to end in tears. The new regulation will oblige teachers to give and assess school work - which is going to work how, exactly?
OP pawian 170 | 11,591
20 Mar 2020 #182
Giving and assessing schoolwork is OK, coz we have been doing it already - e..g, I tell my students to write essays for me and they send them to my e-mail address. So it is all right.

However, if they mean sth else, especially lessons online, they are daydreaming, thinking that every teacher and student has Skype or similar stuff on their computers.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,273
20 Mar 2020 #183
I fear it's going to end up in total chaos with every teacher demanding something different and using a different method to do so. We're developing a common e-learning platform this weekend, and I probably won't sleep very much between now and Monday as I'm one of the few teachers who has decent experience with developing/using such systems - but it's still an open question as to how teachers are supposed to actually teach.

The only thing we have agreed as a school is that situations where a teacher sends "do page 33, tasks 1/2/3' and nothing else will be banned. The proposal right now (being voted on via the virtual Rada Pedagogiczna until tomorrow lunchtime) is that we will prepare materials until Monday to cover 25-27.03 , then we'll go into the school to print them en masse. We'll then take all ~220 packages of work to the Inpost depot, where they'll be posted to the nearest paczkomat to the child's home. Kids won't have to work at certain times, we'll only ask that the parents return the work to the school by Friday at 17:00 so that they can be given to teachers on the following Monday.

It seems to be the most sensible solution to the problem, and we'll arrange a system so that teachers will be present in a virtual classroom during the time of the class, but attendance won't be obligatory - the idea is that kids will be able to log on and visit the virtual classroom if they need help with the work.

But again - this is a private school with resources. It won't reflect reality in 90% of schools.
OP pawian 170 | 11,591
20 Mar 2020 #184
I fear it's going to end up in total chaos with every teacher demanding something different and using a different method to do so.

That has been the situation so far. My wife curses our kids` teachers for sending crazy amounts of work which first should be found on the net, then copied, done and sent back to the teacher. It takes a lot of time and she has been fed up with it already.

Lesser Poland`s Head of Education Board issued an appeal to teachers to ease up on the schoolwork they assign. She openly wrote that parents are furious. Also mentioned the situation which happens in our home - when a few siblings want or have to work at the same time. We have two PCs and other gadgets but it is still not enough.

TEACHERS, LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE!!! hahaha

I don`t blame those teachers, though. They are doing what they think is the best in the situation. But some don`t know what moderation is.

"do page 33, tasks 1/2/3' and nothing else will be banned.

Yes, that`s what she advised teachers to do - you can assign such homework in history or Polish. What about maths or physics without class explanation?

then we'll go into the school to print them en masse. We'll then take all ~220 packages of work to the Inpost depot

Wow, going to such pains means you are really dedicated. Respect! :)

but attendance won't be obligatory -

That`s the only way out.

this is a private school with resources. It won't reflect reality in 90% of schools.

Exactly.

Currently, I am not bothered what they will come up with in my area. I will wait and see and adopt whatever they devise. So far I have been contacting my students through e-class register or email. Some teachers use facebook, I don`t coz not all of my students are my friends. :)

On a lighter note: I can see in our e-class platform what tasks my colleagues assign to our students. Some subjects directly refer to the virus situation. Religion class - say prayers for the disruption of the virus spread. Geography - assess the changes in Polish foreign trade due to the virus effects. And the teacher of Polish told students to read The Plague by Camus. Very funny.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,273
23 Mar 2020 #185
Wow, going to such pains means you are really dedicated. Respect! :)

End result: a vote against, on the grounds that the MEN hadn't produced the new regulations. However, the new regulations appeared today, and the headteacher has decided to use her powers to implement our original plans as no-one opposed them for any reason other than "we don't want to prepare for something that can't be done".

So, tomorrow, we'll carry out our original plan (with a one day delay to account for students not getting the materials until Wednesday).

The e-learning platform will have limits in accordance with the MEN regulations - so the plan is that there will be time limits on the daily use of the platform. The system that I'm fighting with right now is that teachers will be given 'access' to kids for a set amount of time, dependent on the amount of hours they have with each class. There won't be any video conferencing, but for instance, I'm working on kl. 1-3 right now. They have 30 minutes 'screen time' daily, so the class teacher will have 20 minutes to use and the English teacher will have 10. It gets more complicated with kl. 4-8, but what I'm doing is dividing up the hours until Easter and then allocating them accordingly.

The plan is that each teacher will have a mandatory two hour evening 'phone' time for questions from parents and kids, as well as 2 hours during the day. That covers their 'blackboard' time, and the other 20 hours are to be used for preparation/marking. We dropped the virtual classroom idea as some informal feedback suggested that kids and parents preferred to do it this way

Critical point - there will be no grading.
OP pawian 170 | 11,591
23 Mar 2020 #186
There won't be any video conferencing,

That is already taking place in my two kids` school - they had such lessons today - German, English, history, PE. The son used their PC and the daughter her Ipod. They were very glad coz that e-platform allowed them to talk to mates, too.

Critical point - there will be no grading.

That is strange coz MEN issued regulations which also include grading and I am still wondering how to do it, especially in the final year which is going to finish school in April.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,273
23 Mar 2020 #187
We're not using it because the parents are... Well, you know what they're like. I did some testing, and without a decent / stable connection, video conferencing becomes a nightmare with too many participants.

My argument was simple: if it doesn't work properly the time, the parents will give us hell. Fortunately, the MEN seem to have accepted that it can't be used in every school.

About grading - the regulations state that it's up for discussion between teachers and the headteacher, so we agreed that for our collective sanity, we won't have grades now.

If it carries on after Easter, we'll rethink it. We haven't had time to develop a fair policy for grading, so it's best not to bother.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,273
24 Mar 2020 #188
Pawian, about private schools and fees: there was a decision by UOKiK a few years ago that if a child couldn't attend a private nursery/kindergarten for whatever reason, then the parents don't have to pay. We're now seeing this in our school - parents are writing and asking for a reduction in fees as we can't provide the service that they're paying for. The contract does state that the 'mode of learning is decided by the headteacher', so it seems that we're in the clear, but a lot of private nurseries/kindergartens won't have such a thing in their contracts.
OP pawian 170 | 11,591
24 Mar 2020 #189
Delph, I would like to comment but I am busy preparing our professional online teaching which is starting tomorrow. In short: video conferences and E-textbooks/workbooks but also youtube videos for those who won`t be able to attend the classes at a set time. Now I am registering my students` accounts onto two e-platforms, over 100 people. It is pure madness. It seems I will work more than in regular school. But our principal told us we would be paid overtime. :):)

See you soon and remember, Semper Fidelis!!! hahahaha
delphiandomine 85 | 18,273
25 Mar 2020 #190
It is pure madness.

I was prepared - I went to our school at 7am to get everything printed before anyone else turned up. Now I'm waiting around to help anyone if they need it, but so far, so good. The only problem is that I've seen some of the materials prepared by my colleagues, and it's very obvious that kids won't be able to do all this by themselves.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,273
25 Mar 2020 #191
So, we sent out a large amount of packages today, along with e-mails and text messages asking parents to make sure that they're ready for Friday. The materials sent out will cover Thursday until next Friday, and then the second package will be sent out next Wednesday to take kids through to Easter.

One thing that keeps coming up - parents are telling us that they don't have the possibility of teaching their kids, and they're asking for support.
OP pawian 170 | 11,591
29 Mar 2020 #192
We're not using it because the parents are... Well, you know what they're like.

Well, I think it depends on a school. My kids go to a private one too but it is the staff who rule, not parents. During that first two weeks of online teaching, kids were flooded with school and home work but parents didn`t complain. Yes, they did, but in private, not officially to the headteacher. :):)

We dropped the virtual classroom idea

I see it works very well in my kids` school. When I hear noises like stomping on the floor in one of the rooms, I know they are having a PE class. :):) And the attendance is checked every day. Funny. My youngest son is delighted - he just got a B in physics after doing well in an online test. hahaha

However, from what I can read online, such schools are rare.

About grading - the regulations state that it's up for discussion between teachers and the headteacher,

Well, we were told to think about it. Fortunately, I already had some grades when the plague started. Now I am going to grade one or two home assignments from each student and that`s all.

I watched the press conference, and all I can say is that it's going to end in tears

Yes, it is just like you said. :):)

I've seen some materials prepared by my colleagues

Yes, that is the Polish school - assign as much as possible and then we will see how many are able to cope with it. hahaha
OP pawian 170 | 11,591
3 Apr 2020 #193
Final year students still don`t know if they are going to take school leaving exams - primary school students in late April and high school students in early May. Some are already getting ready:

hahahaha I love their sense of humor.

PS. I miss them so much - having lessons online isn`t such fun as live in the classroom.



delphiandomine 85 | 18,273
25 Jun 2020 #194
So, end of the school year tomorrow. A total non-event for us, as kids haven't appeared in the school since March and we don't want to take any risks now. Kids will get their certificates in September if schools reopen, while those in the final year can turn up at any time until the end of August to collect them.

We won't hold any event, teachers won't meet kids/parents, and for the 6 kids who need to do something to get 'promoted' to the next class, they've all been assigned a project to be completed by the end of July. Kids in the final class won't fail, as it's been agreed by all the teachers that the situation is so exceptional that it would be horrible not to let them finish the final class.

For me, the only thing I have to do tomorrow is to go to the school to prepare my classroom for next year. Everything else is done, I don't have any kids that failed, all I need to do is tie up a few loose ends on the electronic journal and make sure that the documentation is all complete. There'll be some meeting of the Rada Pedagogiczna next week online, and I'll check to make sure that the other language teachers don't have any issues, but there's really not much to think about now.
OP pawian 170 | 11,591
11 Jul 2020 #195
Kids will get their certificates in September

In my school they got them in June, two seperate entrances, each form came at different time, classrooms were disinfected after each group. etc.

You said: if schools reopen. What do you think the possibility is that they won`t? The government claims covid isn`t a threat any longer but that can be only propaganda for election time.

I am constantly thinking about it coz I am not sure how to handle my after-school business.

Kids in the final class won't fail,

Yes, here all students passed and they scored the best results ever. hahaha The number of distinction report cards was record-breaking this year.

tie up a few loose ends on the electronic journal , documentation is all complete, Rada Pedagogiczna

And we are free! Until the next school year. :)

I think I haven`t shown the report card/certificate with distinction here yet. Your average grade result must be at least 4.75 out of 6. In Poland it is called "with a stripe." Stripe means pasek, the same as belt which once was used to punish kids, so the certificate with a belt is a bad one.









Zlatko
11 Jul 2020 #196
In Poland like everywhere most teachers are too rigid and classic education would be improved with subjects such as Personal Finance, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Positivity. Who needs rote learning random historic dates by heart? Imagine how happier kids would be to learn how to love themselves and manage their money.
OP pawian 170 | 11,591
11 Jul 2020 #197
with subjects such as Personal Finance,

There is such a subject called Business Basics.

Who needs rote learning random historic dates by heart?

Yes, dates are boring and easily forgotten. But History must be taught - a nation/society which doesn`t know its and general history is lame. Of course, it should be taught in a more interesting way that a simple dull lecture. When I did a replacement class for an absent History teacher, I always prepared additional sources like films and pics.


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