Saturday, November 19, 2011

Another Visit to a Village School

I went to visit one another of the village schools in my rayon (district) yesterday with two of the English teachers from my Lyceum. Our town only has two schools, the Gymnasium and the Lyceum but there are about 10 or so small village schools. Some of the teachers work at multiple schools, my English teachers only work at this village school once a week. I visited one of the other village schools around Valentine's Day last year with another English teacher friend.

With my English teachers Liliya and Larisa.
This school was also small with an average of 5-8 students per grade level and only a handful of teachers. The kids were very nervous to speak English with a native speaker and some of them seemed almost shocked to meet a real live American. I visited 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 8th-11th grades while I was at their school. Some students asked great questions, like what is the difference between Ukrainian students and American students and they were all very curious to hear about the American educational system of grading and choosing your own classes.

The director of this school is a biology teacher and she has accumulated quite the collection of stuffed birds, fish, and other animals from her husband (who is a hunter). So the teachers proudly showed me their natural history musem, which happens to be the biology classroom. This classroom was PACKED with all these taxidermied animals and I was very impressed with how lifelike and well preserved the animals were.

Birds everywhere!
I think I would be too distracted by all these to be able to focus in this classroom...
They also showed me their school museum, including a display for the Young Pioneers (a youth group during Soviet times) and other old momentos from Soviet times. This kind of school musem is actually fairly common here, I've seen it at other schools along with traditional Ukrainian embroidered fabrics and costumes.

The Young Pioneers display.
The corner dedicated to The Great War (WWII).
In other news, it has already started snowing in Ukraine and I'm preparing myself for the winter ahead... not exactly looking forward to walking to school in the ice and snow, but at least the holiday season is coming up soon!


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