Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sugar Bees

This semester when I first met with my school administration to design my schedule I was told the my school will start teaching English in the first form next year instead of starting in the second form. So I asked, "Why don't I teach the kindergarten class to help them prepare." No one disagreed so I held two lessons each week (with the support and assistance of two awesome Ukrainian teachers) with 16 five-year-olds. Let me say, they are amazing. 

Some of them are still learning how to write and count in Ukrainian but they have mastered their English ABCs and 123s. They can introduce themselves like, "My name is Dana." We worked on colors and phrases like, "Good Morning" too. I am so proud to say most of them conquered it all. A few lagged behind but I found out these few just turned four and will be in kindergarten again next year. 

These little people have been my joy each week. To them, I'm a superstar. I am covered in hugs and kisses each Monday and Tuesday. If I let them, they would drag me into the floor by the shear volume of bodies pulling at my knees. They got best friends. They got crushes and love stories. Some of my little ones lack the essentials at home but, nevertheless, they show up ready to jump and sing with me. Whether is going on in my life or my mind is set aside for an hour so I can listen to stories about each bruise or bump. Their energy and passion for crayons or a shiny, new book remind me to slow down. To let myself simmer for bit. To soak up moments instead scheduling what should happen next. Their squeaky 'Hello" in shops or around town harmonize my life. Parents and grandparents stop me in the street to meet 'the teacher my kid keeps talking about'. I don't deserve their admiration or grand affection but I'll gladly take it. I'm never been so proud as when I overheard a few of the girls call each other the pet names I call them like, "Honey, what are you doing?" I adore each of them.  

My sweet Sugar Bees have left an impression in my heart and memory that won't soon fade. 

My sweet Ina.
She hardly speaks in the classroom unless directed but,
she yells at me from her house when I jog! 

Nazar and Maxim practicing a radiation drill. 

Each wonderful day of my life! 

Boldon and Ina.
The smallest and sweetest. 

Small but Tough 

Sugar Bees!

Slavic told me he loves America. 

Graduation Gowns

The boys ready to graduate.
Slavic headed straight to me for a hug.
Love it. 

At graduation, the teachers were introducing the children to their new 1st form teacher.
They used favorite food, animal, etc.
Boldon is raising his hand to answer the question, "Who likes to sleep the most?"

My precious Nazar holding dearly to his diploma. 

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