Saturday, October 1, 2011

Teachers' Day

My mother is an ESL teacher - I learned, very early on, the importance of education. As one of my friends put it recently, I even exist because of it. My mom married a man from Mecca who was once determined to live in the States long enough to get a grasp of English. Even though my entire life has been intertwined with education, never did I plan on taking on the role that my mother had. But now, I find myself doing the very thing that she has done for over 20 years (but in Ukraine.)

It was International Teachers' Day yesterday (here, at least - it was observed yesterday because it was the closest Friday to the actual date.) Despite the fact that, like I mentioned above, the mantra instilled in me is that "education is more valuable than anything else in the world," I had never even heard of Teachers' Day until moving to Ukraine. I've lived in Ukraine long enough to get to experience three Teachers' Days, each one being very memorable. Someday, I hope the holiday will be celebrated in the States like it is here.

Of course I can only speak for our particular school in our particular town: a lot of thought and preparation is put into this annual tradition.
If any other school in Ukraine does it like this school does, I can say that this holiday is duly celebrated. I felt so appreciated yesterday, thanks to my many students and my co-teachers. There's more chocolate in my apartment than a human could ever wish for.

Yes, I teach a full load of classes per week and work hard. Yes, I have 4 after-school English clubs. And, yes, I give grades. But with all that, I still don't deal with half of what my co-teachers have to handle on a daily basis. The bureaucracy behind (or, more like in the forefront of) a teaching career is something I'm more than okay with not experiencing first-hand. And I give so many props to the teachers here for everything they do.

So, really, yesterday was for them. I was just lucky enough to get to be a part of it.

I have 7 weeks left of teaching, so I suppose now is an okay time to say this (although I am far from ready to bid my farewells): thank you to all of the people (students, teachers, and staff) who have made my two years teaching in Ukraine such an unforgettable, valuable experience. I'll miss you.

Everyone: never, ever take for granted the people who teach you. And I've learned (from being a teacher) to never take for granted people who want to learn.

Some of my students performing the opening number of yesterday's concert:

The concert was attended by teachers, parents, students, and retired teachers.

A well-known song from the Soviet days - performed by 9th-graders:

A poetry reading by little kids that was too cute to be real:

Singing and dancing

С праздником, учителя! И спасибо вам, ученики!


  1. Wow, Alia! That was beautifully written. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  2. Thanks Jess! I didn't know you had a blog - I'm SO following you.