I am often surprised how God uniquely prepares us for the activities He has planned for us. I entered teaching later in life, as a way to pay for my sons’ college educations. With a BS in Interior Design, I was able to get a Christian school teaching certificate but not a state license. I felt competent in my teaching abilities but decided to get a master’s in education to check off the boxes of the state requirements. My GCU program included courses in ESL which were of limited interest to me, initially. Little did I know that those classes would open a whole new ministry opportunity for me.
I had been supporting a Haitian student and was invited to attend his high school graduation in 2017. On that particular trip, I stayed at a mission complex and saw the great need of many Haitians was to learn English as a way to build relationships with Americans and acquire employment in their own country. I was able to employ some of the principles I had learned and to assess the language needs of my friends at the mission complex.
The next spring, I went back with a team from my church to teach ESL in the school and to the mission employees. At that time, I was asked to develop a program for their translation school teachers and their high school teachers (who teach in English) to improve their pedagogy. I spent several weeks summarizing the highlights from my GCU coursework into a one-week seminar which includes current theory on language acquisition, the purpose and necessity of objectives, creating good assessments, how to build a SIOP lesson plan, cognates, homophones, idioms, and a few other requested things.
I just returned from a distribution trip where I was able to preview the seminar and confirm its validity with the head of the mission. I am so excited to share what God taught me about ESL with my Haitian teacher friends.
Unfortunately, we had to leave due to political unrest, and the seminar which was planned for April has been postponed. I do not know when it will be safe to return and offer the seminar. Until then, I will be busy helping my USA students learn to believe in themselves and the possibilities open to them when they surrender their plans to God. Please pray for Haiti.
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Diana Anderson – BS Interior Design SJSU 1986, MEd Secondary Education GCU 2017
Diana Anderson teaches in a small Christian school in the southeastern desert of Washington State. A California native, she has been married for 31 years and has two grown sons and two Italian Greyhounds. Diana has loved Jesus and served Him for over 50 years. She holds endorsements in Interior Design, Art, Humanities, and Social Studies and teaches History, Art, and remedial Pre-Algebra to grades 4-8. Once upon a time, she was a published writer and speaker. She loves working with her middle school students, but enjoys traveling, reading, and watching a wide variety of genres on Netflix and Amazon Prime when school is not in session.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.