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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Education from Two Very Separate Angles

Education: I began teaching academic English in a   college about half an hour away from my home in March, 2013 --the program in which I teach is actually a feeder program to a larger university a bit further away.
My classes include  Jewish, Bedouin and other Arab Israelis from all over middle and southern Israel. 

What a difference from K-12 English teaching!  My college classes have highly motivated students who really truly want to pass and are willing to work. When they miss classes, it is generally not for frivolous reasons but real-life ones: a child is hospitalized, their own wedding and similar.

  For some, this is the preliminary stage before university  and they will go on to successful careers in many areas--education, life sciences, engineering, economics and many other fields.

For others, their studying in higher education represents a first for their particular families. And there are still others for whom higher education is a ticket to freedom--both personal and professional.

On one hand, I can see whose previous educational background in English was weak, middling or strong according to their results on exams and projects. On the other hand, I have a chance to 'equalize' the playing field , to a certain extent, in my classes.

Doctorate: I am now (summer 2014) taking the 12th course, my last, in my curriculum. Next are Comprehensive exams and thesis writing on the subject of  Staff Cohesion when working with Special Needs Populations. I had expected to take this required course and just finish, however the course is much more demanding than I had anticipated as my field is not History!I am learning a lot about a subject and time period that I had only cursorily known before.

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