I am an educator. And as an educator, and also as a lifelong learner, I have been having some interesting thoughts that are probably only interesting to you if you are also an educator. But maybe I can make this interesting for someone who isn’t.
While I was in college, I had one professor in particular who really stood out to me. She was heavily involved in the International offices, and one day, she explained that she donated blood to one of her students who needed blood. On another occasion, she let me schedule an appointment with her where we talked for 2 hours about life, and about my career goals.
I view this professor as a role model, a great teacher, and someone who I greatly aspire to be one day.
On the FLIP side, I am now an international student. Today, I had an issue with the university, and my professor said, “nobody else in here has that problem, so I don’t know what to tell you.” (read: I don’t care.)
Awhile ago, I met someone who had not studied education, and tried to have an intelligent conversation with her. When I explained how excited I am to teach abroad, she said: “Germans have more highly trained teachers than America and they won’t see your education as the same standards as theirs.”
I would like to return the offensive remark and say, first of all, that I would never, as an American teacher, be expected to teach a subject which I am not certified in (it happens all the time in Germany). I would NEVER teach a language by using textbook grammar drills (it happens in Germany too often). I would N.E.V.E.R. yell at a group of middle schoolers and call them “verdammte Hacke” to get them to settle down (I saw it with my own eyes).
Germans may have a different way of doing things, and I really respect a lot of teachers and programs here. But I have to give myself credit as an American trained teacher. The work I have done caring for children’s needs is so important, and without this aspect of teaching, you are missing out on getting to know your students — empathizing with them, supporting them, and encouraging their journey as a lifelong learner.
** On a more positive note, I am truly truly in love with my experience so far and I love that nobody can take that away from me. I’m taking my TERRIBLE American self into the classroom and everywhere else I go, too!