One of the most frequent questions my students, and probably yours too, ask in the first few classes is why you started to teach. In my case – not very imaginative, I know – it was because I wanted to travel, to recorrer el mundo.
I knew I was going to leave even before I finished my degree – big thanks to my mum for cajoling, intimidating and crying me into getting the degree, although I couldn’t stand her constant pleas at the time. I guess, I had to leave because I was suffocating. The world seemed so big, so alluring, yet so inaccessible. I felt stuck when I wanted to pack my bags and go.
And so I did in the end – again followed by a lot of recrimination, cajoling and intimidating on my mum’s part. After all, I had a one way ticket to Mexico. No way back, weii!
It was awe-inspiring to finally get away, to travel, to explore and to discover. And I quickly fell in love with teaching too. It might have been only a means to an end at first, but soon I realised it was an end in itself.
My first job was in Costa Rica. It is indeed rich (rico = rich) in wildlife, unforgettable landscapes, picturesque beaches and breathtaking views. A year passed and I started to get itchy feet again.
So Spain, or rather the Basque Country (as some Basques would vehemently object to being called Spanish) followed. Beautiful countryside. Great food. But so Basque and proud of it, that no interest in anything that is not Basque could ever be sparked.
Hungary. Happy days. Tough days. Miserable winter afternoons with DELTA assignments. It was such a relief to get it done and dusted. And ineffably rewarding too.
Costa Rica again. I’d missed it profoundly all along without even realising it.
And then England. Surprisingly sunny. Not even a drop of rain for 5 weeks.
And now Holland. Struggling to remember how to ride a bike. Yet, no accidents so far.
All so very different. All taught me some unforgettable lessons. All helped me to become a better teacher.
I’ve worked in fantastic schools and met fantastic teachers. I’ve had the opportunity to attend great workshops and to develop professionally.
Now, as a freelance teacher, for the first time I’m left to my own devices. So I’ve set up this blog.
To post my reflections. To question my teaching practice. To continue developing as a teacher. To avoid the comfort zone.
I hope you help me with that process. So please comment, criticise, argue and discuss.