Suzanne Furstner Scholarship 2014 – Winning Entry
Congratulations to Shervin Hejazi who has won this year’s Suzanne Furstner Scholarship. Shervin wins a 4-week CertTESOL course in Prague with Oxford House TEFL during 2015.
‘My Dream Teaching Job’ by Shervin Hejazi
The class of students put their pens down, except the odd one or two who frantically try to finish their last sentence. It is my weekly intermediate English class to young Spanish students who wish to be fluent in the English language, and today’s exercise is to write about your ‘dream job’.
“Alex,” I call, “would you like to start?”
Alex beams as he elevates his notebook and begins to describe his dream job. “My dream job,” Alex begins proudly, “is to be the President of the United States!”
Suddenly the class erupts into laughter.
“Alex,” his colleague Cris whispers, “you know you’re not an American citizen, right? Kind of importante.”
“Oh,” Alex bemoans, his head sinking as the beam disappears from his face.
“Hey,” I interrupt the class’s unanimous laughter, “let’s not put Alex down. If he wants to be the President, he can be the President.” I look directly at Alex. “Alex, I challenge you to be the first Latino to be the President of America. That’s definitely a dream worth having.”
Alex’s beam returns.
“How about anyone else?” I ask, “who would like to share their dream job?”
One by one, my class of students share their hopes, dreams and passions. There were future lawyers, teachers, psychiatrists, athletes; as well as the less typical: circus clowns, comic book artists and ghost writers. It was a diverse class of optimists and enthusiasts, all determined to make their mark on the world, all possessing that young belief that the world is truly their oyster. Suddenly, I felt a pang of pride. Here I was, witnessing the development of a new generation of bright minds. I felt truly grateful that they accepted me as a tutor in aid of their journey.
The ‘dream job’ question then comes to Clara, one of my more cautious students. I noticed several scribbles on her notebook, and a conflicted look on her face. “Would you like to share your dream job with the class, Clara?”
“Well, Sir,” she begins, “I’m not really sure.”
“That’s OK,” I advise, “you don’t have to know what you want to be. My parents still don’t know, and they’re retired!”
The class laugh again.
“Well,” Clara continues, “I don’t know what job I want, but I know how I want to feel. I want to feel like I’m helping people, like I’m making a difference, that people can maybe depend on me, look up to me, and trust me to be there for them. If I have a job where every day would be like this… well, I think I would like that.”
And then there was no laughter. There was only silence. A universal silence, as each student knew that what Clara had said was something worth pondering. It was a noble endeavour, a reasonable dream, and my previous pang of pride could be felt once again, even stronger.
“And what about you, Sir?” Clara asks, returning the question. “What is your dream job?”
I look around the class of students, watching their faces as they eagerly anticipate an answer. A knowing smile forms across my face.
“Well, class. It seems I’m lucky.”
“Why’s that?” asks Alex.
I pause to smile again.
“Because I have already found it.”
The Suzanne Furstner Foundation was set up in memory of our much-loved friend and colleague Suzanne Furstner. The annual Scholarship reflects Suzanne’s love of TEFL, languages and travel, awarding a full time TEFL course in one of our best worldwide locations. Please visit www.cactustefl.com for details of all our TEFL courses and the Suzanne Furstner Foundation.
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