Education for All? Past and Future

As my departure time for Azerbaijan approaches, I have been thinking about the challenges that await me as a future educator. Having previously worked as a teacher in the developing world, I do feel as if I have a small amount of experience in handling this job. However, I know that I have so much to learn. This past summer, I worked in India as an English teacher in an High School. One of the biggest challenges that I had was gaining respect amongst the teachers and the administrators. Yes, we were American college students, but we had to do more than just show up and tell them we were ready to teach. One of the things that I did was just visiting the various classrooms. Many (not all) of the teachers appreciated when we came to their classes. Afterward, I would usually just talk with the teachers about life and about what their interests are. I ended up starting many conversations and friendships. I usually talked to one person at a time. After a while, one teacher would introduce us to another and another. One of the things that I discovered is that the best way to integrate oneself into a community is to start out small. You don’t have to become friends with 30 people at once. Sometimes meeting 1-2 people at a time is the best way to meet more people. Also, always accepting invitations to go to dinner with families living in the community is very important. I realized why not. When will I have the opportunity to travel to this area of the world and fellowship with these people? Anyway, that’s just some of the things that I learned. I will have more to say, but just not now. But, I do hope that some of these lessons will aid me in my work in Azerbaijan.

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