I have had the pleasure of teaching Elementary French at Texas Wesleyan University since August 2015 (this is my first academic year there). I have greatly, immensely enjoyed getting to teach adults about this language I love: French.
It’s been a bit of an adjustment. I’m used to having to be an “entertainer” in the classroom to keep students’ attention. At Wesleyan that’s not my role (although I do still make my students sing verb songs to help them memorize conjugations). It’s exciting to be challenged at a higher level; these students ask more difficult questions but also still need the hand-holding of people taking the risk to learn a new skill. Sometimes, truthfully, it’s hard not to treat them like kids–it’s what I’m used to, after all–but they are very patient with me and have helped me transition to higher education and all that entails.
Just today I was contacted by Jose Najar, a writer for the campus paper, the Rambler (check it out here), wanting to do a feature on something different. He was told by one of my current French students that I also own a fencing club so that’s why you’ll see the references to the sport. I’ll post the answers I gave to his Five Questions tomorrow but am curious about how YOU would respond to them. Think about how you would respond to this young man, knowing that your words will be published in a campus-wide newspaper. Not everyone who reads this is a teacher or fencing club owner, but you can reflect back on your professional journey and/or development in a sport/hobby/new activity.
I haven’t contemplated these topics in a while so it was interesting to reread the answers I emailed back to him and compare them to how I answered these questions when I was still in college, after getting my first teaching job, and by my present-day self. I like the changes and the person that is reflected back to me in my answers.
Here are the Five Questions:
1) How would you describe yourself as a person? Your personality? Your attitude towards life?
2) Can you go into detail how you started fencing and having a fencing studio? What age? What about fencing captured you do want to do it?
3) How do you balance teaching at school and teaching at your fencing studio? It seems like it can take a lot of your time?
4) What motivates you everyday to be the best you can be?
5) What advice would you give someone who wants to become a teacher and the conflicts that come with teaching?
Do any of these questions strike a particular chord with you? How would you answer it? Share in the comments or send me an email here. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!