Term Two

It’s one week into my second term and I have absolutely nothing to complain about. I’m teaching the same level as my first term — elementary learners — but I have a new set of students, currently twenty-five of them (thirteen in class 1, and twelve in class 2), names already memorised. They’re good students and I like them a lot, but I have to admit that I’ve been experiencing some sort of “separation anxiety” and I really miss my students from last term. I still get to see them around school and also outside school sometimes, and it’s great when I do, so that’s nice. Once in a while, they’ll drop by my classroom to say hello or to give me coffee, and it always makes me smile when that happens.

The good thing about repeating a term is that I’m already familiar with the material that needs to be taught and my lesson plans are already done. What I’m working on now is improving the lessons so that they’re better and more effective than last term’s. There are so many aspects of my teaching that need work, so I’m using this term to improve on most of them and polish them up so that by the time my third term comes around, I will be more comfortable and more confident.

Nearly two months into the new job and I’m quite happy about how things are going. I’m really thankful for how the universe seems to have plotted to bring me to where I am, and I’d like to think that everything has happened exactly the way that it should have to get me here.

I haven’t been feeling any sort of homesickness yet, but I have to admit that I am missing a few things from back home.

  • My family (but that’s obviously a given).
  • Home cooked meals (my mom’s cooking, specifically).
  • Food that isn’t spicy.
  • The weather.
  • My books.
  • My xbox.

I Survived My First Term

It has been a month and a half since I started my new teaching position, and I’m still alive — except for the fact that I currently have a cold, but am alive, nonetheless. The five-week term officially ended last Friday, and this week is a kind of “break week” for the teachers where we get to take a bit of a breather, have some teacher training, reflect on the previous term, and plan for the upcoming term.

I don’t think that I did too badly for my first term considering it was my first time in a classroom post-CELTA. I genuinely enjoyed the experience and I can honestly say that I didn’t hate anything about it as I originally feared I might. Initially, I tried to do everything the way I was doing it for CELTA — from the detailed lesson plans to the self-evaluations after each lesson — but I quickly found that there just wasn’t enough time to be “CELTA thorough” for every lesson. Planning and visualing a two-hour lesson every night for every day of the week is tedious enough on its own, so adding CELTA practices to it just isn’t practical. I still write a lesson plan for every lesson I have to do because I feel it’s essential for my personal practice at this point, but I don’t spend four to five hours on it the way I did for CELTA, otherwise, I would never get any sleep.

I’ve been teaching the elementary level and it’s been great getting to know all the students and experimenting with things in the classroom — management, methodology, and exercises and activities. One thing that surprised me was the fact that I was able to memorise over forty names in the span of a week. I’ve always believed that I was terrible with names, but for some reason, I managed to learn all the students’ names quite quickly. Next week, I may need to memorise a new set of forty names, so I’m curious to know if I will do just as well.

It’s quite accurate to say that the life of a teacher is a busy life. My time generally consists of planning, teaching, marking, and researching. I don’t think that I have ever been this busy in my entire life. I also don’t think that I have ever loved anything quite as much.