Once I got back from the weekend in Krakow, my last week of volunteering began. I continued to work with the two remedial classes on basic vocabulary and word pronunciation. It’s been incredible to see how much they’ve improved in only 3 short weeks! I started helping them work on some very basic conversation skills, just so they could start to gain confidence in using what they’ve learned in a different setting! My after school program is still my favorite (don’t tell any of my other classes though!). They’re a bunch of hard workers, but still have the most fun. Being greeted by the door by 40 smiling, giggling, screaming kids is really the best part of my day. I love seeing them so excited about learning English…it makes it all the more rewarding.
We had the incredible opportunity to attend the elementary school’s Mother’s Day performance (on the 26th of May, which is Mother’s Day in Poland). There was singing, dancing, poetry, and speeches from the kids to their moms. Although there was only one part in English, you could just feel the love from these kids. It was awesome to see how many moms took the day off of work in order to come see these kids perform!
I started bringing my camera everywhere as I realized that I only had a little bit of time left to capture all my memories with these beautiful kids. I would have to say that I just adored taking pictures of the kindergarteners. Looking at these photos, I can see each one’s unique personality.
The after school program kids decided that class just wasn’t enough time for us to hang out, so they planned a bonfire! It was hosted by the family of one of the students, and was an awesome night including a chocolate fountain, delicious pastries, a cake, tons of candy, plenty of kielbasa, and lots of fun. These kids are definitely the group that I’ve enjoyed working with the most (shhh don’t tell the others :P). We played quite a bit of soccer, jumped on the trampoline, ate until we thought we were going to burst, and laughed more than I thought was possible. It was quite the rainy evening, but a little rain couldn’t keep us down!
My last day teaching in Poland started at the kindergarten, where I decided to share one of my favorite books from when I was little (If You Give A Mouse A Cookie!). All the kids absolutely loved it, and they kept asking me if I could bring cookies the next time I come!
I read a book about colors to the 2 and 3 year olds, and (most of them) were interested. It’s exciting to see the kids recognizing, repeating, and remembering the words that I’ve spent the past 2 weeks working on!
After finishing the lessons for the day, the principal gathered all my classes together into one room for a group picture. Honestly, I didn’t realize how many kids I was working with until they were all in one room. I was very impressed with how this picture turned out…we actually managed to capture almost everyone as they were kind of paying attention. (As I’m sure everyone knows, kids don’t sit still for long!). It was sad to leave, but I received some very thoughtful gifts and mementos that I will cherish as reminders of my time with these kids.
I then went to Siedlce for my middle/high school classes in the afternoon. It was a BEAUTIFUL day, so I decided to have my classes outside in the courtyard. All the kids loved playing Heads Up, which was a great way to get them to practice vocabulary, while still letting them use conversation skills and full sentences!
I’ve loved every second I’ve spent here in Poland, and will remember it forever. I’m sad to be leaving, thankful for the experience, and full of Polish food (and already searching for a place to get pierogi near home!). So lucky to be a Global Volunteer!