While I sometimes (read often) complain about my job, there are obviously some incredible moments. Mostly these are “aha” moments when the light bulb goes on in my students’ heads and the finally understand something that they have been struggling with. Sometimes it is when they surprise me by using some piece of grammar or idiomatic phrase correctly. Sometimes, it isn’t connected to English at all.
I am an ESL teacher whose students come from all over the world. They stay for a few weeks, a few months, or even a year. Not only will they learn English, but they will have had many new and interesting experiences. The one that caught me by surprise, though perhaps is shouldn’t have, was there reaction to the snow.
Don’t get me wrong. I am one of those people who loves snow. Without snow, there could be no skiing. However, I usually reserve my reflective snow moments for the day when the snow covers the landscape. I find that beautiful. Usually the first snow flurry doesn’t really make me stop and think.
My students are a different matter. Some of them have never seen snow before. They were positively transfixed this week, watching the flurry grow and wane in intensity. They stood up mid lesson, with quite audible though unintelligible utterances, and raced to the window. Suspecting I might protest, they reiterated their claims of never having seen snow. Though I didn’t want to be interrupted, I didn’t want to deny them this opportunity.
It was like being a parent on Christmas morning. I laughed, but I enjoyed it too. There enthusiasm was quite contagious. It was an “aha” moment that I was not responsible for, but felt good nonetheless. We all need those moments, and going forward, I need to seek out those new and interesting experiences. I need to feel that sense of wonder…. and I think I will.