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Diary of a Teacher in Poland


jon357 63 | 14,600
19 Sep 2017 #91
Isn't that done AFTER class ?

The 'devices' are part of the lesson. There is special software for this, linked to the interactive whiteboard. He does not mean 'texting'.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
19 Sep 2017 #92
However, unfortunately in my experience, far too many students DO intentionally and shamelessly both text (and chat) in front of their teacher, even at the college level!

This though is normally a reflection on the chronically low attention span of the students and not of the teacher's ability to hold the class' attention:-)

There's droning, and then there's carefully explaining involved information to younger people, typically, who might well have been crack babies once upon a time or/and received a limited amount of oxygen to their brain while still a new born.

It's not a laughing matter, believe me, and since the end of the '60's, beginning of the '70's, it's only grown much worse.

There is hope though. Learning never starts just on the first day of school on up through college; it begins at HOME with the example set by mom and dad!!

When parents return to their original role as loving AUTHORITY figures rather than as "pals" who get high with their kids, use vulgarity in order to seem "cool", we'll all see a mega turn around.
johnny reb 21 | 3,901
19 Sep 2017 #93
Bless your heart Lyzko.........you nailed it perfectly.
Do you think taking God out of the schools had anything to do that that may have helped this along the way as it did ?
CasualObserver
19 Sep 2017 #94
Where I amit's above most people's budgets here

Where is 'here'?
OP delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
19 Sep 2017 #95
The 'devices' are part of the lesson. There is special software for this, linked to the interactive whiteboard. He does not mean 'texting'.

Yes, exactly this. I've seen two different implementations - one implementation allows the questions to be shown on the whiteboard, the other directs the questions to the teacher's computer.

What makes it an interesting system is that it also allows for student feedback, so if someone is too shy to admit that they don't understand, they can anonymously ask for more explanations.

Anyway, today was a fascinating day. I've been informed that there's a possibility of us getting a teacher seconded to us from another country as part of an Erasmus+ programme, so we're looking at the possibility of getting a Swedish teacher to spend a term in our school. It seems to be relatively straightforward and there's plenty of funds available, so we'll see... It would certainly be a huge help to us to have a teacher from a much more socially advanced country.
Crnogorac3 1 | 377
19 Sep 2017 #96
Here Delph, you can use this as an idea for an advertisement for more Poles to enroll in your English classes. LOL
OP delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
19 Sep 2017 #97
So, today's work.

A long, tedious, tiring day. The day started with a dull assembly that overran, as the invited guest decided to drone on for nearly half an hour while boring everyone to tears. I don't even start work until 9:40 on Tuesdays, yet because the kids at assemblies are under the care of their class teacher, I had to turn up at 7:45 instead. The assembly finished by 9, at which point, I had 40 minutes to write e-mails while talking to the school secretary about the new kids and their parents.

Lessons were pretty much non-eventful, though I have considerable doubts over one of my classes. The notes from last year include the ominous phrase "ambitious parents", and their teacher from last year told me that there's considerable disconnect between their abilities and the perception of their abilities by parents. It's already quite obvious from correspondence with their parents that several of them demand significant amounts of homework - far more than I'm willing to give (because I don't want to mark it). Unfortunately, with a lack of a clear homework policy from the school, each teacher gives their own - so you get the situation that their Polish teacher is giving them significant amounts of homework, while I regard it as the devil, so they only get one piece a week.

Anyway, I thought I'd be finished (4 classes today) at a reasonable time, but of course, some parent caught me at the end of the day and wanted a formal meeting about her kid. I had to patiently explain to her that our rules mean that she has to make an appointment through the online journal system, but she insisted, saying that it was urgent and all the rest of it. I told her to talk to the class teacher (as she should), but no, she wanted to talk to me and only me. I even tried to tell her that I couldn't meet her without the class teacher being present, but she simply told me that she wanted to talk to me now.

So, OK, I gave in. We spoke for half an hour, and it seemed to boil down to the fact that she simply wasn't happy with a non-Polish speaking teacher. I explained everything to her, including that a good teacher shouldn't be using L1 anyway (Maf, Jon and Harry - comments?) - but she seems to be convinced that only a Polish teacher can explain things in a satisfactory way to kids. So, all in all, a complete waste of time - I'm not going to start speaking in Polish in the classroom no matter what she wants.

Anyway, once this was over, I managed to get through a huge pile of marking. I've found that the best approach is to get all the marking done in school so I don't have to take anything home, but then I get the planning done at home on a Friday/Saturday night so that it's all ready for the coming week. Seems to work well, and means that I've always got a very clear Sunday.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,658
19 Sep 2017 #98
- I'm not going to start speaking in Polish in the classroom no matter what she wants.

Fair point no ones gonna talk Polish to the kid when he is abroad, well unless it;s the UK where it is now the second language.

I found this problem in China, no one spoke any Polish.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
19 Sep 2017 #99
@Johnny, I actually do think that when school prayer left the school and with it, faith the classroom, we've definitely suffered.
Problem is, there is such a plurality of beliefs in this country concerning G_d, that more evil than good has been committed in His name.
johnny reb 21 | 3,901
19 Sep 2017 #100
more evil than good has been committed in His name.

And what do you base your opinion on ?
You must not be a Christian.
jon357 63 | 14,600
19 Sep 2017 #101
including that a good teacher shouldn't be using L1 anyway

There's. no reason they should, and every reason they shouldn't. Sometimes adult learners gripe about it - what it really means is that they've made little progress due to low independent learning skills and expecting to sit there passively and be spoon fed without wanting to expend any effort acquiring the productive skills.

I found this problem in China, no one spoke any Polish.

Right now, I really wish my French 'teacher' at school had actually spoken to us in French rather than talk about her holidays in Florida, her husband's job and expect us to memorise verb tables copied from a blackboard. The communicative approach existed then, however teachers resisted using it. An obstinate profession sometimes.

Where is 'here'?

Africa, in a country low on the Human Development Index, with little access to technology. Most people live in a dollar a day. Smartphones are the big thing for people with some cash since they're more affordable than laptops which are a status symbol for the rich and people who've travelled. The internet's pretty bad too here.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
20 Sep 2017 #102
The thing that drives me nuts is when ss look up a word on their phones. The online dictionaries they use are often laughable. One lad last semester wrote an essay using the most archaic words. I asked him where he'd found them, and he showed me the dictionary he used. It was a Polish online one and was about 150 years out of date. Another time, instead of listening to me explain what a bud was (Shakespeare's sonnet Shall I compare...) a woman was busy poking her phone. She'd found something about cannabis, and was busy reading it while the other ss were discovering the genius of the Bard.
OP delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
20 Sep 2017 #103
So, another day, and a frustrating one to say the least.

I got to work early as always, only to be greeted by one of the secretaries with a smile on her face. One teacher had organised a school trip, and the other teacher that was supposed to on the trip had dropped out at the very last minute because her kid was sick. Of course, they'd decided to send me on the trip instead - and the trip was the definition of dull. Not only did I have to quickly prepare information about what material to cover for the substitute teachers that would replace me, but I also had to tolerate one of the worst and most mind-numbing trips ever.

I'd write more, but it was a monumental waste of time, and even worse, the class going on the trip wasn't a class of mine.

Why did they pick me? Well, I have all the qualifications needed to organise trips and a lot of experience with running trips successfully, so I was apparently "the obvious choice". What a complete waste of a day.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
20 Sep 2017 #104
I couldn't agree more with ya, Rogers. It's little different from watered down knowledge.
jon357 63 | 14,600
20 Sep 2017 #105
It was a Polish online one and was about 150 years out of date.

"Seldom"! It crops up in all these online dictionaries.

but I also had to tolerate one of the worst and most mind-numbing trips ever.

I can imagine - I've been on tours with some of those 'guides'. Their spiel tends to be quantity rather than quality. For kids, they should entertain.
gumishu 11 | 5,142
20 Sep 2017 #106
Seldom"

what's wrong with the word - do you consider it archaic?
OP delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
20 Sep 2017 #107
Ah, just to talk about qualifications:

I have an MA in English, a post-diploma in pedagogy, I'm an "appointed teacher" and I've got a huge collection of other certifications and qualifications on top. Polish teachers are ridiculously well qualified, so I'm forever obtaining new certifications in a wide range of things. A PhD is also tempting, as I won't be eligible for promotion to diploma teacher level for a while yet.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
20 Sep 2017 #108
Problem is that what was once, even in my high school days (round about the mid-'70's), considered common coin for any literate college or pre-college teen, is now deemed "retro", "vintage" or just plain WEIRD and out of fashion.

At least US-speakers' vocabulary has declined, actually shrunken, exponentially in keeping with their rise in salary and living comfort. Seems that most nowadays have traded in their thinking cap for a house in the burbs, which they typically fill with objects d'art etc. which they probably couldn't even pronounce, much less understand!

lol
jon357 63 | 14,600
20 Sep 2017 #109
Polish teachers are ridiculously well qualified

Yet they rarely strike for better pay.

what was once, even in my high school days (round about the mid-'70's

Language use changes fast.

archaic

"Rarely" is better nowadays. It is old fashioned and over-formal for speech, emails etc., and can sound artificial, pretentious or both.
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,467
21 Sep 2017 #110
@delphiandomine

Do a PhD you won't regret it especially if you want to teach at the college level
DominicB - | 2,703
21 Sep 2017 #111
It is old fashioned and over-formal for speech, emails etc., and can sound artificial, pretentious or both.

"Seldom" is a totally normal, natural, unmarked, current, everyday English word that isn't restricted to any register of formality. You use it in everyday informal writing yourself, and have used it on this forum.
Joker 1 | 1,232
21 Sep 2017 #112
Yet they rarely strike for better pay.

Perhaps, this is why the real qualified teachers are working in the UK instead of slaving for low Polish wages.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
21 Sep 2017 #113
@jon, on the other hand, whereas colloquial speech surely changes, some basics are forever:-)
OP delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
21 Sep 2017 #114
Do a PhD you won't regret it especially if you want to teach at the college level

That's what is tempting me, teaching in primary schools is a young person's game, and a PhD would open up doors to a university job.

Perhaps, this is why the real qualified teachers are working in the UK instead of slaving for low Polish wages.

It's a shame that you think that Polish teachers aren't "real qualified".
jon357 63 | 14,600
21 Sep 2017 #115
It's a shame that you think that Polish teachers aren't "real qualified".

Indeed. They are well qualified, and their qualifications are standardised to European norms.

You use it in everyday informal writing yourself,

No, it is a more formal word today, rare in normal, direct speech. Check out the CELEX frequency before mouthing off.

whereas colloquial speech surely changes, some basics are forever

Nothing is forever.
OP delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
21 Sep 2017 #116
Indeed. They are well qualified, and their qualifications are standardised to European norms.

Yes, the only issue right now is that teachers can enter the profession after a BA/BSc, but the government (correctly, in my opinion) intends to make an MA/MSc the minimum entry requirement.

How anyone can insult hard working, decent Polish teachers is beyond me.
DominicB - | 2,703
21 Sep 2017 #117
No

Yes. Check your own posts. There's nothing remarkable about it at all, formal or informal.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
21 Sep 2017 #118
Standard is, jon, I respectfully disagree:-)
jon357 63 | 14,600
21 Sep 2017 #119
Yes, the only issue right now is that teachers can enter the profession after a BA/BSc,

No issue provided it's a Bachelor's with QTS or followed by a PGCE. They could of course rename a PGCE as an MA or MSc. Not an MEd, which is best kept for research.

Not an Eastern European Licentiate though - that is insufficiently rigorous.

Check your own posts

My posts are usually in formal English unless obviously otherwise. Check CELEX.
DominicB - | 2,703
21 Sep 2017 #120
@jon357

Your posts are certainly not in formal English. Standard, yes. But not formal by a long shot. Your last post is very far from formal.


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