Alina Lobova

I started at Step Up in the 2011-2012 academic year. I am a programmer and had never worked as a teacher – although I taught when I was at university. After I raised my children – more or less – I decided I wanted to do something else. So I went to study at the special educational needs department of Moscow Pedagogical University. At the same time I came to Step Up and started teaching Russian language and maths. It’s an amusing story how I ended up here – my elder daughter found out about the Centre and wanted to work here but it didn’t work out. It turned out that I followed in her footsteps, not the other way around!

My students are in Group 2 – they started at the Centre recently and several have severe difficulties reading, others can’t write. I have to work with each one individually. Along with Russian language and mathematics I try and set tasks linked to special educational needs. Some students do the exercises willingly while others refuse to take part.

I really enjoy the work – and the best bit is when I see the eyes and smiles of my students. I try and set exercises that they can do – to create a feeling of success. It’s a shame, but I take a very minimal role in the extra-curricular life of Step Up. The rhythm of my life means I just don’t have the time. And I fear that nothing will change soon. But I hope to continue working at Step Up.