Tetiana Kovalenko works as an ESOL tutor at Learning Pembrokeshire.
Her life and the lives of millions of Ukrainians has changed dramatically over the last year, facing many challenges in seeking sanctuary, safety, and better living conditions.
For Tetiana, it took courage to start teaching in a new country. She says, “I was blessed to join the team at Learning Pembrokeshire as an ESOL tutor. I feel fortunate to be able to dedicate myself to supporting the learning of fellow Ukrainians and others who are settling in Wales.”
Delivering a combination of face-to-face and online classes, Tetiana creates a safe learning environment for them, many of whom have shared similar experiences to her own. Encouraging her learners not to be afraid of failure and of saying the wrong thing is an important part of building confidence in her learners and helping them to flourish.
At the very beginning of the intensive course, many of her learners had little enthusiasm for learning and didn’t believe in their own success, but Tetiana’s determination to change this and adapt her teaching, led to a gradual change in attitudes, self-belief and an improvement in their skills and knowledge.
At the end of the course one of her learners said, “We are smarter thanks to you. You inspired us to learn and instilled in us a love for English.”
As the number of refugees finding sanctuary in Pembrokeshire has been a challenge, Tetiana also volunteers her time to provide advice and practical support to those she can help.
Tetiana’s achievements have ensured that Learning Pembrokeshire has been able to adapt and rise to the challenge to meet the needs of the Ukrainian community at such a critical time in their lives.
For Tetiana, teaching ESOL is lifechanging, she says, “I can’t imagine my life without tutoring because for me it is not merely a job, it is a calling, a quest, and an opportunity to impact lives.”