If somebody had told me a year ago that today I would be teaching English in a foreign country, I would have laughed in their face. A year ago I was trying to write the script for my next short film, hoping that it would be the one that enabled me to break through.
Well here I am living in Ukraine, where I’ve been for the past 5 weeks teaching English at a language school in Kiev. So far it’s been a very positive experience, I’ve become a more confident and outgoing person. The old me has come back.
Trying something new
Last summer I decided to put my filmmaking ambitions on the back burner and to try something new with my life. Looking back I definitely made the right decision. I’ve been able to travel, meet lots of interesting people and I’ve even been learning Russian.
I worked in education for a number of years back home but teaching English was going to be totally different. I hadn’t taught since doing my CELTA course in September and my grammar was still pretty rusty. I would need to swat up to ensure I was ready to walk into the classroom.
I arrived in Kiev to -5deg and snow. The pilot made a smooth landing even though the runway was covered in ice. In the UK the airport would have probably been closed, here they just get on with things as normal.
As I’d been to Kiev before, I was pretty familiar with the city’s layout and metro system. Had I come here with no prior knowledge it may have been a bit of a culture shock.
I was met at the airport and taken to my accommodation . The flat was comfortable and close enough to the metro and supermarket. It was also next door to the US Embassy so there was a fair bit of security around the area.
For the most part, my students are really nice. They seem eager to learn and are interested in what life is like back in the UK. ‘Why did you chose Ukraine?’ this has become a common question. Students are very cynical about their country and find it hard to understand why I decided to come here.
For all the negative media stories about Ukraine due to the war in the East or the country’s past as a part of the USSR; I’ve found warm, kind people and have been made to feel welcome here.
As my teaching has progressed, my lesson planning has become easier and my stress levels have reduced. In some ways I was thrown in at the deep end, teaching both upper intermediate and advanced students. This turned out to be a positive experience though and as a result my confidence as a teacher has grown,
I’m writing this post as I travel down to Odessa on the overnight train. My job in Kiev was for 5 weeks to provide cover before a new teacher starts.
I will spend the next year or so living in Odessa and am looking forward to spending the summer here!
I will be keeping well away from the eagles! (see my previous post on Odessa!)