Jul 10, 2020

Summer Academy Through the Eyes of a Student

Aylin's photo: personal archive
Aylin's photo: personal archive

The student Aylin talks about what Teach For Bulgaria’s Summer Academy means to her and why she is going for the 8th year in a row

My name is Aylin and I just finished 9th grade. I first enrolled in the adventure called Summer Academy right after I finished second grade. I was very little, quite curious, and I’d always loved school. After the first year I begged my mom to sign me up for this adventure every single summer. And when I finished 7th grade I was able to register myself.

The Summer Academy helped me make new friends and get to know myself better. I still talk to teachers and classmates I’ve met throughout the years, even if we don’t live in the same neighborhood or town. I met Mr. Stoev in 6th grade. He was my class teacher and taught math. For the three weeks we spent together we learned how to be young architects and created a model of 90th school in Sofia where the academy was. When I was in 7th grade and I had to pass my external evaluation exams Mr. Stoev helped me a lot with my math problems. I saw him again last summer at the conference “The Adventure: It’s Up to Me”. We worked together again and I remembered how much I enjoyed being his student. 

"What I like about Teach For Bulgaria is that they show new and interesting teaching techniques to engage students."  

As an example I would point out the jar with colorful wooden sticks. Our names are written on separate sticks and when the teacher has to pick someone to answer the question, they draw a stick from the jar. There is a moment of anticipation while the teacher fiddles with the sticks which could be quite fun. At my school (editor’s note: 97 Secondary School “Brothers Miladinov”), we have more than 5 teachers who have completed Teach For Bulgaria’s program. The way they teach inspires students to learn. Their presence and the way they communicate with us makes us happy.  I believe that Teach For Bulgaria’s Summer Academy can help students a lot, if they struggled with some subjects during remote learning. This is an opportunity which can give us a lot, if we take advantage of it. The last thing I would like to share with you is that the anticipation and excitement I feel when I think that I’ll get to participate in yet another Summer Academy are still there and they get stronger every year.

We are very grateful to Aylin for sharing why she decided to participate in this year’s Summer Academy. Classes were booked in a record time, but you can still support us. Thank you for your continuous support! 

With gratitude,

Teach For Bulgaria

Aylin with Mr. Stoev and other students
Aylin with Mr. Stoev and other students

Links:

Jul 7, 2020

What Are TFB Teachers Going to Do This Summer?

TFB teachers
TFB teachers

We wanted to share some prevacation inspiration from Teach For Bulgaria’s community. Take a look at what some of our current participants have planned for the summer.

Teachers at First Primary School “Georgi Bakalov” in Stara Zagora

Why a summer school for 21st century skills?
Around the same time last year the 5 teachers from First Primary School “Georgi Bakalov” in Stara Zagora realized that they weren’t able to dedicate enough time to building their students’ 21st century skills in the classroom.

They decided to organize a two-week summer school to focus on: Creative thinking Teamwork; Emotional Intelligence; Reading literacy.

The 3 key elements of the summer school are:

  • All activities take place outside in the open in the villages of Zmeyovo and Hrishcheni where most of the students live;
  • The teachers use the method of gamification;
  • All parents are included in the planning, organization, and execution of the summer school activities.
  • Each of the 5 teachers plans a full day of activities dedicated to one of the 4 skills. The fifth day is dedicated to the community spirit so parents, students, and teachers enjoy a nice picnic with homemade food while playing team building games together.

Yavor’s School Newspaper

Yavor is an English teacher at Secondary School “Neofit Rilski” in the town of Dolna Banya and a first-year participant in Teach For Bulgaria’s “A New Way to Teaching” program.

Why a school newspaper?
When Yavor started teaching in Dolna Banya he realized that there was no school newspaper. In his work Yavor strives not only to teach his ESL curriculum but also to help his students develop a variety of skills such as: Writing; Reading; Critical thinking; Media literacy; Entrepreneurship; Teamwork; Social-emotional skills.

Yavor’s school newspaper summer project meets these particular needs. He wants to involve as many students as possible and work in collaboration with colleagues and local journalists, so his project is going to benefit the entire community.

Thank you for your continuous support!

Teach For Bulgaria Team

Links:

Jul 6, 2020

A look ahead for Bulgarian as a second language

Dear Teach For Bulgaria supporters, 

The past few months have been very challenging for the education community across the world. Schools in Bulgaria had to transition to remote learning in just two days, regardless of how prepared or ready they were for it. This allowed for many of the inequalities and social injustices to surface.  

Students whose first language is not Bulgarian are among the most affected ones. First of all, because in most cases they come from poor communities and do not have the resources (internet access or smart devices) to participate in the process of remote learning. Second of all, because even in a traditional classroom setting students who do not speak Bulgarian at home need additional academic support. 

This is why we are pleased to share the progress we have made on our project for the development of a methodology and teaching resources for additional language support for bilingual primary school students. We have partnered with the NGO EducArt for this project. This partnership and the challenges presented by COVID-19 can only motivate us to work even harder towards our mission to help bilingual students and their teachers. 

The infographics attached to this report as links can give you more information about the progress we have made over the past few months and what lies ahead of us. 

This coming autumn we will resume our fundraising efforts to promote this campaign with the aim of ensuring the successful completion of this project. With the gained knowledge, expertise and experience on the topic of language support for bilingual primary students we are also aiming to disseminate best practices and useful resources among all teachers and students in the education system in Bulgaria! 

To illustrate the importance of this project, we wanted to inspire you by sharing the story of Velichka Ivanova, a teacher in the Razgrad region of Bulgaria.Through open communication and teacher-parent collaboration Velichka found a way to encourage her student Nuri to improve his Bulgarian language skills and to practice at home. Nuri loves cooking, so Velichka thought it would be a good idea for him to try to follow tasty recipes with his sister at home. The recipes were in Bulgarian, so to complete them properly Nuri had to learn new words and phrases and feel more confident to communicate in Bulgarian which ultimately also led to better cooking skills. Learning by doing something he really enjoyed helped Nuri so much that he became one of the most active students during the remote learning period. Find out more about Nuri and Velichka here

We sincerely thank you for your continuous support for this project which goes a long way towards ensuring equal access to quality education for every child in Bulgaria! We hope you will continue to support this project and help us reach as many teachers and students as possible. 

Wishing you good health and high spirits!

Teach For Bulgaria Team

Links:

 
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