Learning on the fly

High school in Shkoder has been in session for about two weeks now. Unfortunately that does not mean that I’ve been teaching for the last two weeks.

Unlike in an American school system, here we don’t figure out the class schedules before the beginning of the school year. Students don’t show up on the first day, receive a daily schedule for the rest of the year, and begin learning. Instead, we’re kind of learning on the fly. And by that I mean that the students and teachers both show up at 8am with no idea what classes will be held that day nor when. There are too many changes happening for the director to solidify the schedule, so instead they just post it every day for the first, I don’t know, month or two, until things get settled. So for the first 60 days of school its nearly impossible to plan a lesson or expect students to be prepared for class. I try not to judge and get frustrated, but it’s clear that the system is broken.

Needless to say, I’m learning how to put my “let’s change the world” attitude aside for the moment and just try to make it through the day in one piece. Luckily I have the greatest students ever and am working with an amazing staff of teachers, who make every hour of every day worth it.

Oh, and did you know…in Albania the students are assigned to one room and stay there all day. It’s the teachers that have to rotate rooms to teach their classes instead of the other way around.

“It’s not better. It’s not worse. It’s just different.”


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