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April 21, 2005

Wow! You guys really are reading this!

Hello everyone!

I was thrilled to see all of the responses to our survey about this blog and the newsletter. Thank you for all of your kind comments--I'll be getting to all of them soon and post them for everyone to see.

One comment that stuck out to me was this (I'm sorry; I didn't get a name because it wasn't signed.)

"A serious suggestion that I consider to be of great importance in ESL around the world would be to bring the ethical responsibilities of the educational professional to the attention of prospective teachers. Your presentation in particular is going to appeal to the hedonist in us all, so a reminder of the professional commitment necessary to prevent the EFL / ESL industry (from) becoming more exploitative might be appropriate. This applies more and more the further job opportunities get away from our strict and stressful home countries ... There is often no idea of standards of English or professional responsibility once away from Europe and America. The poor peoples of the world need good, honest English teachers who care about the progress of students and their communities as much as their own income and lifestyle."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

There is no doubt that the lifestyle that many of us lead is straight out of a fairy tale book. We get to leave behind all of the normal stresses that come with working in a traditional environment (granted, we pick up a few others along the way), and live a life full of adventures, new sights, tastes and smells. At least for me, I feel as if I'm constantly learning something new and simply can't imagine a "normal" lifestyle.

But this is serious business.

As stated in the comment above, our students rely on us to be true professionals and do our best to ensure that they learn English. If you think about it, many of their dreams revolve around knowing English.

In other words, we can't let the "lifestyle" become more important than the mission.

For all of you who are thinking about becoming a teacher, it's important that you truly consider this: is your goal to become a great teacher, or simply see the world?

And for all of you veterans: Do you still have the passion that it takes to be a great teacher?

It's food for thought, huh?

I got a lot of comments and questions about Greece and also about becoming an ESL teacher at a more, uh-hum, older age. I have a lot to say about both issues in the near future, so keep checking back. Anyone out there teaching in Greece now? We'd love to hear from you! Are there any older teachers who would like to throw in their two-cents?

Until next time,


Posted by msimmons at April 21, 2005 12:38 PM

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