By Rudina Hoxha
Margaret Brown, a beloved teacher of English language from Scotland, admires the Language Schools in Albania (LSIA), its mission and its expansion.
She contributed to it in the past and will continue to do so until the end. She loved the Albanian students and their thirst for knowledge to learn another language. She has visited Albania often and every time, she has found an unseen warmth and hospitality.
“I have always supported LSIA in any way I could. I admire the way it was set up and how it continues to expand. Teachers and Administration Staff are very dedicated and I will continue to support LSIA for as long as I can,” she said in an exclusive interview from Scotland.
Talking about LSIA and Albanian students bring memories to her. “Working with Albanian students was a joy and a pleasure. They were there because they wanted to be, not because they had to. I had never experienced this thirst for knowledge of another language before.”
Brown is another great teacher. She has and continues to go beyond what she is employed to do. The LSIA can’t wait to welcome her again in Albania…
Hi Margaret! How is your life going on in Scotland? How has the lockdown period been for you?
Lockdown has been a bit strange. Most of the time, it is OK but I miss meeting my family and friends. Have spent a lot of time in the garden and do voluntary work on a helpline to deliver food parcels to those who can’t get out shopping or don’t have enough money.
Please, what do you think of when you hear or read about Albania?
When I think about Albania, the most important thing that comes through is the warmth and hospitality. I have made so many friends who I am still in touch with through Facebook. I have been back many times and the welcome is always the same. I also remember it was very hot in summer and very cold in winter!
Why did you choose the profession of teaching? Can you describe yourself in this position?
I didn’t train as a teacher but as a Community Education Worker which included Adult Education. As part of my job, I did a course about teaching English to speakers of other languages and also basic literacy and numeracy for those who had missed out on school for various reasons. I loved this part of my job, particularly working with adults. Seeing them gain confidence and move on to college/university or work was very rewarding.
You said that it has been a long time since you worked with LSIA. What has been your involvement with LSIA and what memories do you cherish from this experience? Will you intend to keep contributing to LSIA?
I have always supported LSIA in any way I could. I admire the way it was set up and how it continues to expand. Teachers and Administration Staff are very dedicated and I will continue to support LSIA for as long as I can.
Can you describe your experiences working with Albanian students? Who are some of the students you still remember and with whom you are still in contact?
Working with Albanian students was a joy and a pleasure. They were there because they wanted to be, not because they had to. I had never experienced this thirst for knowledge of another language before. I must admit I preferred working with the older students. I found my lack of the Albanian language was a bit of a drawback when working with the younger students.
In your view, what are some of the qualities great teachers share?
Great teachers share a dedication to the job they do. They are willing to go beyond what they are employed to do. They care about their students and always promote the work that they do. Empathy and encouragement are both great assets.