Educating Russia’s Youth

I haven’t written much on A View From A Broad about my time here teaching. For the most part, it has been pretty simple. I generally teach upper-intermediate to advanced students business english and general english. This means I show up and chat in english with various people all over town. It is rare that the need arises for me to educate my student on a grammatical topic. I’m there for pronunciation and vocabulary building. The exception to this observation are my Friday classes where I teach three classes at a children center in a suburb of Saint Petersburg called Pavlovsk. It is both my favorite and most loathed day.

To get to the children’s center I must take an electric train 40 minutes from the city center and then walk 20 minutes through a field to get to the children’s center located in the middle of nowhere. Every time I walk from the train station to the center in 0F weather, I find myself repeating “I hate this place I am going to quit. I hate this place I am going to quite.”

See the barely visible roof in the upper-right hand corner? That’s the children’s center.

But then the students get there and my attitude changes. They might be pretty out of control, flying erasers, desk surfing and all, but they are so darn cute. Styopa, Slava, 4 Nastyas and a Kolya are enough to make your heart melt. The level of english language education I am providing is questionable, its a good day if they correctly identify the color yellow in english, but we have a lot of fun together.

Vinyamin and Sasha: class troublemakers.

Vinya likes to erase the board for me.

Katya, the shy brainiac of the class and Nadya, her best friend.

Simon, Mikhail, Denis and Stephanie. My Shakespeares in the making.

Cheese ?

Nastya and Sasha. Sasha’s mom gives me a ride to the train station after class.

Nadya. She loves playing hangman.

Misha is the only boy in the class. Pretty sure he hates it. Nastya is hiding behind her textbook.


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