While for some of us teachers July and August might mean going on holidays and relaxing after a busy year, for me the summer of 2017 presents a great professional challenge. This year, for the first time ever, I’ll be working as an English teacher at a summer boarding course in the UK. It’s summer school time and here are 5 reasons why I am really looking forward to doing this job.
1. Working in an international team
Working back in Poland has been great for a number of reasons. One of the things I truly miss, though, is being a part of an international team of teachers. I’ve been very lucky to hang out in international staff rooms in Barcelona and Berlin and can’t stress how enjoyable it was to collaborate with teachers hailing from all over the world. The variety of backgrounds, accents, and perspectives on teaching makes for a truly inspirational and enriching working environment.
2. Working within a multilingual classroom
The comfort on relying on the L1 that you share with students is both reassuring and deceptive. I’m glad I’ll once more have the opportunity to work within a classroom where English is the only optionto communicate with students. I’m sure it will push me to rethink my lesson planning and classroom management and this is definitely the kind of a challenge I like!
3. Working in the UK again
You might not know this about me, but waitressing in a restaurant in one of the hotels in Manchester was my first ever full-time job. I was appallingly bad at being a waitress. I misheard more orders than I can now remember and dropped my tray more than once (or even 6 times…). Still, I look back at this experience as one of the best ones in my life. Working and living in an English-speaking country had a tremendous impact on my language skills and awareness. It was also a chance to live in the culture that I knew only from English coursebooks and TV series and this added more to my self-confidence and curiosity about the world than any course or class I’d ever taken. That’s why I’m very excited to go back.
4. Stepping out of my lesson planning comfort zone
We all often get entrenched in our ideas about effective lessons or, even worse, stuck in a lesson planning rut. I hope that this teaching experience will give me a much-needed opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, challenge myself, and experiment. I’m also thrilled to be working with an experienced DOS who’s willing to share her expertise and ideas. I’m pretty sure my summer teaching job will reinvigorate me for the next school year and my creative thinking batteries will get recharged.
5. Branching out
One of the reasons why I decided to apply for this job was that, as a teacher, I’d also be involved in leading extra-curricular workshops in English (I won’t yet reveal which one I’ve chosen but let’s just say I used to participate in such activities as a student myself and the eagerness with which I speak in public might date back to those times!) and perform a number of pastoral care duties. I’m super keen on working with teenagers and I’m really glad I’ll be able to spend time with them on something more than classroom activities. I want my learners to have as much fun during their summer school stay as I’m sure I’ll have, and I hope spending more time with them outside of the classroom will be a way to ensure just that.