March 2020: A Round Up

Well, well, well… What a month March has been!

I still can’t believe that my year started off so positively and now we’re in partial lockdown due to the Coronavirus! It’s mad…


Key events in March

  • Continued working at English in Manchester and loved it!
  • Celebrated my mum’s birthday here in Manchester with my parents.
  • Had a PGCE interview and was offered a place the following day.
  • Was offered a job at a fantastic school, Kaplan – and I’m so happy there!
  • Have taken one hour off work due to sickness. ONLY ONE! 
  • Jonas bought us Darkwoods coffee!!
  • We got to sit in our garden in the sunshine!

So, how have I been getting on with my new year’s resolutions?


Teaching

Firstly, I am extremely happy with my current teaching situation. My colleagues and new management team are so supportive and wonderful.

I have returned to teaching Elementary level classes. They always bring about new challenges and keep me on my toes, so that’s a positive!

I am also teaching B1, B2 and C1 level classes – all of which I love!

And on Saturday mornings I private tutor a lovely young lad who is preparing for his CAE exam. I had the first lesson on Saturday and it was brilliant! I can’t wait for the next one.

CAEzoom

The biggest challenge is that we are now all teaching online, via Zoom, and having to come to terms with my poor laptop, shocking internet and general lack of functioning software. I’m spending an awful lot of time making materials and preparing for lessons that would normally only take 20-30 minutes to do so. Hey ho!

(Tips for learning online here)

Languages

As I haven’t been able to attend the language exchanges, I have been trying to talk to people in Chinese as much as possible and I’ve been studying some new vocabulary.

I’m hoping to put a bit more effort into in next month, but I’m proud of how much I’ve been studying so far this year.

Health

I’ve actually been a lot more focused on my home workouts than I was in January and February, but I’m still eating like a big piggy. I’m eating far too much wheat, chocolate and crisps and this COVID isn’t making things easier! I am eating a lot of healthy food as well, but I need to kick out the junk.

In February, and all throughout March I have really struggled with this:

But I’ve suddenly started getting really greasy hair after even a day of washing it. How? Why? I’m struggling so badly with it!

And last weekend I finally decided to wash my hair with boiled water from the kettle. Well, what a difference that’s made! I’ve had no knots or tangles and managed two days without greasy hair. So I’m quite sure that there’s something wrong with our water tank. It’s just too bad I didn’t think of this before the ‘lock down’, because I doubt anyone will come out to fix it now.

The one thing I need to be careful of is my mental health (well, we all do!) as I was completely overwhelmed last week with being stuck indoors, working far more than the previous weeks and just feeling quite down overall. I’m determined to put an end to that this week and to remain as calm as possible.

Reading

Due to crazy number of events happening this month – interviews, new jobs, inductions, stress, COVID – I haven’t been able to focus much on reading. I have managed to read 5 books and I’ve nearly finished a sixth. I’m still doing far better than I was this time last year. I re-read my favourite, Frankenstein, again and for the first time ever I’m reading To Kill A Mockingbird.

It’s funny, because my mum bought me this book when I was 11 or 12 and I never touched it. I told her to give it away, and I’m assuming she did because I never saw it again. I’m not sure what I disliked so much about it back then, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it now!

Make new friends

I’ve managed to stay in touch, and get back in touch, with a lot of friends this month but also tried to connect with new people online, via Twitter or blogging groups. I’ve also connected with a few Chinese people, so hopefully that will help with my language learning! Before the ‘lockdown’ I did manage to have coffee with two different friends, which was lovely!

I must admit that, although everyone is stressed out far more than usual at the moment, I do feel a bit left out from my normal group of friends and it definitely made me feel quite low last week.

Blog

I’ve tried to be as active as possible in the blogging community and have a few collaborations lined up. I’ve also blogged 5 times, which is three more than my target!

And I’ve managed to keep a continuous flow of visitors due to my ‘The Trouble with TEFL’ post, so that’s exciting!

Twitter

I’ve gained 203 new followers this month, most of whom are educators, and I have been introduced to loads of new websites and webinars thanks to everyone being so supportive of each other during this crazy time! Hopefully I have shared some insightful posts too.

My goal is still to reach 3,000 followers by December – 900 to go!

Be calmer

I am still failing at this. Especially now that we are stuck inside for 23 hours of the day. The neighbours are even worse. There’s building work going on all around us, kids crying, couples arguing and so on. I must try harder before I go completely round-the-bend.

The wonderful thing is that it’s been quite sunny recently and my plants and flowers are growing sooooo quickly. They’re beautiful and it’s been lovely to watch them change day by day.

I’m also trying to look back over the past 2-3 years to see how far I’ve come and remind myself of how well I’m doing. I know that stress will only have a negative impact and I’d really like to avoid that. Especially as we’re stuck at home!

Here are some previous posts if you’d like to check them out…

1 year ago Manchester
2 years ago China
3 years ago Bournemouth / Taipei


So, what’s April got in store for me?

  • Hopefully, more teaching hours!
  • Hopefully, teaching Jonas how to cook.
  • Hopefully, reduce my prep and planning time for my lessons.
  • Join some more teaching webinars.

Do you have any goals for April?

Feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter!

3 thoughts on “March 2020: A Round Up

Add yours

  1. Who are you studying Chinese with? I’ve been unable to make a lot of my lessons with my teaching company as they work to GMT+8, which means getting up early in the morning. Plus I don’t have anyone to practice with 😦
    Glad to see you making the most of being stuck in quarantine and remaining so positive!

    1. I study alone but I do also have a lot of Chinese friends and contacts. My sister is fluent as well so I always have her if I need to speak with someone. Thanks for reading and hope you’re well.

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