lauren michele (arrowed) wrote,
lauren michele
arrowed

Teaching Here and Abroad.

This is in response to an email that a professor forwarded about a former student of his working in Rwanda. Just some thoughts on teaching, both here and abroad.

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Thanks for forwarding that along. As someone who doesn't envision herself living in the U.S. for her entire education career, and as someone who has visited and vowed to return to eastern Africa (Kenya), I've always been interested in teaching abroad. In learning more about the British education system and how colonialism has impacted education worldwide, I do see myself occupying teaching positions much like your former student's (I didn't catch her name) that are varied in their locale as well as in their scope.

There always comes the tension in my head: do I prioritize helping students (and teachers) in this country change the way that they approach education? How long will it be until I get burned out on unruly students who don't want to learn and prove their intelligence by their wily and intricate plans to avoid learning? We'll see. I tend to cater toward those students who everyone else throws their hands up and just sends out of the room. I guess my threshold of patience is high.

I simultaneously am exhausted and exhilarated by my students in Detroit and am looking forward to my new students in New York next fall. I know that my zeal for education is long-term. The question becomes, how do I preserve my dedication so that it doesn't get eroded by cynicism, red tape and all of the outside-the-classroom drama? This, of course, is a rhetorical question. Just wanted to share my response. Thanks again, Rich!! I do hope to keep in touch on my journey.

Cheers,
Lauren
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your statement about british colonialism and "occupying" teaching positions seems odd - if you participate in those kinds of teaching opportunities, do you see yourself perpetuating colonialism or outside of it because of your understanding of it?
that's exactly the tension. as someone who from a country that is currently occupying and colonizing all over the world, how could i be anything other than that teaching English in another country? i would like to say that my presence could be anti-colonialist, but i question if it would be perceived that way by my students or if it could really ever be that way.
With all the talk about teaching abroad, what is really needed is more professors to go abroad to teach teachers. See the new book on amazon.com: "Teaching and Helping Students Think and Do Better".