March 18, 2018 - Michael Salinger

International School of Kazan

Where in the world is Kazan?


Spring Ball dancers – 5th grade.

We had no idea until we went there – and are we glad we did.

The International School of Kazan, Russia may be one of the most welcoming places we have ever been. The icy cold of early spring blustering around outside of the sleek new campus was no match to the warmth inside.


Sara putting the elementary assembly crew through their paces.

Teachers and students alike embraced Sara, me and our lessons in one giant Russian bear hug.

Heidi, Ilmira, Eric, Yuildyz, and our number one handler Julia made sure we were on time, fed and comfortable for our whole visit which went by way too quickly. The two Bulats made sure our tech needs were taken care of. We found out later that it is a Russian superstition for good luck to stand between two people with the same and have a photograph taken.  So Bulats – be ready for a photo-op when we come back!


Sharing our work.

ISK is a new school that four years ago started with seven students and has grown exponentially to over 300. They plan on continuing this growth to over double this. As grades advance the upper levels become active so this year they hare at tenth – next will be 11th and so on.

We worked with all grade levels and did a little PD session with all the teachers.


Upper school poetry jam.

We wrote refrains and talked about objective and subjective terms with the carpet dwellers all the way up to infomercials and memoir with the high schoolers. The big guys had a poetry reading and then – just as we our visit was ending – the elementary and middle school participated in a Spring ball downtown which included singing dancing and a palatial setting.


Eight graders looking impressive at the ball.

While the weather outside was frightful – well you know how it goes.


One of three amazing dinners with teachers and staff.

ISK is was more than a delight to spend some time with you.


If they’re lucky, perhaps a future ISK’er in a sleigh stroller.


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“Sara and Michael bring infectious energy and joy leavened with deep knowledge of best practices in literacy to their work with children and teachers.” Ellin Keene – Author of Mosaic of Thought and The Teacher You Want to Be
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