Masterclass in Izhevsk & Kalashnikovs


After very successful kids’ demo classes yesterday (which I’ll write up soon!) today’s Masterclass for teachers was totally different to last week’s in Yaroslavl. ย There we had super Genki English fans with amazing questions who’d travelled from all over to see me. ย However ย today we had mostly government school teachers who were very much in the “why are we here?” type mood in the beginning!

Full marks to them for coming on a Saturday and Sunday but … did I eventually win them over?

Let’s see what we did …

Day One:




As you can see it was really fun, but the teachers still had lots of questions and concerns about how all this would fit with what they “have to” teach in schools. ย  Elena asked me if I thought they were on board with everything I was saying. ย  My answer was “Nope!” ย  but give it a day and let’s see ย …. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then in the evening we had the most amazing Russian Tea Party – I’ll write this up for you soon!



Day Two – Can we do it?



I still figured I had to get some more support to show why we are doing all this, so …

  • Then we did Ken Robinson’s talk on why schools are like how they are now:

The teachers were stunned to hear that in America they medicate their children to get their attention!



By this time (I think -fingers crossed!) I pretty much had convinced everyone of how it was all working. ย  I could see the changes in the faces , going from worrying frowns to “hmmm, this might work.” ย  ย  All we needed now was just a little courage to give things a go. ย And for that I used the Good Cat, Bad Cat test – and they aced it!


So after a final lunch together we tied up the afternoon.



So there we go, another two very full days. ย As I said I was a little worried about people believing in what we do and it was a whole lot more work than the pure fun of last week, ย but judging the heartwarming comments we received at the end then I think we might just have got another town genki!


And remember this town is wholly built on making weapons (the city was closed to foreigners until recently!) and although a lot of people do take pride in that, ย anything we can do to get kids here talking and confident with other people really should make a difference.

Thank you again for everyone who took part, for coming on a Saturday & Sunday and giving me the chance to present something new.

And of course a huge, huge, hugeย ะ‘ะžะ›ะฌะจะžะ™ ะกะŸะะกะ˜ะ‘ะž to Elena for all your amazing hard work in setting this up – it has been fantastic!!

I’ve still got write ups of all the demo lessons we did with the kids yesterday and all the fantastic games and dances from the Russian Tea Party, ย but we finished today’s workshop up with a visit to the Kalashnikov museum, which is just crazy and talk about placing education in the big picture of things!!!!

Do keep in touch, write up comments or check out our new Russian Genki English page on Facebook!

Be genki,


Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

5 Responses to “Masterclass in Izhevsk & Kalashnikovs”

  1. Laura Meyer

    FYI, American teachers aren’t particularly thrilled that children end up on medication, either. But I think that saying “they medicate their children to get their attention!” gives the wrong impression. If a child is “medicated”, it’s been decided by parents and doctors, not the school or teachers, and it is so that the child can control his own attention span/interest, not for the teachers to get their attention. I like you and your program, Richard, but I hope you’re not spreading misinformation or giving the wrong impressions around the world!

  2. Elena

    Hi Richard!
    It is great to hear from you.) Thank you for visiting Russia! I still can’t believe that we all managed to do that! You were great, amazing, very positive! My daughter says after your workshops their teacher changed the way she teaches! Their classes became much more interesting and alive) Children don’t understand wht happened to the teacher after the weekends)) I am sure she will start using genki english course soon)))

  3. Richard

    That’s fantastic to hear Elena!

    And Laura, don’t worry I left everything to Ken Robinson to say in the video!

  4. Julia

    It’s an unbelivable amainizg thing how Elena has organized GenkiEnglish workshops in Izhevsk! She’s a very good organiser and creative manager! And she did all the work concerned with the workshop during a very short period of time. Well done Elena!

  5. Julia

    Teachers in Yaroslavl say that they are also very inspired and feel genki conducting their classes.

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