exploring, examining, exchanging, expressing
Thursday, April 12, 2007
By Any Other Name
They call me "Teacher." The way they say it, I can't help but smile. It warms my heart. It makes me want to live up to the name. I feel I need to earn it.

I've finished the first week of my regular class. It went quickly. The rest of the 5 weeks are sure to fly by, as well. Will my students have made progress by the end? Will I have taught them anything? I hope so. I'm up to six students in this class now (and should stay at that number), which is perfect. Today they were comfortable and animated. We laughed and joked. (When I do something too goofy, though, there are groans: "Ooooh, Teacher!") We had some great discussions. I taught them several new words (ranging from "guard-dog" to "bar-hop" - like I said, good conversations). We fixed some grammar mistakes. In fact, we were on such a roll, I didn't get to cover everything during class. So I got to give homework - whee! I'm hearing less Spanish and more English. I even stayed after class today to help one of them with a pronunciation problem. It felt very "teacherly."

Maybe someday the title will fit properly.

Of course, I learn things from my students, too. That's the bonus of discussion-centered classes. For instance, when we talk about their favorite vacations, I get to hear about the best places to visit in Costa Rica. Or if we talk about food, I learn which restaurants are good and which I should avoid. (Apparently there are some Chinese restaurants that serve "mystery meat"). This is stuff that doesn't make it into the guide books. It's a great opportunity to get insider information.

My freshman English teacher in college said she loved her job because it gave her the chance to have interesting conversations with intelligent people. At the time, I was skeptical. Teaching isn't exactly a high-prestige job. But I now know exactly what she meant.

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