Now’s finally the time to keep a promise! Here’s my post for Vicky Loras’ blog challenge.
The question posed goes: “What’s Your Story?” How have I become the teacher I am, the personality I think I am? Well, it does look to me like a pretty tough question to tackle. Many things have been happening shaping my teaching style and affecting my personality. But I will just give you the brief account of 2011, or rather its first 6 months. Because to me they seem to have been just what has constituted my professional outlooks as I might observe them now. The changing and transforming me.
The end of 2010. Professionally – I teach first and second year students of Physics. Give Business in-company classes. Most of my time (16 academic hours a week) I spend tutoring a 10-year-old boy, coming to his place 4 times a week..to help him do his school homework (English and German). We study in a smoke-filled room, always dark because the windows are always curtained up thick, not even a single ray of light ever coming in. Grumbling parents, swearing in the presense of the child, calling his teachers at school really bad/rude names.The most depressing atmosphere I”ve ever experienced. The enormous amount of psychological pressure I find hard to bear yet can’t escape. Emotionally by the end of the year i feel as exhausted as one can get, deep in depression, disappointed in myself, feeling underestimated, unvalued.
On the 30th of December in the Hague where I spend my Christmas holidays I get a stupid injury and have a surgery done in the hospital.
When I get back home on the 12th of January I fall ill with a flu and remain on a sick leave for a whole month. In this time, my grandad dies. I find a substitution teacher for the above-mentioned kid and feel the burden off my chest (yet very guilty about leaving the child in the middle of the school year) – the sky seems to be clearing!..
February, 14th – next day after my birthday I fall ill and stay on a sick leave for another two weeks. OK. I know what’s wrong, and the doctors tell me – I’ve been working too hard. Prescription – cut down teaching hours, more walk, healthy food, good emotions, a glass of red wine every evening=) Looks like something I would gladly stick to!
March 26th. On the way to a countryhouse get into a car accident. The other car drove and crashed right into the passenger seat where I was sitting. I’m unconcious for a couple of minutes, then can’t remember for about 30 minutes where I am, what season it is, where I was going, what happened, etc. The only thing I remembered clearly though was that I was with my boyfriend.=)
(right now that I”m writing this I get very nervous, palms are sweating, sort of getting the temperature even, it is all still very vivid)
2 weeks in a hospital with brain concussion and “a state of moderate severity”. I”m only lucky to be as little and thin as I am, because otherwise the door could have broken my legs. 2 weeks at home.
At this point I have to say it looks like the end of scary happenings I had in 2011 – and it is!
The misfortunes I’ve been going through in a certain evil succession have helped me in many ways.
I have remembered to take care of myself.
I have practically realized the wisdom of the saying “a sound mind in a sound body”
I have picked up healthy habits, like jogging, balanced diet, morning cold showers, slow pace!
I have turned to myself ready to listen to my own needs and react accordingly.
Long periods of staying home allowed me to plunge into a new professional life! It’s not a new wave, it is literally a brand new start! I can’t possibly ennumerate ALL of the ways I”ve been changing..I’ve created a webpage for my chair at university; I’ve become part of international teacher community; I”ve been invited to become an iTDi Associate; I have designed and got published two brochures for a Country Studies course at my university; I’ve travelled to Paris and attended my first ever ELT conference and presented a poster there; I’ve met sooo many amazing teachers!!! I”ve done my first ever presentation (though a 3-min online one) at TeachMeet Int’l. I”ve given an interview to Larry Ferlazzo which he published on his blog. I”ve started to participate in webinars. I’ve implemented a lot of web 2.0 tools in my classes. I’ve learnt what Dogme is (and was happy to notice I”ve been doing these things without naming them as such). I”ve started to blog. I’ve started #ELTworkspaces project. I’ve become more sociable and learnt to take pleasure in these contacts (for a very long while I was for some reason locked in my own shell..feeling it was not my nature but unable to find the right motivation to get me out). I’ve found inexhaustible sources of inspiration and creativity!!!…I”m not sure that covers all, really..but it sort of gives an impression..of the scale of my transformation=)
I have realized that I matter.
Happy Not the End!=)
Vicky Loras – thanks for waiting for my contribution for several months!