Category Archives: School

Balul Bobocilor

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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:

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Schimb de Experiență

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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

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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:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

8:00-8:50

XII A

IX B

XII B

XI B

9:00-9:50

IX B

IX A

X B

XII A

X B

10:00-10:50

XII B

XI A

IX B

11:10-12:00

XI B

X B

X A

XI D

12:10-1:00

XI D

XII B

IX A

XI B

1:10-2:00

X A

XI A

One of my new classes 11D

 

11A

 

11B

 

9A – New Class

 

12A

 

12 B

Summer Is Here!!

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Well, almost anyways. This past week was the easiest week of teaching ever considering my teaching hours went from 21 to 10. The senior classes finished at the beginning of June so all i have left are 2 10th grade and 2 11th grade classes. The class periods were quite entertaining and as usual, a little too loud at some points since we were working in groups and competing. I had the students do a teamwork activity that I got from another volunteer that required them to build the tallest tower they could out of spaghetti and gum (yeah kinda gross but, asta e) while only speaking in English. It was really amusing to hear them trying to communicate if they didn’t know a specific word.

This week and weekend felt like it lasted so long because I did so many things. Wednesday, I along with a few other friends/teachers celebrated a fellow teachers birthday. Thursday I attended the opening of the new exhibit at the art museum and Friday I worked at school all day for the train the trainers conference and then played some very exhausting games of tennis. This was followed by a quick shower and then I headed back out to the folklore dance practice to hang out there. It was good hanging out with those students that are part of the ensemble and the older members as well that I don’t get to see very much because they are away at college. They are all awesome and so much fun.

Saturday morning was slow paced and relaxing which was nice and this was the day that I finally settled on an apartment which I will be moving into the weekend of the 28th. Aka when I have a bunch of people in town so they can help me move as well :). My next order of business is to start packing up my apartment here and I am not looking forward to that whatsoever.

Sunday I was woken up by a drunken phone call by none other than Danijela and Stefi because their cabbie was Romanian. Naturally, they put him on the phone to speak to me and we had a nice little chat. This is not the first time this has happened… After finally rolling out of bed, I headed on an easy hike with Loredana and Teo. We headed over the hills to the “suburb” of the city if you will which even with all of our stops to pick flowers, took no more than 2 hours.

When we got back into town, I went home to get ready and then headed back out to watch the finals of “Somesani Sunt Talentati” aka Somes(the valley that I live in) has talent. It was a local version of Romania’s got talent and the winners were awarded a pretty penny. The winners ended up being the Jokers. If you recall, they are the school’s street dance group that is made up of my students and they did an awesome job!

On a random note, my gas tank for my stove is empty. I was in the middle of cooking dinner last night and it just gave up and so did I. I said Eff this and just left the food how it was and was so stubborn that I refused to eat anything else. I am here for 3 more days before I leave for a while and then when I come back I will have to move so I am refusing to buy a new tank until I move into the new apartment. Looks like i’ll be eating a lot of sandwiches for the remainder of my time here.

This week will be filled with just a whole lot of packing, trying to not die of heat exhaustion, and getting ready for Darcy and Joanna’s visit. I am heading down to Bucharest for a doctor’s appointment at the end of the week and then I will be spending the weekend with my gazda family in Targoviste where I will get to see Denisa, my gazda sister that has been in England all year at college. From there I will head to pick up the girls in Budapest and then our adventure will begin.

Until next time,

Va pup

American Update

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So I’ve been in the States for a week now and it is very strange. I’m still not used to it and honestly I’m not sure if I want to be used to it. I like my way of life in Romania. It is a lot more simple than here and i value that more than you could imagine. I have gotten to see many loved ones and that has been great but other than that, this trip hasn’t been anything special. The reason I came home was for my cousin’s wedding and I am very excited about that. He is the first one of us to get married and I am so happy for him and his future wife.

I’ve spent this last week eating. A typical American meeting is over food so that is all I have done. I feel as though I need a secretary to keep everything straight. I got to visit my friend Joanna’s first grade class yesterday and talk to them about Peace Corps and my life overseas. They were so adorable and filled with questions. They asked about my turtles, what the money looks like, and if I like my students.

Today will be a filled day with the wedding rehearsal and dinner and then tomorrow is the big day that we’ve all been waiting for!

Sorry this post is so random and all over the place but I still haven’t really had time to process all of my thoughts. One thing that I would like to add is for my students. Today is National Children’s Day in Romania so for that I want to say La Multi Ani and I also want to congratulate all of my seniors that are graduating today. I am extremely sad that I am not there to celebrate with you but am still so proud of all of you and the great things you will do in your lives! VA PUP!

 

50 de Ani

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So this past weekend my school celebrated it’s 50th anniversary as a theoretical high school. The school has been around longer than that but never achieved said title until 1962, having it’s first graduating class in 1966. The day started off with a visit to the cemetery and then to the school. Prayers were said and speeches were given by the director, mayor, some inspectors, a woman from the very first graduating class and the first director of the high school. These festivities ended at about 11:30 and the lunch started at 2:30 at one of the local hotels. Most of the attendees at the hotel were former graduates so with the exception of my students that performed at the lunch, I was one of the youngest people in attendance but it still turned out to be fun. The street dance group performed as well as the folklore group and overall it was a very well planned event.

On a different note I have about 12 days left until I am in the United States and cannot wait. I am however very said that I will miss the Senior Banquet but, there is always next year! The next week and a half I will be testing all my students and finalizing their grades for the grade book as well as saying goodbye to my seniors. When I get back, school will still be in session but the seniors will already be gone. They finish June 1st.

Thursday and Friday

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These last two days were dedicated to sports and class outings. I got to watch some pretty awesome handball games (thanks to some awesome students for fully explaining to me all the rules and walking me through the game) and was invited by Mary’s class (9D) to attend a picnic with them on a hill overlooking the town. Scoala altfel has officially come to an end and now we can say “Sup?” to 2 glorious weeks of spring break!

The picnic was great. We went up the hill to one of the student’s cabins and hung out, played games like simon says, mafia, peek-a-who, and I even taught them ultimate frisbee. Unfortunately, my team lost 2-5 but it was great nonetheless. We did have some issues with throwing the frisbee off the side of the hill and it rolling away.

P.S. Thursday, I was forced to sing kareoke…they put on Adele’s “Someone Like You” followed by Queen’s “I want to break free” and then I insisted of doing one on my own which was my go to Chingy’s “Holidae Inn”. Yes, you read correctly. I rapped in front of about 30 students. Don’t worry I used a censored version and told my students that if they could successfully complete a whole american rap by the end of the semester, i’ll give them a 10. I wonder if anyone will take me up on it.

 

On the radar for this weekend is a cabin trip with 10A then heading down south on Monday.