This time last week I was pretty convinced I’d made a big mistake in “deciding” to teach English abroad. I put deciding in quotation marks because I’m clearly not going anywhere just yet, but I’d made my mind up a long time ago as if it was a done deal.
Well, at least I thought I did. Then last week, I re-made it. Or unmade it. *shrugs* (don’t judge me; I’m not teaching English in college. Just the basics.)
I digress. I was so intimidated. I was anxious. I was confused. I was discouraged. I was tired.
I feel like I’ve just been chasing one goal after another, for yearsssss now. And I mean Years. Every year, I was choosing a new goal to achieve. And then, when it was achieved, I needed a new goal. Yes, admirable. On the other hand, exhausting. I don’t know why I am that way. From what I remember, I’ve always been intrinsically motivated. Call me a goal digger.
So, here I was, in week 5 of my TEFL Certification program and had an assignment to make my first lesson plan. I freaked all the way out. Because what that assignment meant is not just that I was midway into a program to teach non-English speaking students one of the (so it is said) most complicated languages to learn, but that I, ME, I was going to be a Teacher! Sure, traveling the world, experiencing new culture, living in a different country is all part of it, but my duty was to be education.
“I can’t do this. I’m not a teacher. I don’t want to be lonely.”
Those thoughts ran through my head like WTH do you think you’re doing girl. And if that’s not enough, the fact that I’d be quitting my job, leaving my dog, leaving behind all that’s familiar, comfortable, English… I just couldn’t.
reconvinced myself of how I wanted my future to look.
Until tonight. Tonight I was in my second observation of an ESL classroom, and I looked around – at the students, at the teacher, at the board, at the observation notes I’d been taking. I saw the passion that started this dream almost five years ago now. I saw the possibilities. I saw me, in front of the classroom, bubbling with enthusiasm, rich with knowledge, willing and eager to share.
And I know all days won’t be golden days. But, tonight I’m relishing in the fact that I see those days again at all. I see it, therefore I can achieve it. It’s been a motto I’ve lived my life by for many years now. Yearsssss.
The Director and Founder tapped on the window to get my attention. Upon seeing him I realized I needed to get my Practicum log signed. We chatted for a bit, and then he offered me the opportunity to be put on the schedule as a substitute in the new year!
My heart fluttered a bit. Initially out of nervousness, but then immediately out of excitement. Here it is. What I’ve prepared and worked so hard for. And I didn’t even have to search for it, it landed right in my lap. One minute I was posting on Instagram about struggling in the class, which my friend saw and connected me to his colleague, who answered all my emails diligently and offered me to come observe, and now I’m only half-way through the course looking at a possible teaching opportunity.
My cup overfloweth. With gratitude. With confidence. With openness. I’ve softened my thoughts to let my heart talk a little, and give my brain a break from thinking about every single possible negative thought. I’m listening to my heart now, and I must say, I like the way it feels.
I’ve decided to start journaling my journey. So, here’s to part 1!