30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 1

thankfulnessI saw this post from one of the bloggers I follow and was instantly inspired to write my own “30 Days of Thankfulness” posts :)

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year, and one of the reasons why is because we’re encouraged to celebrate all of the things we are thankful for (and I love being thankful for things). In fact, this is something we should do daily:

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” [1 Thessalonians 5:16-18]

Therefore, during the month of November I will take each day to thank God for a specific thing that I am thankful for, and I encourage you to do the same!

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Today I am thankful for my job. These past couple of months have not been easy as I have been adjusting to my new job (one I never thought I’d ever have), but God has been really helping me become a better teacher. He’s giving me confidence in myself, patience with my students, and an earnest desire to see them learn. I have been asking Him to help me with that last one especially, because I don’t want to see this as “just a job.”

These last two weeks France has been on vacation, and I have had two different week-long vacation classes. This week I had a class of 4 very bright, very joyful little girls (THAT was a blessing in itself. Girls are so much easier and calmer than boys). I enjoyed teaching them so much that at the end of the week it made me sad to think I wouldn’t have them in my class anymore :( but I am thankful for my job and for moments like this, when my students bring me “presents”:

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What are you thankful for today?

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My first week is over!

Ahh. It’s Saturday, and that means that I have no more classes or tutoring sessions to prepare for a while. I can just sit here and read (I haven’t picked up a book/my Kindle since Sunday!) or watch Star Trek: Into Darkness over and over again (I am not ashamed. That movie is amazing). Basically, IT’S THE WEEKEND! And I haven’t looked forward to the weekend like this since my college days.

This week ended quite well, especially considering how stressful it started out. The day after my last post I had an absolutely wonderful morning: I talked to that one boy’s father and he behaved almost perfectly the rest of the week, I felt more confident in my teaching abilities, and I was able to connect more easily with the children after having gotten to know them better. And the BEST part was seeing their improvement along the way! I had one little boy who wouldn’t even say his own name to me, and by Thursday he was playing in our games, saying please & thank you, and even telling me how old he is (all in English, of course)! And the teenager I tutored? He was great the entire week, and I can definitely tell he had fun with the games we played and the conversations we had.

Then this morning I had my first “Very Early Learners” class, where there were two 3 year olds. I will be doing this class for the next four Saturdays, but it’s technically training for me. I was extremely nervous this morning, mainly because the parents stayed with their children and we had to communicate with them in French about our pedagogy, trying to reassure them if the children didn’t start speaking in English right away. Fortunately my “trainer”/co-worker took over that part and she helped me along during the session so I wasn’t completely alone.

So all-in-all I had a decent week. The important thing is that it ended well, and this month I will only be doing the toddler class along with some training to help me during the regular school year. I will also be figuring out which classes/ages I will be teaching and the good thing is that it won’t be everyday. Even though I won’t make as much as I did this week, I will be exponentially less stressed, and that’s what’s more important to me. I want to enjoy my job and have fun with the children. I don’t want to be up to my elbows in preparation materials every single night, cutting out lady bug hats and listening to 5 different hello songs until midnight. Just the fact that I couldn’t even open a book this week speaks volumes: I read every day! So yes, I’m quite looking forward to more of a part-time schedule; my job is, after all, only part-time.

On Friday I was speaking with one of my other newly hired co-workers, and her week was similar to mine, only it didn’t end well. She’s not going to teach any group classes this school year and she seemed very upset in general over her class this past week. Me and another teacher tried to encourage her, though, because there will always be those hard classes where it’s difficult to keep order. I’m so thankful for my “revelations” earlier this week. This class started out as a trial for me, but I stayed optimistic and I really feel that I’ve learned a lot about myself and about teaching. I’m not necessarily looking forward to difficult classes in the future, but I am looking forward to seeing children learn and use their English. That’s always a joyful experience :)