Getting back to routine

I haven’t managed to get back into much of a routine, so to speak, in the few days since I finished the course. I wasn’t sure if I’d be heading back to work this week at my old school since I hadn’t heard back from my boss by the weekend, so Monday I was lazy and bummed around the house. Tuesday morning I got a call from the school, asking me to come in and teach in the afternoon. Woo, paid work! But then after the lessons were over, my boss told me that actually, there wasn’t steady work for me right now, but they’d call me if anything  came up. Bummer. So last night I was back to the drawing board….until this morning, when I had another email from the school asking me to cover/substitute for the rest of the week. In sum, it’s been a bit of an employment rollercoaster. Some paid work is better than none though, so I’ll take it. Obviously.

Monday night my fellow graduates and I went out for a celebratory dinner and a few drinks, as we were unable to do last Friday night due to exhaustion/prior plans. The five intrepid teachers made our way to Archipelagos, this amazing little Greek restaurant that is actually right down the street from my house, and the food was delicious. The owner was so friendly and helpful, and I can’t wait to take Jon there-we love Greek food, and this place is bomb.

Archipelagaos Brighton

Afterwards I showed the guys around my favorite tiny pub, The Bee’s Mouth, which is weird and macabre enough to warrant repeated visits. It was a nice little night out (especially for a Monday), and  especially knowing that I probably won’t see any of these people again-or if I do, it won’t be for a long time, since everyone is leaving Brighton or wasn’t from around here in the first place. That’s the thing with ESL teachers….they travel a lot. So it’s nice to enjoy the camaraderie, while the gettin’s good. And It’s nice to go through an intensive experience like CELTA with nice folks. I wonder where everyone will be in a year from now?

Now I’m back to worrying about the next step. Making money, saving money, paying debts, finding a good/steady job….it never ends, does it? I thought I’d be relieved upon finishing this nonsense, but now I can’t stop thinking that this was sort of a benchmark requirement in the UK-most teachers have a CELTA, although many don’t have an MA like I do, but someday, probably sooner rather than later, I’ll have to do the DELTA (diploma version of CELTA, and done over 9 months’ time usually) if I want to move on up in this business. A bit soon to start thinking about that, but that’s where my head is. Bleh.

Saturday night and I’m drinking vodka with my dude

As anyone who has ever come out on the other side of a super lame time period can attest, being finished with CELTA is amazing. I still have the lingering feeling that there’s something to do…but there isn’t. I’ve begun looking for new jobs, since there just isn’t that much work at my former (current?) place of employment at this time of year. It’s a small school, it’s no fault of their own. I don’t know what will happen next, but I’m hoping I can piece together enough working hours to keep me busy, while looking for something new and fulfilling. But in the meantime, a day or two of nothing nothing nothing is more than welcome. Library books and catching up on my tv shows it is! Wee!

 

(For those who are interested in doing a CELTA course in Brighton, I highly recommend St. Giles. The teacher trainers were lovely, and overall the experience was comprehensive, and well-rounded. Stressful, but great.)

CELTA draws to a close

One more day! The month has gone quickly and will probably go down in the annals of history as one of the most stressful of my life. But I’ve made it! (knockonwood). Today one of the women in my course dropped out. With one day left, she quit, at lunch. Seriously. On day 19 out of 20. Just….crazy. So tomorrow is it-one last teaching practice, some admin stuff, and after 4 o’clock-ish we’ll be off to the pub and I can put this all behind me. Whew….whew! Fare thee well CELTA. You sucked, but I kicked your proverbial ass. High fives all around!

Bits of life over the past many weeks:

CELTA week 3-still making the magic happen or whatever

  Well.

The past 5 days have been some of the most stressful I’ve had in….a really long time. Week three is supposedly the hardest week of the course (and I do apologize for continuously going on about this damn CELTA) and I can completely see why they say that. This week has everyone on edge-I’ve seen one more crier since last week! And I’ve maybe sort of had a little stress cry or two of my own…possibly….maybe. Two assignments are turned in this week, which is half the assignments for the whole shebang. Personally my hardest two days were on Monday (one assignment due, one assessed lesson) and today (one hell of a complicated-ish lesson with the upper intermediate class), so now I’ve got a bit of a breather before a big assignment is due on Thursday. I’ll be assessed again on Friday. and I’m sort of almost feeling like a regular person at this moment, which is a strange, forgotten feeling. Also I’ve just realized that next week is 1) bonfire night and 2) the Civil Wars/Lumineers concert! So there is much good on the horizon, if I can manage to get there in one piece.

 

Chugga chugga chugga chugga choo chooooooo (that’s me…right now…..every day)

My lame-o Halloween

This was all that could be mustered this year.

When stuck in the house, throw on your panda onesie, do your homework while watching Sweeney Todd, and call it a night.

(If all goes well this week-and if I can pull together an outfit-I’ll actually be going to a Halloween party next weekend so there may be more to the costumery this year, I hope).

 

I hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween celebration, and that my beautiful little sister had a beautiful birthday! If I can make it through the next 5 days…well….I’ll be impressed. And happy. And maybe my brain will stop feeling like mush. So here’s hoping I survive!

Currently

CELTA week 2 ends tomorrow. We’re at the halfway point, and we’re down to 6 (out of 7) teacher trainers. One quit on Tuesday. I have seen three grown people cry (and none of those criers were the trainees that quit, surprisingly enough). I’m doing alright in the course. More than alright, really, thankfully. I’ve gotten marked “above standard” for one assessed lesson, which I’m particularly pleased with, and other than that it’s stressful but plodding right along. According to the trainers, week 3 is the worst-we switch our afternoon teaching groups, so those who were teaching pre-intermediate lessons move up to teaching upper-intermediate and vice versa, and there are more assessed lessons plus two large assignments due all between Monday and Thursday. One trainer joked today that week 3 is when “we start wearing bullet-proof jackets”. Goodness. So I’ve cancelled my Halloween plans for the weekend (i know! and as i’ve mentioned before, Halloween isn’t as big here, so being invited to my awesome friend Keely’s equally awesome undead rockstar Halloween party and then having to decline is heart-freakin-breaking, let me tell you) and am sequestering myself with red wine and my laptop for three days to make magic happen. This is the real climax, I think. If I make it past week three, it’s all downhill (in a good way) from there.

In other news….oh wait, there is no other news. This is my life right now. At least the leaves have turned yellow. But where is the red? It is the thing I miss most right now-the blazing red of autumn. Its void is noticed.

CELTA day two

CELTA day two and all is well. I’m busy as a little bee, but the coursework itself isn’t all that hard, unsurprisingly (yet….knock on wood). It seems that they have a very specific way of doing things, which is good and bad. I get the whole “teaching inside the box” so that on their own teachers can go out and get outside the ol’ proverbial box. But…meh. Personally I feel really comfortable because I’ve had so much (ha! sooo much derp derp like I’ve been teaching for 20 years or something) experience in the classroom, but I think I’d be pooing my pants like everyone else if I’d never taught before. CELTA is definitely trial by fire. Case in point: the course started Monday, and this afternoon, on day 2, we had to teach our first lesson. It was only 20 minutes, which was gone in a blink, but tomorrow it’s a full 50 minute lesson for me in the afternoon, which should be fun. The woman who is in my group and who had a 20 minute lesson with our class, which I followed, was really crashing and burning. It was awkward. I’m sure she’ll get better though! (I hope! She’s so nervous about everything!)

Mornings are input lessons, aka the teaching of teachers. Afternoons we teach a group of young adults who have signed up for free English classes with the knowledge that it’s a learning group for new teachers.. There’s a lot expected and a lot involved, and I’m hoping everything stays as it is, generally speaking, because uh…I’m frazzled. But doing alright. And it’s Tuesday of week 1. And I thought I had more to say tonight but I kinda don’t and I’m really tired so….it’s off to bed for me.