Learning to live in the present: week 1 of teaching
I've decided to give the blog a bit of a revamp! Since I'm no longer in the UK (nor living in a place with a kitchen), I feel the nature of my blog has changed. The gym, healthy eating and exercise have taken a back seat in my priorities over the last few weeks: I've been too busy trying to fight tummy bugs, adapting to the heat, learning how to teach on the job, attempting to pick up some thai, all whilst having a good time with my lovely fellow teachers, some of whom I think I'll be friends with for life.
|That's me at the front in the grey skirt! All this term's English teachers.|
Whilst I do still take an interest in healthy eating, I've found the diet here is infact saturated with sugar and deep fried dishes... It's very difficult to eat cheaply and be healthy. But that is another blog post in itself! For now I'll fill you in on my last week.
So I have completed my first full week of teaching English to kindergarten children, and I have to say, whilst it was both physically and mentally exhausting, I absolutely love it. I feel like I've found a place where I belong (as cheesy as it sounds): the satisfaction I get when I see that I have enthused my class to learn new words and sentences is indescribable. It is the most rewarding job in the world; at the moment I cannot picture myself ever doing anything else. I work 45 hours a week in the classroom, yet It doesn't feel like work at all; I have no feelings of anxiety or despair when It's time to leave the house (despite starting at 7:30am!) and I haven't once used the usual motivational 'think of the money' saying- I'm doing this because I love it. The money I earn is simply to buy my necessities.
I've never had a job before where I care so much about how well I perform; half the time I feel I'm not experienced enough to be endowed with the huge responsibility of being a teacher and mentor, impacting the growth and development of these wonderful children. But that just further reassures me that I made right decision coming here; I wouldn't be so bothered if I didn't care.
I'm learning so much, not just about teaching, but about myself as a person. A lot of things I thought I wanted and needed in life just don't matter anymore. For example, I've always liked to be in control of things; I'm organised, I plan, I schedule. But here, organisation is like a foreign language: people live in the present. They take life as it comes and enjoy the journey with the people around them. Yes there are things that I don't like about the country and the education system here. But I am able to thoroughly interact and engage with my children without the pressures of targets, pushy/stressed out managers, or statistics to appease. I no longer need to know exactly what's going to happen: I have learnt to just go with it. When things change last minute, Mai pen rai. No worries, just adapt and carry on.