Time Flies — Six Months Abroad

I’ve officially been living and working abroad for six months. It has not felt like half a year at all — time flew by so quickly, I barely noticed it. In reaching this milestone, I am now able to check an item off my list of things to complete or accomplish by the time I turn thirty — part of the five-year plan I devised when I turned twenty-five.

I’ve definitely enjoyed my time here so far. I’ve met some really great people and the students are really wonderful, for the most part. I’ve even learned and developed a little bit of an interest in the Arabic language because of them.

Teaching in a multi-cultural classroom has been quite an experience. Most of the time, when a new term starts, the nationalities tend to stick together. I’ll end up with the students from the Middle East sitting on one side of the room, the Chinese students on the other side, then a few from Central Asia and Africa grouped together. I mix them up as much as possible so that no two nationalities will be paired or grouped to encourage the use of English. However, there are times when one nationality outnumbers the rest and it’s unavoidable for them to end up together.

Teaching itself has been great — I know for a fact that I’m in the right profession. It’s stimulating, challenging, and so much fun. Of course, there are off days, but the good days far outweigh the bad. There are times when I get irritated or lose my temper, but I’m told it’s a natural part of teaching — especially with naughty young adults. On good days, though, when everything goes right and the dynamics are perfect, I feel that I’m in my element and that I’m right where I need to be.

I have another six months to go on my contract, and after that, who knows where I’ll be off to — I may stay or relocate to another part of Asia or elsewhere. For now, I’m content with where I am and I intend to enjoy it and make the most of it and continue to grow both personally and professionally.

In other news, my YL application has been processed and I have an interview scheduled for Friday the thirteenth. I will hopefully find out soon after that if I’ve got a place on the course this May. I would love to go back to Vietnam to study and add another qualification to my portfolio. In addition to that, completing the YL course would allow me to check off another item on my list.

2015 is off to a good start. 🙂

YL Extension Application Submitted

After sitting on it for over a month, I finally completed filling in the Young Learner Extension to CELTA application form and submitted it to the school that I hope to do the course with. I was unhappy about how I was procrastinating, so I gave myself today as a deadline to finish and submit it — which I was successfully able to do.

It was another very detailed and intimidating application form, which is why it took me so long to complete it, but I knew that I was over-thinking it and nitpicking. I had to remind myself that I am not expected to know all the answers because if I did, I wouldn’t need to take the course to begin with.

With only six spots left at the time of my submission and less than four months until the start of the course, I am hoping to hear positive feedback on my application soon. It’s a two week intensive course with ample preparation to do before the start date — another form to complete (pre-course task) and reading.

I’ve decided to go back to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to do it for no particular reason other than familiarity with the city, accessibility, and affordability. It’s not the same school where I did my CELTA course, but it is quite a reputable school when it comes to the YL Extension.

I’m hopeful and optimistic, as always.

Happy New Year!

2014 was a year full of ups and downs just like any other, but it was a special year because I was finally given the chance I needed to embark on my journey as a teacher abroad. It has been an eventful journey so far and I know that there is still much ahead — this is why I’m looking forward to what 2015 has in store.

I’m quickly approaching my sixth month of teaching and the next six months after that may not be smooth sailing, but I’m ready for whatever challenges may come. This year, I’ve decided not to plan too far ahead as I’ve learned that many things and decisions can change in an instant. I’ve decided to take each day as it comes and to deal with things as they present themselves. The skeleton for the long-term plans stay the same, but the details will always be changing as I follow the path to the “checkpoints”.

I’m not big on resolutions, but I wrote a few down that I think I can manage to do over the year. They are simple, but it will enrich me in many ways.

1) Read more. In 2014, I read a total of maybe ten books, if at all. In the past, I could read at least two books a month. I’ve gotten distracted with other pursuits that I have neglected my literature while my unread pile slowly gets bigger.

2) Internet less. The epitome of distractions. The time I spend on the Internet can be spent doing more useful and productive things. I’m looking at you, Facebook and 9gag.

3) Write more. As someone who wants to pursue writing, I need to write a lot more than I currently do. The excuse of “I’m busy and have no time” is no longer valid.

4) Yoga more. Fitness is important, especially as I get older and the stress levels of job demands get higher.

5) Procrastinate less. No explanation needed.

So I welcome 2015 with open arms, a clear head, and an open mind and heart. I am optimistic, as always, and I know that there are good things up ahead.