Grateful for our Teachers – Liande Heyns
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire
AT TALK we are mindful of the privilege it is to engage with people from all walks of life. As such gratitude, as a way of acknowledging that privilege and gift, is something we value. In this way we started with a short three part series of highlighting and thanking some of our teachers. Today, we show our gratitude for Liande Heyns.
Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher in the most unusual way. In 2008 I was learning Spanish at a Language School in Santiago, Chile when the school approached me about teaching English as it is my native language. I have been teaching ever since. I started teaching at TALK Atlanta in 2016.
What do you love about teaching? What do you love about teaching at TALK?
My first passion is Psychology and I practiced that for many years, but when I transitioned to teaching, I realised how much of my Psychology background I was using everyday as well. Teaching has become an extension of that. I love teaching at Talk because I can relate to the students learning a new language in a new country. I personally experienced that for 5 years and so I can help students not only with English but with all the other areas that come with being a foreign student and adapting to a new culture and environment.
What has been the hardest part about moving classes online?
The hardest part is not interacting with my students on a personal level, not sharing a meal together, not laughing about the silly thing one student did or said that day. I miss the collaboration with other teachers on a difficult topic that might come up in class.
What has been the biggest challenge and why?
Biggest challenge is student participation with online classes, but having a TA helps a big deal to guarantee that they all can be engaged.
How have the students adapted?
Most of the students have adapted well and happy and satisfied.
What has been the benefits of moving to online classes? What if anything have you learned during this time?
I can meet a lot more students from other schools, and I have been introduced to more staff members throughout the US during this period. Students are also able to practice skills they may not have been exposed to if it was not for online classes. Oh! And no more stress in the morning traffic in Atlanta.
I have improved my computer skills and have learnt new teaching skills. I have also witnessed how we as humans can adapt under such difficult times.
Linda Heyns, we are so grateful for your mindful and caring approach to teaching. Thank-you!