I feel incredibly lucky to be an English teacher.
Through teaching, I’ve been given the opportunity to live and work in different countries and meet people from all over the world.
Even as a teacher, I sometimes feel like I’m the one who is continually learning. A language classroom is the best place to broaden horizons, because the objective is first and foremost about communication. We work together to make sure we can share our ideas effectively and understand each other.
Whenever we meet, we share stories and open our minds not only to new language, but to different points of view.
As a language teacher, I’ve learned just how important community is in the classroom.
We need to trust each other so we can make mistakes and give each other feedback. We need to feel that our peers will listen to us, and be open-minded. But it takes work and commitment to build a community.
Here in Mexico, we build our community by sharing a weekly meal together. Each of us brings a dish, and we end up enjoying a massive feast together outside in the garden. There’s nothing like food to bring people together, and it’s amazing how many recipes we share in the process!
When I taught in Vietnam, some of my students and I started a speaking club outside of the classroom for anyone to join in. We shared coffee, bilingual conversation, and felt free to open up to each other. It was a huge success, and our community grew much bigger than our school!
Now, as a new teacher at The Ladies Project, I get to extend my community further than ever before.
When I log-on to the platform, I talk to women from all over the world and join in the magic. Every day we are communicating about everything from parenting, to food, to books to work. We feel comfortable sharing our ideas, our worries, and our moments of joy.
I’ve never seen a more vibrant community, and it is incredibly energizing.
It’s amazing to realize that even though we all come from different parts of the world, all of us share in this love of community.
What is more, it’s amazing (though perhaps not surprising) to see that women play such an important role in creating these communities.
In my schools, when organizing speaking clubs, class lunches, and Whatsapp chats, it is always the women of the group who are leaders. Their love and enthusiasm is infectious, and they motivate everyone to participate.
In my two months working at The Ladies’ Project, I have seen the same leadership. The Ladies’ Project is truly a global community, full of strong women: professionals, teachers, mothers, daughters, students and teachers.
We look out for each other.
It is clear to me that this is a place to find true friends and mentors, and it is these bonds which breathe life into learning.
Tell us your thoughts about community. Do you think communities are especially important or relevant to us as women? (leave your comments below)