Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Carrying it on

Like I said, I've started an online course to learn to teach English as a second language. I'm on Module 3 of 12. It's new to me, but I've always been a good student, and I'm learning a bunch already.

When I told my massage therapist what I was doing, he said, "I teach classes on Wednesday night. I found a book called The Courage to Teach, and I recommend it." So I went to, where you can get books from other people for free (your cost is mailing the books you've got available when another person requests them). I found the book and ordered it.

When the book arrived, I left a message for the sender, Mike S.
Thanks. I'm working on a goal to teach English as a second language. A friend says this book has been a good one for him in his teaching.

I got a message back:
My wife received her ESL endorsement shortly before she passed away last year. She taught for 35 years and this was her book. Good luck on your educational goals. I hope it goes well.

I sent one more note:
Thank you, Mike. I'll think of your wife as I move toward this goal.

So now, as I learn this new skill, I am carrying on the work of Mike's wife.

I could have sent no message when I got the book. Usually I don't. But this time it made a difference. Now I'm connected to another teacher from another place.

Today I took my twin granddaughters to an hour-long program at the library. While they were engaged I had a chat with the librarian. I told her about my goal. She said there's an 80-year-old guy named Steve in the next community over who has volunteered at the library for many years. Twice a week he has "talk time" and people show up to practice speaking English. She said sometimes they read the paper together and discuss what they've read. Every now and then they surprise Steve by bringing a meal from their native culture. They've formed a little community, these people at the library. All because of Steve.

I'd like to meet Steve - just sit quietly in the back of the room, and watch and listen. And learn.

I'm close to the end of my fourth week of not working. Week 1 we went to San Antonio for four days. Week 2 we were distracted by Larisa the Sick Cat. Week 3 we traveled to Whistler and then to California. This week we have our granddaughters visiting.

So far I don't miss work. Not one bit.


#1Nana said...

When my father first retired he said he didn't know how he had ever had time to work because he was so busy. Sounds like you're busy!

I'm busy too, but I don't manage to accomplish much!

DJan said...

I also wonder how I managed to fit a full-time job into my life, it's so full now. But then I didn't blog, and I spend quite a bit of time reading and writing. I'm glad you don't miss work, there's so much yet to do! I am looking forward to learning more about your ESL training.

Ms Sparrow said...

I'm so impressed by your eagerness at becoming an ESL teacher and developing those skills. The things you're learning along the way are golden!

Linda Reeder said...

I'm just catching up after being away for a few days. I can certainly identify with the hurting after walking. I don't think I can so six miles anymore. I know it would take me a while to recover if I did.
I do admire your goals of wanting to teach ESL classes and building for Habitat. Both are such worthy causes.

Deb Shucka said...

What a lovely story - actually both, the one about the book and the one about Steve. You're clearly on a blessed path here.