…and back to Italy it is!


Ciao a tutti,

Hi you all,

after almost two days of flying, my daughter and I, returned to the land of spaghetti and tomato sauce.  We flew Lufthansa and I must say to all those who hold a bit of resentment towards the Germans, especially in Italy, that it is all envy.  Germans just know how to do their jobs well, with professionalism and with devotion.   Yep, without taking away from others, but hey, besides having wonderful German colleagues that are great examples of what a great country it is and what great people they are, I test on my skin every year the Lufthansa experience…And no, I am not being paid to promote Lufthansa, just in case you had an evil thought.  The flights took off exactly on the nose, service (even in economy class, wish I could fly first class once in my life but I guess being a teacher in Italy will never qualify me for that experience) was just fantastic. The flight attendants were just exquisite with my daughter and just all the flights were a pleasure, I mean besides the bumps along the way, which in my old age start to get me nervous, we got home safe and sound with all of our precious memories from yet another memorable summer at home in the States.

Back in pasta land, in the mean time, our saga continues with our super Minister of Education, Mr. Profumo who in an interview in Urbino with Corrado Zunino of La Repubblica, one of Italy’s dominant newspapers, stated that he has the intentions of doing away with Subbing Teacher’s List.  You surely do not know, but here in this wonderful country of sunshine, sea and pizza, the employment process for teachers is so complicated that it might be easier to become a nuclear physicist than to actual get hired from the ministry of education as a teacher.

Here in old country once you graduate from college and get your teaching credentials you register into a list and every year that you have the fortune to sub you get points.  The more points you get the more you go up the ladder and the more possibilities you have in a hypothetical world to get hired and become permanent. I summed it up in a nut shell, naturally there are also national so called “concorsi” or contests, where for 11.892 teaching positions in the entire country, you’ll get 250.000 sub teachers attempting the possibility of a permanent position, while subs who have been teaching and carrying on the weight of the Italian school system for the past 15/20/30 might just get left behind.  This, to get younger blood into teaching Mr. Profumo says, yet if many of us reached the 40 year mark as subs it wasn’t surely due to our lack of trying.  Plus, when did being 40 mean “old”?

I just don’t understand how these people think they are helping the school system.  I finished 15 years of teaching, temporary, certified and getting ready to sub for a 16th year, yet my Minister says, that no, he will do away with everyone and from now on it will be all done by public state wide examinations.  So at 40 I have to start all over, after teaching and making the whole system work together with the other 250.000 colleagues all over Italy. Does that make sense?

My fear is also corruption.  We all know very well that Italy is way up there in the most corrupt countries in the world, who will evaluate merit? And how? By the people one knows? By the connections with politicians? Like always? Just in the news today, some of these public examinations for the hiring of principals had to be annulled due to the corruption of the official examiners. So, how will it all go down? Will we have the pay once again the price for not being fortunate enough in having connections? Or will this time around, be a change in the life of?

I doubt things will change, but I am curious to see what the future will hold in store for us subs in this wonderful country of no man’s land.  All I know is, that if I had been lucky enough to be Bossi’s son (NOT), or a hot looking woman (or escort) I would have been earning thousands without the need to worry about a thing. After all earning 15,000 a month just because I’m the son of and that’s why I got elected, is more than enough right? Just not the kind of world I thought I would be living in when I was a dreaming teenager.

As of now, here in Naples, with cloudy skies, we’re still waiting to hear when and where will be called for this years annual contracts, at less than 10 days from the first day of school.  Your guess is as good as mine.  That’s Italy for you!



3 responses to “…and back to Italy it is!

  1. Hi Tony,

    Normally my wife waits for the letter / telegram telling her when to go to the main school in the province to sit with all the other teachers to see if there is a job for her, As you know she is not picked on ability just the number of points accrued. In August she was told by a colleague that the time and date for the meeting would only be posted on line and not posted to individual teachers.. There seems to be more information that reaches teachers via gossip and jungle drums that from the state. My wife checked the internet and went to the meeting. For the first time in 7 years she will be teaching at the same school.

    The latest gossip / news is the holiday payment that she normally receives in October for holidays accrued but not taken has been abolished. So the holidays she is owed for the year 2011 – 2012 will not be paid. So bang goes the new dishwasher. We will wait and see.

    • Hi there Peter,
      I so look forward to your messages 😉
      I know what you mean man! Here in Naples it works basically the same, we wait for the word of mouth, then some sort of post on their site, then off we go! We won’t get called till the end of September, beginning of October, that is when they called us last year!
      As of today I’m still waiting on the unemployment check! Go figure!
      So your wife has received her annual contract already? What does she teach? I teach conversation (English, obviously).
      As for the holidays, I wrote a “diffida” to the school and to the treasury that pays my salary, probably won’t mean much, but my union advised me todo it in case w are going to bring them to court and sue them.
      Anyway, keep in touch and I hope you manage the new dishwasher in December 😉

      • Hi Tony,

        My wife teaches Primary school, over the past 7 years she been a class teacher, an English teacher covering 3 schools and also sostegnio. She quiet liked sostegnio because the boy she was helping was nice and she didn’t have to produce lesson plans etc, or end of term reports.

        In my humble opinion she should be an English teacher or head of an English dept, her English is 99% mother tongue, barely any accent. If she read this post she would correct my grammar. She won’t manage to become head of an English dept because the Italian system does not promote excellence through it teachers.

        It is amazing that a head teacher can find himself with a new teacher who he hasn’t interviewed, just someone the state has fostered on him. Maybe even someone who has taken the job to teach English because it is all that is left on the list, someone who will spend 1 year teaching children to count one two tree.

        When I was living in the UK I was a school governor at the local primary school. When we wanted to set on a new teacher we would start the process in June/July we would sift through hundreds of cv’s and finally pick 10 people to be interviewed. We then employed the best person for our school on his or her merit. In July they knew if they had the job and would be prepared. Unlike Italy where a teacher is notified 1 week before they start if they are lucky.

        Ok I will get of my soap box

        Good luck with the Job and in Naples…. my life…. I only drove in to Naples once by mistake. Never again


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