Archive for the ‘Czech Republic’ Category

The Student Becomes the Teacher

November 11, 2009
— Written by a Teacher in Czech Republic —

Ahoj from Prague! I’m now nearly three months into my time here in the Czech Republic, and I feel like I’m changing even more dramatically than the leaves, which paint the landscape in fiery reds and yellows and make the Prague Autumn so stunning.

My work here keeps me very busy. On Mondays and Tuesdays I teach all day at a high school (pictured in the last photo above), and for the rest of the week I tutor individuals in their homes and teach smaller classes all over the city. I also help organize and run English conversation events outside of school, giving my students a chance to come and discuss any topic they like with their “fun” American teachers. It’s a great opportunity to show interest in them personally and get to know them better. I’ve also had the privilege to help some of my students in a practical way with letters of recommendation and by proofreading essays.

 

I’ve gained an overwhelming admiration for teachers these past months. While some cultural adjustments have been more difficult than others (trying to learn a bit of Czech has been no cakewalk), teaching has been my biggest challenge by far. I never imagined the amount of preparation and creativity required for every good lesson. I confess I’m learning far more than I’m teaching.

 

However, it’s been such a delight to get to know my students. The unique individuality of each one makes me so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of their lives. I regularly assign journal entries in order to get the students to think critically, to imagine, and explore new ideas (qualities that aren’t highly valued in this education system). One of my recent topics was “What is your dream job?”, and I was shocked to discover their skepticism about the plausibility of their dreams becoming reality. If nothing else, I want to be the one person to uplift them and encourage them to strive for what they are passionate about. Another topic I used was, “One day to live.” The students had to describe how they would spend their final day on earth, the idea being to get them to think about what is most important to them. In their responses, I could see a yearning for deeper meaning and purpose in life.

 

I’ve found a wonderful church community out here (mainly expats), which has blessed me immeasurably and helped sustain me during hard times. They’ve even given me the opportunity to be involved in praise and worship. We meet in a train station, and our little room is more crowded every week.

 

Pray for us this weekend, we are hosting a Thanksgiving feast for over 30 teachers from the program here at our flat on Saturday. I’m not even sure how we’ll fit them all in here, but it promises to be a great time of fellowship.

The Student Becomes the Teacher

Ahoj from Prague! I hope this long-overdue update finds all of you well.  I’m now nearly three months into my time here in the Czech Republic, and I feel like I’m changing even more dramatically than the leaves, which paint the landscape in fiery reds and yellows and make the Prague Autumn so stunning.

My work here keeps me very busy. On Mondays and Tuesdays I teach all day at a high school (pictured in the last photo above), and for the rest of the week I tutor individuals in their homes and teach smaller classes all over the city. I also help organize and run English conversation events outside of school, giving my students a chance to come and discuss any topic they like with their “fun” American teachers. It’s a great opportunity to show interest in them personally and get to know them better. I’ve also had the privilege to help some of my students in a practical way with letters of recommendation and by proofreading essays.

 

I’ve gained an overwhelming admiration for teachers these past months. While some cultural adjustments have been more difficult than others (trying to learn a bit of Czech has been no cakewalk), teaching has been my biggest challenge by far. I never imagined the amount of preparation and creativity required for every good lesson. I confess I’m learning far more than I’m teaching.

 

However, it’s been such a delight to get to know my students. The unique individuality of each one makes me so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of their lives. I regularly assign journal entries in order to get the students to think critically, to imagine, and explore new ideas (qualities that aren’t highly valued in this education system). One of my recent topics was “What is your dream job?”, and I was shocked to discover their skepticism about the plausibility of their dreams becoming reality. If nothing else, I want to be the one person to uplift them and encourage them to strive for what they are passionate about. Another topic I used was, “One day to live.” The students had to describe how they would spend their final day on earth, the idea being to get them to think about what is most important to them. In their responses, I could see a yearning for deeper meaning and purpose in life.

 

I’ve found a wonderful church community out here (mainly expats), which has blessed me immeasurably and helped sustain me during hard times. They’ve even given me the opportunity to be involved in praise and worship. We meet in a train station, and our little room is more crowded every week.

 

Pray for us this weekend, we are hosting a Thanksgiving feast for over 30 teachers from the program here at our flat on Saturday. I’m not even sure how we’ll fit them all in here, but it promises to be a great time of fellowship.

 

I do apologize for how long it has been since I’ve written. A little over a month ago, my computer completely stopped working, and for the time that I didn’t have one I felt completely disconnected from the world. I know that God was using the experience to remind me of His presence. I now have a brilliant new laptop and you will be hearing from me more often! As always, I can’t express how thankful I am to all of you for your incredibly generous support. Please feel free to write or leave a comment.

 

In Christ,

 

Richard

The Student Becomes the Teacher

Ahoj from Prague! I hope this long-overdue update finds all of you well.  I’m now nearly three months into my time here in the Czech Republic, and I feel like I’m changing even more dramatically than the leaves, which paint the landscape in fiery reds and yellows and make the Prague Autumn so stunning.

My work here keeps me very busy. On Mondays and Tuesdays I teach all day at a high school (pictured in the last photo above), and for the rest of the week I tutor individuals in their homes and teach smaller classes all over the city. I also help organize and run English conversation events outside of school, giving my students a chance to come and discuss any topic they like with their “fun” American teachers. It’s a great opportunity to show interest in them personally and get to know them better. I’ve also had the privilege to help some of my students in a practical way with letters of recommendation and by proofreading essays.

 

I’ve gained an overwhelming admiration for teachers these past months. While some cultural adjustments have been more difficult than others (trying to learn a bit of Czech has been no cakewalk), teaching has been my biggest challenge by far. I never imagined the amount of preparation and creativity required for every good lesson. I confess I’m learning far more than I’m teaching.

 

However, it’s been such a delight to get to know my students. The unique individuality of each one makes me so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of their lives. I regularly assign journal entries in order to get the students to think critically, to imagine, and explore new ideas (qualities that aren’t highly valued in this education system). One of my recent topics was “What is your dream job?”, and I was shocked to discover their skepticism about the plausibility of their dreams becoming reality. If nothing else, I want to be the one person to uplift them and encourage them to strive for what they are passionate about. Another topic I used was, “One day to live.” The students had to describe how they would spend their final day on earth, the idea being to get them to think about what is most important to them. In their responses, I could see a yearning for deeper meaning and purpose in life.

 

I’ve found a wonderful church community out here (mainly expats), which has blessed me immeasurably and helped sustain me during hard times. They’ve even given me the opportunity to be involved in praise and worship. We meet in a train station, and our little room is more crowded every week.

 

Pray for us this weekend, we are hosting a Thanksgiving feast for over 30 teachers from the program here at our flat on Saturday. I’m not even sure how we’ll fit them all in here, but it promises to be a great time of fellowship.

 

I do apologize for how long it has been since I’ve written. A little over a month ago, my computer completely stopped working, and for the time that I didn’t have one I felt completely disconnected from the world. I know that God was using the experience to remind me of His presence. I now have a brilliant new laptop and you will be hearing from me more often! As always, I can’t express how thankful I am to all of you for your incredibly generous support. Please feel free to write or leave a comment.

 

In Christ,

 

Richard

I’m a Teacher!

October 21, 2009

—Written by a teacher in Czech Republic—

I made it through the first two weeks of teaching!
This picture is of the “House Sorting Ceremony.” It’s just like Harry Potter for little kids! (Ok… maybe not just like Harry Potter–there’s no sorting hat.)

I’m really enjoying my students and the school. I wasn’t sure I really wanted to teach little kids, but I kind of fell into it (God knows the course of our lives so much better than we do, huh?) I can’t even describe how much of a blessing it’s been to work where I am!

God’s been teaching me so much about His heart lately. He’s woken me up in the middle of the night almost every night for the past two weeks with new aspects of His character. Tonight He woke me up teaching me about truly praising and worshiping Him. Then I had a dream of Him pointing me to Matthew 12. So, I got up and read it. I came across the same verse I had been pondering on all day, except it was in a different place in the Bible! G-d is so good!
“I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices”
Matthew 12:7; Hosea 6:6
I don’t need to feel guilty because I’m not “doing enough” for God’s kingdom here. My job is not to “save the world.” (These quotes are my own thoughts of inadequacy) I’m just to honor God, obey Him, and love Him. He’ll lead me to the people that need to hear His word and the places where I should go. I need to be less worried about the sacrifices and the works, and more focused on seeking after Him first.

Things are definitely starting to pick up and I’m meeting new people-Czech, American, Hungarian, etc.! I know I’ve been here over a month, but it feels like just a blink of an eye!
Winter’s around the corner, so keep me in your prayers! I’m just a Georgia Peach!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

December 19, 2008

— Written by a Teacher in Czech Republic —

I have to say it really is shocking to me how Christmas suddenly snuck up on me. For some reason it seems to have arrived really quickly. I thought I was doing okay for time, and then realized that it was already too late for me to send packages that would arrive to the states before the actual holiday. Now we’re down to one week to the Christmas party, and then the holiday will be upon me.
The snow showed up out of nowhere too. Yesterday on my way in to work there were a few random flakes falling and by the time I got to work they were absolutely huge. It snowed on and off yesterday, leaving us with a fluffy glaze all over everything. I didn’t get pictures of it, but the manger scene is looking very festive with it’s covering of snow. Here’s a shot of it pre-snow last week.

I’m really quite impressed that they have real sheep, but must confess I feel really bad for them as they’re just sleeping in that little house all night long. It can’t be more than 4′ square if even that. They don’t seem overly perturbed, but I don’t think I’d be too thrilled by those dimensions.
The little market in Cheb continues to run in front of the sheep pen. There are about a dozen little huts set up, and they rotate their goods on a daily basis. I keep walking through to check things out, but have managed not to spend much money there. It’s just nice to have around. Makes everything feel a bit more festive.
So this entry isn’t really going to be about a whole lot. It’s the end of another week, and I just felt like I should post something as Christmas is so rapidly approaching. Laura has been sick all week. I feel really bad for her. Fortunately she works at a well staffed school, and was therefore able to stay home and get the rest she needs to get healthy.
I’m going to close this tonight with some pictures I took on my walk back from work this evening. Cheb really can be pretty spectacular every now and again. Good to remember that.