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Thursday, April 16, 2015

There are many experiences which we English as a Foreign Language teachers have, even outside of the classroom. (What, teachers have their own private lives??!!)

One of my colleagues, Naomi, tells about an funny and gratifying experience she had in a waiting room .

Read more articles by Naomi in her  blog Visualizing Ideas:


When an EFL Teacher Sits in a Waiting Room…

Filed under On Education
T'm paying attention! (Naomi's photos)
I’m paying attention!
(Naomi’s photos)
Setting: A standard looking waiting room – a couple of chairs, some magazines and a water cooler.
Participants: One tired EFL teacher, a woman whom I know slightly from the neighborhood and her 20-year-old daughter.
The Dialogue
Me: Hello! How are you?
Woman: Fine! Have you met my daughter?
(Woman turns to daughter and nods in my direction):  She’s an English teacher. (I’m not insulted that the woman doesn’t remember my name, I don’t remember hers either…).
Daughter: Really? Do you teach high-school?
Me: Yes.
Daughter: Do you teach the LITERATURE? All that “bridgingshmiding stuff? (she is referring to the “bridging tasks” we have in the Literature Program. Shmiding is her own invented word).
Me: Yes, I teach all levels.
Daughter: You know, that material was really hard. My favorite story was “The Split Cherry Tree” . (turns to her mother) You know, we learned a play and  stories and even poems in English written for native speakers. Really hard words! (turns back to me) But I got a 97!
Mother: (in a complaining voice) “Tell me, how could she get a grade of 97 when she won’t speak in English?”
Me: Your daughter is very talented. (Sigh. Did I mention that I was tired?)
Daughter: Our teacher made us work really hard. We went over everything over and over again. (YAY! She appreciated a teacher!).
Mother: That’s the way it should be (in a satisfied tone).
Daughter: What was the name of the play we learned? I can’t remember. I liked “The Split Cherry Tree“.
Me“All My Sons”?
Daughter: Yes! That’s it! Isn’t it about a doctor who saves someone fighting against their country?
Me: Perhaps  you mean the story “The Enemy“?
Daughter: Oh yes, we learned that one too. What were the poems we learned? I liked “The Split Cherry Tree”.
Mother: They are calling our name. Bye!
Me: (to myself) Phew, now I won’t have to play “guess the poem” with her… There might have been cherry trees in them. Back to my own book!

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