Get to Know Your Teacher: Orlando
Why did you become a teacher and teach in Taiwan?
Actually, my dream job is to be a teacher, but I did not work as a teacher right after I graduated from university. I wanted to explore the world and challenge myself. As an ardent lover of books, I decided to pursue my master’s degree in literature. Later on, I worked as a translator in film festivals, because I am a movie buff. International coordinator, editor, translator, hospitality assistant, theatre director…these different jobs brought me to meet different people from all over the world. One day, I woke up from sleep and told myself, “Hey! You’ve gained a lot of experiences except for teaching. Let’s do it.” So, I started to teach. I gradually realized that the previous experiences have helped me define who I am as a teacher: a story-teller. I believe that life experience is the best material for students. Also, I choose to teach in Taiwan because I love the cultural diversity on the island.
What is a good student?
“All the world’s a stage” – this is one of the famous quotes from William Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Such conventional wisdom, which compares life with a literary piece of work, is my motto when I have difficulties. Like the protagonist in a story, a good student is supposed to face challenges. He would probably face a series of obstacles while reaching his goal, but he knows that he should overcome barriers of crisis, striving for the best outcome. Imagine a life without any challenges: you don’t want to read a dull story, do you? If a student achieves his objective without any obstacles, the story of his life would be too predictable! Although you cannot write your own script for life, you can choose to be a hero of your own.
What would you want to achieve with your students?
For the past ten years, I’ve been trained as a literary critic. I examine literary language of narratives and deal with literary representations. Literature combines a fictional world with the reality. As readers, we could understand better about both our identities and the world through the medium of literature. I expect my students to build up the abilities such as ability of observing, scrutinizing, adapting to new situations, critical abilities by reading books. I look forward to seeing changes after my students are cultivated.
Orlando, JTIS English Teacher/Literature Teacher
National Taiwan Chao Tung University