I have been in Florence for the past 11 weeks and am loving every bit of it! I personally did not have a very hard transition and luckily haven’t been very homesick. So far, my teaching experience has been awesome! I am in a 6th grade classroom filled with 26 bright and well-behaved Italian students. When I first found out I was going to be in 6th grade, I was nervous because it seems so old. However, they are still young and seem to be much more mellow than a 6th grade class in America. Also, because they are older, they know more English which makes it easier to communicate with them. Communicating definitely has its challenges but using lots of hand gestures and speaking slowly works better than you would think. Their normal English teacher does not speak perfect English, so they are definitely
benefiting from being taught by an American. So far, I’ve taught them the verb to be, the verb to have, telling time, and family. I’m currently planning a lesson to teach them there is/there are. I have also done a lesson on Halloween and have one on Thanksgiving planned. The students enjoy learning about American culture and are excited when they have prior knowledge about it. Every lesson I’m reminded that the hours of lesson planning and preparing really pay off. It is definitely challenging balancing school work with traveling, but you learn to make it work! The semester has gone by extremely fast as it’s hard to believe I only have just about a month left. With this in mind, I plan to make the most of my teaching experience here and do the best I can to teach them English. It will definitely be interesting to go back to an American classroom and compare it to my experience teaching in Italy. I am very thankful for this opportunity and cannot wait to bring what I’ve learned back home! Although I am definitely going to miss my students here!