Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Role-Reversal


When I first came to LU as a freshman, I was a declared missions major.  I was going to Ecuador as a single woman missionary and I didn't need no man.  After my first week of freshman orientation in a classroom full of boys, my advisor Harvey Hartman gently counseled me to find another major.  He thought it would be wiser for me to find a trade to bring to another country, and after much praying and thinking, I switched my major to ESL (a brand new major at LU).

ESL teachers were in such high demand in 2001 after I graduated, that I was able to get a job immediately even though I didn't have a teaching license (all I had to do was have a successful year of teaching and take a class, and I could get it easily).  I had a love/hate relationship with the elementary school I taught at.  The principle, Ms. Jessie's philosophy was that kids shouldn't be doing workbooks all day (which I agree with), therefore I had ZERO curriculum to work with when I arrived (a little extreme...).  Everyday I would wake up in a panic, because I constantly was forced to create some lesson plan out of thin air.  It was stretching, but I became more creative, resourceful, and learned more than I ever would have if I had just been handed a curriculum manual.  

The last three days I have been thanking God for Ms. Jessie.  Last month our Icelandic teacher told me he had started running ads for the English class I was going to teach in his back room.   I laughed and told him that I didn't think it would work out.  I was wrong.  We landed on Friday night at midnight and on Saturday and Sunday I was working on lesson plans and decorating my classroom.  My students are great.  I ask, "What's your name?" and the only response I get back is..."What's your name?"  I feel like I'm with little robots, repeating everything I'm saying. If it weren't for Haley being in the class with me, no one would talk;  she is a great teacher's assistant.   Colby is now a stay-at-home Dad (for 3 hours a day, that is), and I rush out the door to work every morning.  Haley LOVES school and I'm glad she's getting to meet some new little friends through this.  Darcy, however, is going through a mild depression.  She screams when I leave and refused to change out of her pajamas today (at least she didn't stay in bed and eat ice cream all morning, though).  I think she'll be okay... 

3 comments:

The Wires in Virginia said...

You've gotta know I'm excited for you about this! I miss the fun parroting!

I'm picturing you opening up to your students as naturally as I've seen you do before. You'll be using your sweet little anecdotes to not only help with English, but also highlight how much you value Jesus. God just keeps adding to your opportunities to minister, Annie!

Josh and Jadey said...

Very fun.. I am glad God has brought a change of pace for you. What a great experience for Haley to have as well. We miss you guys and we are praying daily!

Nancy Fauth said...

God always has us go through things for a reason, this is a perfect example. Good for you and Haley.
-Nancy