One of the main things that I have noticed about the culture of Italy is the times of day when people eat. In America, we eat breakfast when we wake up, lunch at noon, and dinner around 6. In Italy, they eat breakfast when they wake up, lunch at 2, and dinner at 9. Different from Americans, Italians do not snack in between their meals. Because of this difference in culture, the school day looks a little different. In America, lunch is served at school beginning at 11, and the students continue classes after lunch. In Italy, the students go to class 8-1 or 8-2 and then go home for lunch. Their school day is over and they do not return after lunch.
Also in Italy, there is not a separation of church and state. In America, religion is kept out of the classroom. There are also many different religions represented in a class. In Italy, all of the students come from Catholic families, and the students learn about religion at school. All of the classrooms I have been in have a cross hanging on the wall. Anyone that I talk with cannot understand that we keep religion separate from the classroom because in Italy, religion is free to be expressed at school. For instance, this is the doors to one of the classrooms at Dante.
The setting of schools are different than in America too. If you were to walk down the hallways of a school in America, you would see the walls lined with lockers. Students keep all of their belongings in them locked away. Also teachers since teachers have their own rooms, the teacher spends their planning time in their room, sort of as a personal office space. In Italy, the hallways are lined with coat hangers. Since students stay in one classroom all day, they hang their things outside the door of their room. Students are rarely in the hallway, so there is no worry that their things will get stolen. Also, their is a teacher that stays in the hallway full time acting as a hall monitor. Teachers have to spend their planning time in the teacher’s lounge. It’s a room with a couple of computers and teacher mailboxes. There are bookshelves full of resources for the teachers to use, but they do not get their own space like in America. Teachers have to carry their supplies from room to room.
Stay tuned for our final adventures in Italy! Ciao!