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Joyce Baron

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"After the loss of my husband, I had to reinvent my life. I had always taught during my career as a nurse and had always enjoyed the "aha" moment, watching people grow and become more confident about their skills. In 2002 my journey began with teaching English as a Second Language on line. This was never a conscious decision but something that just evolved and I had decided that when a door opens, I would walk through it, no matter how scary. I have developed close, long-lasting relationships with the students I teach online and have traveled extensively to meet them.

Last winter I traveled to England to meet my student from Kurdistan. Because of his advancement in English he was able to spend a year there taking a course in Sports Medicine. Last summer I traveled to Istanbul Turkey to spend a week with my student from Tehran, Iran. I then went on to Ankara, Turkey to spend five weeks with my student there. I lived and traveled with him, his wife and two children to the heart of the Kurdish territory where we lived three weeks with their families in a city called Siirt. It was an amazing cultural experience. My journey also took me to China three years ago to teach conversational English in a college in Weifang. I continue to have contact with many of these students as well as other people from China.

Through all this, I have great satisfaction knowing how the students lives have changed. One was promoted to the office in Tehran to become an interpreter and translator for the Red Crescent, and is now head of the office. Another was an accountant in Cairo Egypt and wanted to improve his life, so he entered the tourist industry. He met and married a woman from Germany and now has a better life there. When a residency in Orthopedic Surgery is finished there will be a new Sports Medicine clinic in Erbil, Kurdistan. One in Egypt is an art teacher studying now to be able to teach English. An English teacher in Saudi is improving his pronunciation and learning new ways to teach. These changes were possible because the students have a much stronger command of English. These are only some of the stories. I hope to be able to travel to Egypt, Chile, Korea, and Saudi Arabia, to meet my students and then back to China to visit everyone there.

In the fall of 2005 I took a tutor training course at TFL and was matched with a student right away. I 've been working with her ever since. My satisfaction comes from watching my student's growth in confidence. For me the experience can be quite selfish - I do it because it makes me feel good! I find that it very easy to work at TFL - it's a really friendly environment. The staff is supportive, interested, and helpful ., Any questions that I or my student have are always answered. I appreciate the fact that I was matched with the student I have - it's been a wonderful experience.

My life as an English teacher is still evolving. We never know in the beginning how we can make big changes in people's lives doing what is easy for us. My focus is always on building vocabulary, pronunciation, and comprehension. When people ask about why I do this work, I just say, because I speak English!!!"






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