Things Ukrainians Write: 10th-Form Letters, Or Patting Myself on the Back at the End of the Year

My 10th-formers wrote me letters as their last homework assignment for the school year. I told them they could write about anything: summer, thoughts/emotions/feelings, questions for me, etc. I received a nice variety of impressive letters. We Peace Corps Volunteers often can’t tell if we’re really making a difference, but receiving comments like the ones below inspires me to keep on doing what I’m doing. Maybe it’s a little bit self-interested to post these here, but this is what makes teaching so rewarding, to know that your students do appreciate you, quirks and all.

The following excerpts have not been edited for grammar. They are as they were originally written (pretty darn well, if you ask me).

From Roman T.:

[Y]ou give very much information in this year about yourself, countries, traditions of world. Now we all know almost all very important facts about world and can visit all countries. And my question is: What new fact did you learnt about own Ukraine, its traditions, life?

This is part of what I really aim to do: educate my pupils about not just my country, but the rest of the world and its people and traditions. Cultural exchange at its best.

From Roman A.:

[Y]ou not only help us with our English, but also you make our lessons more interesting and exciting. I am very sad that you will leave our school next year. I don’t know if it is truth, so I’d like to ask you about it: is it truth?

Yes, it is true, Roman. I’ll be leaving in November and will miss your class very much.

From Solomia:

All students are happy, that we had the honor to have a volunteer from America. Lessons with you were always interesting, funny, and informative. […] We will be very sad for you, especially my class. I hope you have everything put in life the best, you deserve.

From Hanna:

How do you feel in Ukraine? We are glad that you came to us. With your help we improved our communication, grammar, conversation and other. I sincerely thank you for your work with us. […] You are beautiful person and professional teacher.

My main focus in lessons is definitely speaking; I’m really glad the kids feel like their oral communication skills in English have improved.

From Vika T.:

I’d like to ask you something about how to improve my English language. […] In this summer I want to prepare for school tests and I’d like to improve my English. My level of English not so good but not so bad. Can you give me some youseful advice how to improve my knowledge?

I was surprised to read this one — Vika just started coming to my lessons during the spring semester. She still has a lot of trouble with the language barrier and doesn’t speak much unless I really prod her. But her writing is pretty good and I’m glad she is motivated to study more to do well on her tests and flattered she asked my advice.

From Oksana:

I’d like to go in summer camp abroad…in England or Canada, in countries where people speak English language. […] Do you know some summer camps which you want to recomend for me? […] Frankly speaking, I’m so happy that you are in my school. During all this time I improve my English and have a good mood. You are so cool and good and beautiful teacher. All my classmates love you. We’ll miss for you.

Oksana’s one of my strongest students, though it doesn’t show in this excerpt — she probably wrote it in a hurry and didn’t take time to check her grammar. I wish I knew of some English camps abroad, but it might be too late for this year. I love this class (in case you couldn’t tell…I’ve posted excerpts from their letters before) and will miss them, too.

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