Monday, February 12, 2007
A few years ago, I had a student who was extremely motivated to learn English and enter our university's jazz piano program. We became friends and have kept in touch since she was accepted to the program (!) and became a regular university student, and now her boyfriend is one of my students. He's super quiet, and improving his English has been a real challenge for him --and his instructors. He's an artist, so I try to get him to talk about his art. Here's a painting he gave me:Anyway, on Friday the director of our program announced that our English program will be having an art contest. This student has been put in charge of creating flyers and informing fellow students about the contest.In the weeks leading up to the big announcement, he was so excited that he spoke English with me almost everyday! Finally, a break through. I'm so glad that this contest has given us a way to see our students through something other than just language. It's easy to see someone from just one angle when you know them only in that context. In my case, it's too often that I view my students as only students rather than the complete, interesting individuals that they are. I can't wait to see their art!!