Teaching In Croatia

Hi everyone! Finally back and able to breathe! 🙂
Let me explain my absence.
This past month has been really stressful! All thanks to teaching! I had to pass my state exam.

Let me say at the beginning that I would really love to hear your thoughts and experiences about this subject! I am really interested to hear how it is in your country?! Is it like this or different?
In Croatia it is something like this…


Joking aside (although it is kind od true :/), let’s go from the beginning. In Croatia,  elementary school is compulsory and free for all. There are 8 grades. These are broke down into two cycles. The first one is from grades 1-4 when children have only one teacher for all subjects (that’s me). The second cycle is from grades 5-8 when they have a different teacher for each subject and a head (class) teacher who takes care of them (this is also me because I can teach English from grades 5-8).

Now, I graduated from a 5 year Faculty for Teacher’s Education. I have my diploma, but it doesn’t stop there. You have to work for a year first and take a state exam if you want your diploma to be worth anything. Without the state exam it is considerably harder to find a job and your pay is looow. So you need to take it because, at the end, your 5 year diploma isn’t worth anything without it. :/

What does it look like?
It consists of three parts. A written essay,  a class you have to have in front of a comitee (4-5 people) and an oral.
The essay was complicated for me because I didn’t know where to start studying! It can be about anything! The topics are so diverse – ranging from psychology, methodology, didactics, important legal documents concerning school, teaching methods, communication, school life in general… and you have to connect the topic with the class you will be teaching.
You choose two subjects you would like to teach and they make the final decision. One subject is either maths, Croatian or science and the other is PE, art or music. I chose science and PE, and I got PE. After the class, there is an oral.
The professor who is an expert in the class you just had asks you the theory behind his subject, the methodology.
Second person goes through your work journal which you have to keep for a year (classes you’ve held and you’ve been to, your professional development etc). He/She asks you about the journal, the essay you’ve written and teaching methodology in general. The questions can be about any subject you teach from 1st to 4th grade.
And finally, there is the principal. He asks you about the law and the legal documents concerning school life and the State.

However, if you pass the class and oral, but fail the essay, you have failed all! And they don’t tell you if you passed the essay until the very end! If you pass all of this stress, congratulations – you are a teacher now (because the diploma you already have isn’t enough :\).

I really hope they don’t torture you with all of this in your country because it really is a lot of work and studying and not to mention the stress! 😦 I can honestly say this has been the most stressful thing in my life so far! I didn’t go out, I was studying all the time, I couldn’t sleep or eat! It was awful!
But I am pleased to say I have passed my state exam! =D And let me tell you I fell soooo much lighter and happier and that I am finally my own teacher now! =) I didn’t feel this good when I graduated! X)

This is the first reason why I haven’t been around. The other one, which has given me much food for thought, will be for the next time. A lot od really big life changes are coming! It’s kind od scary! :/
But I have to go now. Time to see all of my friends I didn’t have the time for during the hell month.

Be good! 🙂
And comment your thoughts and experiences! Xo

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