Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sweet, sweet freedom!

Alive!!! I'm alive!!! Yesterday was the longest day ever. There were so many times when I thought I'd never make it, but sure enough, 10 PM eventually rolled around and you know- the day wasn't as bad as I was expecting. AM classes went okay (topic: success). The metro was mellow on the way there, jam-packed on the way back. That afternoon started off with me testing a low-level group of students, practically a mob really since we were on an unusual schedule and a bunch of other students got shuffled into my class. I had maybe 5 or 6 of my original students plus enough other students to create a class of 14. The testing method for the lower-level is pretty complicated; there's a system of 5 speaking tasks that every student must complete (5 tasks to be individually evaluated x 14 students = you can imagine!) but the group was a good group and I started off with a game and fortunately had a large bag of chocolate candies with me. Candy always works. Then, 2 hours of conversation clubs about philosophy which turned out completely enjoyable, small groups and enthusiastic students both times. The evening finished with my fun business English course.
Also, I received a lot of thank yous and some wonderful gifts:
One student brought a little personalized chocolate for everyone in class!
She also gave me this tasty "Happy New Year" chocolate. {Yes, I already started nibbling on it}
Tasty, tasty chocolates!
I'd been thinking of getting a picture frame for so long. This one is perfect!
More yum : )
Then D and I had a quick tea with 2 friends at Coffee Life. It felt unreal by that point in the day- I felt like I just got done with a marathon. This was a really tough semester but now that it's over I can say that I enjoyed most of it (and just survived other parts). The school chose me for the "US Teacher of the Semester" award, which was really sweet, and I got to meet a lot of really incredible students and even befriend a couple. I'm looking forward to going back in January, especially with a class load of 20 hours/week, yeah
The classroom where I taught both semesters. It's in an elementary school...I think it's where little kids take their Ukrainian grammar lessons. The classroom was pretty cute after the teacher decorated for Christmas!
A shot from the ongoing battle between me and the Soviet blackboard.
Back of the classroom
Books from the bookshelf.
"Ukrainian Language, 10th class"....and a biohazard sign?
Happy Holidays!!!


  1. Dear Katya, I am very happy for your finishing this term at school! I know it wasn't so easy, but you managed to cope with all "surprises" of teaching in Ukraine. Now it's high time to take a break. Just relax!!!!

  2. OMG, it's indeed a 'Ukrainian language' book with biohazard sign!

    Could you please make a photo or just write down its ISBN? (should be within 2 pages in the beginning or at the end of the book, just for a case)

  3. Sure, if I have access to that classroom again in January when school resumes, I'd be happy to do so. Or I can send you these two pictures if you email me your email address.