When I asked Jonathan Taylor, a teacher of English in Bulgaria’s Sevlievo, if he liked Bulgaria, he replied: "I love it." The Englishman has been living in the village of Krushevo since 2011 and says this country attracted him with its beauty and tranquillity. The village is now his home and he plans to stay there together with his Bulgarian friends. He also likes spending his free time in Sozopol. Jonathan is a musician, writer and teacher. This is precisely why we met him on International Teacher’s Day- October 5.
Taylor faced a number of difficulties as a student because he suffered from dyslexia that placed numerous obstacles before him, but this “strange journey,” as he calls his education, turned him into a beloved musician and teacher. Jonathan has been impressed by his Bulgarian students and says he will keep them in his heart forever.
According to Jonathan, Bulgarian teachers are undervalued and work for very low wages, which mars their image and self-esteem:
A strong impression in Jonathan has left a Bulgarian student whose self-esteem was low because of classmates and teachers. They kept telling him he was stupid. “Sooner or later, you start to believe that you are not good for anything if you hear that constantly,” Jonathan Taylor says. He recognised himself in that student because he had experienced the same problems because of his dyslexia. With time and efforts he managed to get the child to believe in himself and in his dreams. The teacher believes that it is not so important for a student to be good in all classes and gives as an example England, where training programs in hairdressing, animal care, metalworking and others are organised in schools. It is better to see what the student’s potential is, rather than spending hours on something they would never be interested in. However, Jonathan says that the quality of Bulgarian education is good.
A very busy year is coming for Taylor. He wants to create songs about Bulgaria and has already recorded some and also wants to translate poems by Hristo Botev and other Bulgarian poets in English and to present them to a wider audience. He would continue to teach at the school in Sevlievo, to write novels and to play the guitar. Here is what Jonathan told Bulgarian teachers on International Teacher’s Day:
English: Alexander Markov