I'm starting to settle in nicely although communicating with the other teachers is still not possible and we're still having to use sign language. I have picked up so many words mainly from the children. After them using the word a few times, I've managed to figure out what it means. Everytime I walked into the really little kiddies classroom, they would come running to me saying "ya khochu puzzle." It took a few times of them saying this to me for me to realise they wanted me to play puzzles.
The middle group, the 3-4 year olds often come to me with stories and ramble on about something and then pack out laughing. I just laugh along with them even though I have absolutely no clue what they just told me. They are starting to understand instructions really well now in English and when I tell them to sit down or move their chairs to the table, they know exactly what to do. Their brains really are like sponges and they remember so much! They also want to share so much with me and often run up to me as I enter the classroom and babble away with their stories. During class, they'll tell me something as well. If only I understood them!
The older kids, aged 5-6, also learn very quickly and I've walked into class a couple of times and they'll start singing parts of a song that I taught them only the day before. They're getting really good at the self-introduction. I barely have to prompt them. Everyday I include a sentence we are learning or have learnt in the self-introduction and they remember everything. The self-introduction is as follows, "hello, my name is Evelina, I'm 5. I like .../ I don't like ... or I see/ I don't see ... or I have .../ I don't have" From next week, I'm starting with phonics and reading. I now have a couple of admirers in this class. Daniil, runs up to me every single day and give me the hugest hug and kiss and he always brings me a chair and points to it, letting me know it's for me. Eynar and Lev also run up and give me a hug as does Zlata as Alisa. The rest of the class want to high five me as class ends and they get quite upset if the cannot. Sometimes it's not always possible when I have a full class which means about 14 of them in the class.
We have a nurse who comes into the school every single day and she does a quick check on the kids as they walk in the front door in the mornings. I've never seen this before. Perhaps its because of the weather. We also have a doctor come in every Monday and she does a check as well. She has her little torch and stethoscope and goes around to the classrooms and does a quick check too to make sure everyone is okay. It's a nightmare in the babies class. I'm usually busy with them when she comes in. Monday lessons rarely take place in that classroom as they kids run around and cry and in general do not want to go anywhere near the doctor. I've had to bribe a couple of kids with playing games on my tablet to get them to go to the doctor. After they've been, they turn against me and won't even look in my direction. It's quite funny. They seem to dislike not only me but the teachers as well for the rest of the morning. Fortunately by the time the afternoon comes around, they've forgotten all about it and they're back to being themselves.
I now go to one of our other schools on a Monday and Friday afternoon for private one-to-one lessons. The school is called "Akuna Matata". Olga, from our adults centre, Anglomania, asked if I would go there next Tuesday afternoon to teach teens. More of a demo lesson actually just to see if I would like it. They have someone teaching them but the person is not an English native speaker and I was told they're looking specifically for a native English speaker.
I was told on a couple of occassions that another English teacher will be starting soon but soon does not seem to be happening!
I'm getting into a good routine now where I have more free time in between lesssons and at the end of the day. I'm still writing lesson plans for all my classes which is almost like writing a curriculum. I need to make sure the lessons follow one another and it all makes sense. In addition to writing lesson plans for my regular classes, I need to write up lesson plans for my private lessons as well. My managerial skills and writing up reports has certainly been a great help and writing up the lessons plans is really easy. It's the hours and days of research that takes forever.
During the week I don't have time for much else, other than teaching and preparing for the lessons. The food here is really good and all I can say is thank goodness we have a cook. With the amount of hours I work, I really don't have time to cook for myself and would probably have lived on junk food.
I also make all my own games, yes make them! I've made sets of dominoes using colours instead of numbers to play in class. I've also made a "how's the weather today?" chart. All my worksheets and games I design myself. The one thing we do not have at school is a laminating machine. We have the plastic sleeves so to improvise, I iron the pages I want to laminate. It works really well. It's the most I've ironed in a really long time!
Julia came to me earlier with a gift voucher saying that last Sunday was Teachers Day and this voucher is in honour of Teachers Day. Really sweet of the school to give us a gift.