Hello from Kiev, Ukraine!
First, I want to thank you for your continued prayers throughout my time here in Ukraine. I also enjoy hearing from you, whether it is a card in the mail, an email, or a simple Facebook message.
In this update, I thought I would give you a glimpse of what my day to day life looks like.
Each morning I wake up around 6 am and prepare to leave for school. After riding the bus for 20-25 minutes, I get there around 7:30am, which gives me plenty of time to do last minute preparations for my classes. My first class isn't until around 9:15am (2nd period), so I spend that time looking over notes and lesson plans, and making photocopies if necessary. Sometimes I consult other teachers on instructional ideas or ways to help particular students.
I teach 3 classes in a row, and they are all math classes. My students come from America, Korea, Holland, Canada, and Taiwan, and a number of them have been adopted from Ukraine or Russia. During second period, I teach all the 6th graders. This class has 14 students. After a short break, I teach geometry to 13 ninth and tenth grade students. This class is the most challenging for me, because I have never been very good at proofs and my lowest grade in high school math was in geometry; I also must make a lot of accommodations in this class for various kinds of learners. My last "real" class of the day is Algebra 2, during 4th period, just before lunch. This class has 12 students, mostly 11th graders, but there are some sophomores and seniors.
Teaching a lesson to Algebra 2
My lunches typically are leftovers (yum!), sandwiches, or hot Ukrainian meals prepared by a woman named Zoya.
During 5th and 6th periods, I generally plan for the next day(s), create overhead transparencies, grade homework, or make photocopies. The past two weeks I have begun Russian language lessons during 5th period on Wednesdays with another teacher. During 7th period, I supervise some high school students during their study hall, and often end up answering math questions.
When the students are dismissed, I continue working on more grading and preparation (the work never seems to be finished!) until I am ready to go back to my apartment. Once there, I prepare dinner, do a little more schoolwork, watch TV episodes online, and/or clean and do laundry.
My weekends generally consist of attending KCA soccer games, relaxing at home, visiting friends, going to church, and catching up on school work. This weekend I was at Evie's for a sleepover with most of the 9th grade girls--our lunchtime discipleship group. I enjoyed hanging out with them, seeing them outside of school, and watching Pride and Prejudice with them.
Most of the middle/high school students at Fall Retreat
If you would like to see photos of some of my students, my surroundings, and the school, feel free to visit my Facebook page, including the photo links that are on the right of this blog page.
*That I would continue to learn to "Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always." (Psalm 105)
*Upcoming medical relief/evangelism trip to the Philippines--the team consists of 12 from Ukraine (missionaries, Ukrainians, and doctors), along with a group from Susanville, CA
*Provision of the last bit of my funds--the most recent total is $8,647.29.
*Safe return to Ukraine for missionaries Cliff and Heike
*A wonderful sleepover at the Keatings with most of the 9th grade girls
*A working kolonka (hot water heater that also heats our apartment)!
Thank you again for all your support!