An ESL teacher’s ‘witty’ response to an awkward student question

An ESL teacher’s ‘witty’ response to an awkward student question

The Kingdom of Bahrain is hardly first on the list for those planning a teaching adventure abroad.

But, for aspiring English instructor, Patrick Mahoney, the wealthy, gulf island state was definitely a place worth checking out during his first year teaching overseas.

Despite leaving a corporate job and his girlfriend back home, Patrick was excited about spending a year teaching in Bahrain – one of the richest countries in the world with a 0% personal income tax rate.

One of the memorable moments Patrick had in Bahrain was when he received the same awkward question from several students in each of his classes during his very first day on the job:

One question that I got in all four of my classes is ‘Does everyone there (in the USA) think we are terrorists?’ I thought that was really interesting. I said, ‘Well, I’ll be honest with you. If I thought you were all terrorists, I probably wouldn’t have come here.’

Patrick handled this question extremely well given his limited teaching experience or understanding of Bahrain’s culture. Good on him!

Check out more stories from Patrick’s blog post – To Bahrain and back

As English teachers abroad, we all have interesting stories like Patrick’s that will remain etched in our memories forever.

Got a story to share about teaching in (country)?  Feel free to share it below….


How some teachers save up to $100K per year at these 6 overseas schools (without giving up vacations or maids)

Harsh Realities Teaching Overseas

Teacher fingerprints students (causes uproar)

Leave a Reply