Friday, February 25, 2011

Michelle • Voronezh • 2010

I loved teaching the kindergarten in Voronezh, Russia. My students were all just so cute and I was amazed to see how much they learned over the semester! I had one particular student, a tiny 4-year-old girl named Dasha, that I will never forget!

All semester long, we had the hardest time getting Dasha to focus. She would just lean back in her chair and her eyes would glaze over and she'd be off in outer space. Anytime we tried to get her to speak, she'd just shake her head and in her tiny little voice say, "No!" We were so frustrated that Dasha was our only student that didn't seem to be improving in the slightest, despite all of the attention we'd been giving her.

One day, when we had about one month left, we were going through our opening routine. We would start out every day with the calendar, doing the day of the week, the month, and what day it was that month. I held up our calendar chart and pointed to Tuesday and asked the kids, "Is it Tuesday?"

I had barely gotten the question out when Dasha suddenly shouts, "No, it's not Tuesday!" The other kindergarten teacher and I were shocked--it was as if a rock had spoken!

The rest of the semester, Dasha was still a little space cadet, but she was speaking so much more than before! It was so much fun to see her improve and it was so hard to leave at the end of the semester!


SuSiE hArRiS said...

I love Dasha.. she is amazing. She was one of my students as well this last Fall. She is learning how to focus more and she was actually helping the newer students. I want to go back someday to Voronezh... I love that city and the people so much!

Michelle Peterson said...

Isn't she the funniest little kid ever? Loved her so much! I miss Voronezh so bad!

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