As I have recently upgraded from ‘Undergraduate’ to ‘Granduand’, my future in the real world and the question of “What the heck am I going to do?” has been (to some extent) haunting me for the past few months, but I must admit what I’ve got lined up for the next year I’m pretty excited about….
- June-July: Teaching English as a Foreign Language @ Education First (EF)I may like to moan every now and again about how the Isle of Wight is not my favourite place, but thanks to my parents relocating to that little island some 10 years ago I was able to start my first EFL Teaching job at the tender age of 20. Education First – the world’s largest language school – happens to have a base there for Elementary Summer-Schools. Children from across the globe travel hundreds to thousands of miles to practice their English speaking skills for 2 to 3 weeks, staying with a host family during their visit, and having wonderful people like me trying to teach them… I must admit, I absolutely loved it, but it wasn’t easy.
My classes were a mixed bag, but I soon learned that it doesn’t matter what corner of the earth you come from, teenagers are all the same. My first month teaching was not perfect (far from it); some things I think I did pretty well, but I did make plenty of mistakes. Not all lesson plans worked for every class, even if they were the same level; I would spend hours every evening planning Plans A’s, B’s, and C’s, and sometimes it would seriously pay off, but other times they would fall flat. I took note of what went well and what was a write off, and I’m really excited to give it another shot this year. I’ll be teaching throughout the month of July, and I’m excited to find out where in the world my students will come from this time. Last year I had Austrian, Chinese, Hong-Kong Chinese, French, Italian, Norwegian, Slovakian, and Spanish, who knows who I might be teaching this year!
- July-August: Senior Mentor at NCS with ‘The Challenge’After consolidating what I already know, I’ll be starting something totally knew. Over the Christmas Holidays I browsed the Guardian Jobs Page to see what kind of graduate jobs might be available for me to apply to in the future. I stumbled across some pretty awesome grad-schemes run by this mysterious company called the challenge, and decided to I might as well send out my CV just to see what happened. I ended up applying for a space of their summer programme, and a long application, a rather embarrassing video, and a trip to their assessment centre later, I somehow landed myself a Job as a Senior Mentor. I’m not 100% sure what my role will involve (I’m sure all will be made clear at my training next week), but I believe it includes adventure activities (e.g. kayaking, rock climbing, canoeing), a residential at a university, and a community project of some sorts at the end. Whatever happens, I’m excited to try out something new with a company I can see myself working for as a career.
- September-May: Learning Spanish and Au Pairing in MadridWith my summer sorted, I was left to figure out what on earth I was going to do from September. This will be the first time in 17 years that I will not be (technically) returning to school and starting a new academic year. I considered several options; working a shitty job and going travelling, getting onto a grad scheme, working as a TEFL teacher abroad, or going straight into PGCE training. The idea of going back to Tescos made my stomach churn, I didn’t want to start a grad scheme into a career I wasn’t sure about, as I wanted to learn a language I was unsure whether working as a TEFL teacher would allow me adequate time to learn a language, and I really did not feel I had enough life-experience to start teaching secondary school children. Then my friend mentioned that she was going to work as an Au pair. My mind immediately rejected the idea; I thought Au Pairing was basically working as a Nanny, but she insisted it was a really sweet deal and so I thought “What the heck” and made myself a profile on Aupairworld.net. Before I knew it I was interviewing prospective Spanish families and reading over contracts. It was perfect: I could live abroad, learn a language, tutor, with full board and no fees. I settled on a lovely family living just outside of Madrid, and I will be studying an intense Spanish course 2 hours a day, 5 days a week at the local college, and I even get a qualification out of it at the end! Sweet indeed.
After that? Who knows! The idea of not having my life planned used to scare me. I like planning, and I feel much more comfortable having a goal to aim for. But I have come to the decision that I’m young, and the next 5 years I’m just going to see what fate has in store for me. There is a hella lotta things I want to do; all I know is that I want to head towards a career of some sorts in Social Justice and Youth Development or, y’know, something along those lines… Seeing as I have NO MORE ESSAYS TO WRITE EVER I have no excuse not to keep this blog updated with details of my escapades!