Teaching in Italy: Q and A with Maddy!

Teaching in Italy: Q and A with Maddy!

Maddy Schneider is a current participant on Greenheart’s Teach English in Italy Program. She is located in Acqui Terme with her host family.  We asked her a few questions about her thoughts on the program so far!

What is the biggest difference you’ve noticed between the Italian school system and the one from your home country?

I have noticed a lot of differences between the Canadian school system and the Italian school system. The main thing I have noticed is that Italy is still stuck in an old school way of teaching. The teacher talks at the front of the room, and the kids listen. The kids then go home and read their textbooks for hours. They memorize their textbooks for when they have a written or oral test (which occurs almost everyday), then they simply forget that information to make room for the next things they need to memorize. In Canada, we take a play-based approach in learning and the kids do a lot of playing and hands-on activities to learn the material.

What is your favorite part about being a volunteer assistant teacher?

My favourite part about being a teacher assistant is interacting with the kids. They all seem to seek me out and try to communicate with me, even if they don’t know any English. I enjoy talking with them and learning about them. Many teachers have told me that many of the students that don’t engage in class have taken big steps in communicating with me and participating in my lessons.

You currently live with a host family. What did your family do with you to help you acclimate to the community?

My family has taken me to see sights around the town, meet with their friends, and have taught me about Italian culture in general!

Have you been able to travel with your host family?

My family has taken me to France and a few other places in Italy.

When you’re not traveling with them, what do you do with your host family for fun?

For fun, my family sometimes takes drives in the country. We also sometimes watch a movie together.

Does this experience lead you to have a different outlook on your life back in your home country?

I have a very different outlook on life in my home country now. I never understood all the things I took for granted back home and this will change the way I live when I return home.


Will you continue to teach once home?

In Canada, I am already a teacher. So I am happy to return to teaching and having my own classroom again.


Do you plan on staying in touch with your host family?

I will absolutely stay in touch with my host family. Someday I hope to return to visit them!

Maddy is currently on Greenheart’s Teach Abroad Italy Program. To learn more about the program, click here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *