If you’re wondering why you haven’t been inundated with pictures of beautiful Prague yet, it’s for two reasons – 1) my internet connection here is really slow, and 2) I’ve been SO busy! The course really is intense. I laughed at the thought a few weeks ago, arrogantly assured that they wouldn’t teach me anything I didn’t already know from my experience of “teaching” in Japan. Well, I was wrong.
What I did in Japan wasn’t really teaching, it seems. I was a glorified babysitter, taperecorder or zoo animal at worst, and a friend who offered kind explanations and easy to understand conversation at best. Yes, I came up with good activities. Yes, I made worksheets. But the style of teaching in Japan is so different from what we’re learning now that I feel as if I’m learning from the beginning again. Luckily, the confidence to stand up in front of a class, the bank of activities in my brain and the “teacher language” used with non-native speakers of English are things I did pick up in Japan and have carried over to the Czech Republic.
The course contains over 8 hours of teaching Czech learners, which is two afternoons a week. The harsh part is that we have to prepare detailed lesson plans to hand in the morning before we teach, meaning that there have been a few late nights. On top of lesson planning, we’ve been hunting for apartments and jobs, so there hasn’t been a lot of time to do anything!
Still, Jeff and I have found an apartment – it’s a really cute place near a big mall (with a cinema), and it comes with everything! Furniture, plates, bedding etc. It’ll roughly cost about 200GBP each per month, which is cheaper than any student accommodation I ever lived in. We move in on September 1st – so here’s hoping we find jobs!
It’s going to be easier for me to find work as I’m an EU citizen, but Jeff is American so I’m hoping he’ll find a school to sponsor his visa… otherwise we’ll have to leave after two months.. not ideal! I already have two or three job interviews lined up for the next week, which is exciting (and scary)!
So, I’ll write more when I have time! I’m exhausted and I dream in concept checking questions now, but I feel that I’m learning a LOT in a short amount of time (phonetics, grammar, a nice bit of developmental psychology thrown in for good measure) and that I’ll be a far better teacher as a result of it.