Welcome Back, Katie

I’m back in the town where I taught my very first year and enjoying a film festival, and I’ve had the good fortune to run into a couple former students.

EFL is funny like that: you get to know people, to some extent at least, and while you might stay in touch with a few friends, you usually just don’t know what happens to former students – sometimes even if you’re in the same town. It may be different for teachers who work in more traditional settings – universities or high schools – but in language schools, students come for some months, finish what they came for, and leave.

My first year teaching was extremely hard…several times I thought about quitting because I didn’t feel I was doing as good of a job as I should have been.

Obviously, I didn’t quit and I’m glad – I also now realize that I am not the only teacher who felt un-confident at first, although it sure seemed that way at the time. I think there’s always room for improvement, but I do notice a difference in my teaching which is mostly a result of experience.

I mention all this because it was just nice to see that people I taught during my first year had a positive impression of me.

One was proud that he had made it into the competitive English faculty, which was pretty cool, even though I can’t take credit for his English – he was already good when I got him. Another who had finished studying English was teaching part-time at my old school. It’s probably more of a statement about my own outlook than anything else, but I was duly flattered when another asked me if I was available for private lessons with his daughter and the college kid mentioned an EFL job he knew of. I won’t be taking either of these offers up, but it meant a lot to me that they thought well enough of me to refer me to work … or that they at least liked me enough to try to give the impression they were doing that!