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ASU Faces

Lyudmila Kupriyanova

This article is one more page in Adyghe State University portfolio, dedicated to our teachers, graduates and students, their successes and dreams, hopes and achievements. They are a living testament to the quality of education we provide, an integral part of our history, our past, present and future.

Welcome to another story, another ASU Face – Lyudmila Kupriyanova, an English teacher in a local high school. Recently she became a laureate of the «Kuban Teacher of the Year – 2020» on the municipal level. Our graduate will represent her district at the regional contest in February.

Lyudmila took up teaching more than fifteen years ago, after graduating ASU Foreign Languages Department. Today we discussed her dreams, hopes, favorite teachers and contemporary educational issues:

 - Why did you decide to participate in the contest?

- The headmaster of my school and a long-time colleague of mine motivated me to do that.

- Tell us more about the contest. What was it like? What do you need to do now?

- The contest had three stages. First, every participant gives a lesson in the presence of specially appointed committee who evaluate it according to their criteria. Those teachers who pass it organize an extracurricular event for their students. I had a training seminar for my fifth graders, where we discussed the importance of saying “no”, responding to peer pressure and value of personal opinions and beliefs. Only five participants enter the regional “Teacher of the Year” competition. It takes place in Krasnodar every year. Now I need to prove my worth competing with forty-four teacher representatives from all over the region.

- What memories have you got of ASU?

- The best and warmest ones, I think. I had the time of my life there. There I had the honor of meeting my mentor – Zara Shadzhe. For me she was the perfect example of everything a teacher ought to be.

- Do you keep in touch with your former teachers?

- When I was a student Susanna Bedanokova was our Dean. Our amazing teachers: Aza Tikhonova, Nuriet Yagumova, Lyudmila Kovalskaya, Svetlana Sasina – contributed to our education on a large scale. Everything I know about German I learned from Valentina Kovaleva, a strict teacher and a wonderful person.

My fellow student Susanna Makerova is now a professor with a PhD, teaching at our Department. Viktoria Dedenko, a student of my own, is a first year student there as well.

- Did you think of yourself as a teacher? When did languages become an interest?

- No, I didn’t consider teaching at first. English wasn’t my strongest suit either. However, when I started to think about my professional prospects I attended Professional Day at ASU, got a glimpse of what it was like, studying here, at the department, and didn’t want to go anywhere else. Since that day English language took up every moment of my spare time.  

- Today high school students have to pass state exams to go to a university. What do you think of this arrangement?

- We didn’t have this system when I was a high school graduate. We had two language exams – Speaking and written translation, or just Speaking, if you were a straight “A” student. State Exams system has both advantages and drawbacks. One of the first is an opportunity to choose a number of universities all over the country, not just one, after passing exams at your school as well. Although I didn’t go through the state exams routine in my time, I do this every year with my students.

-From this year on, state English exam will be compulsory in a number of regions. What is the point in that? What are the advantages and faults, if any?

- Personally, I see nothing wrong with that. It’s hardly a secret that today learning foreign languages is a necessity, and not one we should ignore. Prospects of overseas work and travel are motivation enough. Ways of teaching it are an entirely different matter. Unfortunately a great number of rural schools are not equipped to provide sufficient language learning. Combined with a lack of specialists, it results in motivational disparity. I teach my students to welcome every experience with positivity.

- What can you say about another launch – electronic school registers?

- The idea of it means progress. But the implementation often results in mounts of paperwork, reports, programs, directives and robs us of all the spare time we have.

- Are you a homeroom teacher? If so what do think of the new policy of financial incentives recently announced by the President?

- I’m a homeroom teacher for the seventh graders. It’s not an easy job. It’s not just one child with issues and problems, but thirty. Children grow, so do their problems, and it’s my duty to guide them every step of the way. Sometimes having parents is not enough. So as any teacher I’m very pleased with this turn of events.

- Does ASU provide its students with sufficient professional knowledge in your opinion? Did you spend a lot of time learning what you need on your own?

- I believe that I had to put my professional knowledge to the test on multiple occasions. My alma mater gave me the best of everything. Of course I do what I can to ensure my professional growth and self-improvement in teenage psychology, teaching, language skills.

- Tell us about your plans. Is there anything you’d like to do?

- I have both plans and dreams. Travelling is one of them. There are a lot of places I’d like to see. I can say that my plans are made, and I believe they will one day come true.

We wish our former graduate – now a wonderful teacher – good luck and the best of everything.