February 2021

February… what a strange month you were. I am not sorry to say goodbye and I’m extremely excited for March. The daffodils, baby lambs being born and the sun shining more frequently. It’s just what we need after 11.5 months of lockdown!

I’ve been working hard and trying to keep up with my goals – so here’s how it all went for me.

  1. Improve my quality of teaching and develop teaching knowledge further

I like to start with this one because it’s such a big part of my life. I teach 6 days a week and I’m always trying to improve my skills and knowledge for the classroom.

I’m starting to look for new websites, apps and materials for my students, but since most of them are preparing for CAE or are at C1 level I am actually using a lot of the same materials each week. It’s making my life much easier and giving me more time to focus on the good things.

I signed up for a few webinars, but I haven’t found them useful because so many participants seem to use the chat box for socialising and this becomes a huge distraction. I don’t plan on joining any others in the next month or so.

I’m still trying to think about what direction to take next. MA? DELTA? EAP? I don’t have the funds to apply for anything at the moment but I am starting to apply for contracted work again in the hope of stabilising my income and timetable for the next year – but who knows what will happen!

2. Keep up with my language studies

January wasn’t terrible, but February was awesome in terms of my language studies.

I started my new group Chinese lessons (4 hours per week), I’ve made two language exchange partners from Taiwan and one from Spain and I’ve tried my best to keep up with Chinese, Spanish and Swedish.

On average I’ve spent 4 hours a day studying Chinese, but far less on Spanish and Swedish, and I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my speaking skills and range of vocabulary. It’s really cool and I’m so motivated for March!

I’ll be blogging about my language lessons and study plans later in the week, so if you are interested then you should stay tuned for that.

3. Be healthier

Not bad, Claire, not bad!

I’m not eating chocolate or crisps and I have really been trying to run three times a week. I’ve also made a point of walking more often as well.

Unfortunately I don’t feel much of a difference, but hopefully the spring will help me change that. Being stuck indoors when it’s raining all day has such a negative impact on me and I can’t wait for the warmer days!

4. Read 50 books

I focused so heavily on languages in February that I only managed to read half of two separate books. I didn’t finish them because they weren’t interesting, and I’ve set some thrillers out next to my bed ready for March.

5. Stop spending and save

I’ve done reasonably well here despite needing to buy books for work and presents for various people. Otherwise, there isn’t much else worth buying!

I did, however, treat myself to some new clothes, stationery and a coffee yesterday whilst my mum was getting her COVID vaccine! It felt amazing to actually buy something from a real shop!

6. Work consistently but know when to take time off

February was fairly quiet after a very hectic first week. I enjoyed having more time for myself, which I spent studying and improving my language skills. I also allowed myself to watch Taiwanese dramas and relax now and then, rather than beat myself up over the hour I didn’t spend studying.

My bank account would have appreciated the extra money, but I was quite content with my schedule and definitely made the most of it.

7. Stop stressing

The first week of February was incredibly stressful and I had to force myself to stop worrying. I had a lot of difficulties with work and in the end I had to put my foot down and tell myself it was all irrelevant and not worth worrying about. The following three weeks were far less stressful and I’m starting off March in the same way. What will be, will be!

8. Blog goals

Last year, last February, I blogged about the trouble with TEFL. It was snapped up instantly and I had shares, comments and likes for weeks and weeks. I knew it would be tough to top that, and it was! I blogged as much as I should have, but I also lacked the motivation to do any extras. I’m hoping in March I’ll feel a little more motivated to blog and share some interesting things with you all!

9. Travel again!

This is something I’m constantly thinking about, but not planning for in the near future at all. I know that the summer flights and hotspots will be completely full and I’m not going to risk it at all.

Still, I’d really love to be able to go to Taiwan again and have considered looking for winter jobs / short stints there and in other countries in Asia. Let’s see…

10. It’s a secret.

And there’s my little round up for the month! February was interesting for sure. I was extremely productive, but at the same time I felt down and somewhat negative. I desperately want March to be more positive and I’m sure with spring around the corner it will make a big difference!

What do you have planned for March?

Are you looking forward to anything? Let me know in the comments or chat to me on Twitter or Instagram x

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