Why I Don’t Teach Math! A Salute to World Language Teachers. John De Mado Language Seminars, LLC 125 S. Collier Blvd./ B202 Marco Island, FL 34145 ______ Twitter: @JohnDeMado E-mail: [email protected] Web: www.demado-seminars.com Specifically Prepared for the OFLA Conference
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string that we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.”
World Language teachers are among the mostcolorfuleducators in the world. We are opinionated, passionate, dramatic … And generally imbued with the capacity to find humor even in the most dire of circumstances …
We are singularly patient with those around us who haven’t a clue as to the role of second language acquisition in the American curriculum. We are patient with the mythologies that propound the notion that functioning in more than one language is somehow outside the scope of the American mind …
“The Chinese man presented himself to the employee in the Airport Information booth. He had just flown halfway around the world, anticipating an arrival in Cincinnati; or, at the very least, in Ohio. Instead, he found himself somewhere in Northern Kentucky…”
We are tenacious. The fact that ours is one of the only cultures in the world where one can be monolingual and still be considered literate does not deter us from our mission of seeking ‘language acquisition’ … Never forget why we advocate multilingualism!
John De Mado Language Seminars, Inc. E-mail: [email protected]
We are risk-taking. Each and every one of us has dared to acquire the language and assume the culture of at least one other linguistic group. We’ve traveled the world in search of diversity … Allowed ourselves to be vulnerable … And learned to respect the value of intuition.
. Risk-Taking:The willingness to confront more language than which you presently own.
·Vulnerability:The willingness to err for the broader goal of communication.
·Intuition:The ability to sift for meaning.
The Restaurant Story
We are optimistic … Even in the face of absurdity. Like mythical Sisyphus, so often we push the rock up the hill only to have it roll back down. Even so, we adopt the stance offered up by Albert Camus when he reminds us to “ … imagine Sisyphus happy.”
Big D In ‘Da House!