As of Friday (May 26) the 2016-2017 school year at the Opishnya Specialized School has finally come to an end! The end of the year was marked with multiple celebrations ranging from presentations and 4th form graduation, to the “Last Bell”.
The festivities kicked off with a presentation/awards ceremony for students and teachers. This day is known as the “Day of School”. This day honors those who work in the Ukrainian school system and the students they help. Below are a few pictures of the event:
The next celebration is the 4th form graduation (a.k.a. my favorite celebration of the year)! Since we have a small(ish) auditorium in our school, we held 2 graduations. The first graduation was for the 4A class and the second was for the 4B class. Each of the graduations started with a presentation of the students. Throughout the event students received medals, certificates, flowers, and cupcakes. Between the dance numbers, songs, food, and awards, everyone had a lot of fun!
The “Last Bell” is a celebration for the end of the school year. It specifically recognizes students’ great accomplishments. the upcoming 1st formers, and the 11th formers leaving for universities. While some students wear the tradition school uniform during the “Last Bell”, the students at my school wore more modern versions of the uniform. The traditional school uniform for the girls of Soviet countries included white or black shoes, a short black dress, white apron, and white stockings. During our “Last Bell” ceremony, the girls wore black skirts, white shirts, and black shoes. The boys wore black shoes, black pants, and white shirts. During the ceremony, the upcoming 1st formers and the 11th formers who are leaving for universities enter behind a procession of hand embroidered towels. Once all the students and teachers are in their places around the stadium, the awards begin! The new 1st formers, departing 11th formers, and the best students from all forms get certificates and gifts. Various teachers also get certificates and flowers for their work throughout the year. The conclusion of the “Last Bell” involves the ringing of bells, and the releasing of doves and balloons.
I feel so blessed to have been able to spend my first school year in Ukraine and 3 amazing schools (i.e. Nosivka Gymnasium, Opishnya Specialized School, and the Collegium). I can’t wait to see what my second school year in Ukraine will be like!
P.S. For all my teacher friends out there: what are some of your favorite school stories? I would love to hear some stories about you, your fellow teachers, and students!