Romanian Living Blog
An expats working, socialising and living blog of thoughts and adventures delved within Bucharest and further afield in this alluring yet often baffling country.
RLB2: Second Year 1st Week Teaching Perspective
Time period: 12th September – 18th September 2016
Another teaching year ensues then, where the summer went I am unsure, it either went lightning quick or serenely slow. It is hard to gauge, at times I feel the summer was a quick dream, at other times there were slow uncomfortable periods where time seemed to drag eternally.
Whatever the case may be another summer has eclipsed us, the teaching year is upon us and nerves and excitement are twinging in the air.
How do I feel returning for year two at Big Ben Language School; there are a constant cohort of feelings that warp my mind, in general not just regarding Big Ben. Overall I am excited, the 1st year was a learning year, much was learnt not just about the ways of Big Ben but also about teaching methods and techniques.
The biggest learning however took place within myself, certainly it was an interesting year away from rainy England moving so far east. It is not always easy, Bucharest can drag you down but luckily for me there are people and places that light the way once again.
With starting work I was excited but also nervous, last teaching year I started Big Ben in October which meant skipping the chaos of the 1st academic week of the school year. With this being my second year I also want to improve, I feel I need to, there is a pressure from within myself to perform to a higher standard, I want my students to learn and be happy as well as their parents to notice the improvements and be joyous with their child’s progress. After all, if we are not improving and growing we are just wilting flowers.
The 1st week came and went more smoothly than anticipated, there was an occasional hiccup but nothing major, the children class by class came with eager enthusiasm and smiles of joy upon meeting their new or old teachers. Classes throughout the building were filled with laughter, jokes and an eagerness to get the year started.
What can I say about my classes and the children that inhibit them, well some students I know from the previous year or the Big Ben summer camp I participated in during the summer and delightfully there are new children to teach and get to know this upcoming year.
They were all great this 1st week, from the little ones to the teenagers, they have a youthfulness and excitement for life that only a child can possess. I am highly thrilled to be teaching them this year, there are an abundance of characters from the quieter or more reserved children to the louder and more boisterous personas. Each will learn differently and each shall offer something different to the classroom environment, it is up to me to nurture their growth and learning.
As well as continuing my Big Ben ventures a new part time challenge awaits me this academic year, one day a week I shall be teaching English Geography to 5th graders and comprehension English to 3rd graders at Scoala MEA.
Towards the end of the last academic year I found myself craving new employment opportunities and a recommendation about a possible position in this school 1st lead to me enquiring, then subsequently teaching a demonstration lesson and finally with a few meetings thereafter a teaching position being offered to me for after the summer.
I was thrilled and am joyed to be starting here this year, undertaking new enterprises stimulates the mind to continuously improve itself; my soul and the personal satisfaction I get from combating new experiences allows me to push myself to achieve and learn whilst enhancing or gaining further knowledge.
Upon entering my 1st day at Scoala MEA naturally I was nervous and apprehensive, the school have given me a great opportunity to prove myself and I don’t what to let them or myself down.
The atmosphere entering the school had drastically changed since a meeting the previous week occurred. The eerie silence of a school without children and the vacant classrooms once again contained the rumbling presence of students continuing or beginning their school years. The previous week’s hive of preparatory work to get the school ready had now been replaced with teaching; I was also prepared and was eager to begin my teaching year.
The 1st morning went better than expected, I do not know exactly what I was expecting but the morning breezed away steadily, enjoyably and easily.
The afternoon was slightly more difficult, the third grade awaited me during this period and they arrived with an abundance of energy and a cacophony of noise. Still, it was not so awful, in fact it is better they were this way and I learnt for future classes I will need to slightly change the classroom management to ensure a steadier ship.
Overall it was a very pleasing 1st day, I left in a blissful state and am curious to see how future weeks shall go.
It was not all work this week however, I am quite a reserved person when it comes to revealing about social aspects, often what you reveal can be dangerous, a slight misinterpretation of events or a story can have subsequent consequences.
But this upcoming year I wanted to seek further experiences and a particular area I had been vanquishing in from the previous year was playing sport, I had tried to find some clubs the previous year but nothing came to fruition due to lack of interest or schedules.
Not to be deterred I tried once again and a social meet to play squash occurred, I had played the sport before a little in university and thoroughly enjoyed the tactics, physicality and appeal of the sport. Two years since I had last played I contemplated a less than great performance by myself, although the case was the games were all close and I even snagged a victory.
Despite the win what was great about the meeting was the enjoyment of it, I realised after I had greatly missed the buzz, the competitiveness and the social aspect of playing a sport. Hopefully a few more games and wins shall take place this year.
As rain trickles away into the earth so does another week, it had been a great return to teaching and finding my feet once again into the complexities of contending with a post summer camp schedule.
It had also been a somewhat exhausting and tiring week, many sleepless nights were had, waking up at 3 or 4 am suddenly contemplating about something that had happened or needing to do something the following day was not the most pleasing of ways to start or finish a day dependent on your perspective. I am sure this is just a phase though as I come to terms with getting a more rounded and fuller schedule.
The upcoming year will not always be so easy, what is upcoming I have no idea, this is life, but I am eager to see how it plays out and make the most of my continued ventures in Romania. I shall finish below with one of my favourite quotes:
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift”
“That is why it is called the present”