What did PDP gave me? A lot. When I asked this question to myself, I didn’t want to answer it in a pell-mell way. The reason I have much to say about the program is its contribution and influence to my professional skills. During these 20 weeks I enriched my knowledge twice both as a teacher and an individual.  Now the program is over, but the changes are still ahead. The following facts about our program prove the changes will come.

We accomplished and went through many things and events from the very beginning of the program. The course was a real journey to the modern and active world in both meanings. We dived with our heads to the modern methods and teaching devices and went to no less useful trips in Astana and even outside. We visited Eagilik, Astana art gallery,  ALZHIR camp, American Corner Astana, went to the U.S. Embassy Information center. The last one was a memorable one for it happened with me for the first time and left a chance to visit Embassy independently on my own.

Ebscohost, Oxford journals, Moodle, WordPress, Survey monkey, Web Survey master, Citation builder, Ted.com, voki, quia … It is not a simple enumeration of the strange-sounding words, it is a meaningful and considerable set of words that do mean something very important for me. In addition, I learned and still use different URLs that program gave to me. I have low musical intelligence, but it doesn’t prevent me from learning a song with Lyricstraining. Aha, intelligences, it is another thing I learned from my lessons. It is a really interesting theory and worth of trying it with my students. There are no people with the same hand lines, and there are no people with absolutely same intelligences.

However, the main impact to my knowledge was what I learned from the course from methodological point of view. I had a great opportunity to improve my academic writing. I learned to write an essay, to do citations, to build correct thesis statements, to make a clear outline, to differentiate between working bibliography and references. I was taught tips of an eye-catching essays and blog entries. Moreover, I managed to switch from prepared paper-writing to spontaneous quick-writing. That is one of the most important achievements that came from practicing wordpress several times. My English writing proficiency went effectively higher.

Further on, we watched films and short video clips. We did watching and speaking and listening and writing at a time. Now if you ask about such topics as human trafficking, freedom, addiction, perfection, etc. you may be sure all of us have something to tell about these issues for we had a thoughtful set of philosophical and psychological short clips. The importance of these clips was active thinking abilities. At first, there is nothing to make you think except “What is out of it?” Storming your brain for awhile, you find even more than you expected.

We found even more we expected from our quest speakers. Looking back now, I remember Marinka Franulovic, Glen and Mary Tosaya, Josh Lange, Chad Harris, Alan Ruby, Annemarie Bechert, Ann Lonsdale, Jon Larsen, Hanaa Singer, Joan Ordway, Harold Samuels, Martha and others. That was one of the memorable events from my PDP courses.

Nevertheless, all these events were because of the teacher we had. Everything is up to the teacher for she is a motivator, an inspirer for her students. Russian people have a saying “Tell me who your friend is and I’ll tell you who you are”, but I want to say “Tell me who your teacher is and I’ll tell what kind of student you are”. Yesterday, on the graduation ceremony and Nu and Orken administration praised us a lot. We couldn’t have accomplished it without Kristina, could we? My deep and endless gratitude to a person, who made a difference in all of us and prepared change agents for Kazakhstani schools.

I wish the program to continue the next and next years. We accomplished the pioneer year without any papers and, unfortunately, without any computers of our own. I want the program to get developed and expand all over Kazakhstan, especially in the villages. I wish more student-centered teachers to educate our young generation. Finally, I wish my teacher to come back to Kazakhstan for she has even more to give us.

My program is over. And now the feeling of happiness and disappointment overwhelms me. However, I want to express my deep gratitude to my PDP teacher, who went all this way together with us.

Our program lasted only 20 weeks and these 20 weeks were the happiest days of my life. Yes, PDP contributed many changes in my knowledge as well as in my personality. It taught me many things to succeed in my career. After the courses teaching become easier for me, because I have much to organize my lessons with fun and profit. I feel more comfortable and easier in the classroom, wherever I go. I have confidence in my teaching way and firm approach to deal and work with the students.

I learned the way to keep my students active in the lesson, I learned to involve more activities in my lesson, also I learned to get my students involved in what I am doing. The grades, where I teach are full of active students. And each time, after the lesson I hear, at least, one of them saying “Thank you for the lesson”. It makes me glad, even if something went wrong with my activities.

However, one of the most important thing that PDP gave me is a chance to have more Friends. Actually, I have many friends, but I mean here foreign friends. It is a good way to learn more about the world you live in. MY PDP teacher is my best friend, who was a perfect example of keeping in touch with so many people at a time.

Today with smile on my face and sadness in my heart, we had a graduation ceremony. When our teacher made a speech and mentioned each one of us and characterized independently, I thought how much we had to tell her about. She called us change agents, but the real change in all of us was made by her. I hope all of us will follow the way she taught us. It will be a good time to meet and remember all the things we were introduced for the first time. To that time, I guess we will turn from young and inexperienced teachers to modern and mature professionals. As my teacher said, if one of us will strip away from what she/he learned from our ever-happy and active teacher, it would mean she failed with some of us. Of course, it would be sad even for us for how much strength was put to our professional skills.

I have even more to tell you about my program, my knowledge, experiences and impressions from the program. However, I will show you what happened today in my next post. So, I end my writing here with a happy-sad mood on my face.

PDP is what young teachers need to learn before staring to work at school. It teaches you to be innovative, to clued up, to improve the art of public speaking and to learn more you know about your profession. Yesterday our teacher invited a quest to our classes – Jon Larsen, U.S. embassy press attache. Jon Larsen is a very inviting man. It is clear from the first sight. The thing I like about Americans is that they try to make everyone feel comfortable when they are speaking about something. The same situation among our people is totally different. We mostly try to disarm our listeners so that they will ask no questions. So is Hanaa Singer ( previous quest of our PDP classes). It does matter nothing if you speak to UN representative or press attache, they will treat you properly. Sometimes I even forget I am speaking with a person of a higher rank. But if you speak with the same ranked Kazakh man you will always feel the presence of authority and formality in speech. That is one of the many things that I concluded for myself. Or is there anyone, who disagrees with me?!
I should admit that the best speakers are men. I liked the diction, voice and manner of Jon’s speech, it makes easy to follow his ideas. When I found out he was born in 1962, I thought “Hmm, the same age as my mom, but my mom looks younger comparatively.” ) His life background is very rich, he has seen the world. Jon went abroad to study when he was in the eleventh grade. His parents found a place for him in Germany through personal contact and he spent one year there. For me, it was interesting to listen to Jon, because the things he has done I wish to do too. I have much in common with Jon Larsen, for instance, passion. He is passionate about so many things. Sometimes I feel that there are a lot of things that I am passionate about, but I used to think that a man should know the subject well to be passionate about something. So, mostly, I found difficulties to answer myself “What is one thing I am Passionate about?” There could be more than one thing, thank you, Jon!
Concerning Jon’s personal life, he has two daughters: 16 and 18 year old. It is obvious that his daughters are smart as their father, because when he told about his daughters there was a sense of pride on his face. Jon is experienced, he tried many jobs and worked in different places. I liked the way he told about his career: ” I polished my Russian, passed test and came to Astana”. The easiness in the memory to talk about his job background shows that he never had problems with finding a job. On the contrary, he seemed to be required everywhere.
Do you find Jon interesting?! I do. Here are 5 impressive things, which make him interesting to people around.

  1. He has a profession of an economic engineer, but he has never worked as an engineer.
  2. He learnt German watching TV.
  3. 20 years of his life he spent traveling Alabama-Germany-Korea-Luisiana-..-Alabama.
  4. Jon reads hundreds of books a year.
  5. Having a good job position, he misses flights a lot.

I think Jon is a good speaker as Glen Tosaya ( another PDP quest speaker). Both of them feel comfortable in front of a large audience. They speak at ease. What I liked about Jon is that he is not afraid to speak about detailed facts of his life: traveling.
I like traveling much, but I have no opportunities to do myself right now. I guess it was not easy for Hanaa, Jon, Kristina to see oversea countries. Sometimes I think perhaps I am living that stage of my life when I am to pass examination of difficulties before I manage my dreams come true live.
Nevertheless, I am glad to have guest speakers, who has seen the world. There is always something new you can learn from them. I think the chronology of Jon life will get longer if we meet again in another ten years time. I hope mine won’t remain the same.))

My blog is called Futureabroadkz. Have you ever thought about its name? Rather unusual, isn’t it? Especially for a blog, that mainly publishes posts on totally different topics. As a matter of fact, when I was creating a blog, I wanted to make it interesting for the people, who will visit it. Of course, it is impossible to do it if you yourself are not passionate of what you are writing. I am a student, an ambitious student. Having got my B.A., I applied for Professional Development Program. And now I am a PDP student. Also I applied for Graduate Muskie program with hope to get my M.A. in America. However, I was not successful enough to win the scholarship and I was rejected. My mother cheered me up. I know my parents wish me to work and then travel where I want, but I am really passionate of getting my Master’s Degree abroad. I know there are many students and pupils, who are passionate of studying abroad. And they are right. That’s why I decided to lead research on the theme of exchange programs when my PDP teacher asked to choose a research topic. Right now I am improving my blogging skills.

I want you to try the following survey and share your responses with me. Your contribution will have a great impact on my research theme and I hope in future it will appear on the blog as well. Then you will say “Aha, that’s why it is futureabroadkz’s blog”.