First day of school… yet again

It has been waaaaaaay too long since I’ve been in the classroom. I worked at a tutoring chain for awhile and got to “teach” there, but it’s just not the same as having your own little group of students that hopefully become like family by the end of the class.

I have missed it so much. I am so very grateful for this opportunity I have to teach an intermediate English class to international university students. And now, only two days in, I know for sure that this is what I want to do, for a long time.

I feel alive in front of a class, and I take my responsibility very seriously. Most of my students are freshmen, and I love that I have the opportunity to introduce them to what college could be, and what studying in the US could be. I am so lucky to be working with international students; I love picking their brains about the language and culture (mostly Spanish and Mexican, respectively) and they love it, too.

I would say I’m a dynamic teacher, meaning that I move around constantly and always have a new activity going. Part of it is because I feel what is best as far as pedagogical philosophy goes, and also I get bored if I do the same thing for too long, thankyouverymuch adult ADD. (I diagnosed myself…..)

Today I collected a writing sample for a couple reasons: 1) because other instructors said it was a good idea, 2) because I want to see where their writing skills are and 3) to get to know their own personal stories about learning English and their goals for the class.

I’m reading them over now at home and have come across a couple things. One, is that their English is really really good for being at the beginning of the class! Some students need help with writing, some need help with reading comprehension, and others need help with grammar or speaking. Or maybe they just had a bad day when they took the TOEFL. Who knows.

Buuuuttt…. I got these comments after I asked the question “What are your goals for the class?”

[Now, that’s kind of a huge question to ask the second day of class… I wasn’t sure how well they would be able to express themselves.]

“…I’m sure is not going to be in a borring way so I’m not worry about that anymore….I hope at the end of the semester I can speak, spell and write English well or at least better then now. I’m sure that’s is going to happen because I really like this class.”

And this…

“…and i know that you are a great teacher and i feel very confortable with you, so by the end of the semester i will be able to speak english perfectly”


We. Are. Going. To. Have. An. AWESOME. SEMESTERRRR.

I just teach how I would like to be taught. That includes caring about my students both academically and personally, That includes creating (or stealing, ahem) activities that are interesting. That includes getting the students up and moving around. That includes being understanding about their cultural background and making sure the words coming out of my mouth are sensitive to that. That includes wanting to learn from my students as much I want them to learn from me. (Mexican slang, anyone?)

I think it’s safe to say I’ve fallen in love all over again. It’s been a long time coming.

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