How to start your own teaching blog

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We’ve been writing our teaching blog for nearly a year now, and it has been a roller coaster experience. We’ve had positive feedback, negative feedback and met and spoken to some really interesting people. We wouldn’t change our experience as we found it quite cathartic, whilst living and working in Northern Spain, and we love hearing different teachers opinions. We are not the only ones: there is a huge world of EFL out there and hundreds of posts are written and shared everyday. People want to hear what you have to say, and being teachers we all seem to be fond of, and good at, writing.

Continue reading “How to start your own teaching blog”

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Why you should visit my little Yorkshire town, Hebden Bridge.

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Nestled in a valley between Manchester and Leeds, along the tight and windy A646 lies Hebden Bridge, where old terrace houses belch peat fumes into the winter air, and on summer days young children dive into pools of iron rich, browny orange water, beneath cascading waterfalls, before heading home for tea.

Many people ‘know’ Hebden Bridge, perhaps they drove through it or went on a school trip there once or even heard of it in the newspaper for its diverse sexual demographics  but few get under the surface and experience all this town has to offer. So here are some things to do when you visit Hebden Bridge and some reasons why I love the town so much. Continue reading “Why you should visit my little Yorkshire town, Hebden Bridge.”

A day at a Summer School in England

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Working in a Summer School happened to me through a random job application, whilst unhappy with my job in Spain. I applied; I left it and I didn’t think anything of it, but what I didn’t realise was that the 8 weeks I do every year would serve as the best teaching environment and experience I would have as a teacher, despite being in Spain for 3 years.

Not only was I being paid over the summer, which for many teachers is a dream, I got to do so in the city I went to University and where most of my formative years occurred. I could choose either 15 hr weeks or 30 hr weeks and I had a say in what levels I was interested in teaching, so as to help with my career development, something the school takes seriously, and although only an 8 week contract, I honestly felt a better teacher for it and that my skills had actually developed. I learnt a lot of new activities to use in the classroom and I actually got to use my CELTA knowledge.

To give a better idea of my experience and hopefully many others, here is what I did on a typical day in a typical 30hr week: Continue reading “A day at a Summer School in England”

Teacher Burnout

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Unfortunately this term is not as common as it should be. It can affect anyone at any time and is no different to work related stress or simply being pushed too hard day after day until you break. It is in fact all too common in the EFL world as bosses push employees to their limits day in day out until they either quit or are replaced.

Everybody’s different and some are affected more than others but the toll it can take on people’s lives, no matter how small, are quite frankly unacceptable. Most bosses turn around and say if you can’t handle it then quit, others may say it’s a product of the self entitled millennials who don’t know real hard work but in a world where stress related illnesses are on the rise and where it is being spoken about more openly than ever before perhaps it is time to speak out and address the issue in our field and let employers and employees alike know that teacher burnout is very real and very damaging.

We reached out across the Facebook group sphere, these private groups where every kind of EFL teacher dwells from here to kiribati (shout out to our reader over there), to find out what some teachers thought and if they could take some spare time to answer a few questions about teacher burnout. We asked them to answer four questions and here are some of their answers we received…. Continue reading “Teacher Burnout”

EFL Interviews- The questions I like to ask

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The classic tête-à-tête. The first formal meeting between employer and potential employee. They are a fundamental part of the recruitment process for any EFL teacher and can also be quite nerve-racking. Especially when the job is in a place you really want to go. Through my experiences of doing interviews for positions in Spain, Italy, Malta and England I hope to put together some questions that you should definitely ask during the interview. And I’ve had it all, from why are you asking so many questions, to why aren’t you asking enough, to even… I don’t want to answer that. Well, with some decorum and respect you can ask these questions below and, hopefully, it will help you get a better picture of what you are stepping into and, like the once bitten twice shy teacher that I am, you can avoid the trap of working for the kings of this pyramid scheme we call EFL. (a term from a comment on a previous blog I wrote that still makes me chuckle). Continue reading “EFL Interviews- The questions I like to ask”