The teacher’s day is for some reason is commonly perceived as exclusively a holiday for educators, workers of schools and universities. In fact, if you go beyond these patterns, it becomes clear: the teacher is not all about school, and you can teach not just mathematics. The answers of well-known Ukrainians collected in this text are not only stories about the primary school, but also a clear message: you can study not only behind the desks and not only from people older than you. Therefore this holiday is actually something much bigger than just flowers bought far above the market value.

Writer and translator Serhiy Osoka: “I am grateful to the first teacher and I love her. Though I realized it many years after I had graduated.”

There is a lot to say about teachers, because of them back in time many things had begun. I associate the very first major changes in my life with school and my teacher.

Lyubov Mykolaivna. Then I associated the first restrictions with her, the first serious “don’ts”. Somewhere back then, for the first time, I understood something about responsibility. Previously, these phenomena weren’t present in my life.

At the third lesson, I took out a sandwich from my bag and started to eat it. Lyubov Mykolaivna literally stunned me:

“You eat during the break. At the lessons, you’re studying.”

Lubov Mykolaivna, of course, was restricting my freedom. Now, they say, in schools, they teach differently. I recall a quote from the modern film, the words of the teacher: “They don’t respect us. We’re losers for them. And what a loser can teach?” I respected and feared Lyubov Mykolaivna. She made me realize the meaning of the word “order”. I’ve learned to bring some content into this order later. I am grateful to Lyubov Mykolaivna for meeting the deadlines. For not being late to the meetings. I am grateful to her and I love her. Though I realized it many years after I had graduated.”

Journalist and MP Mykola Knyazhytsky: “In order to be a person of authority for children, first of all, it’s necessary, to be honest with them.”

My main teachers are my parents who were teachers. Mom is still working at the school, my father is already dead. Certainly, there were many other teachers. And I am extremely grateful to all of my school teachers because they were very creative and extremely talented people. I don’t want to highlight someone because I love them all. Those who taught me at school. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

The teacher, above all, should be the authority. Children feel everything particularly acute and open. And in order to become the authority for children, it is necessary, firstly, to be honest with children. And, secondly, be able to be an example for them. Third, to be able to love them and find a common language with them. That is to replace them both father and friend, and mentor, and educator at the same time. All these is not very simple, but very interesting and creative job. I think that there are many such teachers in Ukrainian schools.

Writer, artist and director Valeriy Puzik: “Before him and after him I had teachers, but he is a mentor.”

There are many teachers, and only a few can be mentors, and if we talk about the second option, then I have one – Mykola Mazur, an artist, and sculptor from Khmelnytsky. I first met him at art courses in the center of Roerich back in far 2005. At that time, I was studying at the Faculty of Design, and those evening classes three times a week, I will remember them for all of my life.

Mazur was talking briefly and about the main things. He gave an understanding of color, the role of perspective in painting, photography, in the whole frame. He spoke about the material, both about the trial and about its choice as a form of expression. It’s difficult to explain briefly, but I think it was he who formed the basis of my understanding of art as an instrument. He taught me to cut off unnecessary elements both in form and in essence. Before him and after him I had teachers, but Mykola Mazur is a mentor. I think, up there, in heaven, he hears these words and smiles.

MP, diplomat, one of the authors of the Constitution of Ukraine Roman Bezsmertnyi: “From my teacher, I first heard the poetry of Oleksandr Oles and prose of Vynnychenko”

Obviously, the key person who formed me was Volodymyr Dovhych – he was my class teacher. He had fallen ill and died when I was in the ninth grade. But this is the person who actually gave me the things with which I grew up as a teacher.

Mr. Volodymyr has graduated in addition to his pedagogical courses and finished acting school also. Very often, he read stories, to us children. And he was reading those stories the way it seemed that we’ve just visited the show. He taught me how to read, not just to rush through the text, but read it. For him, it was a key educational tool. For the first time in my life, I had heard from him the poetry of Oleksandr Oles, the children’s prose by Volodymyr Vynnychenko. I was listening to the literature, which in fact was not published anywhere at that time. But he spoke to us about it and read. In fact, this gave us an attitude to life which is not black and white.

Musician, frontman of the “Dengi Vpered” band Felix Schynder: “If my teachers were to hear me now, I would have invited them to drink together some wine somewhere at the shore of the estuary.”

I have several people who taught me the things, from which pushed me to start educating myself. There was a biology teacher who took me to the center of the young nature lovers. Back then I fell in love with nature. There was an ornithologist Ihor Herzhyk. Thanks to him and my biology teacher I’ve taken the path of creative perception of the world, of pure nature. Everything is rooted here – the beauty of life, and the music went from here. And I am grateful for the fact that through acquaintance with nature I managed to build a lot in my life.

If I knew that my teachers were to hear me now, I would have invited them to drink together some wine somewhere at the fireplace on the shore of Kuyalnyk estuary, for I am a grown up man now.

MP Iryna Podolyak: “I learn from the young people, and I think that’s right.”

My best teacher, in fact, is my daughter. She was born when I was already quite a grown-up woman: I was 27 years old. Actually, everything I do in my life, I check with her, take her advice. Because it’s very interesting to me: how do they, the young people who live here, feel all the changes that we make. This is very important because in Ukraine policy-makers are mostly not very young. Often we are poorly aware of what’s happening in the world around us, how it lives, how it looks, how globalized it is. We also don’t realize it quite often. That’s why there are mostly young people in my social circle. If I choose whom to talk to, I want to go to young people, they are my teachers, and I think that’s right.

Fashion blogger and columnist of Opinion Maya Tulchynska: “She silently hated the entire Soviet program. However, something she hated aloud”

I was incredibly fortunate with teachers in my life. Apparently, because the quality of the “best in the world” Soviet education was often provided by people who could otherwise have become scholars, businessmen, journalists or even writers. They would surely have enough talent, perseverance, diligence, and charisma! But the Soviet authorities didn’t need businessmen. And for those careers, which at that time were available, they either lacked something or there was something odd. Not a perfect biography, let’s say, or an incorrect nationality. The may not like the form of your nose, the wrong one.

It was that “wrong” nose that my teacher of Ukrainian literature Emilia Nemyrovska had. And with this wrong nose, she was turning to the class, pointing her finger at it and said, “Children! My proletarian origins don’t leave any chance to accuse me of Ukrainian nationalism! But …” And then the most interesting part started.

The most amazing thing was that she silently hated almost all of the official Soviet program from the textbook for 11 grade. However, something she hated aloud. She told us the things, which were not mentioned in the program. She said, “ Program reading, you’ll do on your own, you’re big enough to handle it. And while I’m alive, listen to me!” Then she read us poems by Lina Kostenko and Vasyl Stus. She taught us to listen to the words with our hearts.

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