One TEFL Logue Inspiration
Around this time last year, an aunt of mine passed away. She wasn’t primarily an EFL teacher, but her international experience continues to inspire me.
She spoke both Russian and Chinese (so in the 80’s you can imagine my family enjoyed just a few jokes about her being a spy) and lived for eight years in Hong Kong, helping edit a newsletter and also checking up on how some local (meaning Chinese, not foreign) Christians were doing. I was little and just knew it had something to do with a church, which, as I’d had a mostly not religious upbringing, was something I more or less glossed over. Today, I see it as some pretty amazing human rights work. I greatly regret that I never really discussed this with her in detail. She also traveled in Africa, Asia and Europe and, among other things, eventually used her Master’s Degree in International Education as a community college professor teaching writing to ESL university students.
Strangely, we didn’t talk much about working abroad – though she was always curious about my trips and experience. Quite importantly: she had been to Yugoslavia in the 70’s and had even hitchhiked a bit and was able to confirm that Croatian men…will be Croatian men. In the most charming way possible of course.
I really believe there are people who talk about doing things and people who go out and do those things, and my aunt was definitely among the latter group. While lots of different qualities make good EFL teachers, I think this ability – to get out there and do it – is essential in this field.