Today was a very anxious and responsible day to me. I had to teach English for the first time in the USA after a one year break in teaching. I was concerned about many questions, starting with: "Do I remember how to teach?" up to "Will I be able to manage a group of multicultural diverse students of different ages?"
First of all, I should say that I have the best teacher ever to work with, Patricia Hoffmann, who is an experienced teacher of English in an Intensive English Program, highly respected both by her students and colleagues. It is a big responsibility and pleasure to be under her supervision. Another wonderful point is that this group of students is the most amazing group I have ever met. They are 11 young people in the age of 19 to 26 from Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Japan. I will have 5 classes with them and the first one was really challenging to me. The reason for that lies not in my anxiety about my ability to teach. I forgot about it after the first minute when the students entered the room so supportive with shining smiles. My biggest challenge was the topic I had chosen. We spoke about the human rights. It is a very interesting topic to discuss. Just interesting to discuss for me. But for students from Haiti, it happened to be a quite painful topic because they live in a country where their rights are very often violated. During this hour I had learned a lot about the life of people in their countries. It was difficult to lead a discussion when students expressed their pain along with their opinion.
However painful my first experience was when emotions tried to prevail over the process of language teaching, it was really wonderful and educational both for me and for them. I am looking forward to my next 4 lessons where we will try to find out beautiful aspects of the life of young people.