This is a story of a gift that I received from a very special teacher.
A couple of weeks ago nearing the semester’s end, I decided to drop my Professor from my Spanish class one last email. I wanted to ask for feedback from our final oral examination that we had, and because I might possibly not see her again, also thank her for all that she had done for us students throughout the semester.
What I received was indeed feedback, but surprisingly much more than that. My dear Profesora Nina also left me with a reminder of what a great teacher she was, what it means to be a great teacher, and what great impact a teacher can have on a student like me.
This was a snapshot of her reply to me..
(The content isn’t important to read through, but here’s what it meant to me)
Reading through this extremely thoughtful of and personalised email, I couldnt help but picture my Professor speaking in her expressive and energetic yet ever-gentle demeanour. I was touched not just by the sheer length and effort put into her reply in helping me grow in Spanish, but also at how she spoke straight to the heart my identity as a student with a desire to learn.
Learning Spanish in her class has been one of the biggest joys of the semester for me. For my Professor, she believes that like language, learning happens anywhere and everywhere beyond our textbooks. Learning is not something that we just study and memorise, it is a way of living that we carry around everywhere we go.
‘Learning a language is not about learning to translate, it is about seeing things with a different reality.’, she once said.
Bigger than that, the only reason why she teaches us so much beyond our academics, is because she sees us as students beyond our academics too. She sees us as people that are willing learners, and always challenges us to push ourselves to dare to make mistakes, while always keeping the space safe for us.
‘Mistakes are the only thing that will have you understand what is good and what is bad.’, she also taught us.
This wonderful wonderful teacher has taught me so much beyond the grammatical structures of the Spanish language. She has taught me about what it means to live as a learner, instead of learning for the sake of it. She has taught me to fall and make mistakes, but fall with a sincere eagerness to get back up. She has taught me that a teacher is great and inspires others to learn, because she herself is always learning alongside me too, not as teacher and student, but two human beings.
And this email reply, is just a symptom of that humility and authenticity.
This gift from my teacher, one of empowerment and possibility, is not just limited to the academic field.
This gift of learning alongside one another is also why I do the work here at The Inside Space, to create a space where we can look deeper and learn about what matters to our own unique hearts. To learn beyond what society or formal education deems fit, and to always continually learn to get connected to who we are as people, and allowing that to flourish in our own light.
Anyone who has had a great impact on my life has chosen to see me beyond my status of a student, as a son, or any other labels I may have. They chose to see me for who I can be. And those lessons and gifts I have received, are the ones that are most worth learning.
Head of Marketing of The Inside Space