Real stories
Teachers internship-2022. Expectations vs. reality
12 Aug 2022

Before the Teachers Internship Summer Program has started, we talked to past years' graduates and future participants to find out about the expectations from the internship, how does it differ from actual program impressions, and whether the curriculum changed for the last few years.

Heroes of our article:

  • Yurii Hnusov Head of the Department of Cyber ​​Security and Data Technologies. Despite the threat of shelling, he continues to work in Kharkiv, where he has been teaching students for over the last 20 years.
  • Yanina Kolodinska from Kyiv is just starting her teaching career, she has one year of experience. She believes that the mission of a modern teacher is to continue learning and improving their skills.
  • Viktoriia Naumenko, a teacher at the Lviv Lyceum, has been doing her favorite job for more than 9 years. She loves to modernize the educational process and get rid of outdated themes and topics in learning material.

Can you guess how many times each of our heroes has attended the Teachers Internship?

Yurii Hnusov has taught at the Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs since 1997. His areas of expertise include programming, information theory and encryption, and cyber security. Each semester Yurii helps 200 to 300 students take the first steps in programming. This year, he registered for the internship program for the first time on the recommendation of a friend.

This is my first experience of an internship in a Ukrainian IT company. I constantly strive to bring something new to the teaching system, so I need to be among people immersed in the IT environment. It is no secret that there is a significant difference between academic education and practice.

My specialization is cyber security. It is a slightly different area but to impart good-quality knowledge and answer students' questions from related fields, I must keep up with everything happening in IT.

Yurii noted that the summer is a good time for the internship because the workload is lighter, and he can focus on his personal training.

Some students come to the university only to get a diploma, but I am delighted that every year the number of people genuinely interested in learning grows. I am here for them because the more knowledge they have, the more opportunities they get.

Despite the abundance of information on the Internet, the teacher’s role remains essential. In addition to sharing knowledge, my first task is to guide students through torrents of information and teach them how to analyze it, inspire them to go further, and not to shrink from challenges since they present opportunities for growth. A modern teacher must continuously raise his professional level to be credible.

Yurii underlined that the internship apart from being beneficial for his personal development provides an excellent chance to establish and grow ties between a modern hi-tech company and his university. Unfortunately, the war impeded the negotiations on cooperation, but our team is hopeful that they will soon resume.

Yanina Kolodinska teaches at the Faculty of Information Systems at the European University private higher education institution. Yanina has only been a teacher for a year. Still, during that time she took a course on innovative entrepreneurship and startup technologies. She also finished the Teachers Internship program receiving a certificate of participation from EPAM and the IT Ukraine Association.

An internship at EPAM is invaluable as I want to provide my students with the most up-to-date knowledge and experience based on real cases. I'm also greatly interested in learning about modern IT technologies. I am passionate about startup planning and UX/UI design; I even run student clubs in these fields.

The internship gave Yanina an impetus to dig deeper into some subjects. The teacher has already completed several additional courses. Now she intends to master project management, particularly Kanban.

I attended many lectures during my training but the ones on design and project management had the biggest influence on me. Regarding the lectures, I should mention that because I had many of them every day, I often found myself distracted by work, the road, or other things. I suggest picking the materials you are interested in and listening to them somewhere you can focus on your studies.

Because of the war, the student clubs that Yanina runs have been postponed, but university classes are taking place as usual. This semester Yanina taught more than 250 students.

I believe that it is our duty, our front, to learn new things, and then teach the youth. Especially now when we will need to rebuild the country after the victory. And it will be that's for sure!

Viktoriia Naumenko has 9 years of teaching experience. She is a computer science teacher at the Vasyl Symonenko Lviv Lyceum. She loves her job so much that she has never experienced burnout in her teaching career. She says that she has registered for the program for the third time.

The Teachers Internship each time offers something new. I try to stay abreast of current technological developments; the children inspire me to improve myself. They grasp new things much faster and frequently ask questions. When I don’t know the answer, I'm not embarrassed to admit it, but I make a point of finding it out and returning to the discussion. Teachers Internship is the perfect place for me to get answers from experts.

Viktoriia plans to share the knowledge she gained during the internship with her 300 students, as well as her colleagues who were unable to enroll in the training.

When I came to school, we had Lazarus on the curriculum. I remember saying “Look, guys, nobody uses Lazarus or Pascal anymore, we need something modern.” We started to teach Python, databases, and Frontend, although the latter is tricky because there isn’t much time allotted. So, we mainly focus on HTML.

The lectures on Scrum and Git left the most vivid impressions from the previous programs. After the Teachers Internship, Victoria began to delve into these subjects and independently researched the Waterfall methodology.

Victoria recommends taking lectures seriously and planning your day to include extra time for studies to achieve the maximum effect from the training.

The program is extensive and contains many novel elements. Do not be afraid to ask questions, but still, search for answers yourself. And, of course, approach the training responsibly and not on the leftover principle: do not study between taking kids for walks, dealing with work-related issues, or running other errands.

Although Yurii, Yanina, and Viktoriia come from different backgrounds, they have many things in common, including incredible dedication to their profession, resolve, and thirst for knowledge. This year, to make the Teachers Internship even more exciting, they and other teachers will participate in a creative competition, the task of which will be visualizing the future of Ukrainian education. The winners will receive nice prizes and the opportunity to present a report at the annual IT Ukraine Education Summit, organized in conjunction with the IT Ukraine Association.

The EPAM team is grateful to the teachers who keep the educational front in unprecedented and difficult circumstances. We will make every effort to make the Teachers Internship a source of support and professional growth for you.