Monday, January 24, 2011


So I got a request a while ago to do a blog on how school is different. Sorry that I'm just getting around to it now, but I have been busy. All of this is to the best of my knowledge, so if I get some facts wrong, it's because I'm not sure, and I apologize.

To start with the very basics. We don't have "high school" here. After elementary/middle school, you take a test to choose where you will go to school. There are sports schools, and academies, and where I go, gymnasium. The difference between gymnasium and academy  is that you go to gymnasium for four years, and academy for five. Also, at academy you learn a trade. (Think "Career Tech Center") As far as I know, Piestany has a sport school, Gymnasium Pierra de Coubertina, and Hotelova Akademia Ludovita Wintera.

I'm in class 3.A  This means I'm in the third year (like a junior) and the "A" part is my actual class. I don't change classes. Like, I'm with the same group of people all day, every day. And they have been together for the past three years. So they are all really close. We also don't switch classrooms (much). For the most part, we stay in our classroom. And also, they have been in the same classroom for the past three years. We have a "class teacher" which basically means, she is like homeroom teacher. (She is also our math teacher.)

For most classes, we stay in our classroom. Although we (obviously) go to the computer lab for computer class, and the gym for P.E. But we also have to go to a different class for Biology, and Chemistry. And half of our class is taking German, and the other half (me too!) takes French. So half the class goes to a different classroom for that class. And sometimes, for reasons beyond me, we have to go to a different classroom because other students have to go to our class. I have no idea why.

I have the same schedule all year. However, I have different classes everyday. Also, on a different time frame. Meaning I have to go to school at 7:50 on Tuesdays, but on Wednesdays I don't start until 9:50. (Yes, I love Wednesdays!) I have a regular schedule, not a changed one because I'm an exchange. Meaning I take English, French, Slovak, History, Geography, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Art & Culture, Computers, P.E., and a class that is similar to Psychology, I think.

Our Classroom
We don't have desks. We have tables that each seat two people, and out teacher also has a table, but there is a nicer chair for the teacher. (See front left desk and chair in picture.) Our lockers are very small, and we only use them to store our books and gym clothes and stuff. We just keep all our things in our backpacks, which we have in the classroom, and carry with us. We also hang our coats in the classroom. We carry our boots with us. Well, boots and other shoes. We have to wear "school shoes" during the day. They can be like sandals, or crocs, or other shoes that you don't wear outside.

We have at least a ten minute break between classes, and between second and third hour is a twenty minute break. During that time, most kids stay in the classroom and talk, although we can leave if we want to. Some people leave to go smoke. There are no teachers in the classroom during break, they are all in the teachers lounge, I think. (Which is why I am able to get so many crazy videos of my class. Check my youtube if you want to see some of them.)

If our teacher is not there for some reason, we get free time, because we almost never have subs. Which is nice. Also, sometimes our teachers will trade classes with each other. Like, we will have History instead of Biology and then vice-versa. But it's not often. During breaks and free time, the blackboard has to be cleaned. Each week a different student is in charge of this. They use a wet sponge to clean it, but it usually just results in wiping chalk all over the board. If they don't have it clean when the teacher gets there, they get in trouble, and sometimes have to clean the board the following week, also.

We do not have many textbooks. For the most part, the teacher will lecture all hour, and the students take notes. In math class, our teacher reads the problems, and has kids go to the board to do them, while everyone else does them on their own. In English and French, they have workbooks. I like to read the English one and help out my classmates with the answers when they ask. Also, I find it funny that they have to learn all the perfect grammar, some of which confuses me. Like past perfect, and junk like that. I mean, I know how to use it, I just can't explain it. It just sounds right, you know? (This is apparently a bad explanation, which usually results in my classmates laughing at me, and not asking for more help. But really, I don't know how to explain all the pointless grammar rules English has.)

So, I think that's pretty much it about school. Any questions, feel free to ask(:


  1. Hi Kelly-its Auntie Kithy from Boston--do you have homework? How would you compare their school system with ours? Can you ask questions? I am enjoying reading your blog-what a great opportunity you are having. Do they practice any religion? When do you come home? You must take many pictures and make a scrapbook of your year in Slovakia--You are very blessed--Keep writing-Peace and Love, Auntie Kithy

  2. Hi! It's great to hear from you(:
    Well, I don't have homework...but the other kids do. I don't do a whole lot in school, because I still have such a limited vocabulary. And also because I'm not expected to do anything. But the other kids do sometimes.
    There are so many differences in the schools here and in America, I can't even begin to explain them all. But I think the biggest difference is that the schools are separated, meaning that all the students at my school are college-bound, so the classes are harder, and they actually pay attention (for the most part).
    I'll try to cover religion in another post so I can go into more details(:
    I will be in Michigan sometime between June 21st and July 6th. I still don't know when exactly.
    I have a gazillion pictures, and a scrapbook kit I will use when I get back to Holton.

  3. I think having the same class, as in group of students, and not changing classrooms often is pretty smart. It's definitely easier for one teacher to change rooms then it is for 20+ students.

  4. except for the random times we have to go to a different classroom haha