Updated: Dec 3, 2022
On Saturday, November 19th, the Saturday School of GZAAT opened its doors to 75 students from Tserovani village. The program is held once a week. It is administered and taught not by the staff of GZAAT, but us, the students.
At this first meeting, students ranging from 4-10th grade began their day by listening to short presentations about each class and chose the ones they were interested in. Each course lasts 1 hour, during which GZAAT students have the opportunity to lead the lesson, plan fun activities and enlighten the students with new knowledge.
Each Sunday, there are five classes. These courses include Math, Journalism, Philosophy, English Literature, Physics, Arts and Crafts, Debates, Sports, Chess, Biology, and many others. As we students are the ones who arrange and organise this program, it is much different (and more fun) that a typical school school; no homework, no real tests or quizzes, and much less overall stress. The emphasis is on fun first.
Considering this was a completely new experience for most of the GZAAT students, we interviewed them to discover their thoughts in the program after their first full of Saturday school.
Zura Gigineishvili, one of the teachers, describes this experience to be immensely exciting. He said that he viewed teaching from the other perspective: "When the school ended, I was feeling exhausted, but at the same time it was fulfilling to teach the students something new." Zura teaches two classes, Debate and Journalism. "At the debate class, the goal for the first lesson for me was to understand on what level the students are. We paired up the students and made them get as much information as they could from their partner and they had to present it to the class." For the following weeks, he is planning to make the students take videos, presentations, and group competitions among each other. "The kids are so sweet, and spending some time with them was incredible, I am really glad that our school is doing that because it is a great experience for me."
Nino Ioseliani, a part of the administration team, said she got exhausted during Saturday school. "My job during this Saturday was to be in charge of organising kids into those classes that they wanted, it was kind of tough because there were 75 of them." She says, the first day was slightly messy, because it was all very foreign. "I think the next time we will be much more organised, because we already realised what our issues were." She adds that she has never seen kids this motivated to learn something new, so she is looking forward to getting to know them better.
Since this was the first experience, it was a challenging and exhausting day for us student-teachers. But, despite that, it was a huge success because it was fun, new and different, we all got something out of it.
Edited By Giselle Rein-Hagen