the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stay or Go Now?

De ja vue! I swear I had this problem last year. I really wanted to
leave, but everyone keeps asking me to stay.

What follows is an excerpt from an email exchange between my
(English-speaking) surrogate mother here in Aomori. I think it's the
most balanced argument I've heard yet.

"I've never actually seen you in action as a teacher and you don't
always exude confidence that I associate with good teaching. However,
you may actually be a very good teacher.
And when I see you with students outside of class I'm certain that
you're not a bad teacher!
The good reasons for staying.... there is a great deal to be said for
continuity in the job at Seiai. They need a few long term Christian
teachers who THINK like Christians and ACT like Christians - as well as
speaking like Christians. Obviously, your student thought you fit this
category when she chose to approach you about church. There are clues
that others think this way about you as well.
God has definitely gifted you with gifts of attitude - a balance between
not agreeing with everything/but not being arrogant and pushy about it -
that suit you for the job. And if God has given you teaching as either a
natural or spiritual gift you will improve in the job year by year and
that would make you an even better candidate for staying."

My favorite English junior high English teacher also asked me to stay
today. He said, I really think you're a good teacher and you have good
style. And that's not just "oseji" (a white lie / compliment).

I'm really glad to hear that from both sources, because I don't get much
feedback at all.

I have some fears about staying here: 1) I don't feel qualified, I want
to go back to school a little 2) recently I've been tired all the time;
I'm afraid of absolutely failing, falling on my face exhausted. 3) I'm
afraid I'm so busy teaching I can't do anything to foster the growth of
Christianity here (like start a real Bible study). But if I can't do it
now, how will the next newbie who comes here ever be able to do it?

This is on my mind a lot. Defiantly more later.

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