Meet Teach For Bulgaria’s Class of 2021-2023: Anna, Tanya, and Velislav

нови участници

It has become somewhat of a tradition for us to present some of the new participants in our program “A New Way to Teaching” every March. Anna, Tanya, and Velislav are among the teachers who are going to enter the classroom in September of 2021. They have already started their preliminary training and are going to have a six-week intensive summer institute where they will have the opportunity to work with students before the beginning of the school year. 

If you are a school principal, do not hesitate to submit any vacant positions you might have for next year. Anna, Tanya, Velislav and over 80 new teachers will have the opportunity to select their dream school as early as March. The deadline for principals to submit their teaching vacancies is April 30!

Anna Bisset: I am committed to do my best in the name of social change

Анна Бисет
Anna Bisset

Anna Bisset was born in Scotland. Her mother is Bulgarian and her father is Scottish. She went to a foreign language high school and then majored in ergotherapy at the University of Ruse. Anna currently lives in the region of Razgrad and says that she’s always had a soft spot for working with children.

She loves reading, painting, and travelling. 

How did you decide to submit your application for Teach For Bulgaria’s program “A New Way to Teaching”?

The program gives me an opportunity to find my true calling. 

As someone who loves children and has the ambition to work with children, I believe that Teach For Bulgaria can provide me with the most appropriate forms of professional support. I expect to learn many new methods of teaching and get to know the opportunities this job can offer. 

I believe that Teach For Bulgaria’s community is what I have been looking for for a long time. I think I belong here and that I will be happy in this community. 

I am committed to do my best in the name of Teach For Bulgaria’s mission and I will be exceptionally happy to help my future students. 

What do you expect from the next two years as a teacher?

I expect to learn and invest a lot in my job as a teacher to students from different communities. I expect to see that it is possible to change Bulgarian education for the better and figure out where I fit in this process. I expect to put in a lot of effort in order to help my students grow and create a meaningful and supportive environment for them. I expect to feel like these children are part of my family. I expect to go through many different and challenging things, but I hope that it will feel rewarding in the end. 

What education do students need to be successful and happy?

This is a very tough question because the answer cannot be short and sweet. Students need consistency and structure. A step-by-step process – simple, clear, and level-appropriate. Students also need freedom of choice in order to feel like they are an important part of the whole system of learning and development. They should be able to make their own decisions. Education should be inclusive and accessible to all students. Children need a calm and supportive environment. I don’t think we should pursue good grades or certain criteria and norms. I feel like learning should be all about learning, we should be teaching life skills. Children should have more time to play, they should be in charge of their own learning. 

Tanya Markova: I’d like to pay more attention and teach understanding

Таня Маркова
Tanya Markova

Tanya Markova has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from New Bulgarian University and a master’s in marketing management from Sofia’s Technical University. 

She is also an art lover and even had a small workshop where she organized arts and crafts events for children before the pandemic. She is also very passionate about photography and says that it’s more than just a hobby for her.

How did you decide to submit your application for Teach For Bulgaria’s program “A New Way to Teaching”?

Because I feel like I belong in Teach For Bulgaria’s community. What brings people together here is the mission – quality education for all children in Bulgaria. I share the same ideas. I am pro innovations and I firmly believe that every child should have the opportunity to receive education. I fully support Teach For Bulgaria’s mission because I care about the future and children are our future. Metaphorically speaking “what you sow is what you reap”. Children are the seed and it matters how we nurture and cultivate them. 

What do you expect from the next two years as a teacher?

To focus on the children. Working with children is rewarding and meaningful to me. We can learn a lot from them. We teach them how to follow rules and norms and they teach us sensitivity, retrospection, and mindfulness. I will strive to develop their agency. Our circumstances should not serve as excuses, it is up to us to change our environment for the better. Change equals growth. I’d also like to develop my students’ emotional intelligence, to show them how important it is for us to be united. I’ll teach them values such as empathy, faith, responsibility. 

What education do students need to be successful and happy?

Quality education, which to me means access to opportunities for development, leading by example, taking the initiative, innovations, socialization, responsibility, support. Everything matters. Students need holistic development. Every student needs encouragement and motivation for a better future. Believing in future triumphs requires a multitude of competences which each child should work on in order to get to know their true self and figure out where they want to be in their personal life and career. 

Velislav Karakiev: I want to lead by example and show students that every dream is attainable, as long as they don’t give up

Velislav Karakiev

Velislav Karakiev is 23 and he has recently completed his physical education degree at Plovdiv University. Sports have always been a big part of his life, he has practiced swimming, football, and mixed martial arts. He says that each sport has taken a lot from him but has given him much more. Sports have taught him how to remain calm, how to be tolerant, responsible, and ambitious. 

He went to high school in the town of Velingrad. He knew he wanted to be a teacher even as a student mainly because he was inspired by his own teachers, but also because he wanted to change Bulgarian education for the better. “I think that teaching is a calling and you get this calling when the time is right. I hope that I’ll be able to call myself a proud teacher in a few months.”

How did you decide to submit your application for Teach For Bulgaria’s program “A New Way to Teaching”?

Actually, my girlfriend convinced me to apply and I honestly didn’t think I’d make the cut. I thought that no one would ever give me a chance, but Teach For Bulgaria did. You believed in me and in my ambition to become a teacher. Teach For Bulgaria’s program makes our dreams attainable. It doesn’t make things any easier, but it provides the support we need to keep going.

What do you expect from the next two years as a teacher?

I expect to gain experience and confidence in order to help my students over the next year. And then I expect that my dream will come true. I hope that one day when my students remember their school days they will have fond memories of me as well. This is my dream – to lead by example and to show them that every dream is attainable, as long as they don’t give up. 

What education do students need to be successful and happy?

First of all, they need accessible education and a supportive environment. They need to know that someone believes in them. In other words, students are kind of like me before I joined the program – they just need someone to believe in them in order to gain confidence. They are intelligent and kind enough, they just need someone to convince them that they are capable of achieving anything. When you know that someone supports you and you are willing to work hard, success is inevitable. And happiness comes from the satisfaction of our success.