Oksana Chugai, teacher, Kyiv

A Day in the Life in Ukraine: 13/12/11

5.30. Time to get up. I (a wife, mother, sister, daughter, teacher, class monitor, post-graduate student, Newsletter editor) start my day, the 13th ofDecember.

Make coffee for me and him. Feed the cat. Feed the fish. Water all the plants. Check emails. Respond to some. Send a greeting card to Dad. Cook pancakes – daughters love them. Make a sandwich. (Don’t forget the camera.) Leave for work. Trams are so slow!

Early as usual, the school is dark and empty. Check some papers, look through the course books. Tests are coming, busy time. Hear voices, kids and colleagues, doors open, what’s the news? We need a substitute teacher for the second lesson. Make a call.

The first lesson, the 5th form. Switch on the whiteboard, remember the password? Sing a song about Santa. Is it winter again? Talk about tests, projects “Youth Club”. How to spell “Yuriivna”? Just “Ms. Chugai” will do. Vocabulary work, module on sport and exercises. Judo – no, it’s not a name. Dictation for next time.

The second lesson, the 6th form. What? No books? Take Alice’s then. Ask and answer. Listen and tick. Match and check. Wacky holidays – positive or negative? Why do you think so?

The third lesson, the 8th form. Speak English, please, I know you can. Here is a pen. Don’t do that! Go out, no way. Hands shake, open the register. Explain and listen, read and find. I can help you to study, I cannot make you study. Respect others, respect yourself.

The fourth lesson, the 7th form. Ready? Let’s start. Headache? Go to the nurse. Video film – Past Simple and Past Continuous. Discuss the differences. Do exercises. Draw the timeline. Make up a story using pictures.

The fifth lesson, the 10th form. Defining and non-defining clauses, punctuation. Phrasal verbs, opinion adjectives. Presentation for next time – Street Art, 8-10 slides, pavement artists, buskers, live statues.

Time to go – Andrew’s Day. Already started. Beautiful! Christmas tree, traditional Ukrainian costumes, songs, jokes, “kalita” (can you bite it?), games. Borsch and dumplings, buns with the names hidden inside, What? “Arsenii?” You don’t know who is it? It may be your sweetheart in the future.

Rehearsal, at last. Put aside PSP, please, we perform in a week. Speak up, I don’t hear. Why? You loved this song, please do sing. Hungry? Supper is soon. Home task? Maybe, forgot.

Time to go home. Think what to do first. Maybe, finish the draft of the research paper, then articles. Have some tea. Check emails. Respond to some. Start with the draft. Choose the pictures. Write articles about yesterday’s conference and Andrew’s Day. Put the articles and photos on school website. Print them out for display. Hungry? Let’s have omelet. And tea. Some fruit. Don’t forget about Skyping with sister. Phone? Whose mom? Yes, he didn’t have his copybook. Said it was at home. Was late for the lesson. Sure, tomorrow will do.

11.30. Time to go to bed. I (a wife, mother, sister, daughter, teacher, class monitor, post graduate student, Newsletter editor) finish my day, the 13th of December.

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