Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Bell and the Unofficial Start of Summer

Well, look what we have here. Nearly a month later and I've come creeping back to my little blog! Right on time. This past Friday was the last day of classes and now I'm basking in the unofficial start of summer. The last bell (паследний звoнок) ceremony took place at 8 in the morning and consisted of the different classes standing in line in the school's courtyard, listening to our school director's congratulations, and watching some dance routines (I tried zooming into to the best dancer ever):

After the ceremony, the students all had one more class with their class teachers (each class has a class teacher who is in charge of a group of students throughout their school years. She is the ultimate enforcer.). Afterwards, I helped out with a scavenger hunt for the fifth formers. Their task was to find a native speaker and answer her trivia questions about America. The kids found me before I got to my post and I ran to the teacher's room with a large group of children in my wake! After we crowded into the room, they successfully answered my questions and continued to hunt.

I know this picture is blurry, but it really
 captures the scavenger spirit!

The semester went by so fast! It was all so new for me, and now that it's over, I'm a little wiser now. I've settled into Melitopol and at my school. I've worked with all different age groups. I know some of my strengths and weaknesses. Strengths: patience, creativity, organization. Weaknesses: being strict, classroom management with 30+ youngins, checking and enforcing homework. With this newfound wisdom, I hope that I'll be a better teacher next semester. I definitely want to have the students work on more substantial projects throughout the year, too. There is a lot to learn from the style of teaching here, and I'm hoping it will help me tap into a slightly mean version of myself so the kids can slightly fear the wrath of Miss Kerry moohahaha. Even my "evil" laughter sounds playful in my head...

A lot more has happened in May. I went to Crimea--twice! Both trips were amazing and enlightening and I will have to write a separate post about them.

On another summery note, I am super super excited that my friends are coming to visit me this summer! So far, we're going to go explore Kiev, Chernobyl, Auschwitz, and Lviv (not so much exploring Chernobyl as following a guide and trying not to drop anything on the ground...).

Logan and I are working at a summer camp this summer. 10 days by the sea and 10 days in the forest. I'm so excited. I've never been to a summer camp before and I find them enchanting. We've got lots of fun activities planned including playing a camp-wide game of Family Feud!

For all you teachers out there, congratulations on finishing (or almost finishing) the school year!