My entire life I wanted to be an English teacher. As a little girl I played school with my poor, helpless, bossed-around younger sisters, and as a college student I wavered between majoring in English and journalism, changing my major five times as I tried to decide between a career as a teacher and joining the world of communications.
I picked communications.
But a small part of me has always dreamed of someday being an English teacher. And now I am, although in a classroom I never expected.
Mr. Right and I are working with an ESL (English as a Second Language) class at our church. Will is the organized guru who makes sure teachers have their lessons, classrooms are set up, kids are returned to their parents, and tummies are full with pizza each week.
I teach the beginner’s class with one of my best girlfriends, and I have fallen in love with my students.
In the past six weeks I’ve taught people from DR Congo, Burundi, the Ivory Coast, Jordan, Egypt, Nepal, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. In our other classes we have folks from South Korea, the Ukraine, Bangladesh, Syria, Somalia, and several other countries that I can’t seem to remember now.
I have refugees. I have a physician. I have people who need to learn English to find work. I have the very old and the very young. One of my students has seven children. I have people who speak Swahili, French, Spanish, Arabic, Nepali, and Bangla. I have muslims and Christians, and I suspect I probably have some hindus and buddhists. I have a child who told me that in his country, if you convert to Christianity, you will be killed. My students have lived such brave lives.
I have never met a more fascinating group of people. My beginner students are passionate about learning English – many are searching out additional programs so they can get more practice. They ask questions and work hard to grasp the concepts, they help each other, and they do every last bit of the homework I assign them. They are a dream class to teach.
Even better, they’re learning English at my church. Every week as we celebrate the end of a lesson with pizza, we tell them about Jesus, and about how incredibly loved they are by Him. And by us.
It’s rewarding to teach someone English. To open a new world of possibilities, of freedom, of independence. It’s even more rewarding to share with them the source of my hope, and my peace, and my motivation for loving them.