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Me vs ESL

Tuesday April 15th, 2014 at 11:34 pm

I realized today how burnt out I am with trying to juggle work, classes, lesson planning, teaching, looking/interviewing for potential jobs, social life, and other life activities such as family, working out, blogging, cooking, personal hygiene, etc. I’m usually done with the rough draft of my lesson plan on Sundays but I’ve had a severe case of writer’s block this week. I really have a new level of respect for people who work full time, go to school, do homework, and still have time to manage a family and do everything else.

Is what I’m doing that exhausting? Mentally, yes. Physically, no. This is not to say I regret my decision to pursue teaching English or that I had no idea what I was getting myself into (although I never imagined lesson planning to be what it’s like) but I can’t wait until the month is over and things start to die down a little. Once the job search is done, that’ll be another huge load off of my shoulders. I’m more stressed about it than what I should be. More sleep would also be nice.

I’ve never been this go go go before. I feel like I’m trying to make up for lost time by choosing to juggle everything at once. From what I’ve heard, what we’re required to put into our lesson plans is a lot more extensive that what most schools/teaching companies require. I’m not familiar with other TESL certification courses or schools but I can say that even after two classes I feel like I’ve learned a lot, both about myself and about teaching. I can definitely say creating my own lesson from complete scratch is not an issue anymore. It’s not the most fun thing in the world but it’s challenging and can be a very rewarding experience.

I hope anyone looking to teach English as a second/foreign language will take it seriously. Teaching ESL in a foreign country appeals to many people since it provides the chance to live in foreign, exotic places doing something you’ve spent your whole life doing. It seems easy enough. However, it’s a lot more than just knowing how to speak the language. Trying to teach it to someone who has little knowledge of the language and trying to convey meaning with language they may or may not understand is harder than what it seems, especially when you get to grammar and function.

Imagine trying to teach irregular verbs, words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings, words that are spelled the same but are pronounced differently depending on whether they are a noun or a verb (ie: a record vs. to record), vowels having different pronunciations depending on the verb, up to 16 different sentence tenses and how to use them/how they can change the meaning of a sentence, conjugation, defining and non-defining clauses, etc. I could go on and I actually feel like these are among some of the easier points.

I definitely feel like I’m still a long way from that mountain peak.

Posted Under: ESL - teaching

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