Mary’s week was quite another animal. First off, we bypassed the First Bell ceremony altogether and went to the forest for a picnic. The courtyard of the school is not large enough to accommodate all of the students and parents, so many teachers had alternate plans for that time slot.
After a great day getting to know the kids in her class in a relaxed setting, we set off for school Tuesday morning ready for work. And work it was.
Mary’s core subjects include Math, History (ancient this year), Ukrainian, Ukrainian Literature, German, English, Science/Geography, and ‘Foreign Literature’. She also has classes in Art, Music, P.E., Swimming, Ethics, Handwork, Health, and Knowledge of Other Countries (this is about England since the kids are learning English).
So we spent Tuesday through Friday finding each class (German had three different locations this week), getting down each teacher’s name, and just getting a sense of what was going on in that class. She’ll have seven class periods each day, and the order of the subjects varies every day.
The teachers have been gracious enough to let me (Donna) sit in on a lot of the classes, which has been quite an experience. The kids have been great and are very open to Mary. It was so encouraging to see when the kids saw the English teacher for the first time; they went running up to her, boys and girls alike, and gave her hugs and were so excited to see her.
We did have to laugh when, after Mary did her German homework for Wednesday, she was able to answer in class. Her first experience in participating in class was in a class where she had met the language for the first time the day before and was answering in class in totally new context the next day.
I am continuing to sit in on her Ukrainian language class. It’ll be a while before she feels more comfortable there, even though she did the homework and was ready to give some of her answers today. We met with a tutor Thursday after school and this will be a big help. Not only will she be getting Mary up to speed academically, she’ll be helping Mary get her footing in Ukrainian period. Mary has only ever studied Russian, and that not very formally, even though she understands what’s said to her and can communicate to some degree.
She was smiling when she came in today and although there were discouraging and scary moments during the week, she is not hesitant to go back on Monday. We are so thankful for what the Lord is and will be doing in her life these next months.