A Dream, a Goal?
For years I have read the articles in the American Suzuki Journal about the vibrant music teaching scene in Latin America. The teachers there are so enthusiastic, and the stories that the North American Teacher Trainers bring back about their adventures teaching at the Suzuki Festivals in Peru and Brazil are so interesting. I have met many of the Latin American teachers and students at the SAA Conference in Minneapolis. I know that Suzuki Recorder is very popular in South America. Maybe if I can collect all the material I need to become a Teacher trainer myself (observation records, performance videos, lesson videos, essays, etc.) I might get a chance to visit them myself.
I just became certified as a Teacher Trainer a few months ago. I have lots of experience, qualifications, enthusiasm, and excellent guidance from the other teacher trainers who have mentored me through the process of becoming a Trainer myself. But I have not yet taught an official Unit course for the SAA, although I have gone over much of the material in the process of mentoring beginner teachers in my home program. So the first invitation I receive is to teach Unit 1 and Unit 3 at the Suzuki Festival in Lima, Peru! I feel honoured, privileged, excited. Now I have to send them all my handouts to be translated into Spanish. What handouts? I have not taught the course before! Think, think, think …. what will I be able to communicate through demonstration, what will I need to say that has to use words, how can I narrow it down so they only have to translate that which is most necessary, how do I know what will be necessary or not if I don’t know the background of the course participants ….
Now Its for Real.
Time to book plane tickets. This is where living in a smaller city in northern Canada proves to be slightly awkward. I have a choice between an 11 hour stopover in Houston or having only 53 minutes to make a connection in Newark. I will be traveling in the winter and the flight will probably not originate in Edmonton, so the chances of a weather-related delay is fairly high. So I choose the 11 hour stopover. I guess I’ll take some of that time to write another blog entry 🙂
Hmm. One of the less well publicized joys of international travel is needing to have your immunizations updated. When I was a child, my dad was in the military, so we lived in various places all over the world. The Department of National Defence always took care of making sure the families got their shots. Now I am all grown up and I have to do it myself. Seems that if I had been born after 1981, I would already have received most of these through the public heath program in the schools. (My daughter will benefit from this, but not I.) So now I have two arms full of various hepatitis, tetanus, diphtheria, typhoid, etc. vaccines, and I have a slight headache and slightly upset stomach, my arms ache, and I have 6 hours of lessons ahead of me.