Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Monday, May 15, 2006

Not To Be Underestimated

by AJ

As Tom Peters say, certain people just have leadership power. These are the people who walk into a room and immediately increase the energy and enthusiasm of everyone inside. They may or may not be extroverted, or dramatic,... but something about them is encouraging and uplifting.

Of course, we all know people who are exactly the opposite (somehow these people always end up in management)-- people who have a knack for deflating enthusiasm, discouraging passion, and sapping energy.

In teaching we employ a lot of jargon and nonsense about our roles. But our most profound role is probably quite simple: Inspire people to keep going.

I was reminded of this by a Skype conversation today with Steve Kaufman of The Linguist.

He didnt say or do anything overtly dramatic. And yet, after talking to him I felt a surge of enthusiasm for studying Spanish. I felt encouraged. I realized I could do it. He inspired me to keep at it. He's one of those gifted leaders that Tom Peters talks about.

Isnt that the first and best role of a teacher? After all, the student must ultimately do the work. THEY must learn the vocabulary. THEY must connect with the language and culture. THEY must put in the hours, days, months, and years of reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

We can help them find effective and efficient strategies. But most importantly, we can encourage them to be their best. We can build their confidence. We can ease their frustration. We can fire their enthusiasm.

The rest is up to them.

San Francisco, CA