Sez who? Sez I. That’s the great thing about blogging. You can declare anything to be anything, and stick it up on the Web, and voilà.
But wait! I don’t mean appreciation of teachers, though I certainly feel appreciated. I mean appreciation by teachers, that is, our appreciation of Language ETC. I don’t know about you, but the organization and especially the students give me back much more than what I give them. Of course, it doesn’t always feel that way; some days, when I’m preparing for class, it feels like just one more (unpaid) job. But that feeling never lasts. By the time I finish class and head home, I’m energized. And I feel like I’m doing something to support what I believe in instead of just talking about it.
Which raises an interesting question. Why did you choose teach English to immigrants, rather than do some other kind of volunteer work? What kinds of life experiences drew you to Language ETC? How does teaching here fit in with your values and beliefs?
I’m curious about how some people develop positive attitudes toward immigrants in a society that is becoming ever more hostile to them. For me, it started with living for three years in West Africa. Though that was 30 years ago, it had a lasting impact on the way I see other people, cultures, and languages. I suspect that quite a few of us have had some kind of international experience, but that various life experiences could have similar effects — perhaps growing up as the child of immigrants, or becoming friends with people from other cultures in college or at work. Please share. If you would be willing to chat briefly about the experiences that led you to LETC, please drop me an e-mail (see the About page) or talk to Steve or Lee. I’d like to include some responses in a future blog post.
Meanwhile, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, here are some of our fantastic teachers in action. All photos © Elsie Hull.