Appreciating Freedom

April 10, 2014

Next week, Project Learn will be on a break from classes. But most Project Learn students, in addition to taking classes, also have families, jobs, and many other responsibilities that don’t stop when our classes do. Our office won’t be quiet, either. Orientations will be held for new students, Ohio residents will come in to take their Official GED Test, and many teachers will be preparing lessons for their upcoming classes.

During orientation, students take a pre-test to see where they are starting and to see what class is a good fit for them. For GED students, that means a math and reading test. For ESL students, that means either a reading or speaking test. For the speaking test, given by a teacher on the computer, there are a set of questions we ask to start the test. For one of those questions, “What do you like about living in the United States?” I’m always struck at how many students have a similar response. No matter where the student is from, Nepal, Iran, Ecuador, Japan, the answer I often hear is, “People have freedom here.”

Living here all my life, I appreciate the freedom I have. But hearing how much my students also value this makes me want to appreciate it even more. It’s like living in New York City and never going to see the Statue of Liberty. You know it’s there, but don’t really think about it. But when people come to visit you and are so excited to see this new place. It’s the same way with this test question. It makes me look at my country in a refreshed and appreciative way.

What do you like most about living in your city or neighborhood?

– Elizabeth Davis, ESL Instructor & Admissions Counselor

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