Alumna talks travels, bilingual teaching job

Alumna+talks+travels%2C+bilingual+teaching+job

The lights of the city before me are still twinkling as the sun casts an orange glow around the horizon. I look down upon the waking city as I commute down the hill to the bilingual school where I teach.

As I stroll down the hill, I greet those out for exercise or also on their way to work with a friendly “Buenos dias.” Thus begins my day in the fascinating Mexican city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, where new surprises and opportunities meet me every day.

When I enrolled in Gannon University as an inexperienced freshman, I never dreamed of a possibility that within months after graduation I would have visited three countries I had only read about or be teaching a variety of subjects with confidence in one of those countries.

But here I am; the possibility is reality. I reflect back on my time at Gannon with gratitude for the possibilities that I have found through my education.

As an alumna, I am equipped to take advantage of opportunities to pursue personal interests, develop my character and serve the needs of others.

Soon after graduation, I traveled to England and France with Gannon’s TRAVEL program. The trip was amazing and those memories will last a lifetime.

Through Gannon, I made it to places I had always wanted to see, but had never believed to be possible to see. The daunting idea of living many hours of air travel from home also seemed less intimidating.

When an opportunity came along to teach out of the country, I was ready to accept it. Now I love the experience that I am having and the work that I am doing in Mexico.

Gannon provided me with tools that I never knew I needed or wanted. I entered Gannon with the intention of teaching science to Pennsylvania high school students, and science was my primary aim.

At Gannon, I thoroughly enjoyed my science curriculum, but now I fully recognize the value of the liberal arts education. Although I am a certified biology teacher, teaching is more than science.

My education in other areas of study has prepared me to connect with my students and fellow teachers in different ways. Without sounding like a textbook, I learned to communicate thoughts and to develop myself in a holistic way. All of me has grown, not just the left hemisphere of my brain.

As a person still growing and with no intention of stopping, I am delighted to aid others in their own growth.

As a native English speaker with some Spanish fluency, I can fill a unique niche in the school, teaching English communication skills directly and indirectly to non-native English speakers.

At the same time, I am also greatly blessed because I can utilize the gifts God gave me to serve in a way that I did not picture four years ago.

Although I believe that most of my life will be spent in the U.S., this time away from home has given me sensitivity to other people’s cultures, talents and needs.

And Gannon equipped me for that possibility.

ELIZABETH COCHRAN
[email protected]