‘New Generation School Teacher’ project is my cup of hot lemonade on a winter day in Lviv. A metaphor.

I’ve been a teacher for a while and I like flattering myself that teaching is my cup of tea. It’s an ongoing life-changing experience where challenges should be seen as opportunities, whereas changes as inevitabilities. Actually, teaching should involve letting a fresh challenge become a refreshing change. And it just dawned on me on a lonely winter evening.

I was in the middle of an elaborate process of choosing the perfect cup of tea which will warm me up. My experience told me to choose the traditional black tea, its strong flavour would immediately lift my spirit. I was arduously studying the long list of different types of tea, weighing which would produce what specific effect.

Then I saw the word ‘lemonade’ and laughed to myself. I thought who on earth would want a lemonade in winter?! It’s cold enough outside to make it even colder. And then, just below lemonade, there was ‘hot lemonade.’ Come on, this is ridiculous, hot sweetened lemon juice, who on earth thought of it?!

I turned to the long list of black teas. That list was my comfort zone. I knew there would be no surprises, just the usual trustworthy cup of tea. However, the idea of making a change gripped me and I couldn’t get rid of it. How can I judge the effectiveness of something if I don’t try it? Why do I have to laugh away an idea without experiencing it?
So I ordered hot lemonade. I went upstairs and sat down at the window. Lviv was still cold and white and my lemonade was hot and yellow. I took the first sip and felt the thrill of novelty. It was unusually refreshing. It was different from the quite tiresome obviousness of black tea. It was sour sweet, it was pleasant with an acid overtone. It was a way of approaching Lviv differently.

I knew that change was something to look forward to. I knew that once the change was embraced there was no way back. I knew that teaching can be a cup of hot lemonade, too. And it’s up to me to add a few mint leaves or not. I just should give it a try. Now I have to continue my active experimentation. Though it’s very difficult, I have to admit.

These are some of my underlying beliefs )))

hot lemonade mint

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When teachers make mistakes

I always look for ways to make the learning process more inspiring. It turns quite challenging to actually motivate learners. Sometimes they seem to be so disconnected and bored that you might be on the point to give up. Yet, cracking a joke and making a radical change always help.

However, there’s another motivational strategy one should consider applying. I’ve discovered that students get extremely satisfied when they manage to trace a mistake a teacher has made. Their satisfaction is hard to describe. They feel so empowered and, above all, so inspired that one might seriously consider making mistakes more often.

So instead of shaming students, one should actually encourage to openly criticize the teacher, and to look for mistakes. The idea is that learners should not look at the teacher as the ultimate source of information, but rather as a source to challenge.

Learning will be great fun if learners are detectives who investigate, question, discover. Pure heaven 🙂

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Nowadays there are so many methods to facilitate the learning process. They are all worth considering and worth using in the classroom, at least to take the risk to try one to see if it works. However, what made me think was to what degree the socio-cultural context is taken into consideration.

We often get over-enthusiastic about a certain approach and apply it unconditionally, and love it so much, but is it really helping our students? What if the students do not want it? Sometimes, the educator is totally convinced that his/her approach is the best ever (in developing certain skills). Yet, being so in love with the approach he/she does not manage to understand the students’ resistance and lack of motivation. What to do then?

I was surprised today to discover that what was meant to be a collaboration turned into ‘you do your bit and don’t bother about the rest’. During a workshop (which caused quite a lot of confusion at first as I couldn’t understand what exactly it was about), students believed that I was one of them. So they didn’t bother to explain to me what the task was all about. I was, in fact, bothering them with questions, yet they weren’t able to explain anything to me.

On top of everything I think I was quite a nuisance to them as I insisted on knowing what the others were planning to say. However, all my attempts were in vain, and what killed me was ‘Don’t fret that much. We always do like this. Just read your part’.

I accepted the rules of their game. But I swear to God I experienced one of the most awkward moments ever. So I was standing in front having to say what I was supposed to say without even knowing what the others would say. So I discovered that together with the audience. To say that I was confused is to say nothing. (But I assume confusion is my state of being.) Yet, the thing that crossed my mind that very moment was a quote I once came across. It said that one can make a person unhappy, even if the latter doesn’t want to. But one can’t make a person happy if the latter doesn’t want to.

So education is also a matter of choice. Students want to embrace a change and see its benefits, or refuse to see anything positive and focus exclusively on drawbacks. And I think that this resistance is closely related to the socio-cultural context one lives in.

I don’t know. But how to help students see the obvious, the light, if they keep their eyes shut. Probably educators should follow Churchill’s advice: ‘Never, never, never give up’. Good luck to me and to everybody. There’s a looooong way ahead. Let’s enjoy the process. 🙂

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present tenses

One lives, the other’s living.
One sighs, the other’s sighing.
One dreams, the other’s dreaming.
Both feel
One painfully, the other randomly.

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It’s been an interesting year and I’m grateful for everything that it has given to me. I don’t know what 2017 has planned for me but I’m ready for everything it has there. I know that everything depends on the perspective I’m looking at things. So if I’m down, I’ll see it as a tragedy, if I’m up to the sky I’ll see it as a blessing. That’s why I want positive thinking more than else in the coming year, because if I think positive, positive things happen to me, otherwise it’s a total collapse. I need to temper my moody character, but then this is what makes me unique 🙂 I am happy that I managed to understand this particular trait of mine and embrace it. It’s difficult to wait but not impossible. I wonder if the year of the rooster will bring more patience to me 🙂 If not, please have patience with me 🙂 Love and blessings to everyone I know and to those I’m going to know in the coming year.

I don’t wish the same to the others as I strongly believe that each person has their own needs.  That is why I always wish to people  what they wish to themselves. Happy New Year!!! 🙂


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orbiţi, surzi şi mutilaţi,
înecîndu-se în marea indiferenţei,
oamenilor le e frică de oameni…

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Reasoning :)

There are things that get to me. Things seemingly unrelated to me, because they do not involve me or any of the people I love and care about directly. Yet, they make me extremely sad. I’ve recently noticed that, as a rule, such things involve my inability to understand the reasons that lie behind certain actions, words, unspoken silences. So, instead of ignoring what should be ignored I start spending a lot of energy trying to understand the whats and whys of I don’t know what. And, as a rule, I end up again and again angry with myself for persisting in wasting my time in vain. But maybe instead of being angry, I should accept this stubbornness of mine, as, after all, I should be stubborn like this for a reason. Consequently, as I can’t understand its reason why shall I fret about other reasons when everything happens for a reason. Thus, it becomes useless to reason with myself when there’s no reason at all in doing it as what happens for a reason does not involve my reason, but somebody else’s reason. I’m not even mentioning the cases when I can’t understand MY reason, as I see absolutely no reason in reasoning like this. I think it’s reasonable enough for a lazy Sunday afternoon 🙂

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