Our featured Trainer is Mr. Hank Grimes who is currently an English Language Trainer with Chenega Corporation based in Al Khobar in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Hank is a registered Candidate with ETJobs and works on a federal contract at King Abdulaziz Air Base, training Royal Saudi Air Force Cadets in specialized English so they can pursue follow-on training as F-15 maintainers in the USA. This contract is under the leadership of Blue Force Inc. Hank is also a Professional Development Specialist who focuses on the use of technology in the classroom.
When asked to expand on his motivation in the field, Mr. Grimes noted,
“I am driven by the desire to be a life-long learner and to inspire students to view learning as a journey to something or somewhere new every day.”
Teaching English as a Foreign Language also afforded Mr. Grimes the opportunity
“…to travel and learn about disparate cultures, languages and traditions.”
Hank grew up in the ‘70’s in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and was raised by an educator mother and an older sister who is currently an elementary school teacher.
“They were constantly creating games, activities, and supplemental lessons for their classes, and I usually got to the be the guinea pig for various and sundry teaching approaches that only made me a better learner.”
hey didn’t always make him a better student, however, because he preferred the World Book Encyclopedia to his textbooks. So, his mother and teachers often had to “compel” him to complete his homework in a timely fashion. Again, Hanks mother loved to travel, which meant that his sister and he got to travel, too. In fact, by the time Hank graduated from high school, he had seen 30 of the contiguous 48 states, 9 countries in Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas.
“Above all, my mother was most influential in my life but, of course, I didn’t know it at the time. In hindsight, it is undeniable that I am my mother’s son, as she taught me patience (even when it didn’t show), kindness (even when I didn’t want to be kind), and compassion because it was obvious that she afforded me opportunities that many of my classmates did not have.”
Mr. Grimes favorite teachers were his Spanish teachers (both grade school and high school) and his middle school Music teacher. Hank earned a BA in Spanish. He also studied classical piano for 8 years mainly because his teacher, Mrs. Mack, told him he could do anything even though he confessed it took some time to believe her.
But what life changing events took place to compel Mr. Grimes to go into training?
“During my sophomore year of college, I went to Guatemala as an interpreter for a medical practicum. I worked with the doctor and the dentist to help patients understand the procedures they were about to undergo, and I explained prescriptions and the doctors’ recommendations for follow-up care. Finally, I asked questions on patients’ behalf.”
Hank moved away from the sciences and studied Spanish and History as a prelude becoming an instructor and Trainer. He has lived in and traveled to more than 40 countries over the years and has become highly proficient in 3 languages: Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish. As with all the best instructors, they are usual vociferous learners. Hank Grimes is no exception.