Building a Connection into the Future
My experience at Tomorrow’s Youth Organization as an EFL fellow in the STEP II program has impacted me in many ways and I am grateful for this. Being a fellow here takes dedication, hard work, empathy, and a lot of flexibility. TYO gave me plenty of time to work on and reflect upon my teaching. The energy and time spent on lessons and teaching paid off in successes in the classroom. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I believe the time I spent focused on lesson planning, teaching and reflecting has made me a better teacher in qualifiable ways. When I reflect back on these 10 weeks of being in the classroom, I believe I’ve made breakthroughs in my own personal style of teaching.
I found the best way to learn in Nablus was to listen. I have learned so much about people’s personal lives, their thoughts, and beliefs. I’ve learned about individual strength, adaptability, patience and determination in those around me. I learned about cultural expectations, the kindness and friendliness of those in this community and even got to attend a wedding.
It’s difficult to pick my favorite moments but one personal enjoyment I have is experiential learning. I love to explore and see new things. Every weekend the other fellows and I learned about our surroundings through travel and activities. I really enjoyed our trips to Ramallah, seeing the old city in Jerusalem, visiting Bethlehem, and our hiking trips. I learned about the livelihood of others here through these travelling experiences and gained an appreciation for the way of life, food and land.
It’s hard to say how TYO will impact my future. I know presently my experience has given me a greater appreciation for community, personal support, and I am truly thankful for the kindness I’ve experienced here from the students and the staff. Personally, these experiences and the level of communication required in order for everything to run smoothly has been enriching and will certainly aid in dealing successfully with future challenges. I also look forward to taking these new skills I’ve learned in the classroom and continuing to grow as a teacher. I love everything about teaching; I love assisting in skill learning, the analytical process of assessment, the background information both in methodology and linguistics in order to best answer questions and solve learning and language problems, the creativity that goes into every lesson and the spontaneity required for an engaging class. TYO assisted in this process and I am forever grateful for this.
The English as a Foreign Language (EFL) program is part of STEP! II, a youth employability, empowerment, and community leadership initiative supported by Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation.
Lyndsey, EFL Teaching Fellow, Spring 2016