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I’m currently making myself a nice hot cuppa for what looks like is an amazingly beautiful day. Outdside is partly sunny, partly cloudy and breathtakingly beautiful.
Do you know that day where you wish the weather was perfect? Well, for me, today is it. I grew up in a place that had perfect weather year round. I gave that up in my 30s for a new home that had year round weather, actual changing of seasons.
I used to read about them, now I live them. To be perfectly honest, the changing of seasons sort of freak me out. But that’s another story.
We just finished four months of warm weather and I’m remembering last Christmas when we were covered with snow.
The trick, I imagine, is to enjoy the moment. The trick, would be to enjoy this beautiful perfect day exactly as it is.
I’ve been teaching English for seventeen years now. I’ll never remember the first lesson I was contracted to teach. It was a friend who introduced me to the school.
When I met the directors, sisters they were, they were so sweet and complimentary. In fact, I remember the little dress I was wearing. It was sweet and black and had a white peter pan collar. By the description, I sound like the flying nun, but I can assure you, it was nothing of the sort.
I had been introduced to these sisters who were the directors of the English school and they were happy to send me on a bus to a business who wanted to do an English course.
I had sold my car before moving here and only got around by bike and walking. I later was given a 20 year old Piaggio Ciao moped in change for repairs. I strapped a fruit basket to the back to carry books.
The sisters who were directors of the English school sent me to a place forty five minutes outside of town in the late evening. Then, I’d have to walk another ten minutes to a factory ran by a close knit family. The factory made machines of sorts.
In those days we went out every evening for dinner. It was our custom to have dinner parties at each other’s houses and usually there were between four to ten people. Everyone cooked, brought something and shared in joy from the preparation to the eating, to the conversation that followed to the cleaning up to the long goodbyes that developed friendships that last through to this very day.
During the conversation part of the evening one of my friends asked me if I had prepared my lesson. I looked at him with doe’s eyes caught in a headlights.
Prepare my lesson?
I was going to work forty minutes outside of town by bus to goodness knows where and I had to prepare my lesson?!
At this point, the two other friends of mine who were also teachers, threw in their neeeded advice.
Yes. Just teach them the verb to be, then ask each student where they are from and then do some small talk.
That sounded like a good plan if any to me. As people who know me know, I took out a piece of paper and a pen and started scribbling. I’m always writing!
I wrote: The verb to be. Where are you from? Small talk.
I then started to fret about what I was going to teach for an hour and a half.
Then I’m certain I didn’t sleep as that was also my custom before starting a new class.
I got to the lesson alright, was greeted by the nicest students, still friends to this day, and then we all took our places.
I was standing and they were sitting around a big conference table. I think there were between eight to ten students.
First I did the introductions, I asked their names, where they were from and only two minutes had passed. I started to sweat.
I took out my notes.
Luckily, I was confronted eye to eye with real people who knew what they wanted better than I knew how to give it them. They had books. They had studied in the past and they were caring and compassionate.
And they had questions!
I believe I learned at that moment that preparing your lesson means more than scribbling three phrases at dinner with friends. It meant getting books or making copies.
It meant deciding in a written plan exactly what will be taught during the first lesson and leading the group through the process.
Most importantly, I learnt that teaching with books is good, No, it’s not good, it’s great. Reading and writing, who’da thunk?
At Christmas, this dear family gave me a CD of my favorite Christmas tunes. I listened to it four seven years straight. This was pre internet times.
Now we share stories of our lives. And I’ve learned how to prepare my lessons with help of friends, care, compassion and books.
Thanks for dropping in. Nice to have seen you! Hope you have enjoyed my little story.
As always, I hope this finds you lovely, lucky and in love.
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