September 2, 2016

A Day In A Life of a Fellow - Tajikistan #EnglishForAll


My name is Maurice Anderson Etheridge. I am an English Language Fellow here in the capital city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan.


The local people here, from little children to adults, want English. Once they ask you where you're from and you remind them the USA they really light up with enthusiasm to really want to go to the USA. That in itself encourages you to get up every morning and continue with your work. You will meet friends fairly quickly here and it becomes home. I live in an apartment here in the center of Dushanbe.

My schedule generally is split schedule. Maybe I could work on that some, but it is generally a split schedule with some morning classes and some evening classes. I wake up, try to get up way ahead of the time I have to be at work. It's very easy got to get around here in Dushanbe to get to my university. Most of the time I walk. It's about 30 minutes walking. It's not a problem. If the weather is bad I will take the public transportation: minivans or taxis. Very cheap and very quick. That's how I get to work. I work at the University of Central Asia. It's a branch here of the office in the Pamir mountain region of Korogh in Kyrgyzstan. My main position there is working with the teachers in lesson planning and student-centered style lessons, conducting discussion clubs, co-teaching, and simply conducting observations and giving feedback and I try to center my class lessons on learner-centered or student-centered lessons. That is my passion. At first they probably wonder what's going on when I introduce my teaching techniques that I like but I have noticed, I have noticed that the students and the staff really enjoy my particular style of teaching. Leisure activities, free time. I'm very big and passionate about what I do during my free time. Case in point, we are here now, I'm here in one of my favorite places and this is only the beginning of Victory Park. It's my medicine. I hike everywhere, and you do not have to go far from the city to hit the big, big, big, big, major mountains, major mountains here, awesome, wonderful In fact, when we came back from our mountain trip, all-day long mountain trip the other day, you cross over one big tall mountain range down in another valley across another mountain range. You keep going into some of the most remote areas honestly I think I've ever seen. Went to sleep that night and it was kind of a rewinding back in my mind, "Did that really happen?" Kind of mesmerized on what we saw, but all in a good way. Nature here is a must-see, and for those considering, you have to see it in person. Come and check it out for yourself. You've gotta see it, you have to see it. You won't ever be the same again.

Overall, this is my second year. I renewed for a reason. I would not be here as a renewal for my second year if I did not enjoy my experience from the first fellowship. My university, that is my host, my home university, I really enjoy my colleagues. I feel very welcome with them I feel like I have had an impact. I hope I have, anyway. I feel comfortable enough to have returned for that reason. I believe that I will be missed.  I come in with my personal enthusiasm and I hope that it shows with teaching. If you have the opportunity to be an English Language Fellow, by all means, do it.