Yuliya Georgieva: Every Child Has a Right to Quality Education
An interview of Novinite with Yuliya Georgieva, Transformational Teacher in Teach for Bulgaria.
Teach for Bulgaria [Zaedno v Chas] is a non-governmental organization which was founded and supported by America For Bulgaria Foundation in July 2010 to facilitate equal access for every child in Bulgaria to a quality education by adapting the model of the Teach For All network, which has been successful in more than 30 other countries.
The team is made up of young professionals with various background and experience who are willing to become public school teachers and to contribute to the development of education in Bulgaria.
All selected candidates undergo intensive training after which they are appointed for two years in a school, which according to their preferences may be situated in a big city, a small town or even a village.
Yuliya Georgieva is one of those young enthusiastic teachers who have devoted their time and knowledge to the improvement of the school system in Bulgaria. She has a Master's degree in Russian Philology and is fluent in Russian, English and French.
What has motivated a young professional like you to become a teacher in Teach for Bulgaria?
Two years ago I participated in a European Union educational project in Finland. The situation in their schools is quite different from that in Bulgaria. Our children also have the right to access better teaching methods and can achieve excellent results, too. When I found out about Teach for Bulgaria and their cause, it immediately occurred to me that this is how things can improve. I found it interesting, challenging and worth-while. In my family, education has always been valued and I want to share this positive attitude toward learning with my students. Despite all the difficulties I have had in the past two years, I do not regret making this decision at all.
What kind of problems did you encounter at school, did reality come up to your expectations?
Each of us works in a different environment and faces different problems. For me they stem mainly from the fact that I teach English to 150 children of different ages and I am not always able to give each of them my undivided attention. Things happen a lot easier when we have the support of the parents. Unfortunately, there are those who are not interested in what their child knows and can do, and care mostly about his or her grades.
In this line of thought, do you have the support of the other teachers and the parents?
I teach at School N132 in Sofia and I have the full support of all the other teachers who are always willing to lend a helping hand. Most parents are very open to the idea of someone working with their children, although progress takes time and does not reflect immediately on their marks. I have had arguments with parents regarding bad grades, but I am more worried about those who do not show interest in their child's results at all.
I know that in addition to teaching English you engage in extracurricular projects. How does your typical day at school look like?
My days at work are always different and it never gets boring. Every day I teach English in several classes, I see a lot of children of various ages, and I meet with students who want or need school counseling. This year we have organized a Spelling bee club. The kids enjoyed it greatly and were eager to attend the meetings throughout the school year. It is much better to work with students who are motivated and want to come to your classes. That's why next year I will focus on extracurricular activities.
Many popular Bulgarians have been involved in one way or another in the work of Teach for Bulgaria. Tell us more about some of them.
Teach for Bulgaria has many followers, and a lot of popular people have already visited our classes. Last year Mitko Iliev, who is a Bulgarian rally champion, has attended one of my lessons. He spoke to our seventh-graders who were very excited to meet someone famous and discussed it for a long time afterwards. This year the former professional tennis player and current environmental activist Magdalena Maleeva spoke about healthy dieting.
The European Commission Adviser Petar Natsev, who is my mentor as part of the Teach for Bulgaria mentoring program, has also visited one of my lessons and familiarized the children with the European Union opportunities appropriately for their age. My students seemed to be genuinely interested and later spent time searching for more information on the internet.
Moreover, every teacher of Teach for Bulgaria is able to do an internship or to work on a project. Last year I was an intern for Gergana Passy, former Deputy Foreign Minister and Foreign EU Affairs Minister, and I participated in the organization of educational events. My work there has proven to be quite useful, and I made many new contacts.
Mitko Iliev, rally champion of Bulgaria (c) attends the English lesson of Yuliya Georgieva's (l) seventh grade in School N 132 in Sofia.
In your opinion, what are the most pressing problems in Bulgarian schools right now?
Unfortunately, there are many problematic issues and solving them takes time and resources. Small schools are highly dependent on the number of their students, therefore they often feel the need to compromise.
Have you noticed positive changes as a result of the work of Teach for Bulgaria?
Of course things are improving, albeit slowly. My colleagues who teach to high-school students have many achievements in various competitions and some of the children have already been granted scholarships.
Recently, my colleague Elka Milusheva and her first-graders presented a geography encyclopedia written by the children which was published in their original handwriting. This is a big challenge for first-graders, who until recently did not know the letters of the alphabet.
I personally can say that during the last school term my sixth-graders read many classic books in English and prepared a glossary of all the new words. Also, one of my students will attend this year's American College of Sofia Summer Courses on a full scholarship.
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Some may know I plan on going to Bonneville again this year, haven't posted much cuz I'v been busy working on the Old Ford to get her in shape for the trip. Finally here are some pictures to show were I started and what's gotten done so far.
Outside of the big cities in Russia the women are conservatice and believe in traditional family values as opposed to the average Bulgarian slut who fucks at least 2 guys a week, hence your analogy is one of the most retarded I have ever read. These girls aren't worth shit and expires on age 25.
And you do not treat EU residents/foreigners that good in Bulgaria as compared to how Bulgarians are treated in the west. Grow a brain, you'll need it more than your ability of getting yourself into bloody fights.
"What disgusting people like you should realise is that the European Union is a political and economic union providing basic rights for it's citizens and "residents". Such as Russians, and in case you haven't noted there is cases of EU citizens being rejected basic education, healthcare and rights here in Bulgaria hence you can't expect other EU countries to treat the Bulgarians well. "
I don't expect anything from Russia because Russia is NOT and WILL NEVER be part of the EU. I could care 3 FUCKS about Russians/Russia or your kind. If it was up to me I wouldn't let mongrels like you into Bulgaria or the EU, all you do is cause trouble. We of course expect our European partners to treat us as we treat them - with utmost dignity and respect. Thank goodness Bulgaria is part of the EU and NATO!
Get out of Bulgaria and the EU you filthy scum covered rat. Go back to Vladikavkaz and enjoy your 'modern" infrastructure and 'space programme" hahahahahaha. The only good thing you invented was women, but unfortunately all the average bitch there has been fucked by an average of 100 dicks so their pussy is as loose as gelatin......
Your language clearly shows your revelance in politics and social life, there's simply none.
What disgusting people like you should realise is that the European Union is a political and economic union providing basic rights for it's citizens and "residents". Such as Russians, and in case you haven't noted there is cases of EU citizens being rejected basic education, healthcare and rights here in Bulgaria hence you can't expect other EU countries to treat the Bulgarians well.
P.S, Don't expect to be taken seriously by using the word "fuck" a zillion times. You and your fellow stupid Bulgarians seem to have no other way of expressing yourself. I'm happy the older people are more respectable.
"Well, Bulgarians appear way more dirty and peasant compared to Russia looking at their infrastructure, hygiene and society"
Hahahaha, tell that to German tourists visiting the Black Sea when they get into a lift after a group of dirty disgusting peasants from Russia has gotten out. You can hardly breathe.
"these "dirty peasant Bulgarians" are recieving free healthcare and education in Russia and the EU, should be reversed. "
We are EU citizens, we are entitled to free healthcare among our member countries. Who the FUCK said anything about Russia being part of the exclusive club? Who the FUCK goes to Russia to get healthcare? How many FUCKING Bulgarians live in that disgusting wasteland and parasitic nation called Russia? Like 10? How many of you beggars and toothless inbred motherfucking mongrels live in BG? Hundreds of thousands......
"You Bulgarians simply accomplished nothing but rakiya. Did you have a space program? Well, no."
What the FUCK has Russia invented except Russian Roulette? What product do you produce that the rest of the world wants to buy? NOTHING....only Vodka and that's a Polish invention.......
"Dirty peasant"? Well, Bulgarians appear way more dirty and peasant compared to Russia looking at their infrastructure, hygiene and society. P.S, these "dirty peasant Bulgarians" are recieving free healthcare and education in Russia and the EU, should be reversed.
You Bulgarians simply accomplished nothing but rakiya. Did you have a space program? Well, no.
(No offense to ordinary Bulgarians but when an asshole like this replies I have to take it a notch further).
Correct, every child does have a right to education and the State has every right to refuse benefits to those parents whom refuse to send their children to an educational establishment. And every child that disrupts the education of another is equal and party to that right of forfeiting a child benefit.