I try to keep this blog regularly updated, but there was a good reason for the distinct lack of activity on this website in the past few weeks: I took a short break from TEFL. Right after my last lesson of the year in the first half of December, I travelled to Europe and spent an eventful month there. The most important part of the trip was seeing my family again after a very long time on another continent, and I hope I won’t need to wait so long for my next visit. In addition, it was nice to go to some amazing places in the Czech Republic and Spain.
I have to say that it’s important to unwind from time to time. It was very pleasant to get away from teaching English classes and my own professional development for a while, especially after the previous two crazy years. I didn’t have much time to follow what was happening in the ELT world, but that’s fine. The blog managed to survive without my intervention as well, and I’m very happy to see that there are readers accessing old posts through search engines. It also seems that spammers never go on holiday because I found some annoying messages that slipped through the WordPress filter.
Another reason for my radio silence was the fact that I spent three weeks trying to get my Colombian resident visa. Providing live updates related to the process would have been entertaining for the audience, but I didn’t want to harm my chances of obtaining the residency. To be honest, it was quite a stressful period with a few sleepless nights. Fortunately, I was granted the visa, so everything turned out to be fine. It was a big deal for me because I’m pretty sure that if my application had been rejected, I would be looking for work in another country right now.
Did I consider staying in Europe and not coming back? Not really. I’m happy to be in Colombia and still feel that I can achieve my career goals here. My residency gives me more flexibility in case of interesting offers from abroad, but for now I plan to focus on having a career in ELT here. In practical terms, it means putting my Delta to a good use, and that’s what I’m going to focus on this year.
Of course, COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere. I was supposed to attend an intensive training course for teachers right after returning to Colombia, but the sessions were postponed because of the virus, which threw a spanner into the works in terms of my work schedule. It’s far from ideal, but that’s something we have to live with now.
I finally taught my first post-holiday lesson yesterday, which made me feel great. It reminded me of my first few lessons on the CELTA course, when I quickly realised how much I love teaching English. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of talking to students because each of them brings their unique personality to the class. Having advanced qualifications and knowing how to use the latest technology can be very helpful, but the main principles of teaching aren’t that complicated: The students should have a good time in your lessons while learning English in a meaningful way. I can’t wait for the next class!