My rollercoaster day: A tribute to those who work with me

There should be no surprise to you that I’m a christian. I do not follow denominations and I’m not the religious type. In fact, I think that religion as we know is much more about politics and economy, hence power than spirituality. But that’s not really why I’m writing this post.

I’m not just a teacher. I’m a mother and a wife. A mother of two grown-ups who are still finding their way around this world and a little one who just turned five. Recently, I wrote about how my family view me as a teacher. Because of family, we have certain limitations. I try to make sure that I never get sick myself, but sometimes things happen. And yesterday was the day.  If it weren’t for the fact that I work for an amazing Educational Institute that takes into consideration people as well as the job itself, I don’t know what I would’ve done. In our school, collaboration is the core of our institution. In fact our PD theme this year is cooperation. A lot of gifts of humanity I have received from the HR to the financial department, from my supervisor to my colleagues, they all have saved me and my family more than once. To give you a taste to what is like working here, I’ll share two moments. When I was pregnant some of my friend-teachers would not let me walk home. I had this big belly that made people think I was going to have a twin. People often asked. And I had my financial department asking me if I needed money in advance so it could help with my husband’s medical expenses. It’s not a perfect place because we are not perfect. It’s a place made of humans. But the fact that people are able to see you is priceless. I don’t earn a bad salary either. This is the place I don’t want to leave ever.

Yesterday, my supervisor came to my classroom to tell me that something had happened at home and it needed my attention urgently. I contacted home straight way and while she was sitting next to me and comforting me, she waited patiently for the call to end and to decide together what we were going to do about my classes in the afternoon and evening. After chatting and making some decisions about who could substitute me (she did for two of my classes) and a dear friend of mine would in the evening. She reassigned her from another task so she could do it.

We have a group on Whatsapp and the messages of support came in and news went out. I work in a department that people care for each other. I have no doubt about it. When one is in need, the other one chips in and do whatever they can to help one another carry the load. My supervisor has always been good at trying to make us bring the best of us and being democratic. The language department was founded in 2008 and it has been a growing experience to all of us. How can we be so united and yet so different from each other? The answer will be different from each of us, for sure. But for me, it is love and respect. I love them with all my heart and I try not to be so annoying when the geek in me kicks in. I’ve learned through the years how to manage my tone of voice and words I use or if I can’t do that, I just shut up.

Believe me, I can be annoying. On social media I don’t feel obliged to conform to these self-rules I have made for myself because people have a choice to engage in a conversation or ignore me. And believe me that ignoring me does not upset me at all. So, feel free to just not comment on my blog, not respond to my messages or tweeters. I totally respect that. In fact, we can never see the value of being different if we lose the sight of respect. My favorite quote from Paulo Freire reads,

“There isn’t such a thing as the best knowledge, there is in fact, different kinds of knowledge. They are neither better or worse than the other. They are just different.” (my free translation)

As such they can contribute for the development of new knowledge and understandings. I love that! I learned to learn from others because of Freire and my faith in Christ. Freire taught me that in education setting, the urge to feel superior is what creates the power play and this we should avoid at all cost. Knowledge can boost our career! True, someone with a M.A or a PhD will be more respected than a teacher without it. Knowledge in this world is power. I’m aware of that. But my faith in Christ always keep me where I’m supposed to be and my goals aligned with people, not power.

And here are the people I work very close to and who I have much to thank for.

10368388_10204642171028909_1511191007603057716_nNot all of them actually, three are missing in the picture!


9 thoughts on “My rollercoaster day: A tribute to those who work with me

  1. Hi Rose, I hope everything turns out well with the surgery issue and that it’s the last one you will have to go through. Apart from the post modernism-shaped understandings of power, think of that other power, too. The power of love, respect, support, unity in diversity, faith, human contact are just a few I could discern in your post. Think of that power which is in abundance around you it feels. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Rose,
    I do hope you and your family are doing better after your rollercoaster day.
    I have been following your blog for a couple of months now and I just felt I need to make a brief comment about something you wrote:

    “True, someone with a M.A or a PhD will be more respected than a teacher without it. Knowledge in this world is power. I’m aware of that. But my faith in Christ always keep me where I’m supposed to be and my goals aligned with people, not power.”

    Well, I can assure* your reflections and thoughts about language teaching and language learning are, in many ways, more sensible than those that many of our MA and PhD Brazilian holders make, including professors at our Brazilian universities.
    As you may know, many of these professors do not have a clue about real teaching. They haven’t done that yet! Remember: they are ‘professors’, ‘researchers’ and therefore (very sadly) they do not deal with the reality of teaching. They resort themselves to the means (reading and publishing articles, attending conferences etc.) to justify the end (I’m a researcher).
    Comically enough, these professors, researches are publishing (funded by our government) coursebooks now = a bunch of texts copied from websites with some activities added to them. They call this “working with realia” and some of those texts have been adapted to the appropriate level (!?!). It’s like going back 30 years ago when coursebooks had only texts and some audio, if you were lucky!
    Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but you can be sure that the experience, insights and knowledge you have can be more empowering than those of a whole bunch of the non-sequiturs in the academic world.

    (*I have spent 10 or more years of my live immersed in some of the Brazilian academic and research world of TEFL. I have got my MA and PhD degree in TEFL from one of the ‘best’ universities in our country, but then, I must also say that I learned much more from other teachers who, like myself, do take the trouble to go into the classrooms).

    Liked by 1 person

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