I get asked a lot, “how do you do so much?” or am labeled, “the hardest working ELT teacher”. I’m always somewhat lost as to how to respond. Baffled really. I guess I’m a fish that knows nothing about the water I swim in!
You see, I just do. I don’t think much but rather when an idea comes, I jump in and get it done. For example, see this great music video below. I was sent it and immediately saw its potential as content for language learning. So I got busy and “just did it”, subtitled it. I didn’t think how nice it would be to have it subtitled. And in a nutshell, that’s how I get things done – and it all is a question of endurance.
The photo is with one of my heroes, Ed Whitlock. Ed spends his latter years, every day, running for 3 hours around his local cemetery. Same pace, same direction, every day. He’s “being there”. That’s how he’s set amazing world records (the oldest man to run a sub. 3 hour marathon. 2:54 min. at the age of 74 – I cheered him the whole way!). That’s how he gets things done.
And now to my point, the point of this personal post.
It is all about being constant, enduring. Great teachers endure. They do the same things over and over again. They learn to do them well. Yes, we hear a lot about innovation, creativity etc…. but this should be on top of the base – that everyday, grunting and getting the work done – “bringing home the bacon that is learning”. And so too with language learning and our students – it is all about “endurance”.
It isn’t easy to “endure” but it is easier if you can find a way to “just do it”. Flow and “be there”. Not anywhere else. Keep doing, day in and day out and you’ll soon have accomplished so much. If as Nietzsche said, “genius is a question of endurance”, so to is teaching. You were born to be a star, an enduring superstar.
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