May 2011

A few days ago I had my oral report of practice at school.

Everything has changed along with the rapidness of the development and changes occurring in a country and society, drastically, changed teaching approach at schools. Students and teachers as well. There were many things to do during the practice:  sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I failed. When I failed, I tried to learn from my mistakes. But all in all, I made a huge advance toward maturity.

The most important moment for me was getting acquainted with the school and students and teachers. I learned many things, but everything we accomplished together with the students. What could I do alone? Of course, nothing. We learned a lot, we created, sang, danced, organized show programs, watched movies and developed. Also we slept in the lessons, we drank tea, played croquet and talked with Cheshire cat, but those happened in Alice’s  Land of Mystery.

School life taught me to construct lessons correctly, to realize all difficulties of teaching, difficulties of working with students of different age groups. It was a pleasure to experience something new every day.

However, there were moments when I faced definite difficulties in working with the students. Especially, during rotational lessons. When you come to a new class and begin teaching them, you will notice some students, who are too active and even noisy. I had the same difficulty while teaching the eighth grade. I never used to work with that grade before and that’s why I didn’t know how to work with then individually. It is always necessary to have a special approach to every student. At the same time, a teacher must be able to control the discipline in the classroom, regardless the students group age.

However, practice gave me a lot. These four months spent at school effectively influenced to my professional growth and development. It was a good experience, at the same time.

I like role playing, but when I studied at school I used to take neutral roles, which required less emotions, actions and so on. Every time I used to be an author, who read passages between episodes. However, now I am not against for some theatrical performance. Most of all, I like to watch my students acting. Especially, if it goes in English.

Why am I telling you this? The matter is today we role played Alice in Wonderland with the ninth grade students. It was not so bad for the first time. As I was told it was their first experience when they role played episodes from literature work. That’s why they were glad when I offered them to act Alice out. At the beginning I thought that they won’t like it for they always act something in the classroom. On the contrary, they were tired of everyday situation role playing and wanted to perform something serious.

I just suggested to role play Alice in Wonderland because they watched the movie by Tim Burton in the lesson. In addition, it is one of many books worth reading it. I was glad to find that students knew the difference between book version and movie one. Telling the truth, when I was in the ninth grade, I did know nothing about the English literature. But since that time many things have changed totally. Along with the development of the country and society as well, old things are replaced by new and innovative ones. Regarding the case of teaching, we can say the same. Now old methods, programs of teaching and books are replaced by modern ones. Even the requirements for teachers are quite different in comparison of those, which were important some decades ago.

Role playing was good. Students showed three episodes from Alice in Wonderland. The first episode shows Alice and her sister during History book reading. The second one shows Alice, who somehow appears in Wonderland and finds herself in a company of Mad Hatter and White Rabbit. As you know, they celebrate their Unbirthdays. “Merry unbirthday!” as they say to each other. Then she meets with Cheshire cat and seeks way to get home, instead finds herself in the Kingdom of Queen. The last episode shows the meeting with Queen and playing croquet.

Personally, I liked their acting. Of course, there were some mistakes. But I think, by and by, they will improve their acting. We didn’t prepare any costumes, but decided to make emphasis on the faces of the characters so that people would recognize who was who. When I asked students what they liked or perhaps disliked in own performance, they said that understood that there were moments when they forgot their words and were forced to improvise. Also, they wanted to role play more and more stories. My supervisor was glad. They also wished to show their performance for a wider audience. Unlike me, they are not afraid to act at all. It seems not me and my supervisor, but students liked role playing most. I think, role playing is a good way to learn story better and remember it.

So, I advise if you want to remember a story just role play it. It will work!

It is strange to watch the way your life changes. Sometimes, we dream about one thing, but instead have totally another one. However, sometimes, it goes vice versa. Don’t understand me wrong, but the changes in our life occur constantly and every day. There are small ones and hardly people notice them, especially in the rush of modern life. If the life wants, it  can and changes your way of being absolutely in another direction.

Having graduated from Pedagogical Institute in West of Kazakhstan, I thought about the ways of finding a really good job with future career perspectives. At the same time, I applied for one-year program, having no idea if I would be admitted or not. Telling the truth, I didn’t make so much about that program, but strongly wished to be admitted. And now, I have already completed that one-year program and going to have a good job. That is the direction I went being admitted to that program. As a matter of fact, that exact program gave a chance to come to the capital city and live and work there.

Having all these things happened in a year, I can hardly imagine the way my life looked being NOT admitted to that program. Certainly, being not sure of the success of my application, I worked on finding a job, at the same time. Actually, it was not so difficult for me to find a job. I am a teacher. However, that time I didn’t want to work at school.

Thanks to God, but my life in the capital city is full of many memorable things. Still one can feel the difference between the places, if one has lived there for a while. Now I can feel this difference. You have more perspectives in a big city. First, it seems unusual to you, but by and by you get used to it and began feeling yourself comfortable.

Looking back, I see that I am going up the ladder of prosperity and development. How is it strange, but all these changes are somehow connected with the places I live. At first, I lived in the village,  moved to the town, then to the capital city. my friends often hear me saying “I have found my place in Kazakhstan, and now I should find my place in Astana.” However, I still dream to go abroad and live there for a while.

Here I want to mention that the life of a person depends upon his/her ambitions. It is ambition that defines his path of life. Indeed, people say “If there is a will,there is a way out.”

I just remembered, a few days ago a mature friend of mine told me that I was in a rush to reach my goals. She advised me to slow down and let the things go by themselves. She might be right, but the fact is that I cannot let some things pass by. The life is given us to feel it. I can feel it only, when I do something that is mine. Mine inside. I admit that there are many people, who agree and disagree with me. Everything is up to a person. And should be! Whatever you do and say, it is important to have your own profile. Cause it is your life, right?

Today we watched “Devchata” (“The girls”) with a group of girls. “Devchata” is a Soviet comedy. All the same, my father is right. He says that how many you watch Soviet films, especially comedies, so much you laugh. He says that the majority of today’s comedies is one-day-effect comedy. Very likely, I agree with my father.

Having watched “Devchata”, I understood it again. In addition, remember famous Shurik series, “The brilliant hand”, “12 chairs”, etc. All of them are full of quality fun.

The film is about Tosya and her roommates, that’s why it is called so. You can watch love stories of all girls, and Tosya’s that is more detailed.

A young girl joins a brigade and moves to the dorm. She has just graduated Cooking specialized college and is supposed to work as a cook. She is very positive, nimble and outgoing. The picture shows the episode when she has just moved to the room and is going to refresh her inner man with bread and jam.

An interesting thing about it is the food is not hers. She has four roommates, but they are not at home to ask their permission. Such a girl is Tosya.The picture on the right shows her roommates.

Here is Tosya at work. Behind you can see a young man (Iliya), number one worker in the brigade. The day, when Tosya joined them, they had a dance evening. That was the first place they met each other. While other girls were fond of Iliya so much, Tosya stayed indifferent to everything he did. She even showed a strong character to his actions in front of the other people. Knocked all of a heap, Iliya was forced to accept a dispute of a man from the brigade (Filya). He had one week to change her attitude to him. Everything went well, they even felt in love with each other until …

One day Tosya found that everything was about dispute. In hatred, she exposed both of them, Iliya and Filya. She congratulated Iliya with victory for she had totally changed her attitude to her (she felt in love with him) and asked Filya to keep his promise and give him a cap they disputed in case of Iliya’s victory.

After came dramatic episodes, because a game burned a flame in Iliya’s heart. Their attitude to each other was mutual, they both loved each other. However, Tosya won’t forgive him. He presented a golden watch, asked to forgive many times, followed her at work. In vain! Tosya was firm in her decision. It lasted until Filya made them friends again. The man, who “helped” them to fall in love – later destroyed their relations – helped make them friends again in the end.

So, happy and happy, they are together again. Watch it and you will have a lot of fun and pleasure. You will see the life in Soviet time and way people have changes since that time.

My practice at school is coming to its end. And, as a result of it, I had rotation lessons this week. It was intended to check what you had learned in span of several months at school. Rotation lesson is a lesson that you organize in another grades you never taught before. First, when I was about to have rotation lessons, I thought what it could give me. However, I couldn’t think so much about it.

I liked the result, though my lessons were not perfect. I understood that there were even many things to learn. As my supervisor said “Experience comes by years.” At first, I had my first rotation lesson with the eighth grade. Everything is different when you teach different-from-your-students students. Each class has own stars, little “hooligans” and really want-to-learn students. But if you teach the class for the first time, you will spend the whole lesson to find out who is who. That’s why it is difficult to keep a strong discipline among them. At least, for me. Why am I writing about discipline? For it was a thing I failed to control during the lesson. The teacher of the eighth grade suggested me to pay attention to that fact. According to her words, I gave a leeway to the students and that’s why some of them were relaxed too much and didn’t treat the lesson seriously. It is true, sometimes I could notice it myself. All is about the discipline, except it I liked my lesson. I should admit, it was a good experience for me.

Secondly, I taught the fourth grade. Again, different ages, different students and, consequently, different attitude to the lesson organization. It is a pleasure and difficult to work with primary classes. The first reason is they are small and need a lower flow of teaching with detailed explanations. A bit difficult. The second reason – they are lovely and it is a pleasure to work with them. While teaching different age groups, it is necessary to change your language accordingly. It means thinking and speaking their English language. There is no need to use your English for the ninth grade for primary classes. Sometimes, it is difficult to switch from your adult English to a simple one, but it is necessary.

As I have concluded for myself, everything comes with mistakes. We learn better, when we see our mistakes and not repeat them on and on.

One more thing I want to share with you is resemblance between an intern and supervisor. The people, who have observed me lessons and know my supervisor’s lessons, say that my teaching style resembles my supervisor’s. On my part, I want to say that I just teach the students the way I  and they like. As a matter of fact, all students like my teacher’s style of teaching. For our schools it is not the newest, but new ways of teaching.

However, it is better to create your own teaching style. Everyone is individual, and everything he/she does should be unique. As one English proverb says, “Experience keeps no school, it teaches her pupils individually.” That’s why people of the SAME profession are DIFFERENT.

As you know, this year is considered to be Korean year in Kazakhstan. And due to it, there are events are organized in our country. As a matter of fact, I had a chance to watch one of such events in Kazakhstan Concert Hall, Astana. A friend of mine invited me to the concert a month ago, I agreed though I was indifferent to everything connected with Korea. On the contrary, my friend is fond of Korea, she has been learning the Korean language for 2-3 years. In addition, she likes watching Korean films and “soap operas”. And you know, there are a great deal of them. Three of all Kazakhstani TV channels show these films, and as I have found out, after the concert, it is not in vain, but for youth.

Moreover, Koreans did their utmost to make that day memorable and grandiose. Actually, it was colossal. Driving to the concert hall an hour earlier, we had some difficulties in entering the hall. The square in front of the hall was crowded, so was inside. Everybody wished one thing: to get seats as close as possible so that they would be able to see their favourite singers and actors better. That’s why there was a rush, there was a crush.

And only then I realized that there was much to expect from the performance of Korean people. To tell the truth, I thought it was supposed to be one of those boring events that people like to organize just for “check and tick”. I was wrong. I was glad that I was wrong for I did really enjoy the performance. It was bright and lively. Of course, it was representatives of Korean show business, who made the event memorable. Frankly speaking, I do not watch Korean films, do not listen to Korean songs, that’s why I don’t know any of the Korean stars. However, I can say that popularity of the stars invited to the concert was  conspicuously perceptible. The audience exulted and screamed every time someone appeared on the stage. However, the most interesting thing that I have noticed was popularity of the Korean film “F4” among out youth.

When a quartette of boys-singers appeared on the stage, “the hall exploded”. Everybody welcomed them with blusterous whooping. As I was informed soon after, one of the singing boys played in the film above mentioned.

By the way, when I studied in Aktobe, lived with the girls from Atyrau. They were fond of the Korean films and never missed any series. I remember, one of them even used to watch THREE different films a day. Every day. In addition, her phone was full of those “F4” boys. What a love!

Looking back now, I realize that there are even more people, who likes Korean films in the same way. As “an independent expert” (a person, not fond of Korean films and stars) I can say that the concert turned out well. So why does Kazakh youth love Korean stars? … because they watch Korean films the whole day.