Teaching is such a learning experience. We have students from diverse backgrounds and experiences and they are all so interesting; all in their own way. I try to approach my students as individuals who have a lot to teach me and their other classmates. I try to facilitate their learning experience, not control or dictate it. Urbndervish and I are blessed with the opportunity to work with very dedicated, passionate teachers, both Algerian and non-Algerian. Don’t mess with the Algerian English teachers! They are serious and can probably teach English grammar better than many native English speakers (and may use it better than some too)! There’s a difference between being instructed in the use of language and be instructed through the use of language. Fortunately, I am expected to correct grammar more than teaching it.
For those of you who know Urbndervish, he’s a born teacher! Very charismatic and lovable. He can make some of the most boring lessons seem interesting. My students and I are vibin’ well too and I look forward to witnessing their progress. More than this, I am eager to witness the moments of empowerment where they realize their own progress and the expansion of their assumed limitations.
Here’s just one example of how my students surprise me. I told some of my students that I’m Jamaican and their responses were: “Usain Bolt”, “Bob Marley” and (check this!) “Sean Paul”. What ya’ll know about Sean Paul?!?!
One thing that I really appreciate about the school we teach at is that they approach English as a universal tool that does not belong to America, the UK, or any other English-speaking country. English is a tool and an opportunity for everyone to join today’s global discourse on every topic you can imagine. Not just to listen to the conversation but to participate in it- expressing their ideas and opinions and sharing their brilliance with the world. We don’t teach Algerians how to be American; we teach them how to understand English as a language, as Americans use it, and then use it to express and share their own culture. Speaking English is an advantage that can benefit others; at least for now. Who knows? Maybe in the future Chinese will be the new international language. I hope it will be Arabic though! 😉