On November 16, WorldTeach volunteer Kate Bailey taught her last class to her students at El Colegio Minuto de Dios in Bogota, Columbia. After a year teaching, Kate has grown to have a personal connection with each of her 9th and 10th grade students. Now, as she prepares to return to the United States, she shares this gift with her students and supporters, teaching one last lesson about education, language, and love. Thanks for sharing, Kate!
Well, that’s it. My final day of classes. I ended each section with personal notes to each of my students and I read them “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by the one and only Dr. Seuss. It was an emotional day for me and for many of my students. They are all between fourteen and sixteen years old, and sometimes at that age, life is really hard. Being their teacher was sometimes really hard. But I want to leave them with this final lesson…and I know a lot of you read this 🙂
The ten most important things I hope you learned from me this year:
10. Cultural exchange is really cool. People that are different from you are sometimes really cool too. Difference and diversity are beautiful things.
9. The “TH” sound means you have to stick your tongue out! It’s not the same as “T”! And the “V” and the “B” are Vvvvery different sounds too.
8. Take care of yourself: your body, your mind, and your emotions. Eat vegetables!
7. The only things worth spending lots of money on are education and TRAVEL. Explore your world. There is so much to do, so much to eat, and so much to understand.
6. It is good to push yourself. Get outside your comfort zone. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” It can be good to do things that scare you. (Like an oral presentation in English in front of the class or whatever.)
5. There is an “S” at the end of verbs in present tense third person. I walk, you walk, she walks!” And please remember there is a difference between HE and SHE.
4. American English is better than British English. Hehe. No, I’m kidding!… but really…
3. Education is the most important gift you will ever receive. The best way to show you are thankful for it is to continue it. Find something you are passionate about and learn everything you can.
2. You speak English. Repeat. “I speak English.” Yes, you do. You just had a full year of English class with a native speaker. And you can read this sentence. And you can understand at least 25% of what I say… YOU SPEAK ENGLISH! Have confidence in your talents, your English, and your SELF.
1. YOU ARE LOVED! By me and by a lot of other people too. As your teacher, I care about you and I care about your education. I want you to succeed. And most of all, if you think I helped you, I want you to go help someone else now. We call this “making a difference,” and it means to change someone’s life for the better. I ask each of you to be a positive influence in the world.
Now go, on your own, out into the world… take with you a little more English, an open mind, and a lot more love.