Teaching overseas: Last night I had the best meal of my life…
This blog post shares an email sent to us from one of our graduates currently teaching in India. Thanks Sam Atwal for sharing your story!
Last night I had the best meal of my life. I sat on a tiny wooden stool in a mud-packed courtyard (if you could call it that), the stars twinkling above me, as my charming hostess sweated over an open coal fire making ‘rotis’ for me – hot and fresh, directly in my plate from the stove. Seven of my little students laughed and giggled as they plied me with spoonfuls of vegetables and oily pickles and watched me eat…
I’m an EFL teacher in a tiny village school in Western India. My grandparents were from India, so I always had this burning desire to connect with my roots. With a little (make that lot) of help from MyTEFL, I am actually here, teaching an amazing bunch of eager, polite children who have never seen anybody from another country. They have already sort of adopted me, acccompanying me wherever I go, fighting to be the one sitting closest to me in class, and bringing me little gifts – a fruit, a flower, even a string of colourful beads.
Teaching English to children who have never been outside their village, rarely seen a strange face, presented quite a challenge. But I drew on the rich material and techniques I had learnt from MyTEFL, and soon had the children singing English songs and greeting one another (with a million giggles, of course) in English.
After three months, I even decided to have the students put on a show for the villagers – and what a rewarding experience that was! Fathers, sweaty from a hard day’s labour in the field, filed silently into the village square. Mothers dressed in their brightest, finest saris proudly waved at their children. Our village school principal gave an eloquent if over-long speech extolling my accomplishments (grossly exaggerated). My students were over-excited, buzzing with energy. After a slightly rocky, over-enthusiastic start, they settled into the program rather nicely. I had selected a simple animal themed story which the audience would be able to relate to, inspite of the foreign language. And whether the parents understood a word of it or not, the applause was thunderous. The proud smiles on their faces as they watched their future generation take the first step into a new and unknown world was all the reward I needed.
Thanks MyTEFL! I never realised how amazing my new career would be, and how it would change me for the better!