I believe I told you all a while ago that I would be sharing more information about my working life here in Ukraine, so I have finally decided to make a post dedicated to doing just that.
For starters, my job is really not difficult. The Ukrainian teachers here focus on the grammar, while the American teachers focus on repeating these lessons and making them speak while using the target language. As easy as this may sound, I am still beat by the end of the night. It takes a lot of energy to focus, correct, explain, and be as animated as possible in front of a class for hours. Really, I’ve got to give a big round of applause to elementary school teachers now that I know the difficulties surrounding such presentation.
Since most of the students are university students and working professionals, we teach in the evenings. I actually don’t mind this schedule whatsoever as I kind of enjoy being a night owl, and I enjoy not having to go directly to work as soon as I wake up. At this point, it seems a bit difficult to ever picture myself in a normal 9-5 job lifestyle again.
In class, I have developed a teaching style where I try to have as much fun as possible, while being strict about the lesson at the same time. Yes, it is possible, and they do like it Basically, I figure these people are here on their own volition and to do one thing: learn English. I know most of them don’t have a lot of money, and a lot of them have even lost their jobs recently, so I want them to get the most bang-for-their-buck. The other day I actually had a few students in a higher level ask me why I was not their teacher this semester. They continued by saying that they liked their new teacher, but they thought I was stricter and they need that. Ha, imagine that!
Overall, I love my students. I think they are all very bright and interesting people. Here are some of my students from last level:
I wasn’t really sure what to do when we got these pictures taken, so I basically stood there with my hands in my pockets and whatnot. I later found out that other teachers were doing group shots with their arms around each other and looking all buddy-buddy. Even if these pictures don’t show it, I really do love my students!
And, that’s about it on that one. I don’t work on Fridays or Saturdays, so it is my weekend now, and I’d really enjoy focusing more on that right now!