In my high school, each class lasted 40 minutes, with a 10-minute break between classes and a 20-minute break after the third period.
I went to a Math High School 15 miles away from my town which was considered an “elite” school compared to a regular public school (think of it as a Charter School). We shared the building with a language school and took turns switching shift every term
For example, during the Fall semester (September – February), my first class started at 7:30 AM until 12:30 PM; during the Spring semester (February – June), classes started at 1:30 PM and ended around 6:30 PM.
On average, classes are about 25 students.
- This varies depending on the school district. Class sizes are smaller in the towns and villages.
- Students usually take Math and Literature entrance examinations at 7th grade and apply to the “elite” schools, such as Math high schools, language schools vocational training schools which are outside of their hometown.
There were seven classes, consisting of 26 students each, in my high school. Each class followed a distinctive curriculum, depending on their chosen major. Some schools, the so-called “elite” schools, have a policy of maintaining an even gender acceptance ratio.
- Back home, teachers are very authoritative, and the class structure was very formal.
- They give the information to the students, and there is almost no interaction/discussion.
- It is mostly about memorizing and then reproducing the information.
Group work is not tolerated. Most of the assignments are individual work. Group projects are not tolerated as part of the curriculum. As an exception, one would need to go the extra mile and work with a peer and an advisor separately on a project for a specific competition. For example, a friend of mine and I worked on a project with our physics teacher for a national IT competition.
- Overall, teachers would be presenting the new information and dictating the content each class, structuring everything in a bullet point format that we’d reproduce the next time we get verbally examined on the board, or in a written format.
- Failure to reproduce it and expressing your own voice, especially in Literature classes, was often penalized with a lower grade, depending on the teacher.
- I had to “delete my Bulgarian hardware” and evaluate the information presented, build my own views.