In 1993, I took my Bachelors Degree, my Masters Degree, and my teaching coursework, stepped on to an airplane and left for Honolulu, Hawai’i to begin a one year teaching internship. I was confident that I knew the subject I was going to teach, English, and I was confident that my teaching coursework had taught me what I needed to adapt that content into a curriculum suited for learners anywhere. I was also possessed of a young, white, suburban liberal’s confidence that I valued diversity and in the ability of that disposition to make up for the lack of either theoretical or practical knowledge that I had about the community I was moving to.
As it turned out, I did know a great deal about English.
My other assumptions were woefully inadequate, and I soon realized that if I was going to be anything more than a tourist who also…
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