Thursday, May 18, 2006

Changing lives

I think that all teachers like to believe that we help change peoples' lives, hopefully for the better. It's one of the reasons that attracts people to the job. However, it's rare to see such changes in the short-term. Today I bumped into one of my old students while in the centre. We had done private lessons together last year as she wanted to improve her English in order to, perhaps, get promoted.

As she was working for the tax authorities in their economic crime unit, I decided that the usual course books would be both boring and irrelevent, and so searched the internet for material we could discuss in the lessons. As a result of this I came across some job vacancies with the European economic crime unit (OLAF) and I thought that a mock job interview would

be a great way to practice real-life skills such as writing a CV and speaking. Imagine my surprise when she decided that the job I had found was exactly what she wanted to do.Later on we worked on her application together, which was also a wonderful learning opportunity.

When I saw her again this morning she had just got back from Brussels and was waiting to find out if she got the job. Even if she proves unsuccessful, the idea that I've helped open up a whole new set of alternatives for somebody is very satisfying.

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