Unlocking the teacher within

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one of the most inspiring people i’ve met. my wonderful university tutor of ELT methodology at University of Prešov, Zuzana Straková. i wish to express how important she became in what i do.

yes, became. i didn’t know, didn’t appreciate having her as my tutor at the time.

with her open, professional attitude, she naturally inspired independent thought, allowed reflection, encouraged positive and constructive feedback. she gave us time to reflect and share thoughts, knowing that practical applications of theoretical concepts, original solutions to old problems, motivation, joy and everything else a teacher needs – would follow on their own accord from us.

she gave us the positive expectations of an experienced master, the trust and the full, adaptable attention that allowed us to unlock the teacher within.

the kind of person that leaves a seed in you, without you being aware of it, a seed that later develops into a beautiful revelation, a flower of simple, accurate truth about the important things in life.

it was left with me unassumingly, with the great generosity of a true teacher.

she gave the impression of being perfectly satisfied with what she was doing at any given moment in time, regardless of the time of day, month, exam season, amount of snow outside or politics.

her attitude didn’t anticipate praise.

once in our methodology seminar she said something that hit home with such clarity and intensity that i draw inspiration from it to this day. even more so today than before.

“we teach the learner, not the course book.”

the quote stuck with me, as well as the memory of the seminars we had together. meaningful, clever, joyful and with a charming spark.

a small tribute to her selfless, professional approach that motivates me 10 years on.

is there someone who inspired you?

– image by me, Copyright 2005 (taken on the beach in Instow, North Devon, UK)
– the phrase “Unocking the teacher within” inspired by the book title “An Ode Less Travelled – Unlocking the Poet Within” by Stephen Fry


6 Comments on “Unlocking the teacher within”

  1. A feminist pioneer Lebanese lawyer inspired me, her name was Laure Moughaizel and she died from cancer:(
    I owe her a lot!
    Thank God for all the good people that he put in our path to make us better person.
    Now I try to do the same and be a mentor to young woman who need direction or help.
    Great post, full of gratitude Marian. You are a very nice person.


    • It took me a while to reply, but thank you very much for commenting and your kind words, Mirella! It’s a little humbling to read that. Laure must have been a great inspiration and a courageous woman. Standing out from the crowd for a noble cause is always difficult.
      Wish you good luck on your path!


  2. Hi Marian,
    Nice to meet you. Just spent some time looking at your blog for the first time.

    We all had those teachers who changed things for us. I like it when you say “her attitude didn’t anticipate praise”.

    Let me share my own tribute to a grammar teacher:

    Regards from Argentina.


  3. Vladimira says:

    Hi Marian,
    Zuzana Strakova is my great inspiration and my former uni tutor as well. I couldn’t hope for the better teacher. :-)


    • Hi Vladimira,
      it took me a very long while to get back to you, but I wanted to say how wonderful your comment was! It’s fantastic to get a comment from someone who knows :)
      Takže KAJaL FHPV Prešov? ;)


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