i keep thinking about this student i had 2 weeks ago when i was doing my practice teaching in the ESL classroom. His name is Farshid. He’s from Iran. He’s been in Canada for 1 year. In that time, he has graduated from the college in town with his ESL certificate and has been accepted into university for the fall in the Engineering program.
He came into class the first day i was observing. i could tell he was new. He talked to no one and sat by himself; I was doing the same. During one of our breaks, i asked him about himself and his background. This is when i found out about his past and his future plans. I asked him why, if he already had his ESL certificate he was taking a level 7 ESL class in the public school system during the summer. He replied that his parents don’t speak any English and he wants to stay immersed as much as possible in the language; he’s taking this course to do that.
“Wait a minute”, i said to him, “You don’t HAVE to be here but you WANT to be here?” “Yes”, he replied, with a degree of modesty. Now THAT’S dedication……… and commitment, if you ask me. Do you have that much commitment to something?
When i was done with my teaching time, i was sad not to be able to say good-bye to him. i saw his brother in the hallway and inquired as to where he was. He was at the university working out the specifics of next fall’s arrival. I wanted to wish him the best of luck. he’ll never know that he made an impact on me to perservere. Kids these days 🙂