2016 was an incredible year. Not only did I have the opportunity to spend a week in Brussels and Amsterdam, a month backpacking across South East Asia, and also a week in Italy, but it was also the year that I graduated from university and embarked upon a new career; I started training to be a qualified Modern Languages Teacher.
Since plunging head-first into the world of teaching, I have not had much time to look back. Days are spent planning, teaching, reflecting, going to meetings, training sessions and at night I toss and turn, making lists in my head of what photocopying I need to do in the morning at 8am. A life centered around work does feel very sad, as I don’t have much else in my life right now. Still, if I were not 100% motivated to teach and work with young people, it would be almost impossible to get anything done.
Reassuringly, experienced teachers tell me that this is the most difficult year of teaching. I spend more time planning for each lesson that I do to deliver it, but this won’t be the case forever. Luckily I have a supportive network of other trainees on my course and great mentors and colleagues to get me to the end of the academic year in one piece.
Despite the lack of a social life this year, fortunately to keep me somewhat sane, I have plenty of trips abroad to look forward to.
One of the best thing about this profession, of course, is the long holidays! In 4 weeks time I am spending the February half term in Berlin with my boyfriend, to visit one of my old housemates from uni who decided to move far, far away to Germany for the year. 7 months apart is a very long time! Not only did she move abroad, but so did the majority of my uni friends (the problem with befriending people who love languages and travel!). This gave me the great excuse, however, to also book flights to Tokyo for Easter to see my other old uni housemate who is living and studying there now.
The travel does not stop there; in August, my boyfriend and I are planning 3 weeks in Peru, Chile and Bolivia. It will be his first time in South America, and my second time to Peru. This trip is proving to be much more complicated than South East Asia with regards to getting from place to place as it is just so massive! It’s also quite a bit more expensive. Luckily, our budgets are a little less constrained in comparison to our student trips in previous years and flights from A to B are not too expensive, and much more welcoming than the alternative – 24 hour bus journeys! I’m really looking forward to returning to the continent and being able to converse with the locals in Spanish, maybe having a go at some Chilean slang too. So far, the highlights are looking to be: the Atacama desert, the Salar de Uyuni salt flats, and Machu Picchu (second time!).
I wish I could update this blog as regularly as I used to, but the daily grind leaves me with very little energy on evenings and weekends. More posts will be added slowly but surely and I do still enjoy reading many of your blogs even though I am not myself writing my own as often.