Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers

by Teach For Bulgaria/Zaedno v chas
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Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers
Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers
Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers
Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers
Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers
Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers
Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers
Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers
Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers
Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers
Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers
Angelina during TFB's Summer Academy
Angelina during TFB's Summer Academy

Today, we meet you with three teachers with three different stories about the challenges of teaching during a pandemic and their decision to become teachers by joining Teach For Bulgaria’s program.

Angelina was born and raised in the region of Veliko Tarnovo. She currently lives in the small town of Lyaskovets. Angelina has a BA in social pedagogy and has worked as a social worker at a crisis center for victims of abuse and human trafficking. She has also been a volunteer in a mentorship program for children without parental care. She is a mother of two.

Aysel is an artist at heart. She fell in love with music as a child and has used every medium of artistic self-expression ever since. Born and raised in Bulgaria’s capital city, she studied audio engineering at New Bulgarian University and is currently a member of several rock bands. She is also a piano teacher, a vocal coach, and works at a TV network. Aysel has toured outside of Bulgaria as well.

Karina was born in Armenia a little over two decades ago, but her family moved to Bulgaria when she was only two years old. She grew up in Stara Zagora and studied marketing at the University of National and World Economy. Karina lived in Asia for a short period of time after graduation, but decided to come back to Bulgaria.

Teaching as a source of meaning

Thanks to her experience as a social worker, Angelina realized that children need to be supported by someone who will not just teach them how to read, write, and do arithmetic, but will also believe in their talents and abilities. This conviction was only confirmed when her two children started school. Once she saw the impact teachers have on children’s lives, Angelina decided to become a teacher in order to help her future students grow.

“Children are like a mirror: if you believe in them, they’ll start believing in themselves and they’ll try to prove you are right. If you don’t believe in them, they will sense this and stop trying,” Angelina says. She has been working as a primary teacher at Secondary School “Vladimir Komarov” in Veliko Tarnovo since September of 2019."

Education as a conscious choice and a worthy cause

Aysel is a primary teacher as well, but she also has music classes with students in 5th and 6th grade at 202nd Primary School “Hristo Botev” in the village of Dolni Pasarel near Sofia. She agrees with Angelina.

“No matter what defence mechanisms parents or children have, they eventually respond positively to your efforts, because if you approach them in a positive way in order to help, they will sense that,” says Aysel."

Aysel adheres to the national curriculum in her classes, but she also tries to develop her students’ critical thinking and communication skills. This is why she was genuinely happy to receive a call from the mother of a student who wanted to tell her about how mature her son had become. The mother and the boy had an argument, but he called her half an hour later and asked her if they could resolve the issue together.

“Teaching makes you face your own self,” Aysel says, “I am aware that I would also like to learn many of the things I explain to my students: not to be afraid to make mistakes, to have more patience… My coordinator (editor’s note: a coordinator in the context of our program is someone who provides teachers with professional support) helped me survive in the beginning because it was a huge shock, especially if you work with first graders. Then you suddenly realize what a huge responsibility it is to be all by yourself in the classroom. This is what I like about the program, they make us feel less alone, they’re always there, looking out for us, asking us what we need and providing us with plenty of opportunities to meet and talk.

The desire to find meaning in her work brings Karina into the program as well.

She first heard about Teach For Bulgaria as a university student. Her involvement with AIESEC’s initiative “Business in Action” exposed her to Teach For Bulgaria’s work. She even visited the office of the organization to learn more about Teach For Bulgaria’s marketing strategy, but what she discovered was a lot more than she was hoping for.

Karina also worked at an advertising agency as a student. She decided to travel across Asia with a friend after graduation because she wanted to challenge herself by being away from her friends, family, and familiar culture. After approximately 4 months of travel across Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia Karina came back to Bulgaria and dedicated the following 6 months to figuring out what she wanted to do professionally.

“My motivation to become a teacher is that in this role I can do something meaningful, something which can have a positive impact on many people. I wanted to work with communities with limited resources and no access to quality education because they are the ones who need this kind of support the most,” says Karina who currently works as a primary teacher at Primary School “Georgi Benkovski” in the village of Manolovo, Pavel Banya municipality.

Angelina, Aysel, and Karina’s life trajectories couldn’t be more different. What unites their stories is that they have all decided to go back to school, but this time as teachers, and they have all chosen to do so as part of Teach For Bulgaria’s program called “A New Way to Teaching”. Read their whole stories here.

Thank you for your continues support!

With gratitude,

Teach For Bulgaria

Aysel with her colleagues
Aysel with her colleagues
Karina at Teach For Bulgaria's office
Karina at Teach For Bulgaria's office
Aysel gives a speech at TFB's Summer Institute
Aysel gives a speech at TFB's Summer Institute

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The new class of 2020-2022
The new class of 2020-2022

The organization will partner with schools in 6 new regions of Bulgaria: Varna, Burgas, Targovishte, Shumen, Sliven, and Yambol

Over 150 teachers from Teach For Bulgaria’s “A New Way to Teaching” program are going to teach in 18 regions of the country during the new school year. The new motivated first-year teachers are 113. They are part of the 10th class of participants in the program. The second-year program participants are 39. 

The new participants in Teach For Bulgaria’s program are professionals with diverse experience. They have gone through a rigorous selection process and have been chosen among 3000 applicants. Some of them are engineers, architects, economists, and university graduates from prestigious Bulgarian and international universities. The teachers will work with students from first to twelfth grade. They will teach different subjects, but the highest demand is for math, foreign languages, and primary school teachers. 

“We know that this will be a challenging school year for the educational community and we are excited to be able to support so many new and motivated teachers in their first steps towards helping their students. We are also very happy that the year we celebrate our 10th anniversary is also the year we expand to 6 new regions. This class of participants has already been through many challenges, even before the start of the school year, and this has helped our new teachers learn how to teach regardless of whether it is distance learning or in person instruction. They have learned how to find the best options for their students in collaboration with their colleagues at school,” commented Trayan Trayanov, CEO of Teach For Bulgaria.

Teach For Bulgaria's mission is to work long-term towards providing quality education to every child in Bulgaria by developing new teachers, supporting school staff, and building partnerships in order to introduce best practices to the educational community. 

Over the past 10 years, more than 400 new teachers have participated in Teach for Bulgaria's "A New Way to Teaching" program. They receive professional support to work with students from vulnerable communities and get to know the challenges to our educational system during the two-year program. Over 80% of these teachers continue to work in education as teachers, principals, experts, etc.

Thanks to the support of each of you we manage to get one step closer to fulfilling our goal to provide quality education to underpriviliged children.

Our generous supporter Bogomil Balkansky will match all recurring donations. Listen to what he has to say in the link below and join our group of recurring donors now!

With gratitude,

Teach For Bulgaria

 

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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

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Or how civil engineer Dzhani decided to roll up his sleeves and build his own future in the classroom as a math teacher

Dzhani seems to be one of those lucky people whose career has pretty much been chosen for him. Born into the family of an engineer with his own construction company and an older brother who had already followed in the footsteps of his father, the most natural thing for Dzhani was to follow their lead. He graduated from Vocational High School of Electronics “John Atanasoff” and then from the University of Civil Engineering and Architecture “Lyuben Karavelov” in Sofia.

“I was surrounded by blueprints at home. It was fascinating to see my father and older brother in action – designing an apartment building or working on a university project… More or less, that was how I decided to follow in their footsteps,” Dzhani explains his initial career choice.  

But when he was still a high school student Dzhani discovered yet another source of inspiration – “motivated teachers” and “a wonderful class teacher”. He thought that perhaps someday he might work in education. This idea, inspired by his dedicated teachers, however, had to be put on the backburner. Dzhani got his degree in civil engineering and worked in his father’s construction company for a few years. He was happy, but something was missing. The inspiration he felt in the classroom was still there. Looking back, he realized that as a high school and university student he always helped his classmates, loved explaining and showing them how to solve problems, or reassured them, if anyone felt like they didn’t understand or wouldn’t be able to do something. 

The decision to apply for Teach For Bulgaria’s program seemed only natural to him – a way to pursue the dream he had in high school. 

To his friends, however, this drastic career change was quite surprising. 

“At first my friends asked me how I came to that decision, why I would choose to work for next to nothing, so on and so forth. They thought it was strange that I would go from working as a civil engineer in my father’s company and potentially helping him grow our family business to teaching. Some of them still don’t get it even though they saw it for themselves and told me they had never heard me talk about my job with such passion before.” 

According to Dzhani, Teach For Bulgaria participants are motivated and do not give up easily. He demonstrated the same perseverance when, despite the disapproval of his closest friends, he joined Teach For Bulgaria’s class of 2017-2019. Dzhani taught math and IT at 170 Secondary School “Vasil Levski” in the village of Novi Iskar for two years.  

 2017-2019

Dzhani with some of his colleagues from Teach For Bulgaria class of 2017-2019

Perseverance Is Key

As a beginner teacher Dzhani felt strongly supported by his colleagues at school. He also found much needed support in Teach For Bulgaria’s community of participants and team members. Working with students, however, motivated him the most. That was why he decided to keep teaching even after completing Teach For Bulgaria’s two-year program. He currently teaches math and IT at 97 Secondary School “Brothers Miladinov” in the neighborhood of Lyulin, Sofia. He still talks about his work and the commitment to stay in education with the same passion with which he once talked to his friends about making the right choice by becoming a teacher:

“This whole experience at school, we say it’s exhausting, at times difficult, and demotivating while it actually is wonderful… I have never felt as rewarded as I feel at school – when my students succeed and I know I have somehow contributed to their success. I stayed in the education system because I have a lot of unfinished work. I have a lot more to learn. I want nobody to feel ignored or lost in my class. I want to have the power to change the curriculum and the way we assess students. I want my team of fellow teachers to be strong and openly communicating about any educational issues. I want students to know why they come to school and go home with a sense of accomplishment. I want to be part of the change.”

Learn more about another inspiring math teacher, Georgi.

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Dear friends and supporters of Teach For Bulgaria,

We wish you happy holidays and a great new 2020! Let it be full of peace, prosperity and inspiration! 

Thank you for your contribution to our project ''Support Teach For Bulgaria Teachers''. With your help we continue to work in some of Bulgaria's most high-need schools and comunities, where most children lack access to quality education due to factors like their ethnicity, family structure, level of education attained by their parents, and their family's financial situation. By supporting us, you are supporting TFB teachers and you are unabling students' success in the classroom and beyond. 

Thank you for believig in our cause! We are excited to continue to support access to quality education for every child in Bulgaria with your help in 2020! 

 

Best wishes from

Teach For Bulgaria Team

 
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Organization Information

Teach For Bulgaria/Zaedno v chas

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria - Bulgaria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @zaednovchas
Project Leader:
Anjela Deyanska
Sofia, Bulgaria
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