A.C.T.O.R. is in close colaboration with Cultural Association Ask Me, having implemented projects in the “Aici Acolo” Program, financed by Erasmus Plus. During this program, the european volunteers give educational lessons to children in Romanian Schools and Kindergartens on different topics.
“«Nu sunt din aici si nu vorbesk bine limba română. Am nevoie de ajutor. »
Kids nod approvingly.
«Voi mă ajutați un pic?»
From the moment I entered the classroom they are smiling at me, but my funny accent along with grammar mistakes hits them like laughing gas.
Some kids approach me the very first moment I walk in the classroom. Even if it’s still break time, they come to ask for my name, where I am from, what are we going to do, some hug me even before I can say hello. Feels nice, though it is far out of my comfort zone. I want to build anticipation, so I try not to tell too much, so I just smile a lot.
First lessons are always the nicest. They laugh when I pull out my hand-made cotton chicken from behind my back, where I keep it as an element of surprise. »Cum se spune asta in limba voastra?« »Gaina!« Almost every time they guess immediately, even if this chicken-toy is not the biggest and shiniest example of its kind. It was a gift from my family before I left to Romania, so it has added value along with the obvious use one: the map of Slovenia has a shape of a chicken. I love to introduce myself with it. »Si ce sunet face?« The class is full with »ko ko ko!« »Serios? La fel in limba mea! Daca gaina in limba Slovena se spune KOKOŠ!« Here comes the laughter again. They know something is not right and that I am mixing hens and chickens here, since cocos in romanian is a boy chicken.
Well it’s a good icebreaker, obviously and we easily continue with things we have in common. Like one neighboring country, animal-shaped hartă, lots of nature… A lot of forest, as we discover in the 1st lesson; some interesting subterrane and peșteri as we see during the 2nd one. Kids are eager to learn new things, animals seem to be of their special interest. They know a lot about them – surprisingly, my activities that include making a circle of life in the forest are like flowers in the ears for them! And we have a lot of fun! They get excited about our special animal, an endemite that we call a »human fish«. The name itself stirs their imagination, they make amazing drawings of it, and what strikes me the most is that their hearts are wide open, when I say it’s a rare animal and I would love to have some help in making more of them. They gladly offer their help and attention.
It feels like it takes so little to keep those kids attentive – I don’t know whether it’s the system that is based on right topic, the teachers that are teaching good manners or the way how my topic is presented, but every single class so far was a delightful bunch!” (Kristina Piskur, Slovenia, Ask Me, Healthy is the New Trend)