Teaching, So Far

I’ve been teaching in Kosovo for about two months now.

village-school-in-kosovo
One of my schools … I think it only has about 8 classrooms.

I was a social worker in Chicago prior to moving to Kosovo. For my last job in Chicago, I spent one day per week at a high school, providing counseling to students who had been caught using drugs. Chicago Public Schools are kind of famous for being terrible, but they’re luxurious compared to schools here. Even “poor” public schools in the United States have things like libraries, gymnasiums, computers/televisions/projectors, printers, counselors, and substitute teachers (here, if a teacher is absent, students just sit alone in their classrooms, from what I’ve seen).

I teach in two village schools. In both, there are students without textbooks. Sometimes, they aren’t enough chairs to go around, so students sit on a chair with their friend. The only classroom resources are chalk and a chalkboard.

Processed with MOLDIV
I obscured this photo using the MOLDIV app to protect my students’ privacy. (Bonus: it looks cool.) Here, I am doing a counting game with them. Thanks to my counterpart for taking this photo.

One of the reasons I am thankful I only teach half-days is that I won’t use the bathrooms at the school. There isn’t soap or toilet paper. Oftentimes, schools have squatty-pottys.

It’s been a challenge, teaching here. Sometimes, I’ll play a song on my iPhone. I’ve brought my laptop in a few times to show video clips to my students. It’s difficult to think of interesting things to do with so few resources on hand (which is why I created this TEFL activity list. I’ll be posting another one soon, so stay tuned).

I’ve started working with a second counterpart, teaching grades 3, 4, and 5. With my regular counterpart, I teach grades 7 and 8. The difference between the younger students and the older ones is noticeable … the younger kids will sprint across the playground to hug me when they see me. They are quiet and engaged in the classroom. The older kids? …Not so much.

image1
Some of my younger students, playing a memory game using flashcards I made. Thanks to my counterpart for taking these photos.

 

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