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A day at Saturday School!

Many years ago, our school started a project called “Saturday School.” On Saturdays, students from our school conduct lessons for children from different regions of Georgia. Teachers can pick what subject they want to teach and plan how their lessons will go. Even though it has been a lovely experience for the teachers, who have participated in the project, it still requires patience and endurance to handle all the complicated and sometimes weird things that they have to encounter. 

The director of the Saturday school, Kate Gelashvili, has been interviewed to share some information on what it is like to run this project and what hardships she faces every week:



Queen bees posing for the camera 🐝

  • Who started this project, and how did it evolve? 

  • (Kate): The Saturday school was founded by Nino Ghambashidze in 2009. Last year Nino left our school, and the director role was given to me. I wanted to continue running this project, as I know how important it is for the children we teach, as well as the students of our school. 

  • What is your role in the school, and what is the overall structure of the administration? 

  • (Kate): I am the director of the school, as well as part of the administration and observer of the lessons. Me and Ia Topuria control how this whole thing operates. We decide from which school the children come, and we hire a driver and cafeteria personnel so that the children have transportation and food while they are here. All this is financed by our school. We contact different schools from different regions of Georgia, call them, and then send out a form that the students who want to participate can fill out. Then, I selected six people to be part of the administration, who will help me to organize all this and keep order during the lessons. Other students of our school can participate in the project as teachers and teach the kids a subject of their choice. These are mostly 10th and 11th graders. This year, I am graduating and I am going to pass this responsibility to the 11th graders.  

  • What is the weirdest or the most out of pocket experience you had in this school? 

  • (Kate): One time, a seventh grader asked my hand in marriage. I told him I was too old for him, and he said he would ask me again when he turned twenty. Also, last year, some of the 4th graders, in the sense of rebellion, or maybe to protest against the lessons, urinated in the radiators in the bathroom instead of the toilets. It was very random and uncalled for. Unfortunately, no one came forward with information on who did this or why it happened. 


Administration members: Kate Gelashvili, Elene Mansvetashvili, Irinka Iashvili, Tasi Zuroshvili, Anna Akhaladze, Anano Kirvalidze, Keto Kapianidze

A member of the administration, Lizi Schierman, was also interviewed for her experience and involvement: 


  • What is your role in this project? 

  • (Lizi): Since I am part of the administration, I am here all day, from 10 am to 4 pm. I am also a teacher, I have one lesson, which is at the end of the day. Until then, I usually observe the first 10 minutes of the lessons, to make sure that everything is under control, and then I sit in the lounge, catching up with my homework. If anyone needs me, I make sure to be near and help them in any way I can. We have lunch in the middle of the day, which is very nice and probably the highlight of my day. 

  • What do you like about this experience? 

  • (Lizi): Even though sometimes kids misbehave, act chaotically and sometimes are unbearable, I still love teaching them. They are very cute and sweet, and at the end of the day, I love spending time with them despite them frequently getting on my nerves. 

  • What are the problems that you often face while teaching the children? 

  • (Lizi): They are very active and interested in learning, but they are also very loud, can’t often concentrate, and interrupt each other a lot. There is also the problem of bullying. Some students are not so interested in some of the classes, and they often say mean things to each other, but we are always notified if something like this happens, and we try to resolve the situation among the students. 

  • What have you learned from this experience? 

  • (Lizi): One thing I learned is the position of teachers. I have much more empathy for them, seeing what they must endure every lesson. Even though we are not teachers, and we are just students playing the role of a teacher, we still have to make sure the students are interested in the topics we teach them, we have to gather the material that corresponds with what they are studying in their own schools, control the situation in the class, that is often chaotic, and also make the lesson fun and enjoyable for them. All this is hard and a lot to handle, so I think we all are much more appreciative of our teachers after experiencing what it's like to be on the other side of the lesson. 


The children sabotaging Levan Ghambashidze's classroom

Overall, participating in this project was very hard but also rewarding, it was to see all those kids and share some knowledge with them while also having fun and experiencing what it’s like to be a teacher. Still, we, as the administration, had to deal with some incidents during the five weeks of school. There was a lot of bullying among the kids, and we had to bring the kids out of their lessons and talk to them about respect and proper behavior towards their classmates. There were many incidents where children fell while running or were pushed by other kids, so we had to act as doctors as well to treat the wounds and help them calm down. One of the biggest accidents was when we found out that one of the kids had a lighter, which was used to light some tissues that were rolled into the form of a cigarette and “smoked” it. There was the smell of something burnt in the whole bathroom and we had to find out who did this and take away the lighter. Even though we did not intend to kick out this kid, the director of his own school did it without consulting us, and the kid was punished. Kate Gelashvili had to call the school's director, the advisor, and the parent so that the kid would be able to attend the Saturday school. Our director, administration, and teachers work hard to ensure that everyone is treated fairly, that everything is under control, and that the students are learning and having fun during their time with us. 

Sometimes messes like these also happen😬




Edited By: Nino Ioseliani

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