Meeting gellow teachers in Florence, Italy- how?
June 28, 2007 7:05 PM   Subscribe

we're teachers, going to Florence, Italy, looking for local teachers. what is our best chance to meet them?

I teach High School English, and my gf teaches gifted 5th graders. we would love to see Italian educators at work- nothing formal, just watch them, see a school or two, maybe take them to lunch. Our italian is so-so right now. we're learning, but if you know any English speakers...
posted by tristanshout to Travel & Transportation around Florence, Italy (4 answers total)
I'd suggest contacting one of the American schools before departure, and seeing how they might be able help.

Googling about I found a link to The International School of Florence off the US State Department's own web site.

Perhaps if you contact The International School they could help out? I suggested doing this before leaving as I teach Finance part time in London (I'm American), and we do get requests from US Educators from time to time. We let them shadow us for a lecture and show them about the campus a little purely out of professional camaraderie.
posted by Mutant at 11:11 PM on June 28, 2007

You could contact the education department at the local University - I got to visit a school and meet teachers and pupils in Thailand through this method. They'll have contacts in local schools. You might want to offer to do a talk on what it's like in your country which could be fascinating, particularly for younger pupils.
posted by handee at 1:17 AM on June 29, 2007

Through their websites? If you go through official channels you'll probably get dragged around to their "model classrooms" and see only the five-star teachers. Maybe try to look up the foreign language departments and get in touch with an English teacher at a local high school.
posted by msittig at 7:40 AM on June 29, 2007

I'd suggest visiting some of the smaller towns in the surrounding area as well. Florence is a large, tourist-filled city, and I don't know how much patience or interest the teachers there would have for foreigners. Also, it would give you a chance to see the difference between the often very modern Florentine schools and the archaic (by contrast, at least) rural ones.

You did choose a good place to visit, by the way, as Florentine Italian is very close to textbook Italian. The people there tend to speak much more clearly than those in southern Italy, so you should have a pretty easy time getting on.
posted by voltairemodern at 8:06 AM on June 29, 2007

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