Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Teaching had come to be a chore (especially at the end of the semester with finals & deadlines, etc.)… as many routines in life can seem, if we do not take time to recharge, look forward, or challenge ourselves to think creatively. It’s so easy to get frustrated with teaching large classes of 50 students, since they are hard to manage and much less personal. Now that I’m teaching smaller conversation classes (ten or less students!) this summer I’ve found enjoyment in teaching again.

Teaching is such a great creative outlet. I’m very excited about teaching my students this summer and have been busily planning fun and creative activities to stimulate conversation in class. Teaching and learning can be so much fun. I’m constantly learning new things as I plan my lessons. This energy lends itself well into other parts of my life. It reminds me to take a whole new perspective on things; it fuels me. I can see a purpose in what I’m doing- beyond just teaching my students practical conversation skills (i.e. telephone etiquette, “travel English”, daily usage words). I’m thinking of ways for them to learn so that English is relevant to their work and lives beyond a purely superficial sense. I feel energized!

I’ve also been inspired in part from my first session with my new private English tutoring student, who, let’s just say, is someone who’s got some major clout in developing Southern Taiwan. From today’s conversation alone, I’ve learned that her ideas and vision for developing Southern Taiwan include: improving the tourism infrastructure, reforming the social welfare and health services departments, and promoting business development and commerce. Any one of these projects would be enough for one person to handle, never mind all three… She’s going to start by visiting various sites and organizations in the U.S. to learn from them as examples. It’s clear why she wants to and needs to brush up on her English speaking skills. She’s a super ambitious lady with a lot on her plate. I can’t even begin to articulate the multitude of things she’s going to have to touch on within these three categories. It’s very exciting. I think that this is going to be as much of a learning experience for me as for her.

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