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Maine Coast Semester

Misha Klimov

French Teacher

About

Misha Klimov

An American motivational writer William Arthur Ward said: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” Throughout my career as a foreign language instructor with almost 30 years of teaching experience, I always look for various ways to inspire in my students love and passion for a new language and culture by constantly experimenting with new methods and practices that students might find engaging, by exposing them to the best pieces of literature, poetry, music, relevant current events, by giving them creative meaningful assignments, and by giving them choices.

Having taught foreign languages to students of different nationalities, backgrounds, and ages in various educational institutions – from public secondary schools and schools of higher education to private schools and colleges- in Ukraine, Thailand, Turkey, and the USA, I bring a variety of perspectives, experiences, and prospects into the classroom.

Participation in various professional development workshops, seminars, summer institutes, and language courses over the course of my teaching career has enriched my professional knowledge and helped me come up with original classroom activities. One of the best examples would be being a scholarship recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities twice. It gave me a great opportunity to participate in two outstanding, intellectually stimulating, and practical at the same time, summer seminars “Visions of the Dark Years in France” (Paris, Leon, Vichy, Caen), and “Theatricality and Reality in Modern French Drama” (Avignon).  As a result of an in-depth study of the topics, I developed a unit on children in World War II based on the film “Au Revoir les Enfants” and started using elements of French theatre in the classroom.

Besides teaching at MCS; I teach French courses at the Alliance Françase du Maine. I also serve as a Board Member and Program Committee Member at the Maine Jung Center. 

My biggest sources of motivation and inspiration are travels, nature, my children, my grandchildren, and my dog, Simba. I have traveled extensively in North America, Asia, and Europe. Nature has always played a huge part in my life, and I try to spend as much time as possible outdoors. I am a certified Sierra Club Outings Leader. I have done several meditation retreats at Buddhist monasteries in Northern Thailand and India. I enjoy spending time with Atena and Amelia, my twin granddaughters, and my grandson, Felix. They teach me how to be spontaneous and live in the moment.

What Brought Me to Chewonki?

My personal values of diversity and inclusion, sustainable living, and appreciation for the natural world are aligned with the values of the program and Chewonki organization as a whole. It is exciting to be a member of a community of engaged, collaborative individuals where all participants have an opportunity to flourish. I especially value the trust in my competencies and professionalism, as well as the inspirational environment that stimulates and fosters creativity of students and teachers alike.

Degrees

Equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor’s and Master of Arts degree in Foreign Languages (English and French) from Kyiv National Linguistic University in Ukraine
Graduate Advanced Professional Certificate in TESOL from Shenandoah University, VA
Candidate Ph.D. in Modern Languages (Russian and French) at Middlebury College.

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