4 weeks Christmas holiday – sounds good, right?
Well, in all honesty, 10 days was more than long enough of a holiday before I was getting bored. I suppose because I love my job, having the weekend off is plenty of time before I’m ready to head back.
My first week back at school was challenging, without a doubt, but it has only reassured me that I absolutely love the career path I’m finally on.
- 2 x 90 minute lessons – I felt rusty and like I’d lost my spark but good to be teaching some of my previous students, and some lovely new ones too
- INSET session – you can read all about that here
- I also met up with one of my previous teachers, and now a lovey friend, for catch up and coffee ☕️
- Then my mum, sister and I went to watch The Greatest Showman and it was absolutely fantastic!!
- In desperate need of coffee all day. Luckily I came home and my skinnycoffeeclub package had arrived! (Stay tuned for my blog post!)
- I had short stories printed out for each of my Upper-Intermediate students, as I’m determined to get them reading before I head of to China. It went well, except for one student who sat and stared into space for 15 minutes. He definitely does not like reading.
- I was in school before 8 again and desperately trying to find some fun things for my classes, but I was ready without realizing it.
- The young Argentinian students I’m teaching are delightful. They’re so self-disciplined and well behaved. They’ve got loads of energy and always want to get involved – it’s lovely!
- I had another reading session for the Upper-Ints and they seem to have enjoyed it. They’re just short stories that we tell children, to help them learn those sub-text morals – don’t go off with strangers, being kind goes a long way, don’t tell lies, etc.
- Then I walked into town and had dinner with my sister – aaaah how I love Mexican food!!
- Another pre-8 start and absolutely exhausted at this point. I’ve hardly slept well and really struggled this week. Today was especially trying my patience as I was over-tired, emotional and feeling down on my luck.
- The lessons went well – we had a lot of pace; bits of grammar, vocab games, idioms and some writing work too.
- In my ‘speaking’ class I used my favourite game – ‘Matching news headlines’: Each group gets two or three ‘phrases’ taken from different news headlines, they put them together to create their own story. Then the story has been created they swap groups and role-play interviews. We had a lot of laughs and good energy in the room! For an elementary / pre-int class these guys did impressively well with their vocab for this.
- After my final lesson I spent an hour planning before heading over to AFC Bournemouth for a stadium tour with two of my colleagues and a group of students! It was a fantastic afternoon. Even though I used to work there, I never got to see the changing rooms or the VIP boxes. The students had a fantastic time and definitely enjoyed taking lots of photos. Andy and Jordan were great at showing us around, telling us lots of stories and about the history of the club. Thoroughly enjoyable way to spend an hour with the school!
- Between 4:30 and 7:30, I had a looooong time to wait for the school’s music night – A sing along evening! I planned my lessons, walked up to subway, did some reading. By this point I was almost crying, almost falling asleep and extremely tempted to go home. I am so happy I stayed.
The music night happens every two weeks or so, and our Assistant Director Martin plays the guitar or ukulele and sings some favourite songs from traditional English to Oasis to The Beatles. Everyone joins in – clapping, dancing, funny shout-outs! It was such a mood-lifter. To make it even better, one of my students was celebrating his birthday and his friends had surprised him with cake, coffee and sweets, which they shared with the rest of us. I must admit, I absolutely love Arabic coffee. I must learn how to make it. Anyone got a recipe?
- After finally getting into bed at midnight, I slept soundly until 7am. Thankfully my mum gave me a lift to work but I was so full of energy.
- Intermediate class was brilliant – I had 5 students and I started with a word-search, followed by teaching them some new idioms and we tried to find Arabic and Turkish alternatives – I think we all enjoyed that! Then we played the ‘Headlines’ news game and that was brilliant. Some excellent stories about English teachers being kidnapped by pandas, a school director fell in love with a secretary after saving her from robbers… Such fun!
- My Upper-int class was great. My lovely, lovely students bought Arabic coffee and chocolates for everyone. They know how much I love their coffee. We started off with an idioms recap, then played the matching headlines game – I just love how you can adapt this game to any lesson, any level. You can ask students to write out their story, write a dialogue for an interview… it requires them to speak, think, use their grammar and vocab correctly and it helps with pronunciation too, of course.
- Then the Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti gents went to mosque, which left me with the lovely Laura! We did some phrasal verbs, talked about applying for University, looked at using Pinterest for learning languages and started a reading comprehension. It felt like a really productive hour and hopefully she felt that way as well.
- Unfortunately my speaking class didn’t go too well… I’m not sure why. I don’t know if the language was too difficult or if they just wanted to head off and start their weekend early… I felt guilty but I didn’t have a back up plan. Why didn’t I? I naively thought I wouldn’t need one.
- After work I was exhausted. I was so glad for Friday afternoon but I was determined to enjoy my weekend. I sat down and took up three spaces on the desk and planned out each of my three classes. I photocopied worksheets for grammar, role-play cards, board game work-sheets. I am ready for Monday!!
My brilliant colleagues all in matching shirts – totally unplanned!
My job is so rewarding and I am so grateful for the chances the management took employing me. I was a nervous wreck on my CELTA course but all I needed was the chance to improve and prove myself. I have worked so hard for this job and I will continue to do so every day.
A big, big thanks to those that have given me tips and left lovely comments this week – please keep them coming as I am always looking for new ideas and genuinely appreciate them.