Before I write anything else, let me say a huge thank you to Joanna Malefaki for inviting me to take part in this great blog challenge. Talking to the younger teacher me has been a good enough reason to reflect on this wonderful journey. So, here it goes:
2006: This is the year I graduated from high school. I started teaching English to make money and pay for my tuition. (Not for university; for acting school!)
(Image taken from: http://www.illinoisonlinehighschool.org/)
-Teaching English is not a hobby. Get serious. One way or another, you’ll not become an actor. A classroom has more drama than the stage!
2007: I decided that acting and I were not going to get along! So, I decided to go to university (However, I couldn’t choose a major).
(Image taken from: http://www.greecetravel.com/schools/acg/)
-You cannot attend every course offered per semester! You’ll fall for English literature – stop taking Marketing courses!
-Now that you’ve chosen English literature, don’t choose any courses related to Romanticism: no matter how hard you’ll try, you won’t be able to understand them! Admit it: they’re out of your league!
-Don’t analyse literature with your EFL students! Use it in more creative (and useful) ways.
2008 – 2010: I was offered an administrative assistant job at my university and an assistant production manager one at a live entertainment company. I accepted both (and I didn’t give up teaching).
-It’s great to work at your university. It’ll help you get a wider and deeper appreciation for education. Stay there, for the time being.
-It’s also great to work for the music industry; it’s not for you, though! You’ll get tired of all the drama – not to mention lack of sleep!
-There’s something called the Internet! Use it, connect with educators around the world, ask for help, and try some lesson plans. Don’t go in class unprepared! You’ll get a headache and your students will get nothing!
2011: I was about to graduate and I started applying for graduate programs in the States.
(Image taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Square)
-A highly acclaimed NY university will offer you a place to their PhD program. Say ‘I accept’, say ‘I accept’, say ‘I accept’
-Ok, you didn’t accept. Fine! You know that you prefer teaching the English language to teaching English literature, that’s ok! There is this school downtown called CELT Athens. Call them and say: “I have been teaching English for quite some time now – I feel bad for my students because I am not doing the best I can. Help me, please!”
2012: I, obviously, did not call CELT Athens. Instead, I went to the UK to work for a university in London. Not the best decision I’d ever made but because of this, I started teaching online.
-London is your favourite city of all times, yes! But, you won’t like living there. You’ll miss the sun! Go back!
2013: I came back and started working for a Greek language school.
-Teaching 12 hours/day, 6 days/week will help neither you, nor your students. Stop playing nice. Be a pro!
2014: The year I visited (and stayed at) CELT Athens. From that point on, no regrets – no words of advice.
Thank you, Joanna.