“Is that girl really on the move again?”
and yes, I was.
On March 6th my mum and I left Warsaw, she was with me celebrating her birthday, and I came back to the UK. I spent two days in Wales with my parents where I had just enough to unpack two cases, wash my clothes and repack again.
I had a job offer from a school in Manchester and my cousin was letting me stay at hers in Sheffield for a few days. I was hoping to have a place in Sheffield by Sunday and thankfully my old landlord had a studio available. He even helped me move in!
I went back to living on the same road, in the same little studio that I lived in 4 years ago and it was pretty good. It wasn’t too close to the train station, which meant leaving the flat at 5:30am for work, but it only took a week for my body to really adjust to the wake-up call.
I started off my new job teaching a very interesting group of Intermediate student for the main class, which is 3 hours in the morning with a 15 minute break in the middle. Followed by an elementary reading and writing class, followed by the same class but for speaking and listening.
It was interesting teaching the Intermediate level again, as that’s the level I’ve taught most throughout my teaching so far. However, it certainly isn’t my favourite. FCE and pre-intermediate have definitely been my favourite classes to teach. I had some amazing FCE students in Warsaw and I also had 3 amazing, but totally different, pre-intermediate classes in Bournemouth.
The intermediate class I taught for 5 weeks kept me on my toes. I hadn’t met at least 6 people on the register, yet there are 4 or 5 ladies that came to every lesson without fail. There were some really interesting people from stay-at-home mums to doctors and physiotherapists and medical researchers to students who’ve yet to find their first job. It was fascinating and often made for great discussions. There were two or three ladies who agree on almost everything and there are a couple of guys who think quite differently so it’s great to hear their perspectives.
One thing we all agreed on is that English food is terrible and they realized that English in the classroom is often completely different from English in the streets (especially in Manchester – haha!)
The first five weeks went by so quickly, but not easily. I had a sick day (or two) every week and by week five I ended up being so run-down, in pain and anxious that I had three days off work. I felt guilty, as if I was letting everyone down and creating a bad impression in my new job. I decided to take the rest of the week off and go back to Wales, come off my medication and try and re-set my body. It was a difficult 10 days. I mostly lay in bed or on the sofa, watched tv or slept too much, but I really needed it.
I was quite surprised to receive an email and a text from two of my colleagues, asking how I was, and also from the management. I couldn’t quite believe it, but I also couldn’t shake the feeling that they would fire me, or not give me any more hours.
I came back to Sheffield for the Easter weekend and had time to enjoy the hot weather, relax and hang out with my lovely boyfriend, who did everything to look after me. I was finally ready to go back to work once Tuesday came around.
To my complete surprise the management team were amazing. They asked how I was feeling, could they help or support me in any way and they had even changed my schedule to make things as easy as possible for me.
I dropped one class, giving me 20 hours instead of 25 per week, and they’d reassigned me to the elementary main class and beginner skills class. This meant very little preparation for me except for photocopying and planning a few activities. Plus I get to teach English File again. I love those books! I love how the teacher’s book has so many extra worksheets for grammar, communication and vocabulary – it’s so helpful, especially for new teachers.
So, even though it hasn’t all been smooth sailing, it has been so much better than living in Poland. Poland was cool because I had some great friends who I went out with quite a lot, everything was cheap, I got to explore. However, I lived with someone who was noisy, dirty, etc and the job was just horrendous.
Now, I work for an amazing management trio and I have some really cool, and bloody intelligent, colleagues. I get to hang out in my favourite city, see my family and gain some new teaching experiences.
What’s the best job you’ve ever had? And why was it so great?