Testimonials from Reach To Teach Teachers in Georgia

Interested in hearing what our teachers have to say about teaching in Georgia, Eastern Europe through Reach To Teach? Read on!

Pete Johnson (American) – 2011 – I am in Ilemi, a small village in Western Georgia, teaching English at the local school. I live with a family in the village, and they are some of the most generous and kind people I’ve ever met. I am treated as if I’m royalty, and while it has been a bit of an adjustment, the hospitality is truly unrivaled. One of the sons in the family speaks basic English, and it is his dream to learn the language, so I am doing my best to help. The house sits in a valley in the highlands of Imereti, amongst beautiful scenery.

At the school in Ilemi, I teach first through twelfth grade. The students are enthusiastic and friendly. Everyday I am greeted with hugs and hellos from my pupils. I teach alongside two co-teachers, both local residents. Some students have had a year or two of instruction, but I am the first native-English speaker they have met. After school, I play football in the field with the children and chat with the shop owner, practicing my Georgian. This is my first time teaching English as a second language, and after only a month, it has proven to be both challenging and fulfilling.

I’ve made many friends, both teachers and natives. On weekends, we explore the country, indulging in cuisine, culture and sightseeing. Whether it be exploring the nightlife in Tbilisi, hiking in Borjomi, or laying on a beach in Batumi, Georgia has a seemingly endless array of places to see. My host family has taken me to many places, including Khatkis Sveti (a church built on a tiny plateau, high in the sky), Sataplia (scenic mountain and cave), and several other “off the beaten-path” places.

At supras (Georgian parties), we eat and drink until the sun sets, and then we eat and drink some more. Wine glasses are bottomless and the food is delicious. I had my first opportunity to be Tamada (head of the table) at a supra recently, and made toasts before each drink. Hopefully, after a few more months, I can do them in Georgian.

It hasn’t been much more than a month since I arrived in Georgia. I departed the states in August, excited, albeit a little nervous, not really knowing what to expect. My inhibitions went away quickly, and every day is a new adventure. This experience has been profound, and I am looking forward to a great year in this amazing country.

– Pete Johnson

 

Eric & Anna Murray (New Zealand) – 2011 – Eric and Anna have been teaching in Georgia since mid-2011.  From their home base in a village called Odishi, they’ve traveled throughout Georgia–from the Batumi opera to hiking around the Black Sea coast and Sarpi.

“Our host family is amazing. They are very friendly, generous and our living conditions are fine…There have been many opportunities to travel, and we have made many great friends…We are having a fantastic adventure!”

-Eric and Anna Murray

For Eric and Anna’s full story, check out the RTT Blog: Reach to Teach Teachers in Georgia: Teacher Testimonial

 

D. Priest (British) – 2011 – It is now probably over 7 months ago that we spoke, and you may recall remember interviewing me, and being successful for, the teaching position in Georgia. The reason for me getting in contact with you now is to say very big THANK YOU. I had intended to email you much earlier to express my thanks, however access to a functioning computer/internet were issues sometimes in a developing country like Georgia.

It really was one of the most interesting and eye-opening experiences I have had, and I can say I was very lucky to be part of the TLG team of teachers. I really did learn so much from the experience. We were lucky enough to go to the Batumi Opera house during our first weekend, as special hosts of the President, Mr Saakashvili. Not many people can say they have been lucky enough to be invited to the Opera by a President!

And then there was the teaching. It was good experience teaching the kids and I’d say I learnt a lot about good teaching styles during my months there. There were some of the lessons where I taught on my own, to cover for sickness.

I already speak two other European languages, and I can now say I know another language. We received some language training at the Bazaleti Hotel in Tbilisi which again I am thankful for and was good fun.

I don’t know if people fully realise how much work people like TLG and Reach to Teach put in to make all of this possible, but I just didn’t want you to think the teachers who have benefitted from the experience are not grateful.

D. Priest

 

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