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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Maria Luigia

I just recently started my international pre-prac because I was in Florence for a month and now I am in Parma for the rest of the semester. From the first day I walked into my placement, I instantly felt the difference. When I walked in the class was loud and rowdy with students walking around and talking to each other. The teacher tried to calm them down, however it seemed like she wasn't even there. Finally when they were able to settle down I introduced myself and I asked them if they have any questions about America or me. They instantly asked me if I had a boyfriend or how old I am while chuckling and goofing around. The teacher had to stop ever few minutes to remind the class to be quiet. The students were around 13 years old and probably were going through the rebelling stage. I was shocked when the teacher started screaming "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!" I never heard that in my life. That's when I knew I had to step in. I told the class that in America, there should only be one person speaking at a time and if the teacher is talking then everyone has to be quiet and listen attentively. The students stared at me and then turned around to talk some more. My CT had to translate what I said to make sure they understood and even when they did, they didn't care. So I decided to implement what I do when I teach my 2nd graders. I told them that since they can't be quiet when the teacher is talking, I will start a new rule. I will count up to 3 and when I reach 3 everyone needs to be silent. 1-2-3. The students started counting the numbers along with me. 4-5-6-7-8.. This is not what I expected. When class was over, my teacher apologized and said that this was her "worse" class. But soon realized even though this was her "worse" class, the relaxed culture here enforced the students behavior.


  1. Hi Barrie,
    I am student teaching in Madrid this semester, and have also observed a big difference in the classroom management here from that in the United States. As you said, I think that the laid back and relaxed cultures of both Spain and Italy influence the way the classrooms function and at times, it can be very frustrating trying to teach a class that is out of control. My CT expressed to me that she has a hard time controlling some of the students in her class because they do not think it is necessary to bring their materials to class, to do their homework, or to participate in classroom discussion, but is currently working on different classroom management techniques to fix this problem. In my experience student teaching in Madrid, I have realized that I need to adjust the activities I plan for the class, knowing that classroom management is difficult. Thus, I make sure my lessons are very structured and focused so that the students don’t lose interest or get distracted by their peers. Additionally, while planning my lessons, I think it is important to keep in mind that classroom management techniques that work in the United States may not work in other countries, because the classrooms are so different. Have you had the opportunity to try any different techniques that you have found work better for your students? Or has your CT told you what she does with the class to get them under control? Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Katharine!

    I definitely agree that a structured lesson plan will help students focus, I tried this method and it does wonders! The students stopped throwing things around and talking to their friends. Unfortunately my CT did not give me any advice on how to manage the class, it seems as if they have trouble themselves.


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