*This post re-posted from the new "Learning Through Our Differences" website.
After a long trip from Sofia, Irena, Kalin and I arrived in Shumen very late the night before our training. With just four hours of sleep, we showed up bright and early at Nikola Ionkov Vaptsarov Foreign Language High School to meet our colleagues Kremena, Dimo and Tsveta. The Language School in Shumen is lucky to have such dedicated and enthusiastic teachers as them.
The day got off to a good start with all 26 participants actively engaged in the workshop. We started with some "getting to know you" activities and then moved onto more thought-provoking ones intended to break down social barriers and challenge traditional stereotypes. The 9th and 10th grade students were so enthusiastic, we didn't even notice the lack of sleep. Towards the end of the day, small groups began working on their "Community Action Plans," which are proposals addressing local problems like pollution, library accessibility, disadvantaged children and out-of-date athletic facilities.
Once we had finished handing out certificates and taking our final photos, we received extremely positive feedback from both students and teachers. They were impressed with the project and excited to get started on their community action plans. We look forward to seeing the results of their hard work in the near future. A big, heartfelt thank you to everyone who attended!