teaching during war

Tetyana is holding her hand behind her ear. The earring is visible as well as the chin, neck, hand, and a bit of a chest. This picture is used for the post "teaching during the war."

an honest story


my life changed dramatically on the 24th of February, 2022. it was 239 days ago. on that day, russian forces began the full invasion of Ukraine. 

they’ve been dropping massive bombs on civilians, destroying our homes, hospitals, schools, etc. 

since then, I’ve practically been living in my corridor, hiding from russian rockets, bombs & kamikaze drones. 

a fake smile

as I teach foreign languages, I must have a good mood and smile during my lessons. my clients are going through hard times, too; they want to get distracted from this terrible reality. they come to me to see me not depressed and not forked up. besides, my clients from other countries don’t want to see me as depressed.

we all have our own problems. we are looking for some oases and ways to escape them.

that’s why I have to fake. I have to pretend that everything is ok and deny the reality in my lessons. I smile, laugh, and look cheerful. 

some clients want to learn how to talk about the war in their target languages. yet, they refuse when it comes to confirming our lesson plans because it is too traumatic for them to talk about. 

I understand them. even for those who managed to flee Ukraine, it is still hard to voice their stories and opinions. 

air raid alerts

we have air raid alerts to notify us that some rockets are flying over my city (or any other place). we know there is an air raid alert because there are speakers in my neighborhood, and we can hear sirens wailing. in addition, we receive Google notifications, and we have some apps which make a loud sound. 

once there is an air raid alert, we must seek the nearest shelter. my nearest shelter in the apartment is my corridor. 

there is a rule of 2 walls: we must hide behind 2 walls that protect us from the outside one wall stops the projectile, and the other protects us from shell splinters. I can follow this rule in my corridor. 

my corridor is small. there is a wardrobe, my basketball, shoes, a couple of boxes and 2 chairs, where my husband and I sit when we have to hide. 

teaching from a bathroom

I’ve been conducting lessons/consultations from my desk. but when there is an air raid alert, I go to my bathroom, put my laptop on a toilet seat and go on working. let me tell you that it is not the safest place as there is an enormous mirror. if it falls down, I might get hurt.

so, I turn my back on the mirror. my background is not fancy, but I am not ashamed of it. for me, it is a sign of bravery and strength. 

I am incredibly proud of teachers working during air raid alerts, hiding in basements, underground parking, corridors, etc. 

if there are explosions

although, if there are explosions, I stop lessons/consultations. my clients, based in Ukraine, have a right to run away/close their laptops without any explanation. there is nothing to explain when you run for your life. 

planning lessons

if you ask me, it is rather challenging to prepare lesson plans when there are air raid alerts and impossible when there are explosions. 

there are some lessons for which I need 4-6 books to compose one lesson plan. the best place to do it is at my desk. plus sometimes I need my printer.

my desk is in a room, which is unsafe if explosions occur. because there are 3 big windows, 1 balcony door, 1 bookcase as well as 1 wardrobe. 

in case of any explosions not far away from my building, glass in windows explodes and might hurt/kill me, or a bookcase/wardrobe might fall on me. 

yes, I prepare some lesson plans from the corridor, but not all. 

besides teaching, I have other projects. for example, I write blog posts in English for one American company and translate them into German and Spanish. also, I consult teachers on goal-setting, time management, social media neuromarketing, and filming videos for YouTube. some of these tasks I can do from my corridor. thus I can work and distract myself from what is happening. 

the life goes on

from my corridor, I manage to attend some conferences or webinars. but I cannot take any notes as I sit on a chair. it is the 239th day of the full-scale war, and I am thinking of buying a laptop table. so that I’ll be able to work more from my corridor. 

I do believe that very soon, Ukraine will win!

Stand with Ukraine 💙💛

4 відповіді до “teaching during war”

  1. Hello Tetyana! Thank you for sharing your story. Reading your entry was very inspiring! I loved how you try to see the brightside despite the current situation . Beside all your great skills and talents, I admire how strong you are! I know it’s not easy, but we all need you to please continue being strong! Thank you for all your help and support in the last months! I truly appreciate it!

    1. Hi JC, thank you very much for your endless support! Nowadays, support is super important to me. It helps me to go on working and helping others.

  2. This is an amazing post. I love the message and the style.

    You are a very courageous woman as are many others in Ukraine.

    Keep strong, I believe evil will be defeated and you will win 🙂

    Lisa x Lisa Jayne Wood English teacher. Neurolanguage Coach® http://www.yourenglishself.com https://yourenglishself.com/ Quiz: Are you a Smart English Learner? https://mailchi.mp/23f34b339d11/are-you-a-smart-english-learner Блог https://yourenglishself.com/blog-learn-english-smarter/

    1. Hi Lisa.
      Thank you very much.
      Yes, Ukrainians are very strong and unbreakable! Nowadays, teachers conduct lessons in basements and in the metro. I admire them very much!

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