Anie Blanco, Leadership Fellow 2019 from Barranquilla, Colombia, shares her experience of participating in many different aspects of GLN’s organization ranging from operations to teacher support and marketing at The Global Language Network during the “smartest gap year ever”.
Being a Leadership Fellow at The Global Language Network was a very exciting journey into professional development that I started this year. By committing to the organization’s dynamic in-office team, I was able to dive deep into an inclusive and learning-focused environment, gaining substantive experience in an office space, making connections and helping others to make those connections.
One of the most memorable moments was my first day, I remember being at the office and waiting for teachers that were having classes. On this day, I had conversations with five different people, all from different countries and including some who were Spanish speakers like me! It was very exciting just to think that I’d be around this culturally rich environment and be contributing to furthering its mission, operations and goals.
By concentrating in Teacher Assistance for my fellowship, I was able to work alongside amazing people, who were eager to teach and share about their own cultures through the tool of language. Spanish being my native language, I worked with May and Rodrigo, two dedicated and inspiring teachers that have been teaching with GLN for a few semesters now. From them, I learned everything from the technical part of preparing classes to spontaneous activities that show about our countries’ cultures through methods such as sharing music with the students before the start of class. It was nice to connect with both of them and to develop new and fun ideas to teach Spanish.
Inside the office, I had the opportunity of being part of a close team of hard-working and dedicated people from whom it was extremely difficult to say goodbye when I returned to my native Colombia. We truly connected in a unique way while managing critical office tasks and while learning about each of our lives and sharing our own stories. Working together, we built skills based upon both our interests and talents that assisted the organization while building ourselves as professionals. Subject areas included operations, marketing, teacher support and outreach with the ability to develop and perform creative projects. All this is what made being at GLN an unbelievable experience that will carry me forward both professionally and personally in my bright future.