Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A visit to the International School of Simferopol

On Friday, April 12, we drove to visit the International School of Simferopol. This is another private school where parents pay about $350 per month for the child to attend. Not an insignificant sum for Ukrainians. Like the other private school we visited in Kiev, this one has beautiful facilities. The teachers of English at this school were mostly men from Turkey. We've seen very few male teachers in all of our visits.

Even the private school teachers are paid poorly and the school must follow the rules and regulations of the Ukrainian government regarding curriculum and other matters.

These are some drawings from 2nd graders, yes 2nd graders the school had displayed on the wall:

In K-1 schools are required to give time for students to take naps. Some schools just have students lie down on blankets. This school had actual bedrooms set up for naps. I'm going to suggest my school sets a room up like this.....For Teachers!

One of the students had a birthday when we were there. The parents sent over these balloon animals. Obviously this school caters to more wealthy Ukrainians.

We returned to our host school after our visit and I presented a math lesson, in English, to 9th and 10th grade English learners. I also visited some of the math classes, in Russian, just to see what level was being taught. The grade 6 class (Form 6 in Ukrainian schools) were working at levels similar to a high level pre-algebra class. Here's an example of a problem they were working on:

(-9.4 + 10.9) : (-5)

So in grade 6, they are learning pretty high levels of Orders of Operations, Operations with decimals, and solving ratios.

In the 9th grade class the students were working on what I would call Pre-Calculus. It was hard to tell exactly because of the difference in the Russian alphabet, I wasn't sure what some of the symbols were.

At the end of the day on Friday, we learned the art of Easter Egg painting. This is a traditional activity before Easter for Ukrainians. They will celebrate Easter on May 5.

A word about language:

Although most Ukrainians can speak both Ukrainian and Russian, the predominant language is determined by  what part of the country you are in. The eastern and southern parts mostly speak Russian, while the western part of Ukraine speaks Ukrainian. In very general terms, the Russian speaking parts are more connected with the old communist rulers and the Ukrainian-speaking areas are more liberal and more "independent" Ukrainians.

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