A Salute to Our Language Teachers

National Teacher Appreciation Day 2018

Thank you for helping us achieve our mission

“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.”[1]
Maria Montessori

There is nothing that quite satisfies the soul like finding the perfect quote for the perfect moment. And as I searched for a quote to share with you all this Teacher’s Day 2018, I came across this one.  I have been a teacher for many years, in Mexico where I taught English as a foreign language for eight years and then in the US teaching Spanish, and I will always consider myself a teacher, though my professional path took me out of the classroom many years ago. I know, like you do, that we teachers play many roles. Yes, we teach facts and events, but more importantly we teach students to synthesize and think critically about these facts and events.  We teach skills, and we scaffold these skills, so that our students feel challenged without getting overwhelmed. We are caretakers, we are counselors, and in many cases we are parental figures for our students.  We are negotiators and mediators and advocates for our students. And now, to believe the words of Maria Montessori, we are the only true hope for the establishment of a peaceful world.  This is a tall order and yet I think every teacher knows, in our heart, that this is true. 

As foreign language teachers, we find ourselves in a very unique position with respect to this responsibility.  More than any other school subject, ours provides students with the ability to understand one another across language and cultural differences. Through learning a language, our students come to understand that our language and culture and way of thinking are not THE way, but one of MANY ways.  And isn’t this understanding at the heart of every peaceful relationship we are engaged in, whether this relationship is person to person or government to government?

And if I hone my focus in even more: from all teachers, then to foreign language teachers, and now to foreign language teachers who provide language and cultural immersion experiences for their students, the potential for our collective impact in producing students with the language and cultural acumen necessary to establish and sustain peaceful relationships grows exponentially. This is precisely why we at Xperitas feel that the accomplishment of our mission of transforming lives through shared global experience and our vision of all people connected in one global community demands that we engage foreign language teachers, support you in your efforts to provide this immersion experience to your students, and ensure that the success of this experience will motivate you to do it again and again, year after year, filling up the world student by student, with young people who have the language, leadership and community engagement skills to make positive contributions to our global community.

An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking: it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value and an individual, and the preparation of young people to times in which they live. [2] Maria Montessori

On this Teacher’s Day, 2018, Xperitas salutes ALL teachers for the crucial role they are playing in developing the young people who will be the decision-makers in our communities for decades to come.

We must especially applaud those teachers that have had the courage and commitment to travel with their students to foreign countries and cultures, each doing their small but vitally important part in creating a generation of young global citizens.