Teacher Feature: Maria Fomitsenko – Chemistry

I would like to introduce myself as a new teachers at EISB.

I moved to Slovakia in June 2021 from Estonia because of a loved one ? Estonia is the northernmost country of the Baltics and yes, Estonia is an EU country and no, Estonian language is nothing like Russian, it belongs to Finno-Ugric family.

If you have used Skype or Bolt scooters or taxi or transferred money through TransferWise – that all comes from Estonia. My country is small and cold but modern and digital, 99% of public services are working online, the most significant of those would be digital signing and e-voting and you can even enjoy Wi-Fi in the forests

Estonia is recognised as a capitol of start-ups in Europe.  It is very easy to create a company, and everybody can get an e-residency. We have also self-driving robots which are recognised and used already in UK and US, and first self-driving cars roam around the streets of Tallinn. Additionally, Estonia is known for its sauna marathons, fairy-tale forests and bogs, a beautiful medieval Old Town (Unesco World Heritage site) and probably vodka. If you are interested, then go and visit, preferably in the summer ?

There is also a great education system and flourishing research and development in Estonia. Our students have the best results in PISA test (for further reading and our scientists have a lot of success in different fields (some of them are mentioned here: 

I specialized in analytical chemistry, defended my PhD thesis in 2017, but didn’t stay long in science, instead, decided to focus on something which I discovered I adore – teaching. I taught first in university for 6 years. That’s why, maybe sometimes you will hear your kids complain that I am expecting too much from them – I take that credit. Only last two years I challenged myself in general education schools in Tallinn AND was also “lucky” to try myself in online teaching when COVID came.

I joined EISB as a science and math teacher shortly before September and I hope to give this amazing and caring school as much as I can.

I had to consider a lot of challenges before joining the EISB. I was not familiar with IB educational system, nor had I taught math, biology and physics, especially not in my native language.  But, I came with a good level of knowledge and experience I took from Estonia: I know how science is created, I was dealing with popularisation of science, supervised scientific workshops for 9–11-year-old-kids and taught chemistry in several schools from ages 13-18.

I will be posting soon blogs about our activities in my classes but here is just an insight in my teaching ideology: a) safe environment, so students feel free to ask and answer without fear of failure and mistakes, b) practical tasks, real-life examples and stories for more effective learning and connectivity, c) critical, logical, and creative thinking, and d) understanding through relations and not memorising. Additionally, I do expect from students to act respectfully in the class, be accurate with tasks and keeping up to deadlines!

In conclusion I want to say that I am very excited of the opportunity to work in such a school where classes are small, students are polite and curious, and colleagues are awesome. What else could I wish? (Well, maybe more time for preparations and luck to visit my family) ?

Happy holidays! Häid pühi!

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