¿Una Profesora? Who, Me?

Heather Kurtz - Ecuador

January 31, 2012

In early January, the Prefecto (governor) of Napo came up to me and asked when I was leaving Ecuador.  When I told him in April, he announced, “That’s great! So, now you are going to teach English”.  You do not tell the Prefecto no.  So I got a little worried about what I was going to do.  I was in a panic thinking, I’m not a teacher. I have no idea how to teach English or anything.  Help!

Well, yesterday was my second class.  After spending the whole day preparing for this class, writing the plans, and printing worksheets, the whole nine yards… I had a great class.  We started with a dialog.  The students were in two lines: one A, the other B.  Then, they talked, and I watched.  You should have seen it!  They talked back and forth, and I would help when they asked for it.  The truth is that I did not have to do much of anything.  The students did it all.  They talked, and they helped each other.  Those who knew it helped and encouraged those who didn’t.  I never expected this, that being a teacher sometimes means letting the students teach themselves.  It was the most amazing thing.  I stood in awe.  I guess that I am not such a bad teacher after all.

I now understand why teachers are teachers.  It is not because they get a great pay check or because they like to give homework and make life difficult. No, the reason is to see the success of the students, to watch them grow and learn.

Heather Kurtz