Thursday, March 10, 2011

A small milestone

When I quit work last June I signed up for an online class to learn how to teach English as a second language. I wanted to spend a month or so in Nicaragua in the winter, living in a small village, giving the people a hand with their English.

I procrastinated on the modules for the online class, and bemoaned that procrastination, until several of my blogging friends wondered whether teaching ESL was really something I wanted to do.

Today I finished the last online module. In the evaluation, the first question was, "What are your plans now that you've finished this ESL series?" My response was, "I learned during this class that I wouldn't be a good teacher, of ESL or anything else in a classroom, and I'd like to be an ESL tutor instead. Maybe."

That's a nice lesson to learn. One of my goals wasn't realistic, given my personal talents and limitations. So I can move on. But I did finish the course, and I'm proud of that.

Also this week, my business partner has presented me with a project that requires analysis of customer records. I'm sure I won't procrastinate. I love analysis. I was a systems analyst when I worked. We're meeting tomorrow to go over the records. In this endeavor, I'm using skills I already have and am applying them to a field completely different from the one I worked in. That's a good thing.

Also, I just installed Rosetta Stone's Latin American Spanish course on my computer. I doubt I'll be fluent when I finish it. However, I may be a bit more comfortable next January when we spend three weeks in Ecuador. Or maybe not. Maybe the dialects will be too different from the formal language that I won't be able to make myself understood or comprehend a word anyone else says. But it's worth the effort.

So I move on from one learning opportunity to two others - and am glad for all three of them.




14 comments:

turquoisemoon said...

Boy...I'm anxious to hear how you like the Rosetta Stone program. I've really wanted to try it, but, I'm also retired and on a limited budget. If you feel it's great, I'll go for it. Isn't it interesting how busy we retired people tend to get???

Linda said...

Congratulations! Good for you. You showed great wisdom in recognizing what was not a good match for you. You have the satisfaction that you completed the course, didn't quit, and now you can move on to find something that is a good match. People who are always learning are my favorite kind of people.

Lynilu said...

According to the tracker my own package with Rosetta Stone is in my mailbox! I can't wait to pick it up tomorrow! Too bad we don't live next door and could practice together! Good luck!

marciamayo said...

Learning what we're not good at is probably more important than what we are good at (at which we are good?)

Grandmother said...

To find what we don't want to be doing moves us closer to finding what we do want. You're taking the steps; good for you. I used Rosetta Stone to learn Italian and found it great although I have so much more to learn.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I've been hoping that if I read about your stick-to-it-iveness often enough it might rub off on me. Not yet. I'll keep trying, though. :)

Elizabeth McKenzie said...

Linda, What an inspiring story. It takes a lot to learn a foreign language. This just gave me an idea. I've always wanted to learn Spanish and I'm going to retire in a few months. I should learn the language in my spare time, though, I shouldn't have much of that given all the projects that need doing around her.

Thank you for buying my book, Bum's Rush. You went the extra mile and took the high road for a stranger when you bought my book instead of downloading it for free. I'm anxious to know what you think of it.

Olga said...

You are an inspiration with your accomplishments AND flexibility. Learning is of less value if a little self-knowledge does not come with it.

DJan said...

I'm impressed by your self-knowledge, and that you completed the course anyway. You are definitely one of those people who is inner directed, rather than allowing the external environment to push you in directions you don't really want to go. Aren't you heading out to build some houses soon?

Out on the prairie said...

I would look for a conversation class with adult ed. When you get into an area it is nice to be able to stammer the basics and soon build your fluency.We can all become teachers, it is the look that the children give you that brings this on. I taught in Czech for 2 weeks and don't have a clue about their language because we were going to use mine.

Sightings said...

Seems like a lot of people want to know abt. Rosetta Stone -- I'd be interested, too, in how it works for you. My daughter is trying to learn Spanish and is looking for an "easier way." Thx!

#1Nana said...

Good for you! I didn't remember that you wanted to go to Nicaragua. That's where the spouse and I served in Peace Corps and where I learned to speak Spanish. I haven't been back since we were evacuated during the revolution...over 30 years ago. I bet it is quite different now. I thought of you when I got my monthly coupons from Barnes and Nobel...they had a 30% discount on Rosetta Stone. I hope you got a good deal. It's an expensive program.

rosaria said...

Well, good for you! You have a new skill, and you never know how and when you might use it. Sometimes companies hire tutors for their people. Give yourself a chance to teach in a setting that you feel comfortable, and you might just find your niche.

rosaria said...

p.s. so happy for your visits and comments at my blog!