Prayer That We Might Remember Our Real Purpose in the Language Classroom

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2 thoughts on “Prayer That We Might Remember Our Real Purpose in the Language Classroom”

  1. I don’t consider myself particularly religious, but 40 years in a language classroom led me to my own version of prayer, which is more like begging for a life raft than anything else. I never believed in angels either, until I started asking for their help at certain critical moments in the classroom when I was emotionally and mentally on the losing end of a fight with my students. Each time the prayers and angels proved their worth. Then, when I got out of the classroom finally, in one piece and fairly successful by the fourth decade, I had to admit that I didn’t do it alone.

    I know what you mean by vulnerable. I don’t thing that real teaching can be done without that vulnerability. It sucks, but there it is. Indeed, can we ever reach our students and other human beings unless we allow ourselves to be vulnerable? That may be one reason CI doesn’t resonate with some teachers – it requires us to be vulnerable around the people on the planet we least trust – teenagers. Most traditional teachers turn into concrete dinosaurs over the course of their careers precisely because they lack that vulnerability. I wouldn’t change any of what I’ve been through, as deeply traumatic as it was on some days, because anything that leads us to God is a good thing, as I see now.

    Indeed, I think He made me a teacher exactly for that reason – to lead me closer to my real goal of eventually becoming dust at His feet, with the teaching profession having merely been the vehicle he chose for that eventual goal. There are few professions, maybe none, that test us like ours, but I am now convinced that it is for the best of reasons. The prayer that seems to be always happening in my heart these days is for my vulnerable colleagues, so that they don’t have to suffer as much, and for us to get through this nightmare of transitioning from shit teaching to real teaching of languages.

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