Letter to my #youngerteacherself (admissions essay)

Last winter, when life was a little simpler and a little less busy, I considered starting to study again. I applied for a Trinity Diploma and was asked to write a timed (30 minute) and supervised (by my boss) essay.

The topic: “You have been a teacher of English as a Foreign or Second Language for at least two years now. What are some of the most important things you have learned about teaching? What advice would you give to a colleague who had just completed his/her Certificate and was beginning to teach? (500-600 words).”

The essay started out with several paragraphs about things that I learned, but soon turned into a letter to my younger teacher self – the only one I legitimately felt at the time that I had any right to advise. After all, I knew who she was and where she was going and what challenges she was going to face.

What follows here are photos of the two and a half pages I wrote. The disclaimer: I was writing for an audience (the admissions people of the Trinity Diploma), with a time limit, by hand, in full knowledge that my boss (who was supervising) would probably read it after. It’s not brilliant writing, but I ran across it again, so I thought I’d share anyway.

Page 1

Page 1

Page 2

Page 2

Page 3

Page 3

The follow-up: I was admitted to the program, but then life got really complicated and I was not able to participate.

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  • Sandy Millin  On October 3, 2015 at 5:10 am

    Thank you for that insight into your opinions about teaching and another chance to read your beautiful handwriting. I particularly like ‘listen, listen, listen’. I’m going to share it with our new teachers here, many of whom have very high expectations of what they should be able to do as teachers already, and are disappointed when things don’t quite work out.
    I hope you get to do the Trinity at some point – I’m sure you’ll be great at it!

    • livinglearning  On October 4, 2015 at 10:45 am

      Dear Sandy,
      Thanks so much for reading and sharing this post (and I’m glad my handwriting is legible to other people!). I was really grateful for the chance to write this because it had been a long time since I’d really thought about it like that. I needed the reminder to myself.
      Thanks so much for your support always!

  • BerLingo  On October 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    This was great to read as a new teacher (thanks for the Facebook link Sandy Millin!) – I love the constant learning process of being a teacher and seeing students’ aha! moments but have learnt not to beat myself up when I don’t get such a moment every lesson. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

    • livinglearning  On October 4, 2015 at 10:50 am

      Dear Rachel,
      Thanks so much for reading and for your comment. I never know, when I post something like this, whether it will be useful or interesting to someone else. I was really glad to revisit and share the essay because I need the reminders a lot myself. And now I also have a chance to read your blog! I am looking forward to it!

      • BerLingo  On October 8, 2015 at 3:19 am

        Thanks Anne, that’s really kind! I’m not sure my blog is that interesting, but I did really appreciate your post 🙂


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