“I pinch myself all the time. I love what I’m doing and I love where I’m doing it,” says Daniel.
Daniel Lopez, a Senior English Language Fellow at the Benjamin Franklin Library in Mexico City, believes his fellowship experience has provided him an invaluable opportunity for professional development.
“I get so much back, more than I give,” says Daniel. “I’ve traveled to 16 different states conducting teacher training workshops-- from pre-service training at universities to working with the Ministry and Secretary of Education on in-service training for teachers who are already in the classroom. “It has been wonderful to hear back from universities and teachers I’ve worked with, listening to their stories of how they’ve implemented what we talked about and how their students responded.”
“More recently, I’ve shifted from the training of teachers to the training of trainers. I’ve also worked with E-Teacher alumni. This creates sustainability and it has been great to see Mexican trainers train their peers. It makes me feel that when I leave here, the program will continue and there will be some long-lasting benefits.”
For Daniel, the most rewarding aspect of his experience with the English Language Fellow Program is the personal relationships he has built.
“My fellowship has allowed me the ability to go places that I probably couldn’t have gone otherwise,” says Daniel. “In Mexico, I saw a part of the country that most tourists do not get to see. For a country so close to the U.S., we know so little. I established relationships that go beyond what we normally think of Mexicans to be.”
“My world has become so much smaller, being able to interact with people. And teachers – all they want is to improve the lives of their students. This is a commonality in every place I’ve been and it is great to contribute to that.”
After his fellowship, Lopez plans to continue building relationships and working in the area of international relations and education.
“Touching one life at a time throughout the world is really what diplomacy is all about for me,” says Daniel.