As a teacher, when you’re with your students, experiencing their growth as it happens, sometimes it’s difficult to realize how far they’ve come. Sometimes you need a little perspective.
Well that’s exactly what happened when our new students arrived.
As I sat giving the new students their preliminary speaking evaluations, I was reminded of the original students (whom we have lovingly named our “Pioneers”). Back in June, the Pioneers were awkward and confused. They either quickly blurted out whatever English they had memorized or sat looking at me blankly, answering every question with, “Yes.”
“Ma’am. Panigram Resort is very, very wonderful. I love Panigram Resort.”
“Oh, thank you. That’s nice. Now, what do you see in the picture?”
“What is the boy doing?”
“How is the weather?”
Over the past few months, I’ve been so focused on our goal ahead and all the work required to reach it that I had forgotten where we started.
Meeting the new students, I was reminded. Reminded of my first few lessons back in June, when I was still figuring out how much English skill the students really had. Reminded of the patience and repetition required to explain seemingly simple tasks. Reminded how overwhelming it all seemed.
Now, when I teach a class to the Pioneer students, they’re no longer awkward. It’s no longer laborious to give instructions. They no longer stare at me blankly and answer every question with, “Yes.” They do still tell me how much they love Panigram Resort, though. (Smile.)
So, as we begin again with the new students, who are still in their awkward phase, I am able to appreciate the progress we’ve made so far and feel even more excited about the progress I know we’ll continue to make.
We still have a long way to go, but there’s no doubt we’re getting there, one English class at a time.