It is both a privilege and a challenge to work as an English teacher in Colombia.
Colombia is currently pulling itself out of a bloody and violent half-century long civil war. This war has had a prolonged and devastating impact on education. And English language education has been a particular casualty.
I’m committed to Colombia, I’m not going anywhere and I’m on a mission to continuously improve English teaching practices here.
I’ve been offered a place on a teacher training course at Oxford this summer where I’ll be learning from the best teacher trainers in the field of English language teaching.
When I return to Colombia I’ll be sharing my new found knowledge, skills and experiences with my colleagues throughout Colombia so that together we can become great English teachers and give the people of Colombia access to the most effective, evidence based approaches to learning English.
However, none of this will happen unless I can raise the money for the course fees, flights, accommodation and transfers.
How can I help?
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If you’re in the UK (or have an international credit/debit card) you can make a donation via our crowdfunding platform GoFundMe.com Any amount counts!
If you’d like to make an offline donation or offer your support in any other way please contact me.
Make this campaign go viral by sharing this blog with everyone you know. That way we can send more Colombian teachers to Oxford!
Why is it a privilege?
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In my professional context as an English Teacher and Communication Coach I have the privilege of teaching undergraduate nurses, psychologists and environmental engineers. These are the very people who will be creating a healthy, sustainable and peaceful new Colombia. Implementing and adapting international examples of peace and reconciliation will play a crucial role in the success of Colombia’s post-conflict process and for that reason it is vital to ensure that this young generation has access to the very best English teachers.
Will you help me make it happen?
Why is it a challenge?
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A less talked about aspect of Colombia’s 52 years of violent civil war is the effect it has had on English Language education.
It has not only distanced learners of English from opportunities to connect and communicate (lack of English speaker tourism, reduced opportunities for interaction in English from lower levels of global commerce) but it has also diverted funding away from education.
Additionally a lack of security, internal displacement [internal refugees fleeing violence] and negative stereotypes about Colombia have distanced resident English Language teachers from opportunities for sustained professional development.
What if this goes viral and you exceed your target?
Great question! You clearly have a growth mindset. Most people when they ask a question come from a problem perspective “What if this goes wrong?”.
Your question comes from a different plane, a success perspective “What if this goes right?”. Both perspectives are useful and have value when applied in the correct manner. The problem perspective can be particularly useful in decision making and project planning. See this post from The Harvard Business Review about the premortem concept.
So to answer your question. What if it goes right? If we exceed the initial target we will carry on fundraising until we’ve smashed it so that we can send more Colombians to Oxford. I am only the pathfinder, more Native English Speaker Teachers(NESTs) is not the only solution to improving the way English is taught in schools and universities in Colombia – we need all teachers to be excellent English teachers!