My grandfather and my grandmother were teachers.
My mother was a teacher. She was my colleague and my closest contributor.
I grew up with a lot of books around me. I watched her every day how she was preparing for the next day. There were always a lot of books and notebooks at our table. They were giving special warmth to my home. I watched my mother while she was writing and planning activities for their students . She was doing that with love and devotion. When I was little I often played with her books, I imagined that I was a teacher. When I grew up I started reading her plans for teaching. I was offering her my own ideas. She was always kind and willing to work with me. She often took me with her at her school in a remote village, the same village, the same school where I am a teacher now. I always wanted to be a teacher. I became a teacher 12 years ago.
A few years ago I was involved in training for recording classes and there I got the camera. I started recording and sharing my lessons, recieving awards, and working with Development Bureau for education , Step by Step , USAID, colleagues from other countries.
My job, this everyday project , I dedicate it to her. This project would never end. This is a collection of love, childhood memories , home education, continuing professional development and collaboration with many colleagues from all over the world..
I am the first teacher in my school and my community that captures video, images, produced and publicly share their recorded lesson activities.I'm autor, creator and administrator of the 4 websites and two blogs.I collaborate with students from large 5-8th grade in our school and put them in the role of mentors in my first graders.I am the coordinator of many school projects, trainer of teachers in many educational trainings organized by theBureau for Development of Education in the Republic of Macedonia, USAID and Step By Step World Association. A,m responsible for the functioning of the student's team for technical support in the school.We create our school newspaper.We have won several national and international awards. Colleagues have been more and more interest for inclusion in project activities with me.By following my example they prepare their projects and use modern technology for learning.
To reach the village I need to travel on a bad narrow road. The road to the school is filled with mad, sand and rocks. However, when I enter the school, and the pupils’ classroom inside you will find the most modern classroom from the 21st century created by the teachers’ and pupils’ hands. A classroom where the biggest part of the visual teaching resources are handmade and they are not bought.
I am 38 years old. I am a wife and a mother of an 11 years old son. I live in Bitola, but almost 12 years I have been traveling to the village Ivanjevci , municipality Mogila every day in bad conditions, and paying the costs on my own. But there is no other place in the world where I would rather work. Neither in the village, nor in the municipality there are kindergartens or centers for early children’s development, so the start of the children’s education is the first time they are separated from their parents. That’s why I would like everything to be magical for these children. I would like to see their faces joyful and happy. It is my mission almost 12 years, and we did it together. Even though they live in a poor village, our classroom has to be the richest and the most colorful children’s world. The village environment is a place where we often make researching activities and teaching in the nature. With modest resources and reuse of natural and recycled materials we make our teaching tools and working resources. Our colorful classroom is like an open window for everybody in anytime. The parents are working agriculture and livestock, but they are always glad to spend time and participate in our mutual workshops. Over 200 educative movies, worksheets, new mathematical stories, are available for free on my web-sites YouTube, Vimeo, or Schoool Tube channel. They are watched and used by hundreds of teachers from our and neighboring countries, students from teacher trainer faculties, parents, children who are growing up in the villages and in the cities all over our country, children in the hospitals or at home etc.
Every day I try to fulfill two children’s needs. One is to play, and the other is to use modern technology like other children in the world. Nowadays, when all the psychologists and pedagogic workers are speaking loudly for the harmfulness of the computers, I tried, and I manged to find and show how different tools are combined on a healthy and productive way.
The most important thing for me is to make the children happy. They are my little but important partners, colleagues, and creators of the teaching process. Simply I listen to their wishes; I follow their needs for play; I ask them for advices when I prepare the activities; I found out that the children are the most important source of ideas and the richest book with directions how the work with them to be most productive. After 12 years work with this trust, I am sure that there is neither a written book, nor a method or a scientific work which will better show the way for successful work than the whispered children’s wish to the teacher as their friend and partner in the games. Learning trough games is our motto. There are a lot of theatre activities in the school subjects. One day we are dressed as smurfs who are doing mathematical tasks to reach the lake with magical lucky balls which are not only imagination, but reality. By these balls children practice their motor functions of the hands, calculate, count, compare. The next day we create a new story by combining different characters from the famous fairytales and cartoons. On our desks you can find theatre scenes with colored coconut flour instead of green grass, flour as fog or snow. We practice to write and read dressed like kings and queens using royal papers. We form sentences and mathematical definitions from words hidden in shaving foam. Every child will be interested and will do the best to improve himself/herself on this way. The only thing that he/she is asked to do is to play and to obey the rules.
The most important values which I develop in the children are friendship, 21st century skills, cooperation, tolerance, mutual help, respect for the differences, interethnic tolerance, etc.
I cooperate with a lot of colleagues trough the social networks and my facebook profile every day.
What would you recommend to your colleagues in Macedonia? What is the key for success?
Success….. The success is hidden in each child’s smile. Success is to create stimulative environment together with the children. The key for success is to act and to think like a child. I believe that there is a hidden child in each of us, and if you ask that child in yourself I am sure he/she will know the best answer. You must always be in the children’s shoes to know what would be interesting for them.
Your classrooms have to be live and colorful with lots of creative and natural crafts from their everyday lives. Your classroom has to be magical.
When I plan my lessons of course I do follow the goals of the curriculum, that’s why I am a teacher, but I always try to find some way to make the process of learning interesting for the children. I do that through games.
I would recommend my colleagues to cooperate among themselves, to open widely their classrooms, to share their experiences and ideas, that’s the key for success.