Teaching English

This picture was taken with some of my students today. We’re in the last week of our fall term at the school where I teach English. Yay! After this week, I get one week off (a break) before we begin our November/December winter semester. It has been a busy term. I’ve been teaching advanced grammar, and while it has been fun – I am not necessarily a “grammarian.” It has been a little bit of work. I also picked up a 4.5 hour Friday morning class.fall term 14

I look forward to the time off, but I’m always thankful for meeting new people. The opportunity to teach others a skill is a privilege, and I don’t take it for granted.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

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At the Diner

I took my students to the diner on a field trip today! We’re in our fall term at the school where I teach English. I’ve been teaching at the Language Center for almost four years. I have students from various backgrounds and cultures. Some are from Europe, some from Asia, and some from the Middle East. My students would like to further their careers or earn additional degrees, and their goal is to better their English. w-students

We listened to an episode by NPR, and the podcast is hosted by someone who interviews people at an all-night diner it’s part of our curriculum design. The morning teacher that has this same section took his students to the diner two weeks ago, and I also wanted my students to experience that. Of course, some of them had already been to a diner before. But we had fun!

People sometimes ask if I speak any of my students’ languages. I don’t. My students know English, and they have traveled and been to other countries. They are just at different levels, some novice, some intermediate, some are advanced. This is my Advanced level, All Skills class.

My other job is one to one teaching for a global-language-training company, called Global LT. I teach English to business people, managers, and engineers living in the U.S. They are temporarily here on work assignments with their families. Global LT has contracts with automotive companies.

My two jobs make a full-time career, and with my writing I have become very busy. But I’m having fun! I’m so excited to have writing as a career now!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Blessing a Day

“Often, the answer to our prayer does not come while we’re on our knees but while we’re on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us.” –Dieter F. Uchtdorf

In almost fifteen years of teaching, my Reading, Writing, and Vocabulary class this term is one of the rowdiest I have ever taught. Last Monday, I arrived home in the early evening to have a usual late dinner and settle down watching some television while finishing up end of day tasks such as tracking attendance and entering homework. As I got ready for bed, I literally felt beat up. I was so tired. At times, I really agree with the belief that many of us teachers are just not paid enough!

That day I had to put on my teacher hat. The four or five chatty Kathy’s that disrupt the class by constantly talking were threatened with getting zero’s for the day. While teaching, I would stop mid-way while speaking once they started talking and I just waited for them to be quiet. Some of them shook a little. It was obvious I was upset. They became quiet, realizing, yet again they had interrupted the class.

A truly nice group; the interesting thing is they all come to every single class. It’s not the whole group, but several of them that cause a ruckus. These disruptions with a room full of twenty-two students can make the room very noisy. They are also some of the youngest students I have ever taught at this school. Nearly all of them are between the ages of eighteen and twenty, with only four girls in the class including me. I was dreading teaching this class again at 4pm on Wednesday.

To my surprise, my threats on Monday worked! My students were much better-behaved. They paid attention and were respectful. We shared some laughs. A small miracle. I felt much better about going forward with this class. I really am thankful to have a career that I enjoy.

I sit in the classroom sometimes and look at my room full of students one by one, thinking how did I get here? I feel accomplished. It’s interesting, but I always knew I would teach.

I flash back to my childhood best friend, Melissa, who lived across the street from me on Gramercy Court. Her mother, Mrs. Dean, was a writer. Daily she would click away at an old-fashioned typewriter, something you would probably find in an antique shop nowadays. She would sit in the living room for hours and just write. I had a strong feeling I would do that one day. I always knew I would write.

God professes things to us as children, even before we arrive. In Jeremiah 1:5, the word of the Lord came to the prophet saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” God knows what we are supposed to do with our lives.

The small miracle that happened to me this week is part of the larger miracle that has been given to me by the Lord: to love and to serve, and for that I am grateful.

How about you? In retrospect, what challenges have helped you feel grateful this week? What small miracles have happened to you? Feel free to share them with me.