Friday, September 7, 2012

Gymnasium Premier.

We have plunged right in to our teaching adventure. This first week has felt like ten years but has gone by super quick at the same time. I teach four different classes. Four. It's insanity. Quick rundown:

-Every morning I do pre-k with another girl named Afton for one hour. Afton is wonderful, we work splendidly together. The kids are 2-3 years old and are adorrrrrable. They're starting to get over their shyness and show their little personalities. This week we taught them duck duck goose and red light green light, and how to sing I'm a Little Teapot and Three Little Monkeys. Cuter than cute.

-On Tuesdays and Thursdays Afton and I alternate half hour sections of teaching elementary 1 and basic reading. The elementary 1 kids are 7-9 years old and basic reading is probably closer to 6.

-Mondays and Fridays I teach elementary 6 for three hours. Those kids are 10-11 and they understand English pretty well so that's nice.

How is teaching going, you ask? Well. On Monday I taught my first elementary 6 class and the kids were out. Of. Control. They were screaming and making fart noises and grabbing my marker and writing on the board and I couldn't hold their attention for more than 20 seconds. For three hours. It was a NIGHTMARE. Tuesday elementary 1 was the same deal. I completely lost my voice on Tuesday night because I had been talking so loud trying to get their dang attention. So on Thursday, my head teacher Samantha and our coordinator Oksana were at my school so I went and talked to them about it. When I told Oksana what happened, she was livid. And it was Scary. She asked me which kids were being so bad and then pulled out their files. Then she called their moms. One of the craziest kids in elementary 6 is named Illia, and his mom works at the school as a teacher. So she actually came upstairs with Illia and had me tell her what he did. After I told her, she turned slowly to Illia with the scariest look of impending doom on her face and said "Oh, I understand." And she grabbed his neck and marched him out of the office. Oh man it was priceless. I felt bad for the poor kid, but he was absolutely out of control. Something had to be done. Later that afternoon, I had elementary 1, and it was just as bad again. So after several warnings I called Oksana. She came in and YELLED at the kids in Russian for a full minute. It was bloody terrifying. Then she made the kids come up to my desk one by one and say "I'm sorry Miss Mallory." Those kids were ANGELS after that. Can you believe how hardcore that is?! No wonder Russian teachers have such a tough reputation...I had to keep myself from laughing a couple times while she was yelling, it was like a movie or something. I'm a terrible person, I know. So teaching has been awesome these last couple days! I love teaching when the kids aren't being mental. Imagine that!

For warrioring through that huge paragraph, here are a few pictures for you of the school we teach at!

This was on the first day of school. It's a big deal here.
More first day of school festivities!
 The school is called Gymnasium Premier.
All the Nyvky teachers!
Here is the big room where we do pre-k and the other teachers do class in. It has nice squishy carpet that's good for naps. PS we don't wear shoes in the school! You have to take them off before you come in.
I teach elementary 6 and 1 in this classroom.
Another classroom. We do basic reading in here.
View out the window. They have a huge playground.
The great Simba mural.

Pretty cute eh?? I like it. It's very quaint, and we can pretty much do whatever we want with our space. Ukrainian schools are a lot different from schools in America because they are like houses. All the rooms have big rugs and curtains, there are staircases everywhere, you don't wear shoes, etc. The only thing different is that there are tables & desks instead of couches and beds.

So teaching = a success. The school = pretty neat. The kids = insane, but precious. And Ukrainian women = don't cross them.


  1. mal.
    i am jealous.
    soooo jealous.
    i know you've probably written it somewhere, but what program are you working for?

  2. Miss Mandi,
    I am here through international language programs (ilp). Lovin it.

  3. Mal I am still trying to get google to let me post. Grrr I try and try but it won't let me!

  4. I love all your photos...let's have some of your home and new family :)