overcrowded schools and the obviously serious

it’s been a long day. and right now i may not have that cold beer i long for in my hand…but a nice juicy pesticide looking (aka not filled with worm holes) pear is close enough for me.

toady i had 6 classes: 5, 7a, 7,b, 9, 10, and 11. it was a marathon of a day and my feet are feelin it. last night i cranked out 5 different lesson plans although, like usual, things don’t go as planned and you always have to have back up plans. but they honestly didn’t go terribly and i *think* the students learned something! we’ll see. they’ll probably forget everything by the next lesson as usual lol. but one of my 11th formers came up to me and thanked me for the lesson saying she really enjoys the way i teach. that made my day : ) boy what a difference not having the 8th form in my day makes. siggggh. it’s wonderful. but regretfully i have them tomorrow.

my 5th form class. they're pretty cute.

i had most of the classes write their name on a piece of paper and took individual photos of them so i can memorize all their names in my (virtually non-existant) free time. that way i can call them by name when they’re dickin around (not that it would really make a difference). before one of my lessons i had a few minutes to chat with my students and break up several fights (lucky me!). the students asked me questions about my school back home. there’s no such thing as high school here in ukraine (usually all grades are in one school) so i had to explain that my school, with only 4 grade levels, had over 3,000 students. pretty much the size of the entire village i live in. and there are 4 high schools of that size in the city i live in. they couldn’t get over it, it was unreal, unthinkable, and unbelievable that THAT many students would be all in one school…and there are four of them! it is kind of unbelievable i’ll admit. while the students gawked over the numbers, one went up to the board and began to draw a school building he said was my school with so many students they were popping out of the windows, door, and roof. lol. not exaaaactly what my school experience was like…but pretty close.

jenya's interpretation of my high school

feeling a little too exhausted to cook anything for dinner, i went to the school cafeteria with the students for a balanced meal of potatoes and bread. mmmmm the diet of a vegetarian in ukraine. students bombarded me after dinner with homework questions and pleas for individual tutoring. i was really really looking forward to just going home and having some time to myself after a long day, but reminded myself i’m here for the students. that’s my job. though living at school, unlike most teachers, i don’t get time off…so i’ll have to figure out someway to sneak in some ‘me’ time.

outside of class i love being with the students. like i said, they’re completely different people when they’re not in school. i sat outside helping with homework and tutoring phonetics. while we were sitting there working, i noticed that one of the three girls i usually help (and who are secretly some of my favorites) had cuts on her arms. cuts that i very well knew what they were and that i’d also seen on two of the other girls in her class. my heart broke. when some of the students got up to go to the dormitories i turned to her and asked her what it was (though i already knew that answer). she told me it was nothing but i persisted and told her it certainly is not nothing. i didn’t mean to embarrass or shame her but rather let her know that it’s not something she should do. ever.

i got out of her that a few of the girls cut themselves while they’re in the dorm, just because. but i have a feeling it’s something more than that. i don’t know which one of them is the ‘leader’ of their pack but i know my little friend is definitely a follower. she couldn’t even look me in the eyes when i was talking to her about it and begged me not to tell anyone saying that it would be our secret. i told her i couldn’t say yes to that. it’s not that i want to get her in trouble but something needs to be done about it. there’s no reason in the world such young, beautiful, smart girls like them should do that to their body. i don’t know how ukrainians handle or react to this kind of thing, but i hope i can find an appropriate way to offer them help. : /

the school playground and the moon

One thought on “overcrowded schools and the obviously serious

  1. Reading this made me laugh (the drawing of Naperville North HS) and cry (cutting
    ). You have been teaching for only 2 weeks and you’re already making such a difference in your students’ lives. Dad and I are so proud of you. Keep up the good work and don’t let those 8 form kids get to you. : )

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