Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Back in the classroom!

This morning, I found myself at the same language college where I got my TEFL qualification in 2007. This time, not as an eager, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed student - but rather an eager, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed teacher!

For two days, I will observe classes and lessons and on Friday, I will act as a substitute teacher. On Monday, I take over from another teacher.

Anyway, being back in the classroom - this time, only adult students - reminded me what an exciting industry TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) is. I will try my best to blog & update on my experiences and challenges as often as possible. So far, I'm looking forward to it all - I'm going to be working with a great bunch of people...students & teachers.

That's all for today - lights out for me now!

Glued in...

Imagine my confusion when, this morning, I couldn't even put my (apartment) key into the keyhole from the outside. It worked fine from the inside, though. It seemed like something was stuck inside. But I certainly couldn't have broken a key in it?!

Much to my dissatisfaction, I had to leave my place unlocked for the morning till a locksmith came in the afternoon. After putting some oil and trying to maneuver whatever was blocking the keyhole, the locksmith asked me, "Do you have any enemies in the building?" Well - that was enough to shake me up!

He said it appears as though there is super glue in my keyhole.
I was shocked.

Over R400 later - my locks were replaced and I was given a new set of keys.  I looked this up online and the results I got from "super glue, keyhole" was "revenge". Creepy, right?

So let this be a warning to one and all - apparently, some people do it on car door locks as well.
Just be aware...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 - Nightmare from Hell

I'm all for positive blog posts and whatnot, but for this particular post, I would like to have a few words with something better known as 2011.

I don't remember another year which was as hard as 2011 was for me. No other year brought as much tears to my eyes as it did. From heartache to heartbreak, the last few months have felt like I was stuck in a nightmare and just couldn't wake up.

There are some days I would never want to re-live, where days seemed so dark I cursed life like never before.

Rejection hit me over and over and over again....and then some. I remember one particular phone call where I spoke to a person (for a job) and actually found myself saying, "Please...I'm on my knees begging you." Believe me, that is how desperate I was.

The day before my birthday, my e-mail account was hacked and Twitter account deleted. I cried bitterly - mostly because with all my e-mails and contacts that were gone, so were all my dozens of job applications. To this day, I'm still trying to re-build my Twitter following which was made up of teachers, writers and friends across the world.

People also walked out of my life this year. I've made peace with that and now realize that by them taking the exit, they were merely making space for greater people to enter my space. Everything - after all - happens for a reason. We may not realize it right now, but we will when the time is right.

I also feel like 2011 robbed me of my voice. It felt incredibly hard to string words together like I used to. I didn't feel the need to write like before. It was like my emotions were numb. Typically on a day where the skies are clear and the sun is shining, I would be in the happiest mood. This year, I saw very little sunshine and blue skies. I don't think I even heard birds chirping as much as before.

I know other people who also fell victim to the horrendous grey clouds that 2011 brought with it. Some experienced illness and others, death of loved ones.

So to turn the grey cloud around, if there's one thing I am grateful for is my health and the fact that I have two parents. Also grateful for my brother who at the best of times, has an old soul.

There's just one month left of this year and I will be glad as ever to see its behind on December 31 2011. I'm  fairly certain that 2012 will be a better one. For all of us.




Monday, November 28, 2011

Who are you, really?

If I were to ask the question, "Who are you, really?" - what would your answer be?

Would I say - I'm a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, citizen, etc etc etc...

These labels may be true, but is that ALL I am? Is that all YOU are?

Here's another question - Who are you in those last few seconds before you fall asleep?

...will discuss this further on a later post!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday


I'm thankful for:

  • ...my health
  • ...to have two healthy parents and brother
  • ...to have food to eat everyday
  • ...to have clean clothes to wear everyday
  • ...to have running water to take showers everyday
  • ...having a clean and warm bed to sleep in every night
  • ...landing a temp job
  • ....friends I chat to on a regular basis - Chetan, Lanese, Colleta, Yogita
  • ...my boss at work for giving me the opportunity to work for the past two months
  • ...my colleague at work, for making the days lighter :)
  • ...the security guards at work for being so friendly everyday.
  • ...the security guards at my apartment for ensuring that we're safe - especially the night staff.
What are you thankful for today/this week?

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues. -Cicero

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaching Tuesday: English Teaching Daily

I was approached by the founder of English Teaching Daily and asked if I wouldn't mind having my blog posts republished on their site.  According to its info:
English Teaching Daily features the latest blog posts, news, newsletters, videos, event updates and  much much more – everything for the teachers of English.
I'm looking forward to extending my pool of resources in the EFL field and hopefully this site will be a starting point for such.

Thank you for inviting me to be part of your wonderful site :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Music Monday: Dance of the Elephant God

I'm still loving this album, Namaste India by Rahul Sharma & Kenny G.
This track is called Dance of the Elephant God.

 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for:

  • ...my health
  • ...to have two healthy parents and brother
  • ...to have food to eat everyday
  • ...to have clean clothes to wear everyday
  • ...to have running water to take showers everyday
  • ...having a clean and warm bed to sleep in every night
  • ...landing a temp job
  • ....friends I chat to on a regular basis - Chetan, Lanese, Colleta, Yogita
  • ...Carmen & Farhad for the Diwali dinner last week and for being wonderful friends.
  • ...My brother, for always being there for a laugh.
What are you thankful for today/this week?

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues. -Cicero

I'm thankful for:
  • ...my health
  • ...to have two healthy parents and brother
  • ...to have food to eat everyday
  • ...to have clean clothes to wear everyday
  • ...to have running water to take showers everyday
  • ...having a clean and warm bed to sleep in every night
  • ...my mum healing after being hospital.
  • ...my mum and dad for their immense help in my settling in CT.
  • ...my dad for giving me the best birthday gift today :)
  • ...Vijayan inviting us to celebrate his birthday with him and his family last night.
  • ...Whoever called or e-mailed alerting me about my e-mail hack last week, especially Bazil.
What are you thankful for today/this week?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Teaching Tuesday: (TEFL) Thanking Activities

As someone who promotes giving thanks as often as possible, I was happy to come across this article by Alex Case:

Thanking Activities

Entertaining ways to practise expressing gratitude.

1. Who am I thanking?
Students are given a list of people that they might want to thank, e.g. Santa Claus, their parents, the postman and Walt Disney. They choose one of the people and thank them with phrases like “Thanks for working so hard” and “Thank you for coming all this way” (for Santa) until their partner guesses who they are thanking.

2. Real thanks
Students think of things that they can really thank each other for, e.g. “Thank you for usually answering the teacher’s grammar questions” and “Thanks for being so patient with me when I couldn’t think of a word.” This is good to do at the end of a course.

3. Thank you, really
In groups of three or four, two students take turns thanking each other, choosing any subjects they like e.g. “Thanks for lending me your dictionary last week” and “I’m so grateful to you for introducing me to my wife”. When they have finished, the people who have been listening to them try to guess which of the thanks (if any) are for things the other person really did. This works best if the people thanking each other know each other fairly well.

4. No no no, thank YOU
Students compete to thank the other person more than they are being thanked. This could be:
  • Thanking each other for different things (real or imaginary) until one of them runs out of ideas
  • Thanking each other with more and more passionate, longer or polite phrases
  • Thanking each other for bigger and bigger (probably imaginary) things, such as giving them a job and saving their child’s life, until they can’t get any bigger

5. Thanking roleplays
One possibility is just to ask students to imagine they are in situations in which they will probably need to thank people, e.g. leaving their host family, in a newsagent’s or after hospitality from a business contact abroad. Making these realistic is obviously useful, but you can also make them more fun by adding some more unlikely ones like “Thank your boss for saving your life during the team bonding mountain climbing session and try to find a way of repaying him/ her”. You could also tell them how many times they have to use thanking phrases before they are allowed to finish the roleplay, e.g. six times between them for the newsagent situation.

6. You call that thanking?
Give students many different examples of mess ups in the language of thanking, e.g. “Thank you for coming”/ “You’re welcome” (It should be “Thanks for inviting me”), flat intonation, and “I am very gratitude”. They must identify and correct the mistake each time

7. Answering thanks
Students match thanking sentences and responses, e.g. “I’ve photocopied last week’s notes for you.” with “Thanks, that’s a great help.” and “I’m afraid I can’t”/ “Thanks anyway”. To make it more interesting you can give it to them as a pairwork dictation or cut up into little pieces of paper.

8. Thank you for the music
There are plenty of songs which are about thanking people, e.g. the Abba song with the title of this section. You can do all the usual song activities such as gapfills, or you could give them two different thanking songs on mixed up slips of paper to sort out, put in order, and then listen and check.

9. Thank you for the dialogue
There are also plenty of scenes in movies and television programmes where people thank each other, e.g. thanking a mafia godfather for a favour, a woman thanking the queen for sparing her husband from the executioner, or an old woman thanking a policeman who has just saved her cat. You could give the students part of the dialogue and ask them to guess the situation, relationships and what they are thanking them before they watch and check.
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