Rima Janazian, a volunteer from the US, worked with Haykuhi Hovhannisyan in our Northern School for two weeks and now she has written her impressions about our school.
My first two weeks at Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educomplex have been interesting, in a positive way. I have witnessed concerts, plays, bicycle rides, dance rehearsals, friendly interactions, modern technology, plants, a lot of art, and interactive classroom settings, all inside of the schools. It is a very different educational environment, compared to many, but especially the post-soviet educational environments that Armenia is so full of. Although I do not have the experience at the other institutions to compare them to, the kids at Sebastatsi seem to be happy all of the time. The environment and the staff have a lot to do with this. For me, coordinators Maral and Knar have helped to make my introductory process at the school less difficult than I had imagined. They are valuable additions to Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educomplex.
My first day was great. I found every aspect of the school inspiring, from the independent and free-willed children to the artistic architectural setup. The walls are covered in paintings and there are plants all around for everyone to water. The elementary school located above the middle-high school has tree branches hanging from the ceiling, which they decorate for Christmas and Easter with ornaments. Cool, right? I have seen nothing like it before.
I have been able to witness grades 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 in a classroom environment at Sebastatsi Educomplex. There are two schools, one for grades 1-5, and the other school is for grades 6+. Helping to give these kids English lessons has been both difficult and encouraging. The education is technology based, thus every child is responsible for having their own computer to read from and write in. The children do their homework assignments through these computers by blogging and making videos. This makes the process fun and exciting. The English lessons for the older kids (grades 6-12) are given for about one hour each day while the younger (elementary grades) have the lessons three times a week for 20 minutes a day. Mrs. Haykuhi, the English teacher at the Elementary school, works with the kids through song, dance, and play. Some of the songs being Old McDonald, the ABC song, and the Good Morning song. The older students learn their lessons for the day, and blog about it.
I mainly work at the elementary school, where I help Mrs. Haykuhi. She is a fun and compassionate teacher who everyone loves. Besides being a great English teacher, Mrs. Haykuhi is a Sensai, Karate teacher, and wonderful mother. All of the educators at the school are involved and well rounded in the arts, which is one of the many reasons that the school is so successful and fun. When English lessons have been done for the day, I have helped children with special needs like Lilit, Davit, Daniel, and Samvel with individual english lessons. The classrooms, students, and teachers make it easy for children with special needs to interact comfortably in normal school settings. Sebastatsi teaches the kids how to love one another equally. All of these aspects come together to make the school special and unique. It is encouraging to see changes like these because it not only creates a special and unique educational system but a special and unique Armenia.