Why I love teaching
One of the many privileges I have in my position is the chance to meet and teach visiting teachers from other countries. Every semester, Trinity Western University welcomes at least four teachers from Tianjin, China for 3 ½ months of professional development. During the summer, ESLI (English as a Second Language International, the English language school on campus) also facilitates short term teacher training programs. A group of 14 teachers is currently studying here, taking advanced language classes in the mornings and education classes in the afternoons and working towards the development of a professional portfolio. I have been working with ESLI to put together the afternoon sessions. This includes organizing guest lectures by some of our best professors, giving me a chance to boast of the excellent quality of education and scholarship we have here. I also have the pleasure of teaching a number of these lectures, which gives me the chance to share experiences and learn more about the Chinese way of thinking and teaching. Every summer, I realize how much I love being in the classroom because much of my summer work is at my computer. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," and this I have found to be true. I really miss my students and the relational aspect of being a professor. So when I was asked to take on the summer teacher project for these guests from China, I was excited to be able to balance my research and development work with more time in the classroom. In my first session, I spent some time getting acquainted and facilitated several needs analysis activities. The results helped me to have a better sense of what the teachers already know and what they feel they need to know, which will in turn help me to create a program that is motivating and fulfilling. In my second session, we discussed some of the differences between the Chinese and Canadian education systems, with a specific look at how our ideologies shape expectations and choices in the classroom. Next week, I will be teaching a session on methods for helping students develop vocabulary, one of my favorite topics. Best of all, as I have the chance to spend time with the group, God teaches me a lot of things beyond what I could have prepared.