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Teaching American Politics in Italy

In my day as a teacher at Albano middle school, I taught all levels of middle school from ages 9 to 14. Classes had around 20 students. Most older students could understand and speak English very well while younger students struggled. Teachers were helpful with translating for their students who were not fluent in English. I made a connection with a student whose father was from Arizona; this student was in a class that spoke little English with a teacher that wasn’t proficient either. This student acted as a translator and helped the class while having pride in his heritage and pride in his language skills.

Upon walking into classrooms with students knowing an American was coming that day, I was greeted warmly and treated with respect by both students and the teachers. Students had many questions, many relating to the recent election in the United States. I answered questions openly and honestly.

I made a special connection with a whole class when a classroom teacher showed me her lesson plan for the day and asked for me to speak about her topic: American politics. As a student who enjoyed learning about politics and is very interested in American politics, I spoke with the class and feel that they gained valuable knowledge by someone who sees American politics firsthand. This particular class was about 13 years old so they had a higher capacity to learn and I was able to teach them about senators, House of Representatives, the President, electing the president, and the Supreme Court. They now know the difference between conservative and liberal and know non-biased differences between the two American political parties, Republican and Democratic parties.

Teaching at the Albano Middle school, I thought about the socially structured classroom. The social order and its development must constantly yield to the good of the person, since the order of things must be subordinate to the order of persons and not the other way around. The social order requires constant improvement; it must be founded in truth, built on justice, and enlivened by love. Teachers here teach this order to their students. In the classroom, I was amazed by the level of kindness given by the students, and happy to see the love shown for them. Teachers are teaching this social order, and I am glad to see it in effect.

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