Sunday, November 21, 2010

Teaching English - are you alone?

by David Lloyd

We have all been there. We enter the classroom, close the door, and are all alone. Alone with 30 to 40 students regarding us with a mixture of suspicion and apathy. "Entertain us!" their cry silently rings out. And then their eyes fade away into grey and we have lost them for the next hour.

There are days when this is the greatest profession on earth. Where we feel that we have singly made a significant difference in their lives, and have done much more than simply teach English learning strategies. And then there are days when we wonder why we ever believed we could be a teacher.

We finish the day and go home, left with many questions unanswered. The teacher's life is often a very lonely one. We wonder at times if we are the only ones experiencing such self doubts and facing the daily challenge of enriching our teaching experience.

One of the reasons for creating this virtual network for English teachers is to help us through this. Our belief is that every teacher, no matter what his or her experience, has something to offer - something unique to say. Through listening to each other and working together, we will not only not feel alone, but will turn our teaching into a much more meaningful experience, both for our students and for ourselves.

We hope that you will take an active part in the deliberations.

5 comments:

  1. I sincerely believe there is not another group of dedicated professionals to compare to ETNI. Hardly a day goes by when we don't need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to vent to, and we can always find it in this community. I do think that the English teachers of this country are an amazingly dedicated, professional and caring bunch of people who are sorely under-appreciated by a. the powers that be b. the students and c. the parents. We often feel that we are bending over backwards to help students who simply badger us for grades and I find that sad. Thank goodness we can always count on this group for support and understanding and thank you David for making that possible.

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  2. I remember when I found ETNI, the number of years ago more than I care to articulate at this point. I was in career-changer mode, first year of teaching English after a few questionably useful teacher training summer sessions, working with special needs elementary kids in an inner-city setting...angst is not a strong enough description of my perpetual state of exhaustion, struggle to communicate, and worry about having my students learn. And I was pretty much alone...until I subscribed to ETNI (I think it was one of my first attempts to subscribe to anything on the net...that's how long ago it was). There weren't too many of us. I committed my first e-mail faux pas by forwarding a touchy-feely post, and was promptly slammed virtually. But David Lloyd was a soothing cybervoice, who immediately invited me to share what I was learning about teaching some good stuff to SEN kids. Once someone invites you into a circle, and recognizes your value as a contributor, "alone" seems to fade. Thanks David--over the years you have been an inspiration to thousands of teachers here in Israel and abroad, and I have truly enjoyed being your helper on some of your ventures. Here's to your newest journey!
    --Ellen Serfaty, Jerusalem

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  5. Thank you for the encouragement . I guess today is one of these days .

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