Killing Time…

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I am currently typing this post at my “Base”; it is the office where I am based out of (even though I have been at the same school of seven years?!). I have been asked to come here today and I have been here since 8.30am BST (this is my start time); however, my Line Manager has not yet arrived. Oh well!

I have completed three modules of some online courses I have been requested to do and now I do not know what to do?! I thought that I would have Jackie and her The Budget Minded Traveler podcast on and fill my Wanderlust fix.

It is not long until I finish for the summer and I will be able to ACTUALLY be travelling on my own in sunny USA. I have been packed for a few days now; I know that I do not go until the endo fo the month – I have been using Her Packing List and Jackie’s tips for my packing. I am so glad that I found those websites – if you have not already found them – head over to them now! I know that you will love them! I have also downloaded the HPL podcast ready for my trip; there are currently only 15 episodes.

I have been thinking about doing some blog posts for Bloggers Required for another blog – The Writing Rants; has anyone done any posts for them? How have you found it? I will let you know on how my posts go…

I have been worrying about my jobs prospects as a TEFL teacher – is it worth it? I know that does sound like I have lost passion, maybe I have but if I have, have I wasted my time on my studies, blogging and planning my Vlogging videos? Please guys, do you have any tips to improve my mood?!

Hello July!

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hello-july-20

Yippie! It is July and soon it will be the end of the school term. But; what I am going to do in September? Well; I have been told that on Thursday I will be finding out where I am going to be placed – I have a few days off as of end of play on Friday (nice little sporting reference for you all!) and I will be popping into the office to have a meeting. I am nervous as I am having this feeling that I am not going to be placed in Secondary, however; I still have until July 31st to make my decision. I do have some options, that will enable me to teaching more online and save my cash for moving abroad.

As well as making decisions; I have been planning my trip to the USA. I am pretty excited as it is only 28 days until I fly out there! A year of planning has been amazing! I have created a TripIt itinerary, so all my friends (here in the UK and in the USA) know where I am going to be and when. I felt that this would be a good idea, as I am travelling by myself and using public transport. I have also been sorting out what I am going to pack; I have already done a “dry pack” and I am currently underweight (Yippie!); which is good as I am travelling for 22 days – which 7 are Girl Scout camp and 4 are at Disney.

I have decided that I will do some VLogs of my trip and I will upload them onto my YouTube Channel – My TEFL Adventures – as I will be using A LOT public transport

Some job news…

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Every now and again I apply for some jobs on the i-to-i TEFL Jobs Board; sometimes I get an interview and sometimes (well, actually most of the time) I do not get a response.

However, recently I applied to three schools in China and one in Portugal. I thought that I would keep my options open just in case, I cannot save enough money for the Thailand Internship.

I have had emails from all four schools. How exciting? I have replied to all and two days ago I had an interview with Fun Language Viseu in Portugal. Sadly, I had been called into my current workplace, luckily the girls were fine for half and hour when I had my interview over Skype. I am now starting to find the Skype interviews easier and I am not as nervous when I am carrying them out. I try to be myself and answer the questions truthfully. I did not have to carry out a mock lesson like the last time I had a Skype interview. All that I was asked were the standard teaching experience questions. I have also replied to the three Chinese schools with some questions. Hopefully I will hear back from all four of them soon.

I am now an official Jamberry Nails Consultant. You may have seen the image appear upon the sidebar of the blog. It is very exciting. I am one of the first people to have this opportunity here in the UK; I hope that you all have a look at my website; just click the image and it will send you to my site. I may not be a ‘girly girl’ but the Jamberry nail wraps are amazing. I have never seen anything like them ever. I was introduced to them by my long-time friend, Amy, who I have known since 1999. She was in the Girl Scouts (the same area that I am going to camp with this summer) and she was my Host for the camp. She is a ‘sister from another mumma’! I am going to see her too this summer, can’t wait! Jamicures will be taking place when I am there for sure! Here are some examples of the wraps; they are cute right?

Supportive Family?!

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Today I have been talking to my family; it is my sister in law’s birthday and we were spending some time together, about about doing the internship with i-to-i TEFL to Thailand. Firstly, they were all happy for me that I had *finally* (in their eyes) a decision. Then they asked about how I would get into the internship…I explained the process and the price. This was when they thought that i-to-i was not a legitimate company because I was paying to go on an internship. I directed my brother to the website; as I do with any inquiry about the company or any of the programmes that they have created. He saw the price for the current intake for Thailand and was shocked. I explained that I would get a reduced rate as I was already qualified (I am hoping that is still the case?!). I would need to pay the price given time and then I would need to organise my flights.

This was when he began to fully understand what was happening. However, my mum not so much. All she had to say was that I needed to pay off all my debts before I went! What does she think I have been doing for the last four/five years while I have been studying?!

On a brighter note; I have given up on Vinted as nothing was selling. I am going to donate all the items I had on there to a local charity. My Starbucks card collection is slowly going; which is a relief as it was taking up too much space (there are still some cards there if you are a collector?!). I am now reading more as it is now the Easter holidays here in the UK. I want to read as many books as possible and then I can sell them on (or BookCross them on, I haven’t decided on that yet!).

Also on April 1st, the first Camp NaNoWriMo of the year starting. I have currently decided to write more of my novel that I started in 2011; but recently I have been thinking about creating a book or resources for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Has anyone else done this? I have looked around on Teachers Pay Teachers and seen what people have created and what they charge – it could be a possibility in the future. I will need to do some more research.

I just want to know that dates for the October intake now for Thailand. So, I know how much I need to get sorted as I don’t want to be rushing at the last moment!

Making me think…

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I have been thinking…yes I know, a dangerous idea! Why there are so many students within my current workplace that are classed as “English as a Additional Language”? I understand that since the borders open for Romania and Bulgaria to join the EU; the number of people arriving into the UK has not really changed that much. I read during my Teaching in Poland module that English is taught from a young age (around five years old). Is this the same with other countries within the EU? When it comes to European Politics, I don’t fully understand (to be honest, I don’t actually understand any politics?!). I have found that these children are intelligent beings and are treated differently because English is not their first language. As you all know, I am currently working with Deaf children and most teachers keep placing my self (and my student) upon a table full of EAL students. I am shocked of the amount of them. They do have intensive classes of English and some are improving – however; there are a few who are not.

I have found myself, helping the EAL students more than my own student – which currently the school do not pay me for. A few years ago, the school “removed” all the EAL Teaching Assistant (they were multilingual!) and since then, the number of EAL students has doubled.

Has anyone else noticed this?

If an ‘native’ English student; who is taught abroad; for example are they placed in a school where they are taught in a second language? An interesting thought right?

Trying to keep calm…

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PS_0666W_COOKING_FAMILY I have almost finished my Advanced Grammar course with I-to-I TEFL and I am trying to complete the “Checkpoint” – however, I am struggling with it and now too late to do anything about it! I failed the first attempt! Oh dear! However; I now need to extend my course so I can complete the second attempt – I will have to wait until the end of January for that; so I can pay £50 for a 30 day extension.

Currently (at time of posting) I have not heard from I-to-I about the October intake for the Internships. I have been checking the site daily for the new dates/prices; but nothing has arrived as of yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

The image at the start of this post made me smile when I saw it – one of the English teachers has it as a poster at my current school. I had to read it twice to make sure I was not going crazy! I thought that I would share it with you all.

I am still listening to Jackie; The Budget Minded Traveler and I am still enjoying it. I am a member of her group on Facebook – hints and tips galore!

I am all sorted for my trip to the USA this summer; well I am at this end! I have a form that I need to send over to the USA; I am helping at a Girl Scout camp there before heading to Buffalo, NY to my “American Family”. Super excited!!

Planning for 2016…

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Well, happy new year to you all and I cannot believe that it is now 2016. 2015 was a year full of excitement and despair for me; being in offered jobs in China, Poland and Thailand and being unable to take them as I could not afford to get there. My current jobs are trying their best to keep me happy and pay my TEFL adventures. I have almost finished the Advanced Grammar module (to be honest I need to be pretty quick to finish it…) – I wonder if i-to-i will have any more modules for me to complete. 😂

This year I have decided that I WILL be teaching the English abroad. I am waiting for a call from the lovely people at i-to-i to discuss the internships. I want to do a payment plan with them. Hopefully this will show them how committed I am to taking abroad and representing them. To save money, I will be doing more of the Rewards For Thoughts scheme from Avios to gain something towards my flights. I will be having a massive selling session of all the items I have not used in 2015 – this includes books, clothes and DVDs. I will be releasing most of the second hand books that I own via BookCrossing. I will post where and when I will do my releasing, for everyone to see. My beloved Starbucks card collection will also be up for grabs! I am looking forward to seeing there the cards will go to.

I will be teaching more at SkimaTalk; I now have a tablet with I have connected to Skype so I can teach anywhere. I am very excited about this year…what about yourself? 😁

The situation has changed!

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I am absolutely devastated. My TEFLing adventures will not be starting for another nine months at the earliest. I had been offered two jobs. One did not come with accommodation, so I turned it down straight away. However, the offer from American Eagle Institute had accommodation. It was a fantastic position but due the current financial situation I an I had to decline. My heart broke as i felt that I would have got on really well there. I was also contacted my a friend of a (former, as of last night) work colleague, who os in Thailand looking for teachers. It is truly not what you know but who you know.

I have saved over £600 for my TEFL adventures, but the arrival of a nephew and my deciding to break on me (for the car nuts, front suspension springs and exhaust went within two weeks of each) and was viable that I kept it working as it was during the last two week of the academic year.

I tossed and turned making a decision on fixing the car and being able to use it for Guide camp (which starts on the 2nd August) or scrapping the car and starting my TEFL adventures early. I did not go with the latter.

Instead, I will complete all the modules left that I have not already done. I will do more sessions at SkimaTalk and save my pennies once again. I will continue to look for jobs that are starting September 2016. I will also continue to blog about my TEFLing adventures, its ups and downs.

Onto the next chapter…

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award…

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What’s the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award and how does it work?

As far as I can tell it is another great way to allow female bloggers to connect, to share a little more about themselves and to reach out and get to know others. To be honest, I did not know that there was this award. I am flattered that I have been selected!

It works by starting with a thank you to the blogger who nominated you. So firstly I would just like to say a huge thank you to Claire *waves* over at To Love To Live for connecting with me. You are fab Claire!.

The next step is for me to answer the questions then coming up with my own 10 questions and choosing up to 10 bloggers to nominate myself. Here are the questions set by Claire:

  1. Why do you travel? What is it that inspires you to keep going?
  2. Recall a travel quote that really clicks with you.
  3. Recommend a film, book or both that has inspired the traveller in you.
  4. What is the most unusual transport method you’ve used to travel?
  5. If you could re-create any of the great pioneering adventures, which one would it be and why?
  6. Thinking back to your schooling, which subject best prepared you for travel and how?
  7. What have you learnt most about yourself since you’ve been travelling?
  8. What has been your most memorable animal encounter so far?
  9. Which travel destination best reflects your outlook as a traveller?
  10. If someone wanted to make the transition from being a tourist to being a traveller, what piece of advice would you give them?

My answers:

Why do you travel? What is it that inspires you to keep going?

Why do I travel? To be honest, I have not done much travelling, but what I have done has been amazing. I love to meet new people, experience new cultures and food and learn the history of where I am visiting. I have found that travel programmes when inspired me. Sue Perkins and Joanna Lumley have recently done some programmes and I want to follow in their footsteps.

Recall a travel quote that really clicks with you.

Twitter78e035fThis quote is from Love TEFL and it is something I believe strongly in.

Recommend a film, book or both that has inspired the traveller in you.

I would have to say Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert for a book and also the film of the same name, starring Julia Roberts (who I must say is one of my favourite actresses). What Liz wrote was amazing and has made me think that I can travel the world on my own and fall in love!

What is the most unusual transport method you’ve used to travel?

Currently I would say that it is the yellow School Bus in the USA. It was not a long journey but I will not forget it as it was very warm and there was no AC. The windows did not open much.

If you could re-create any of the great pioneering adventures, which one would it be and why?

Ooh, what a good question Claire…I would say Columbus’ adventure to find the New World in 1492. I think that walking onto the sands of America would have been very interesting. Seeing the country before all the buildings and vehicles arrived. It would be eye opening.

Thinking back to your schooling, which subject best prepared you for travel and how?

To do not think that my schooling had anything to do with my travel love. Geography was not really “geography”; it was mostly natural topics. I have found that Guiding was the place that taught me to be prepared for travelling. I know how to pack a 70 litre rucksack for three weeks with using only zip lock bags. Meeting people at the International Camps has also taught me many things.

What have you learnt most about yourself since you’ve been travelling?

I have learnt that I am open minded and willing to learn about where and who I am visiting. I know that I can travel light (and heavy) when I can. I know that prefer Trains and Planes when travelling. I know that I HATE suitcases!!!

What has been your most memorable animal encounter so far?

It is pretty sad; as at the time of writing this post I have not had a ‘proper’ animal encounter. Unless you count the Zoo?!

Which travel destination best reflects your outlook as a traveller?

This is a hard question as I do not really know how to answer the question. I have not really travelled far. America to the West and Switzerland to the East are as far I have travelled. I don’t know really…

If someone wanted to make the transition from being a tourist to being a traveller, what piece of advice would you give them?

My advice would be to be willing to understand everything. Be open minded and do not re-judge! Have fun and enjoy it!

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My nominations are:

  1. Tricia at Travels with Tricia A. Mitchell
  2. Kylie at Cornish Kylie
  3. Lina at My Hong Kong Husband
  4. Amanda at Teaching Wanderlust
  5. Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack
  6. Brooke (and the other ladies) at Her Packing List
  7. Lindsey at Frugal Frolicker
  8. Sima at Sangria Stained Lips
  9. Rachael at Fab English Ideas
  10. Anna at Lost Panda

Thanks again to the wonderful Claire for the nomination! I am looking forward to your next adventure!

Their questions are:

  1. What have made you the blogger you are today?
  2. What has been your favourite place to travel to?
  3. What do you miss when you are travel?
  4. What advice would you give to a first time traveller?
  5. What is your favourite piece of travelling equipment?
  6. What is your all time favourite piece of travelling music?
  7. What is the best food you have eaten on your travels and why?
  8. Are you a “Lara Croft” or a “Bridget Jones”?
  9. What is the worst thing you have seen when travelling?
  10. Have you ever had any medical problems when travelling?

TEFL Things that are making me smile…

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Over the last few weeks; I have been collecting images, posters and articles that I can use for my TEFL adventures. I thought that I would share them with you all:

 

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I saw this on my Instagram feed...

I saw this on my Instagram feed…

I found this quote on Twitter...

I found this quote on Twitter…

An interesting quote with information I did not know; you're learning everyday!

An interesting quote with information I did not know; you’re learning everyday!

A list of things to remember!

A list of things to remember!