Teachers’ Day, 2012 edition

З ДНЕМ ВЧИТЕЛЯ! (z dnem vchytelya) — Happy Teachers’ Day!

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Yes, Teachers’ Day in Ukraine has arrived again. The holiday technically falls on the first Sunday of October but it’s usually celebrated at school on the Friday before. Throughout the day, pupils present teachers with well-wishes and gifts like flowers, chocolate, and useful household things. Remembering Teachers’ Day last year, I prepared myself in advance and put on a pretty dress and good mood for the school day!

Sure enough, things started off at 8:30am in the aktovyy zal (assembly hall) with a nice speech by our new school director. Following that, a group of 4th formers (many of my pupils included) presented lovely wishes and a song:

Here are Olha and Kolya singing a traditional Ukrainian folk song with the words rewritten for Teachers’ Day:

And a proclamation from Nazar, my school’s King of Knowledge:

Following the performances, the 11th form pupils presented each teacher with a nice, thin-tipped black gel pen — my favorite.

I was supposed to have the first lesson with the 11th form but after sitting in my classroom for 15 minutes no one had arrived. My colleague, DD, came in and asked me where they were — they were neither with me nor with her, so we set off to find them. Sure enough, on our way to the teachers’ room we encountered the entire class, all dressed smartly in traditional embroidered shirts and black pants or skirts. They stopped us in the hall and presented each one of us with a lovely tablecloth. I asked if they would rather have an English lesson or continue handing out gifts — most said gifts, but I heard Vitaliy say “English!” So I gave them a choice, and said that whoever wanted to speak English could come with me to the classroom, and whoever wanted to hand out gifts could continue doing that. So Vitaliy and Vlad followed me to my classroom and we spent a really nice 20 minutes chatting about technology and computers (both of them are into technology, programming, and web design).

As the boys and I were chatting, various pupils and parents wandered into the classroom to give me gifts. The haul includes: a few boxes of chocolates, a nice potted flowering plant, a tablecloth, a magnetic spice rack, and a sunflower-adorned pie plate.

After the second lesson, all of us teachers gathered in the teachers’ room for cake (quite tasty, for Ukrainian cake) and champagne.

In the afternoon the 9A class had prepared a beautiful presentation of words and music for us teachers. This included a couple of hilarious skits by a few of the teachers and a slideshow of teachers who have died (including our late director, Viktor Mykolaiovych). I’ll let the videos below speak for themselves.

And now I’m off to continue the Teachers’ Day celebrations at a restaurant in town with some of the teachers…

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