I stepped into a classroom with a local English teacher. „Okay now, teach!“ she said. I was really confused. It was the first day as a volunteer for me – I was just supposed to observe the classes. I didn’t even know their level of English. I didn’t prepare anything.
There were around 20 students curiously watching me at the classroom. That was the point I really realized I was the first exotic volunteer for them, here in the mountain village called Kyzart.
„Okay then,“ I thought. I took the duster and started to clean the blackboard as slowly as I could to save time for thinking. I panicly tried to remember some games and exercises we could play. What did I do in my English lessons back in the primary school?
Finally I had a deep breath in and turned to the class.
„Hello, my name is Madlena, what’s your name?“, I asked the first student sitting just in front of me. He said something which I didn’t actually understand, but I’m already used to the fact that local names can be hard to pronounce. Then everyone told their age and their level of English was clear to me. We started to revise the numbers. We learned colours. Fruits and vegetables. Characteristics. I noticed that the teacher was sitting, making notes and learning like other students.
After the lesson it was time for selfies. The children wanted to make a group photo. Then selfie together with a bunch of friends. Then me with each of the children separately. I gave three more lessons on that day, and in every next lesson there were at least half of the class from the previous lesson staying as an addition. I’m not sure if the maths or geography teachers missed some children from their lessons because of that. I have never seen so motivated students (umm, maybe because I have never been a teacher in the school before).
I gave English lessons in two schools for the two whole weeks at the village of Kyzart. How the director of one school made me sit in his cabinet, how many chairs (yes, chairs) do you need to make one cup of tea at the lunch break, and how one high-school student with flip-flops gave me a cookie on the cold crisp street – stay tuned for the next post!