Howdy everyone. I hope the past week has been good to you. Yesterday was my 26th birthday! I had a great day.
As I mentioned last post, I’m now in Italy, and I’ve spent the last week (give or take a few days) acclimatizing to a new job. From October to mid-June, I was working as an English teacher in a Language Academy in Spain. About a week ago, I finished that contract and came to Italy to work with two host families for three weeks in a more relaxed, but focused, short-term position.
In fact, the position is so short-term that it is almost halfway finished already!
I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s a different kind of teaching than in an academy classroom, and I really enjoy creating personalized learning experiences for one-on-ones or small groups. It’s very flexible and free-flowing, and, of course, it’s based on functional and experiential or situational language and learning methodologies.
These kinds of shifts in the methods of teaching and learning I engage with are nice because it’s helping me focus from a more general pedagogy for a wide variety of students at different levels with varying needs and goals, to a more personalized approach.
This position is helping me wind down, rather than plummet from a very structured teaching job to totally work-free holiday time. It’s very enjoyable and it’s enabling me to play around with teaching and language and try some new ideas.
I have not had a negative host family experience yet, and, I hope that will continue to be true in future.
Within 3 days of arriving, I already had offers to return and work with the two host families I’m partnering at the moment, and, as well as them, some of their friends inquiring about next summer.
It’s good to keep my options open and enjoy the life I’m leading.
There are a lot of travelling English teachers who live very nomadic lifestyles: hopping from country to country, sometimes balancing different kinds of teaching: in public schools, in private schools, in universities, in language academies, in summer camps, in host families, via private tutelage, and every other educational system and programme you can imagine – including virtual teaching vs contact time. They create their own lifestyles and can live very happily.
For the last two years, I have been thinking about this kind of lifestyle, and I am open to it as a potential future lifestyle choice.
Unfortunately, I can’t talk about my working and teaching movements in the European Union without mentioning the British EU Referendum. Sadly, a very slim majority of the United Kingdom (the most citizens from England and Wales) voted in favour of leaving the European Union on Thursday.
A great birthday surprise. I was not expecting that.
This could potentially have a very negative impact on freedom of movement, work opportunities, and travel for British citizens within the EU, and I’m very worried about it. A lot of my dreams and future plans hinge on freedom of movement and the continuing diversity which hopefully leads to open-mindedness and respect between the world’s citizens.
On one hand, I’m very sad about the decision and worried about its impact on the future of the world, the EU, Britain, Scotland, my family and friends, and myself. On the other hand, I’m trying hard to relax and take each day as it comes.
Fellow teachers, what do you think? Do you enjoy different types of teaching methodologies and programmes? Have you ever had a host family experience? Do you move frequently and try different types of teaching positions? What do you think of the ‘nomadic English teacher’ lifestyle? Are you worried about the future for British citizens now that we are probably leaving the EU? Drop me a line in the comments, I love a chat!
If you enjoyed this wee post on teaching, travel, and my freedom of movement in the EU, check out some similar older ones: “Somewhere: Travel and Dual Citizenship”, “School: On Assumptions about Teaching and Teachers”, “Social Justice: Is teaching English making me more entitled?”, and/or “School: Is it the only way to learn?”.
If you’re interested in my teaching, working, volunteering, and/or travel experience, be sure to check out my LinkedIn profile.
Thanks for stopping by!