By Jorge Manuel Zelaya Fajardo
March 17th, 2021
"Doing your best means NEVER stop trying. ".
-- Benjamin Franklin
I did not study to be a teacher. My teaching career began by accident at age 18. With an objective of generating income to have some financial independence from my parents and with an extraordinary risk, I agreed to give my first class to an audience of 8 students who wanted to learn English as a second language. Right there, a wonderful journey began that allowed me to discover my passion, curiosity and joy of being part of the teaching-learning process. One thing led to another and after finishing my master's degree in business administration at INCAE (CLASS XXXIII -1999), I decided to venture to teach again, only now in a master's programs. From that moment on, the experience unfolded in a simply extraordinary way. Since that day, I have been blessed to teach in the master's programs of three extraordinary universities in Honduras. In numbers it could be described as follows: about 10 subject topics offered in about 200 class sections over a 21-year period where I have been blessed to have about 4500 professionals sitting in my classes. In feelings I could not describe it so easily. I have learned more in teaching than studying or preparing a class. I have seen the essence of human beings improving themselves in a unique way. I have witnessed efforts that culminate in achievement. I have seen potentialities turned into performance. I have witnessed dreams come true for many professionals of all ages.
This led me to write, a few years ago, a draft of what could be my tips/ suggestions for a master's program
student to have a more productive, encouraging and fun journey while studying before graduation. I
t seemed to me that having been a student and now a teacher, it could give me a unique perspective to
help. Today I have decided to publish that draft, as a finished product. However, after reading it I realized
that they could well be applied to any learning adventure, not just a master's program.
Here are the 10 tips.
• Embrace change. Every class, every week, every topic, every teacher will be different.
In diversity you will find meaning, in variety you will find taste.
The secret is to always accept the new and apply it.
• The steps close ... the gaze far away. It is essential to manage short-term goals that lead to
Each subject is one less ... to take, one more learned.
The future ones should never be counted, the learned ones should always be remembered.
• Investing in fun. Few human beings have the opportunity to invest in a good education.
The good news is that by having fun human beings learn better, faster and more.
If it's not fun by itself, make it fun. Let us remember that nobody has forced us to the challenge.
The decision was ours.
• Our own productivity: the ultimate goal. Productivity is a balloon that always inflates without popping,
a glass that is served without overflowing, an endless written letter.
We can ALWAYS improve our productivity. It must be the oxygen of our study and focused learning.
• Grades should not interfere with our learning. Grades are like the earnings of a company.
They MUST always be good, permanently EXCELLENT.
Excuses of titles, teachers, schedules or subjects are not valid.
However, focusing only on them as an end and not as a means is the same as doing everything
for money as an end and not as a means. It really is not sustainable over time.
• 2 + 2 = 5. The synergy of teamwork saves lives. Tapping into the strengths of peers is almost as
satisfying as supporting the weaknesses of others. When there are bad times you have to remember
the good times and vice versa. You are never so good not to need someone else's help.
• Always moving forward. The engine running today will take us to our destination tomorrow.
Never worry about the problem, but focus on the solution.
Assimilate what happened quickly and move forward.
Towards the next day ... towards the next exam ... towards the next class ... towards continuous study
... without stopping for anything but to enjoy.
• The extra mile. Enough is never enough. You should always give yourself a little more than what is
asked or should be done. It is very important to fight to transcend. In a country, a region and a world
like the one we live in, going the extra mile is almost an obligation.
• Balance. Time management is the key to enjoy a master's degree program .
Studies, exercise, health, family and entertainment provide the necessary balance to survive happily.
That is the only armor that protects us, whether the class is at dawn or at night, on a weekday or on
• Love. High Motivation Oriented to Results. In every task, in every purpose, in every moment.
Learning without love is tasteless. It has no sense, taste or reason for being.
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