Just perusing my social media feed, minding my own business, when what do I spy? A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who also served in Ukraine posted a link to Peace Corps’ Fall 2013 volunteer opportunities, and it is using a photo of me and my awesome 8B class!
The photo was taken during a special lesson. I was chosen from my region’s volunteers to give a demonstration lesson with my counterpart during Deputy Director of Peace Corps’ Carrie Hessler-Radelet’s visit to Ukraine.
We wanted to show part of our typical lessons together, not the stylized performance that can happen when officials and other important people visit. Not only did we have this special audience, but we had to contend with it being our first day back from winter break. Nerves and rusty brains – how could we let our students shine?
My counterpart and I had decided we would do a quick warm-up activity remembering words that begin with a letter of the alphabet, which is what the photo above depicts. Then we would make ‘fortune tellers‘ (or as I know them cootie catchers) as a fun way to remember and practice some basic words as well as future tense.
The requisite group photo. That’s me in the middle with my counterpart and director at either side. Then on either side of them are our visitors from the U.S., the deputy director of Peace Corps and the Ukraine country desk administrator. Then on the far left is my regional manager and on the far right is the in-country director for Peace Corps Ukraine. I love that someone noticed and thought to have us take a photo in front of my favorite mural in the school.
We felt so proud to be able to successfully share a little of what we do together in our corner of Ukraine and to have the opportunity to meet with people working in the administration of Peace Corps. It was nice for my counterpart, director, and I to take time together when they came to visit to reflect on the good that we had accomplished together.
Seeing Peace Corps use a photo from their visit to my site in Ukraine was another opportunity to stop, reflect, and remember the wonderful learning moments we had together in the classroom. It got me to revisit my photos, and my former students had fun feeling a little famous from seeing our work together featured on a website.