I am Ligia and I am a teacher. I´m always trying to teach my students more than English so I always present them with stories, songs or pieces of art from the United States. When I do this, I find they engage with their learning process.
Most of my students haven´t had proper English lessons until they started high school. And by then, they arrive with enough bias to reject the language. But when these teenagers learn that a language is more than grammar, they put on lenses and find bright new colors to understand the world.
That is what this experience has meant to me. Every time I study the sources or watch the lectures with which the different professors have provided us; I see radiant technicolor hues and the passion I feel for teaching increases. I´m eager to share every lesson with my students and as a matter of fact, I have already started. The result of the experiment is that I found a usually quiet classroom with a lot of virtual hands raised. I remember that particular lesson urged them to think wisely about a vote that was going to define the future of our country.
When I was about to start the program, I read the biographies of my colleagues and I was impressed. Sometimes I find myself nervous every time I speak, and my accomplished colleagues are always listening with a smile. I have learned a lot from them. They also struggle to give their students the best, they are engaged with education and have done so much with the always limited resources.
I have learned a lot more than politics, culture or history. I´m always aware of the strategies the professors are implementing, the educational resources they use, and the activities they organize. I have also seen the human approach every professor has given to their particular lecture. I´ve felt in their words how they are trying to make us listen to the voice of the oppressed and make this world better. The passion they have for what they do is contagious.
Sometimes I feel my eyes filled with tears of joy, and one can´t feel but absolutely grateful and responsible for giving back because I have received so much.
All opinions expressed by the program participants are their own and do not represent nor reflect official views from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, or of the Institute for Training and Development, Inc.