Monday, October 5, 2009

Teachers' Day

Isn't this bouquet the coolest? Talk about giving the teacher an apple!

Friday was День Учителей (Teachers' Day) throughout all of Russia. I wrote about this holiday back in 2007 and 2008, as well. Holidays honoring all different types of jobs were created during Soviet times; this particular one remains much beloved, anticipated and celebrated.

It's so nice to come home from work on Teachers' Day, and to have random people stop to congratulate you in the street. They're sure you're a teacher if you have various bouquets in your arms on that particular Friday afternoon!

Even though I shouldn't have, I went to work for the two classes I have with my tenth graders. I didn't have any plans already in place in case I were absent, and it was easier to just go than to think of entire lessons that wouldn't have required my presence or any speaking (since they would be added to others' classrooms, needing to complete their own work silently).

It's too bad I couldn't also teach all my Middle School groups that day; their enthusiasm about the day just oozed out of them!

Katya was literally bouncing off the walls with anticipation. She made pretty cards for all the different teachers who work with her and she was an active participant in the school assembly--even singing Michael Jackson's "Heal the World" as a solo! All the elementary school kids sang songs, put on skits and arranged some fun games for the teachers to play.

Her class made a huge poster for the teachers, decorated with pictures and personal thanks from each child for some specific quality or gesture. The families all chipped in and gave the teachers flowers and envelopes of money, too. We had agreed to get them gift certificates to Дом Книги ("House of Books," basically a huge bookstore where you can find all kinds of stuff in addition to book), but the mom in charge of it messed up. I'm sure the teachers were just as happy with the envelopes of cash!

One of our new teachers in the high school, a young American man, was completely blown away the day. His ninth graders adore him and were so sincere in making him a big card where they all wrote the nicest things... He also was tickled pink by the gourmet coffee, chocolates and flowers. As he commented, "Wow. You just wouldn't give your male teachers flowers and boxes of chocolates back in the USA." Well, the guys got chocolates where I last worked in Michigan, but our school wasn't your typical school.

This is what ended up back on our dining room table... It smells so nice, I'm told! (I'm still too stuffed up to know!)

The high school teachers all chipped in and had a potluck after classes ended, but I needed to go home and rest. The elementary school teachers even staged a "slumber party" type event after the last kids left at 7 p.m. (there are TONS of cool after-school activities every day), but without the pajamas and sleep-over. It was basically a girls' night of fun games and laughter. I was there for a little bit and I would have loved to have stayed had I not been ill! I really love the atmosphere in the elementary school!

p.s. Still home sick, but doing much better.


email2femail said...

Nice blog and nice stories, im living in St Petersburg, and love mother Russia:)

Tina in CT said...

It's a shame that you were sick for Teacher Appreciation Day. Beautiful flowers.

Can you imagine giving a male teacher flowers here in the States?

Anonymous said...

All sounds so nice and pleasant! Great feeling to be appreciated for all of your hard work even for one day!
I do not know about love for Mother Russia, being a USSR product.

The Expatresse said...

Thankfully, the French ignore all these celebrations so I am off the hook in terms of having to remember and get the protocol down. But it's nice to be on the receiving end, I'm sure.

Get well soon.

Hevel said...

When I went to school in Hungary in the mid 90's our standard for teacher's day was flower, a box of coffee and/or Cherry Queens to all the teachers. There it is the first weekend in June. I loved that holiday!

fedbet said...

We too had the teachers day celebrations with lots of singing and sketches done by each class. The older children from the upper school teach the primary classes - 2 children for each subject - this is the bit ny kids love and they almost always get given "5"s in their dnebniks :)