Category Archives: School

Role Play


The past two weeks Mary and I have been working with 10A and 10B on a role play about travel. They were to pair up in two groups. The first group was going to go to a city in America while the second group was to go to Great Britain. All group members had to speak and we divided them into travel agency, travellers, and locals. I helped the American groups while Mary helped the British groups. I wanted to post this video of 10A’s America group because it made me laugh so much. I love the laid back feeling of the end of the school year and doing fun stuff with the students like this. One more week of school left and then I officially leave Solomon Halita High School and the wonderful town of Singeorz-Bai.



This past week was the most emotional week for me in Romania. I’m sure I’ll cry more when I leave, but as for now, this week takes the prize.

Thursday I had my last English class with my favorite class which is XIIA. I gave them each a memento to remember me by, a dollar bill with my favorite Shel Silverstein poem stapled to it, as well as some brownies. The rest of the class we hung out, they sang Gaudeamus to me which is a song that all the seniors sing during their last class with a teacher. It is a very old Latin song that has been stuck in my head all week long since that is all i’ve been hearing.

Friday was a day full of festivities. At 9am, the seniors were walked around to all of the classrooms in the high school as well as the general school and sung Gaudeamus to all of their younger colleagues. This was followed by the graduation ceremony that started at noon in the courtyard of the school. The seniors walked in singing Gaudeamus while the whole school watched on. My director opened the ceremony and then the diplomas were given out. They started with the afternoon classes from the technical school then with D,C,B, and finished off with A. After all of the students from XIIB received their diplomas, they took the mic and not only thanked all of their teachers individually, but also gave them a present. Luci and Crina were the ones that presented me my flowers and present and naturally I cried because I wasn’t expecting it since I hadn’t taught them this semester and was just very touched. After B came A. XIIA is the only class in the high school that has a 100% graduation rate and all of the students from that class will be taking the bacalaureat exams that start in a few weeks.

After the main part of the ceremony was finished, my director spoke again and this time, to my surprise, asked me to address the senior class. I was overcome with emotion and could barely speak because I am so sad to not only see my kids leave, but know that I am leaving as well within the next month. I am told that I made most of the audience choke up but I did not notice through my own tears. The professors finished the day at school with a trip across the street to the cafe where we had some drinks and hung out before we all went our separate ways to get ready for the banquet that night.

Last night at 8pm, the Senior banquet was held for all of the graduating seniors and their professors. The night was tons of fun and I never imagined that not only would I not shed a tear, but also that I would see some of my toughest students cry like babies. It was a great night being with everyone for one last night. The times that all of these students will be able to be together and celebrate this are few and far between so I am happy that there was such a nice turnout and that everyone had fun.

Here is a video of XIIB singing Gaudeamus:

I took a ridiculous amount of pictures and you can view them all at the link below:



Școala Altfel


This year for scoala altfel my school did the same thing as last year which was to create various weeklong workshops that the students could attend. The new one that was added this year was the “tourism” workshop, aka a 5 day field trip, which I decided to chaperone.

After arriving home from COS conference I had a day long break to detox and then had to repack my bags and head out for another week. We all met in front of the high school at 8am sharp on Monday morning where we loaded up the busses and headed to our adventure. Here is a list, by day, of all of the places we visited.

Day 1:

  • Cluj city center
  • Turda salt mine
  • Turda Canyon
  • Alba Iulia Citadel
  • Deva

Day 2:

  • Hunedoara castle
  • Prislop Monastery
  • Targu Jiu (Kissing gate, Table of Silence, Infinity Column)
  • Tismana Monastery

Day 3:

  • Drobeta Turnu Severin
  • Iron gates outside of Orsova
  • Orsova (Danube boat cruise)
  • (we also spent the night at a high school dorm in Orsova. Said dorm has a capacity of 700 students and only has 11 students currently living in it. The conditions we stayed in were laughable. Without warm water or heat, we made the most of our time there and the 40 students crowded into 3 rooms for warmth.

Day 4:

  • Resita train museum
  • Dacian/Roman museum and ruins in Sarmizegetusa
  • Densus church which was constructed in the 3rd century
  • Deva
  • (We stayed at the gymnastics high school that trains all of Romania’s gymnasts and where Nadia Comaneci trained)

Day 5:

  • Deva Citadel
  • Monastery – can’t remember the name
  • Gold Museum in Brad
  • Dinner in Cluj
  • HOME!

We encountered some pretty bad weather at times, forgot a student after a stop, froze and almost got pneumonia, but all in all it was a fun trip and i’m happy I got to have a good time with my kids.


International Women’s Day



La multi ani tuturor doamnelor is domnisoarelor! Srecan 8mi Mart! HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY!

I love being a woman today and even more being a teacher because I am showered with hugs, kisses, flowers, candies, and cakes. Who wouldn’t want that!?

I just got done with school and am now getting ready to head to a weekend in the mountains with all of the professors.


Sada jedna pjesma sa sve cerke:



Every year my school’s last day before winter vacation tradition is to put on a Christmas caroling competition. Here are some of the pictures and videos from this year’s competition:

Halloween 2.0


Tonight we in Singeorz-Bai also celebrated Halloween. We did the same thing as last year but got a much bigger turn out. At 5pm we all met behind the high school with our pumpkins and got to work. I brought the 2 large bags of Reeses my mom was kind enough to bring from the states, the knives, lighters  and candles while the kids supplied the pumpkins. Even in freezing cold temperatures we had anywhere from 25-30 kids at a time which is about twice as much as last year. After spending a solid hour on making our pumpkins, separating the seeds, and eating all the candy, we headed around town to show them off. Our two stops were our director and assistant director’s houses where we “trick or treated” and were treated at both with even more sweets.


Field Trip!


This past weekend there were two separate, kind of, field trips that took place. One was with one of the math teachers and his freshman class and one of the Econ teachers and her 11th grade class along with some other students that went to Sibiu for two nights. The other was with the physics teachers and mainly the 11th and 10th grades. I went with the first group since my 11th graders were the first ones to ask me to go with them.

We headed out around noon on Friday with a total of four professors and about 50 teenagers. Paul, one of the math teachers and a good friend of mine and I sat in the back with the 11th grade while the other two profs manned the front of the bus and we had a great time. I forgot how fun bus trips were in high school and this was a great reminder. This is my first year teaching this specific 11th grade class so I was really happy to be able to get to know all of them much better throughout this trip. Our first stop was Sighisoara where we spent about 3 hours and made our way around the small but beautiful medieval city. We made it up to the citadel and the old Saxon cemetery that overlooks the entire city. At about 3pm we climbed back on the bus and headed for our final destination which was Sibiu. We got into town around 7pm and found where we were staying shortly after.

We were put up at the industrial high-school for food industries. We were in the student dorms that slept about 5 people per room. To say that our accommodations were sub par would be an understatement. We however knew that would wouldn’t spend much time in the rooms and we just hoped that there weren’t any forms of bed bugs. I shared a room with 4 of my 11th grade girls that were great roommates and I had fun hanging out with.

After we got settled in, we all headed into the center to find something to eat and then called it a night. At around 11pm, some of the boys wanted to go and find a 24 hour grocery store to get more food and I decided to chaperon them and good thing I did. After walking around for what felt like an hour, we finally found a shop across from the train station which is situated about 25 minutes away from where we were staying. When we were heading back to the school, we got pulled over by the police and the way they spoke with us annoyed me so I wasn’t the nicest to them either. The conversation went like this:

Police: What are you doing?

Me: We are walking back to our hotel. We were buying food.

Police: How old are you?

Me: I’m 26. I am their teacher. They are in high school.

Police: Why are you here?

Me: We are on a field trip. We are from Bistrita-Nasaud.

Police: Isn’t it a little late to be on a field trip? ( this annoyed me the most since they were obviously chaperoned and weren’t doing anything bad or being loud.)

Me: It is 12:30 and it is the weekend. Were we being loud or doing anything bad? No, we weren’t therefore goodnight.

And then I started walking away.

The second day was also a lot o fun. After only getting about 4 hours of sleep since everyone was running around and playing pranks on each other, we were headed off for a fun filled day. Our first stop was the Burkenthal Art Museum in the center of the city which was followed by a trip to to Dumbrava which is right outside the city and houses a beautiful nature preserve with village museum. We spent a large chunk of the day there touring the area and taking a crap ton of pictures.

When we got back to the school, we rested a little and then headed out to dinner and to hang out in the center. I had a great dinner with 3 11th graders and a 9th grader and we talked about everything and anything under the sun. The night was followed by all of us meeting up with the other group from our school and heading out to a billiards/karaoke bar. I reaffirmed the fact that I am absolutely terrible at pool and that I do not have any sort of a singing voice. I was not brave enough to go up and sing but when two of my students sang Otherside by RHCP I decided to sing along in a corner.

We made it back to the school around midnight and that is where things became interesting. Saturday night instead of having just the 50 students that came with us, we had both groups at the same place so that was over 100 students with 7 teachers. Paul and I were the only two awake after 1am so it was very interesting for us trying to keep everyone in check. Nothing crazy happened and we only confiscated one bottle of wine. The worst part of the trip came at about 2am. The clocks changed so we had 2 hours of 2am and they were the worst. I started getting very tired since I hadn’t slept much and had to wake up at 4am to leave on a bus for Bucharest to pick up my mom. Once again, the kids didn’t let me sleep and it was mainly the 9th graders. Some of the students from the other group brought their guitars and they were going around caroling Christmas carols which I stopped fairly quickly. They were running around knocking on peoples doors and even with the help of the older kids, there was no shutting them up. Finally, around 3am I lost it and screamed at everyone to get inside. They 9th graders are still skidish around all profs, even me, and when they heard me yell they all froze and ran inside their rooms and not a sound was heard after that.

I was not able to make the last leg of the trip with them since I had to go pick up my mom in Bucharest but the two days that I did spend with kids I had an absolute blast and just now realized how HUGE the maturity level is between 9th and 11th graders.


Balul Bobocilor


School has started, supplies have been bought, textbooks have been passed out, we have gotten used to waking up before the sun yet again, and the only thing left on everyone’s list was to welcome the new freshmen class, (the boboci). Every year in mid October, the sophomore class organizes a freshman dance to not only welcome the new class but also to see who’s got the most talent. This year I was lucky enough to be on the jury for the pageant contest and got to grade some of my students on other stuff that isn’t English. I didn’t get a chance to take many pictures, unfortunately, but I did get some videos of all of the awesome acts that took place during the intermissions of the contest. Here are all the videos below:

Schimb de Experiență


Nothing really exciting has been happening this week other than the buzz about the Balul Bobocilor (freshman prom) that the 10th grades put on for all of the students from the 9th grade to welcome them into the high school. I gave some tests this week to the classes that I haven’t been splitting and they all fared decently well. Today, while with my 12A class, I jokingly said “who wants to in to 9B next hour and teach for me? A bunch of them jumped up at the opportunity and even though I wasn’t serious at first, it got me thinking. Since we had about 20 minutes to kill after going over their test papers and I didn’t want to start a new lesson in that short period of time, I decided to let them  plan out a lesson for my next 9B class. I let the two most eager students come with me and participate in an “experience exchange” to teach which were Daniel and Toader. We went over what the book had planned we laid out what they would go over, how they would conduct the class, all well knowing that I would be there just in case anything were to happen.

After English class, I went and spoke with their head teacher and he let them come with me. When we entered the classroom, the freshman class was beyond confused as to why there were two seniors coming into the class with me. I presented them to the class and told them that the boys would be their teachers for the day. As talkative and energetic as the boys are normally in class, they were a little bit more reserved as teachers. I could tell that they were a little bit nervous to not only teach to a class that they don’t really know, but also teach a subject in a foreign language. Even though they were very rocky to start off with and it was a little bit difficult for them to keep the 30 some students quiet the whole time, they did a pretty good job. They reviewed some past simple and past continuous grammar rules, did some exercises, and did some speaking and reading activities as well. When the class was over with, the first thing one of the boys said to me was “Wow, i now know teaching is much more difficult than learning.”

All in all I’m very proud of the boys and I was really impressed to see how well they were able to help the 9th graders with words and phrases that they were not familiar with.

I leave you with this; I was talking to the school psychologist yesterday about a project we plan on doing and she showed me this quote with which I couldn’t agree more:

„Am ajuns la concluzia înspăimântătoare că sunt elementul decisiv în clasă. Starea mea de spirit dă tonul. Ca profesor am puterea incredibilă de a face viața unui copil nefericită sau veselă. Pot fi o unealtă de tortură sau o inspirație. Pot să umilesc sau să binedispun, să rănesc sau să vindec. În orice situație eu sunt cel care decide dacă o criză se va amplifica sau se va liniști sau dacă un copil ca va fi umanizat sau dezumanizat.”

-Haim Ginott

I found it in English as well:

“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”
― Haim G. Ginott

First Week of School


The first week of school, something that very few people are actually excited for. I, naturally, am one of those people that is always excited for school. I’ve always liked school and now, going to school as a teacher is something I never expected to do but am still enjoying nonetheless. What I dread is the lesson planning part. The part that sucks hours of my life away but is still very necessary.

This year’s school opening was the same as last years and all the other years before that. We assembled in the gym since it was raining. The priest blessed the school and the students, the director presented the new teachers and the head teachers, wished everyone a very successful school year and then we were off, to start another year of “teacher, can you let us go home early?” or “teacher, can I give you my homework tomorrow? I forgot it today.” Among the usual, there was some new as well. Two days before school started, we were notified that there was a change in our directors. Since the director and assistant director position are politically based and my director was no longer part of a political party that has an allegiance with the ruling party in town, he, and the assistant director have been replaced. We also have about 5 or 6 new teachers in the mix that I haven’t really gotten a chance to know. One of my counterpart teachers is out on medical leave and I have been covering, or trying to cover, her classes while also trying to make it to my other classes with the two other teachers that I split them with.

This year i’m in for a lot of work. I’ll be taking on a total of 9 classes ranging from 9th – 12th grade which speakers of all levels. I have 4 classes that I taught last year that I am happy to be back with and 5 new classes that I took on. This year I will be teaching 9A, 9B, 10A, 10B, 11A, 11B, 11D, 12A, 12B. The 11D class is, as a whole probably the lowest level speaking class I will be teaching and I am the most excited to work with them. I have a lot of lesson planned relating to real life situations and hope to make some headway with them. I’ve been doing get to know you exercises and a communication exercise that has gotten pretty good reviews. The unity of some classes to finish the exercise has surprised me and the fact that some classes, that I assumed would be able to finish, did not. Without any surprise, so far 12A holds the lead with finishing in 15 minutes.

For the time being, because we all know that this is probably going to change 100 more times, this is what this year’s schedule is looking like for me:


































One of my new classes 11D






9A – New Class




12 B