Please be tidy

Asia is a young woman from Afghanistan who is currently studying English and accounting at a local center in her town in northern Afghanistan. We’ve seen her progress amazingly in a very short time, thanks to her yearning to learn.


Photo: public domain


IN the winter time, when I was in 9th or 10th grade, I taught English to little girls and boys. [Winter is school vacation time in Afghanistan, as most schools are not heated. Children can go to centers during this time and take extra courses if they want to, often sitting in their coats and hats to stay warm.] They were so very sweet. I loved all of them very much. They loved me very much too! It was a wonderful and joyful winter for me. One week I had to go to Kabul and could not teach them.  I told another teacher to teach them. I told the teacher, “Please don’t tell my students any bad things and please don’t be angry with them because they are so special to me. 

     Every week we had a quiz on Thursdays. I took their papers home and checked everyone’s papers. On Saturdays I brought their papers back to them. I taught them from an English book called, “Active 1”. After they finished this book, I gave them an exam from all of the material in this book. 

    After the exam, everyone wanted to know their scores. I told them their scores. One girl, her name was Mitra, she took the first position. She was intelligent, and a nice and tidy girl. I gave her a gift, a notebook and a pen, because she got the first position. 

     I can’t forget those moments even for awhile. Every time and everywhere when my students see me, they all say, Salaam [“Hello”] and respect me. Now they all have become young and beautiful girls and boys. I love all of them so much. 

     When I taught them, we had lessons with fun and we were like friends in the class. Besides English, I always tried to teach them something good. For example, I always told them, “Please be tidy girls and boys.” —Asia

 ©InterestEng. July 2013 - July 2021 §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff photos or used with permission.  §  To contact us: