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PLACES (of the earth & mind)
Saturday
Jan212012

The "pinch-me-I-live-in-Europe" Edition

The rumors are true: I have up and moved to Prague, sight unseen. (You thought I was joking didn't you? Well you underestimated my total disregard for sense and accountability.) Let's see.....33 years old...career change...country change...life change. Yes, that sounds about right. 

And though there has been relative radio silence (excepting the occaisional Facebook status update) I am alive and well. Prague is....well....I'm sure you'll discover the exquisite details in many blog posts to come. 

Three days after my arrival, I started the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course at the The Language House. It's a month-long course that will TEFL certify me and help me find a job teaching English to Czechs. A course about teaching English, you ask?? Don't you already speak English (Valley slang notwithstanding)?? What more is there to learn?

We have this assumption that just because we are native speakers of Engish that we can easily walk into a classroom and teach a bunch of ESL students to appreciate Shakespeare in no time. HA! There is so much more to teaching a foreign language than I ever dreamed. Last week, I taught four 45-minute classes to a room of native Czech & Ukrainian students who are at the Advnaced level. it turns out I do not know my native tongue as well as I'd hoped. This will soon to be rectified (Phrasal verbs! Reported speech! It's a grammar weekend!). Next week I will try my hand at teaching Pre-Intermediates. I imagine I will feel like an AP Chemistry teacher who has been assigned to teach the periodic table to a group of Kindergardeners. Not an impossible task, but challenging nevertheless. 

I am one of 13 in my TEFL course and we have a really good synergy. I am never, ever bored in class, which is saying something since we arrive at 9:30 am and get home around 8:30 pm. We are all American, save one Brit who could be an extra from Harry Potter. More than half of the class are recent college graduates. I'm giving a really good impression of my 22-year old self...late nights in nightclubs, too many beers, studying until 2 am, steady diet of ramen. I've probably lost 10 pounds since I arrived from the miles I walk daily and from sheer exhaustion.

Here's a photo my friend Corey took of some of us last weekend in a nightclub in Old Town. More to come.

Meanwhile, you can Czech out my photo gallery of never before uploaded photos from the past 5 years of travel. Okay, no more puns, I promise.

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Reader Comments (2)

So glad to hear your having an awesome time! I commend you, and best wishes, on your upcoming trials to teach your not so advanced audience. I will say my AP Chemistry teacher for sure could not teach the periodic table to a kindergarten class, the whole super nerdy thing wasn't working in her favor, but I feel that you will succeed where she could not. The pictures look amazing! I could totally fall in love with walking through those streets. I can't wait to see more, because yes, I am totally going to live vicariously through your blog. Happy rekindling your 22 year old self! (got to love them good'ole microwaveable noodles!!)

January 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Hooray! So exciting! Please post regularly or I will hurt you.

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJudi

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