Natia Namicheishvili – ATSU Alumni
Natia Namicheishvili – “While studying at the university, I started working at school. In Kutaisi public school N32 I taught Jurisprudence.
I have a large family and most of its members are teachers. When I was getting ready to give my first lesson, I expected to receive advice from their side. Though, it seemed that no one was going to give me some “ready materials”.
I decided to use my own experience. I remember some phrases on my first lesson: “is this really our teacher? Is she going to teach us or is she our new classmate? See what I’ll do to her…”
In short, I held my first lesson with the students who were 4-5 year younger than me. I also received a good education with them.
I had 3 lessons in each week and my salary was 3,30 laris. After my graduation I had more lessons to hold. I was given a class that had already had eight head teachers and I was the ninth. I taught history and law.
When the bell had gone, only the half of the class was present, I used to take other pupils from their “hiding places”; I knew these places as I had finished the same school.
In 2000 I had my first training. The fund “Open Society Georgia” was carrying out the project “Debates for the Open Society”. I realized the importance of this project from its very beginning. After getting back to school, I offered the director to start a debate club in the school. He supported me and we established a club. Nowadays, when we have quite many nongovernmental organizations, it is a bit hard to imagine the importance of our first club at that time, because they were not regarded seriously and society was very sceptic towards them.
In 2002 an educational reform started. I had passed many contests successfully and when the Ministry of Education announced the trainers contest, I firmly decided to take part in it, and I passed it successfully. The key to success was my enthusiasm and my attitude to my work. I thought that each program could give me something new, new skills and opportunities which I would use productively in the future.
Later, I took part in the contest for school directors. I passed this contest successfully and was appointed as a director in the same school.
When the educational reform started, I worked on forming and developing the school culture. Together with my team I tried to create good learning environment and change the school microclimate. At first, when people heard about school environment, they only thought about logistic issues. But school environment means not only a good physical area such as desks, boards and classrooms but also people, attitudes and approaches.
Assessment instruments were presented to the teachers, students and their parents. It is very important for parents to be involved in learning process as they are your partners in education. They have to know what and why the school is going to do for their children and what ways the school is using to develop educational system for the learners. Parents involvement in educational process is essential. Though, sometimes, many parents confide their children to school and are not actively involved in the learning process.
We have national learning plan, there are also national goals for general education and on the basis of these fundamental documents there has to be a great difference between the present time and the period when I was a school student.
National learning plan must be the major guidebook for the teachers as it is the result, which should be achieved by the end of the learning year. National aim of the general education determines the working process of a school as an educational institution.
I have worked as a school director for eight years, though, in the last years I realized that my work on this position was no more effective. My work became a routine and I regarded that the change was necessary. it was quite hard to make challenges in educational system without a support from the state.
So I moved in nongovernmental organization – “Developing Education and Employing Center” and now I am very glad to make this change in my life. I love what I do. I think I made a right choice. This is the place where I learned too much, I developed and this is the continuing process.
The working areal of this organization is quite diverse. At first I took a responsibility of the management of eight projects with different directions, I thought that managing eight schools simultaneously would be much easier for me, but I successfully dealt with these projects.
In 2009 I had a learning visit in America, where I did many relevant discoveries. One of it was the role of interactive excursions. I was surprised how the students were involved and interested in what the tour guides were telling them. unfortunately, excursions are not used in cognitive ways. I remember one day, when I was in the museum and the guide started to tell us all the stories in details. In some moments, the process was rather boring and we had a little time. When we asked him to shorten some stories, he refused and got upset. But really, a good tour guide should be able to understand the mood and interests of the listeners and make an adequate reaction.
Sadly, excursions do not have cognitive functions in Georgia. They are spontaneous. Excursions can be used for developing cognitive skills and students can discover such things during excursions that might be unforgettable for them.
When we talk about the problems of educational system, it is not fair to blame only the teachers. If we want to have essential changes in educational system, these changes must be supported on political level. Educational politics changes in our country with the government. It is time to have crucial changes and accept principal issues and strategies of an educational system.
All people who are involved in educational processes must remember that luck is not everything that will help them. One may be at the right place at the right time but he or she has to use all given opportunities in a sensible way and this ability can only be achieved with a good education and hard work”.