Life in London

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I have been in London for a week now and am nicely settled into Anne's great spare bedroom and my TEFL course.

This past week has been amazing - probably one of the best weeks in my life (except holidays of course ;)).
It's a mixture of the doing something I'm really enjoying, learning new things, meeting new people, doing more exercise and feeling I'm moving towards a goal that's gotten me feeling so psyched.

First of all, the course is great. There's 10 of us in the class and we have 2 really nice teachers, Ray and Jack. Ray's a jolly red-haired Irishman, while Jack's a quiet, well-spoken English lad. Can it get more stereotypical?

The other people on the course all seem really nice. Most of them are doing the course with the intention of moving abroad, to Spain, Japan, India or other places. A few are doing it to move back to their home land after living in London for several years. There's a nice mixture of Brits and foreigners, with me being somewhere in the middle of the two.

Last week we sarted off softly, with no teaching practice, but lots of other really interesting classes and exercises about how to structure and prepare lessons, how to manage a classroom full of student, English grammar, peer teaching and Welsh - yes, the whole class took 4 lessons in Welsh so we could experience it from the point of view of a foreign student. Freaky experience. But I can now say "Hello, pleased to meet you" in Welsh ;)

For the peer teaching, we had to each give a 5-minute class to 4 of the other students, on any subject we wanted. I chose - for some obscure reason - to teach them to make origami fortune tellers. I had a really good time preparing the short lesson and found it very comfortable "teaching" them, got some good feedback from everyone and from the teacher, so I hope once we start teaching real students next week it'll continue like that.

We also had a class on learning styles, which I found really interesting. I was already familiar with the NLP-based types of learning styles: visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. But I was convinced I was a very strong visual learner. After doing the test, it would seem I am just as much a kinaesthetic learner as a visual one. Auditory on the other hand is not my strong point. In one ear, out the other... :)

Tomorrow we have to hand in our Unknown Language Journal, documenting our experience learning Welsh. I still have about 1000 words to write tonight, but am already really pleased that I actually already started it on Thursday and got 1200 words on paper - take that, my inner procrastinator!

So, so far, so good. Tomorrow we will meet the student we're going to be teaching and have a first 15-minute session each, animating an activity with them. Then Tuesday the serious stuff begins. I'm lucky, starting with a reading activity, as some people got grammar revisions on their first day!

But I'm looking forward to it all, and really glad I made the decision to quit my job, take the course and start out on this journey...

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