When Ms. Jan asked all of us to meet up at SM Lanang Starbucks, I was not only unsure where it was, but I also was not certain where the road of TESOL training would lead me. Sure, I knew exactly why I needed to take TESOL, but what I didn’t know is what I would be learning. Anxiety filled me coupled with strife in juggling my work, my online job and the intricate tasks of lesson plans. I became outrageously bothered with the idea of getting little or no sleep. To make matters worse, I live the farthest and time became my instant enemy. I tried to make up for what I have missed. Well, I’m not sure if it was obvious, but if it was not then I probably failed. But if Ms. Jan still doesn’t know that, now is an auspicious time for me to say “Ms Jan, I did my best and I hope my best was good enough.”
Anyway, despite the tardiness, I mean extreme tardiness, I try to perform and make you all happy. As the ever famous Mr. Anonymous mentioned in one of the proverbs,” I like to make people happy because it’s one of my favorite hobbies.” All I’m saying is, I have tried to be always here because I want to be here.
As TESOL progresses, I have learned that I still have been using some conventional teaching methods. You know, that’s pretty disappointing especially when you’ve been teaching since the early 21st century. Wow, that makes me sound ancient. Wait let me rephrase that. I mean, it’s disappointing especially when I’ve been teaching for 13 years…Hmmm…still sounds ancient.
TESOL at Pacesetters has taught me new ways to handle the class. My old favorite High School teacher, from whom I patterned many of my teaching styles, has suddenly become obsolete. Imagine the frown on her face if she knows. The TESOL way, I believe, should become every teacher’s bible or mantra…. whether you are teaching English, Science, Math or teaching a little child to change his gross diapers or clean his mess on the desk…and the mess on the table and soon enough the mess on the kitchen sink. But seriously, I’ve learned that learning becomes more exciting and exhilarating if it is learning by doing and if the student is given more opportunity to speak and voice out his opinions to develop not only his knowledge, but also to make him more sensitive about what’s going on around him, so he eventually can take action to make his life and the world better. I’d like to add that we aren’t just teaching English. English is such an exciting subject to teach because we can discuss anything under the sun giving English teachers the avenue to teach not just facts or grammar, but also interesting stories and values. I learned that our role as teacher doesn’t end in the classroom because indeed, we are very influential, and that gives us an enormous responsibility and a great sense of plausibility to do many things, say, to encourage or to discourage. I guess the answer there is obvious.
After this course, I await the day when I will be really out there, exploring the world, immersing in different cultures and making a huge difference in people’s lives. I’d probably be in Japan, maybe in a country as exotic as Indonesia or Cambodia or even yet, enjoying the rich cultures of India, Italy, Paris or Brazil. Whatever God gives me, I accept. I accept the responsibility of making people smile, learn and find purpose in their lives. I accept the challenge that God brings my way and I won’t ever twinge or fear especially now that I’m equipped the TESOL way.
Finally, I am grateful to have met all of you. You have all been absolutely inspiring and friendly making this training quite fun and memorable. I thank Ms. Jan for a hectic, but wonderful, knowledge-packed and extremely inspiring two weeks. I have indeed learned invaluable lessons and techniques that are useful to make me a better teacher. I am glad that I learned a great many things from everyone, and in my life, you all have honestly become one of my favorite things.