I’m writing this post two weeks before my last day in my current job. It’s actually amazing and actually quite scary to say that. I can’t quite believe it. At one moment, it didn’t seem like it would ever happen, but in the end things came off ok.
As I look back at my time in English language teaching so far, maybe not a long time but hopefully distinguished in a minor way, it’s interesting to reflect on the things that will change in the near future:
- A new start – I’ve spent almost 7 years in teaching in my career to date (not counting a year as a language assistant), and almost 6 at my current institution. I think most people would now see this as a long time to stay in one place, and it certainly feels like it. Time to live up to the saying that nothing is forever.
- Known for unknown – I’m leaving a place where I’ve really grown up and developed my craft as a teacher. From the first days relying a lot on course books and other published materials to now when I am confident and comfortably creating learning opportunities more in drawing on the experience and language of the people in the room. I know this. I don’t know with much certainty what’s coming up. I know it’ll be to do with developing materials for English language teaching, but I don’t know exactly what from this will take. That is scary. But it’s also very exciting.
- Fixed for temporary – I have had a permanent contract at my college, something that has probably afforded me a bit more security than in other parts of the English teaching sector. Where I’m going I will be working on a temporary contract for 5 months. That alone is one of the things that makes me a little nervous about the change, but also I’m thinking ‘who knows what could happen after?’ It might be stating the obvious, but if you don’t change things, they stay the same. You’ve got to take a once in a lifetime opportunity – it might only happen once in your lifetime.
- (Big) fish, small pond; small fish, big pond – I don’t have much authority in my college. I’m not college management, nor would I want to be. I haven’t really progressed that much in the English language teaching department. But I have been given more responsibility, including course tutor and course level lead positions. I’ve had the opportunity to deliver training session on things I do in my classes. I’m headed to a much bigger organisation, where I’ll be a much smaller cog in the grand scheme of things. That might seem like starting again, but depending on how I do, maybe I’ll be able to show just how valuable a cog I can be.
- Teaching to materials development – This is one of the things I’m less sure about. Not in that I’m not really motivated to try something new in the field of English language teaching, but rather I don’t know what form and format the work I will be doing will end up taking. Wait and see on this one, I suppose.
But before this change there is still a fortnight of teaching for me. Let’s make them a good couple of weeks 🙂