Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Teacher's Day ... Who Are You?

Today I had a nice surprise when I went to my school - it's Teacher's Day in Ecuador. I received a beautiful rose from the Abraham Lincoln school and many well-wishes and hugs from my students. My current students were somewhat obligated to acknowledge the holiday, but the past students who made a point to come give me a kiss on the cheek and a hug were especially precious.

Now if only I could remember who they all were ....

Between my own classes, substituting for other teachers, being around the school, etc, etc, I have met well over a hundred dedicated English students. Some of them are unforgettable, but others fade into namelessness when the new cycle starts (12 week class cycles). I recognize their faces as having been in my class, but I can't quite put a name on the face.

The worst is when I see the students out and about and nowhere near the school, so my brain can't sort them by their class time or level. I met a student on the bridge to Solano today coming back from her high school, and though we had a nice conversation, I still don't know if it was Jessica or Veronica. I'm pretty sure she's Jessica. I think. Definitely a Saturday morning student ...

Still, even if I don't always have a ready name to put to the face, it is nice to be able to recognize people on the streets of Cuenca who are not my fellow foreigners. This is a definite benefit of teaching - you have a recognized connection to the society, and get to feel more at home in the culture. Also, the students definitely know you, so it makes for those nice moments that you would have in a small neighborhood, stopping and chatting, even in the middle of Cuenca's bustling byways.

Happy Teacher's Day, indeed!

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