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.

 

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