The Heart of A Teacher Movie
Earlier today I had received a surprise instant message on my +Facebook+ page. The message was from a student of mine asking when I was coming back to the +Philippines . I was elated with joy from the message as another sentence appeared right after:
I guess I should explain myself more before I continue on. Back in 2008, I was offered a position in the Philippines to teach English and set up the Training and Development Center for +Global Sky Communications. At the time, I was not working for 6 months due to the major lay offs on the +Las Vegas Strip. No one was hiring, so I took the only opportunity that was offered.
I flew out to the Philippines on +New Years Eve . It was rather symbolic since I was going to start the +New Year in a whole new country. The 18 hour journey had me thinking and crying of what would be. Did I make a mistake? What the hell was I doing? Did I even have a choice? Would I be accepted? Either way I saw it, the choice was made, and I either make the most of it or go back to square one - stay in America and hope someone hires me.
My first day at work, I wore the standard business suit and heels. You should have seen the reception I had gotten from the employees. Everyone else was in jeans and a t-shirt! Due to my outfit that day, I was received as the Fil-Am Boss or "Ma'am Jess." At the time, it felt awkward being called that but I was later taught that it was a compliment to be called ma'am. Yes... I still feel old anytime I hear it!
I spent a total of nine months in the Philippines. As I was learning the culture of my parent's home country, I was also wondering if I even made a difference in the people I taught. How have I touched their lives in some way, just by teaching them my birth language?
In the Philippines, if someone can speak proper English, they will be able to work at a Call Center and make lots of money ($10 a day) to support their family. Therefore, my students were very eager to learn what they can from their Fil-Am Boss. So much so that many stayed after class to ask for other resources to help them improve.
As a facilitator, you never know if you had made an impact until one of your former students pays a visit. That instant message I received earlier was from my top student in class. I chuckled when he asked me if I remembered him. I did! This student came to class Monday - Friday on time. He traveled 3 hours one way just to learn English. His motivation was to get a job so he can support his entire family (mom, dad, wife, and 2 kids).
He now works for one of the top Call Centers in Manila. He is able to provide for his family and send his two kids to school. His instant message to me was a heartfelt thank you for changing his future.
To receive a message from him was a treat. To hear what he has accomplished... Priceless!