As I am writing this, it is raining cats and dogs outside of my window. After an entire day of the hot sun beating down on us and turning the classroom into a bit of a sauna, this rainstorm is extremely refreshing. The kiddos were supposed to go swimming after snack, but maybe now they are just running around in the rain in their swimsuits (but this is Russia we’re talking about, so probably not because it’s probably one of those things that the grandmothers swear will make you catch your death of cold or some other horrid illness).
Besides the heat, today was a really good day. Yesterday after the oral testing I made a list of the groups and posted a large copy of the lessons schedule on the bulletin board where the pupil live. The counselors also have a copy of the schedule and as I promised myself after last session, I have put some of the responsibility of making sure the kids get to class on them. It is still a healthy compromise and I take and bring the kids on a few occasions as well, but it is still 100x better than the chaos that I dealt with daily last semester. Today’s lessons were mostly getting to know each other and playing some games. Because the oral testing yesterday was a little frenzied and consisted of about thirty seconds with each pupil, I rearranged the groups ever so slightly. I’m really excited about my third group because they have much higher levels of English than any of my pupil during first session. I’m excited to discuss more advanced topics with them and have already been chatting with the girls from that group a lot in both English and Russian during our free time outside of lessons. They are all very eager to know about life in America, the American education system, and just to chat with a foreigner in general.
I had quite a few laughs with my second group. I think they are going to be a fun bunch! I made a small powerpoint for today with a map of the US and Indiana and pictures of my hometown, university town, and family. I suppose one boy, Max, didn’t realize that my name was “Chelsea” because when I said my name, all of the sudden came the loud cry of “CHELSEA??!!?” from the right side of the classroom. His tone of voice was just so unexpected that the whole class burst into laughter. And that wasn’t all that surprised him. When I told them that I was 21 years old, again that little goober piped up with, “WHAT?!?” I’m not sure if he thought I was really old or really young, but again we all had a good laugh. Perhaps he thinks I’m old because after a few minutes he wanted to know if I had any children. My last lesson of the day was with the third group and we played some speaking games that I could never have dreamed of playing with the pupils last session, so I am very excited to explore more advanced material with them all. Here’s to the start of another great session!