Oy vey! Where do I begin? I’m a born and bred New Yorker transplanted to small-town Essex. I became a teacher by accident. I stayed out of stubborn determination (and parenthood). I succeeded because I used my painful journey of being a foreigner in an incomprehensible and inflexible social institution to help kids who were or felt different.
I made huge mistakes. I was a nightmare for the people that managed me or worked with me. I kept going. I got better. I kept hold of my unique perspective and valued it in the face of lots of cultural static. I got on people’s nerves. I got a Masters to back up my mouth. I moved to a London school where suddenly I fit better, faced bigger challenges and began to gain some humility.
I was asked to train as a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator to do my job (and another person’s job) better. I accepted. I worked 11-hour days to be of service to a tough and complex community. I experienced things that changed me forever. I moved on to preserve my health, my marriage and my family. I face different challenges at another school now. But I am a better teacher with more perspective, more humility and a much bigger arsenal of secret weapons and effective approaches.
I’m still a New Yorker. I’m still a pain in the ass(et). BUT I am an absolute asset to any school, any classroom, any set of students or parents, anybody I train and, now, to you. Read my blog. Enjoy. Go forth. Kick butt. Conquer ignorance. ‘Nuff said.
Laura Tarantini-Amor, EAL Made Easy