Article by Camila Schultz Lopes | 1 August 2020
I have always liked English, but teaching was not my first option. In my early career, I had a completely different job and was unhappy with the course my life was taking. I was stressed and a bit discouraged, so I decided to learn how to meditate. One day, after one of the exercises, the instructor mentioned she was also an English teacher. That moment I thought to myself “If she can have two jobs, why can’t I?”.
I had studied English in Brazil, in language schools and with private teachers. After that meditation course, I took a part-time job as an English teacher in a language school. The first time I went abroad I had already been an English teacher for 8 years but the more I taught, the more I felt something was missing. And then I had another experience….
A suprising conversation…
Some years ago, before becoming a Neurolanguage coach, I was in charge of talking to a group of students in order to evaluate their levels. I had scheduled some interviews by Skype that morning and most of them went well. I was having a good time talking to all those different people and getting to know more about them.
Then, I called the next girl on the list. She did not even say “Hello” or “good morning” in English and asked to talk to me in Portuguese. She said she had been studying English for around a year at a language school and she was enjoying it until one of the teachers made fun of her pronunciation in front of the class. After that, she started getting anxious before the classes and decided she would never learn. Despite my efforts to convince her that she could still have a better experience, she gave me an excuse and we never talked again. I was shocked!
That was another turning point in my career because then I started looking for new ways to help these students. I wanted them to know they could learn anything.
Conversations that lead to change…
In the process of becoming a Neurolanguage Coach, we learn how to coach around traumas and we can see our coachees developing and learning, and as a consequence, having better career opportunities and using English to learn and develop other skills.
When we ask for permission before making suggestions and pay close attention to what our coachees are saying, we are in fact giving value to the human being in front of us, and most importantly, we are there for them, without judgement. We can’t even imagine the impact we will have on their lives, not only in their language learning process, but also in any learning experience.
In his book Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosemberg quotes the Sufi poet Rumi:
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
Let’s make each session and opportunity to communicate without any kind of judgement, connect deeply to the learner and have conversations that matter.
Life is made of simple powerful moments that are sprinkles of awareness. A single text, a book or a song might change the course of a conversation. A conversation might connect us to a person and a person might ask us a question that opens doors within us.
Let’s be the ones who open doors.
Image credit: @sharonmccutcheon – Unplash