First days of school in Italy

The kids’ first day of school was September 12th, Wednesday. Silvia had just one introductory hour, from 11am to twelve, while Alessio started at 8am and had a regular five hour schedule (until 1pm).

He was extremely calm, certainly due to his nature (lucky him), but probably also due to the fact that he visited the school and met four teachers one week earlier. This is something I strongly recommend: getting the teachers (maestre) to know the child, his situation, background, strengths and weaknesses before the school starts is a win-win situation on both sides. And providing a copy of the kid’s last school report is a good idea as well. When I went to pick him up he was just fine, and has been since.

For Silvia things went a little differently. I tried to reach her professors (professori) beforehand with no avail up until 10 minutes before school started, when I met her Italian teacher, professoressa Zocchelli, to whom I explained Silvia’s situation: the fact that she finished 6th grade with an average of an A, that she is a very responsible student, that during the summer I taught her some Italian geography, history and grammar (obviously I didn’t mention that sometimes I literally had to drag her to our living room to study together…), and so on. Professoressa Zocchelli was super nice with her and when the bell rang she took her to class. However one hour wasn’t enough for her to get to know the kids and be known by them, with the result that she wasn’t very happy when I went to pick her up….

Now things are better, she is getting used to the Italian school system and her classmates little by little. She does complain, and does it often, but always seems serene when she comes home from school. As for me, I’m working on meeting the professors one by one, which is a very slow task since email is still not used here and communications happen through the diario (exactly like when I was a child).

Nevertheless it’s a small thing to bear, since I still think that Italian schools are among the best.

Coming from abroad, have you ever had any experience with the Italian school system?



  1. JK says

    We found the same difficulty communicating with teachers in Torino. Much less technology in use in the schools. No email. Phone messages with office not returned. The diary was helpful for somethings like clarifying assignment due dates. I would have to wait to individually speak with each teacher. My daughter would translate when I could not get my ideas across.
    I loved that lunch was provided at school.

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