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Valentina and her job shadowing experience in a kindergarten in Italy

Valentina Brumen è una ragazza slovena che lavora come maestra di scuole per l’infanzia. È arrivata in Italia per un progetto di job shadowing grazie al nostro partner ZNI – Zavod za Novodobno Izobraževanje.

Ha scritto una bellissima testimonianza in cui parla di superamento delle barriere linguistiche, studio, giochi per insegnare le lingue e tanto altro.

Grazie Valentina!

In November 2017, I began an amazing journey. I arrived in Forli to intern in a Kindergarten. I was able to easily adjust to the new workplace because of my background and experience teaching in Kindergarten back home in Slovenia. It also helped that I’d studied Italian for 4 years. Once in Forlì, I took a few refresher classes in the Italian language to help me better navigate during my time there. I am also fluent in the English language. I used these skills to prepare activities for the kids.

I created a short story program for the students. It included a narrative of a book and flash cards. I used simple sentences and vocabulary to teach key words in Slovene, English, and Italian. Over the course of multiple days and lessons, the kids participated by holding up flash cards to display the correct vocabulary word when we played, “Fill in the blanks”. We also used the vocabulary words as puzzle pieces and the students had to put them back together. In addition to helping understand the translation, this also helped the students with pronunciation and spelling.

Valentina Brumen

We played a game of Memory as well as a game that instructed the kids to recognize superlatives such as big, bigger, biggest. All activities were derived from the short story and helped with their overall understanding of the lesson. My students were given connect the dots worksheets and coloring pages that they used to create their own version of the short story I taught them.

To teach math, I created, crafted and gifted the students with a counting game. The contents were a game board that included images, dice with numbers and block pieces. The students roll the number dice. They then use the blocks to cover the same number of images on their game board as what was shown on the dice they rolled.

I traveled to the town of Reggio Emilia and attended a seminar regarding the Reggio Approach. I became acclimated with the process of allowing students to explore and guide themselves, essentially becoming self taught with little guidance from the teacher. I saw video recordings that showed the development of students of Reggio.

During my time in Forli, I was able to gain a lot of knowledge by shadowing and observing the way the teachers manage the students. I was allowed to assist the teachers and act as an aid, monitoring the classes when the teachers needed help. I was able to recognize opportunities to guide the students’ learning by providing different games to the students whose energy levels exceeded the current activity and extra help and support for the students whose understanding was not on the level of the activity.

I’ve been told that I will be allowed to visit a local primary school and secondary school. I’m uncertain what will occur during the visits but I am excited to be able to observe their learning methods and answer any questions they may have.

Valentina Brumen

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