Number one for English language teachers

Ukraine: Tough but rewarding

Tanya Kerusenko talks about teaching with limited resources and getting creative.

I would like to share my little experience in teaching English. I am a young teacher, who has been working only for four years. My first teaching experience was at an ordinary Ukrainian school where I was able to face all the problems of our education.

I would like to mention the fact that the teachers used to be the most respected people in our society. I say ‘used to’, because now we have almost the opposite situation. Teachers, doctors, and many other useful workers get the lowest salaries. That’s why so many experienced and well-qualified teachers give up their work and start doing something different.

Many of them go to Poland to work as teachers, but many more people set up their business, or go abroad (to Italy, Israel, etc.) to work on the farms or in the bars. Young teachers also don’t want to go to school, they either look for a better-paid job in Ukraine (very often the work is not connected with the education they have got) or go abroad. The number of really devoted teachers is decreasing dramatically.

Another problem is equipment. Only very few schools in big cities can afford to havie at least one video and a TV set, or computer class that could be used for teaching English purposes. Books are not provided by the school libraries as they used to be. So students must buy them themselves. The choice of books is very wide. There are a lot of representatives of different publishing houses ( Oxford, Macmillan, Cambridge, Longman, etc.), that provide the schools with books and information about all the latest books on the book market. The only problem is that many parents cannot afford to buy such a book for their children.

But despite of all the problems in our society, there are enthusiastic teachers, who use every opportunity to make their lessons interesting and useful. We work not for the sake of money, but to see happy children’s eyes when they succeed in learning a foreign language. Due to the Internet and growing possibility to travel around the world, our people are becoming more and more conscious of the importance of learning foreign languages. Parents send their children to different courses or find them tutors when they are as young as two years old. Children dream of being able to express themselves in a foreign language. They study carefully every word and do even more homework that they were asked to do.

My students like creative tasks, especially projects. They are excited to see what they have done themselves. I have already worked in different places with different-level students. Since January I have been working at the University. There are fewer problems, due to the excellent equipment and qualified teaching staff. In my opinion the only big problem is lack of experience in communication with native speakers. There is no exchange program: neither for teachers nor for students. And it is almost impossible to receive a visa if you want to go to England for a holiday. That’s why we have no real practice.

In general, the level of knowledge of English has increased in recent years, due to the students’ consciousness and the amount of materials available (the Internet, The British Council, TV, etc.). I am on optimist by nature, so I hope that the economic situation will change, and teachers will be the most respected people in our society again.

  • Share

Powered by Webstructure.NET

Access denied popup