All five children from SOS Children's Village St. Petersburg (Pushkin), Russia, who went to school this autumn, enjoy the special attention and care from their teacher Margarita Aleksandrova.
Margarita Aleksandrova is praised and admired by every family in the village that has kids who are freshmen in school. "I like our teacher - she is so beautiful," says seven-year-old Nastya.
Just like Nastya, none of the five freshmen says there is something unpleasant in the school and the mothers think that's because of the teacher. A mother says that the village is so lucky to have a special bond with the teacher. "Since all the kids from the village who go to the school are in the same class, she helps us a lot," she says.
Teacher in the village
The praised teacher herself says that she sometimes also visits the village on weekends. "If mothers have something to ask or they want my advice, I'm there for them."
Is this kind of attention regular in Russia or is there any other explanation for why she has this special friendship with SOS Children's Village St. Petersburg?
"I have known Polina since the moment she was taken to the village. Her SOS mother was my classmate so when she had to go somewhere I looked after the kids here - now they are almost like my own kids."
The friendship makes life easier both in the village and in the school. "It makes my life as a teacher simpler - I know the kids and their problems and I know their mothers. It's also simple for the mothers - they can communicate with each other or directly with me as they know me in person.”
Work and pleasure
So far the biggest problems, according to six-year-old Aleksandra, are the quarreling boys and the fact that she has to wake up too early. Six-year-old Aleksandr, who is one of the smallest in the class, now sits in the front row, so the teacher can observe him closely all the time.
Aleksandr's mother says that the boy is very sporty and frisky. "He comes from school and doesn't have time to tell me about his day - he is already changing his clothes and the next moment he is already outside the house, playing football or some other game. He is like a propeller or torpedo."
Fortunately, being in the first class doesn't mean that now the games must be forgotten and learning requires his full concentration. "Children can take toys to school. Although we learn more than we play, we try to combine work with fun."