In the last post of 2010, I asked myself (and through me, all the readers of the blog), what makes a professional teacher. I hadn´t realized at that moment that I was going to witness what it is to make a real effort in order to improve. I want to share the experience with you now.
What would you to be ready to do? What would you sacrifice in order to learn, advance? Would you give up a week end at the beach? I imagine the answer: “Miss my holidays? No way. “ And that´s quite respectable, but today I have to extend my congratulations to a group (not small, by the way) of undergraduates who, being practicing teachers, do not have a degree yet and do everything in their power to become professionals in their own right.
Last week end I was invited by the School of Education of San Marcos University to teach a course for the Programme of Licenciatura in English for teachers who don´t hold a degree, and I entered a different world.
I had been asked to prepare the materials for the course, which have been published in a very nicely edited book, and to cooperate with the virtual campus moderation; but spending 12 summer hours on Saturday and Sunday, exchanging experiences with the group I was assigned to was invaluable, and a boost to my spirit.
The enthusiasm, open-mindedness, courage, and clearness of objectives these colleagues have are really admiring. Their sole presence and full attention made my own little sacrifice of one week end worth the effort. Imagine: these people have to study on their own for three weeks and then attend an intensive weekend of taught classes, every three weeks or so. Together with that they have jobs, families, problems . Two of the students had recently given birth to twins and a boy, another had nobody to leave her little daughter with, so she brought her to class, another had to work on the week end to make ends meet, one more had to leave for a couple of hours because she had promised a group of handicraft exporters from the sierra that she would help them translating in a visit of potential clients.
But that was not all I saw last week end. I saw the seeds of a bright future. I saw the embraces that will receive our children one day. I saw the light of hope.
For more information on the UNMSM programme click here.