Saturday, 12 March 2011

"You're doing what?!?"

Hello, my name is Vanessa, and, as I suspect you already know me if you're reading this I'll leave the introductions there. In a weeks time I will turn 24, and very shortly after that will be moving to Moscow to work as an English Teacher.

"Wow that's exciting. But you don't speak Russian, and I'm sure you said you never ever wanted to teach?"

Yes. Well, erm, there is that. I suppose I'd better explain.

Although I managed to get a pretty good degree, I never really gave much thought as to what I wanted to do with it. Not a particularly clever move when you find yourself graduating at the height of the recession and joining some 400,000 others competing for a rapidly dwindling number of jobs. Luckily I had already decided that as well as never teaching, I wasn't going to join the "graduate scheme rat race". My plan (such as it was) was to move back home, find myself a nice, easy, albeit not brilliantly paid admin job, find a studio and paint. I'd work on the bigger picture stuff later. Simple right? Haha.

I basically spent a year bimbling about. I never managed to get the admin job, instead I spent a good few months on the dole between temping jobs; Catering mostly, which was depressing as hell; I reckon a temp pot washer is pretty much as as low as it gets. However I did get to spend a month at the boots photo processing unit skimming through pictures of stags spending their last night of freedom passed out in a hotel room, having numerous 'hilarious' objects placed between their buttocks by their mates, so you know, not all bad, and I did have a studio, which was pretty awesome.

Anyway, I ended up doing some proofreading for a couple of foreign PhD students and actually kind of enjoyed it. So my mum suggested I reconsider the dreaded T-word and arranged for me to spend a day with a colleague and friend of hers, Lezli, an EAP lecturer at NTU.

Lezli was really helpful and let me observe and assist in a couple of her classes, I found the material she was teaching really interesting and she suggested that I go and do a TEFL course, which I did. I really enjoyed it, and actually found that I wasn't that bad at it either.

The problem was a lot of other people had the same idea, and so even with a pretty decent CELTA pass grade from a pretty decent school (International House), without any teaching experience I was back to square one. I got myself a couple of months experience at a summer school in Oxford which was brilliant but exhausting; I even managed to cope with European teenagers giving me the Kevin treatment. 2 months experience didn't really give me much of an edge though especially with UK language schools, even with the private tuition I've been doing since then. So it was going to have to be abroad.

"Why not Spain then?" I hear you ask. Well, I did try, but unfortunately Spain and South America are pretty popular destinations for EFL teachers. It became obvious that if I was going to have any chance at this I needed to go for those countries that wouldn't be many people's top choices, and as Mum vetoed Iraq, I decided to go for Eastern Europe.

So here we are, I am about to become an economic migrant in a country I've never been to before and may have just slightly insulted, desperately attempting to cram some basic Russian and get my head around кириллица (Cyrillic). I'm really excited about experiencing a new culture, learning a new language, and doing a job I really enjoy. Now I just have to get through the visa process.

I'll be using this blog to keep people informed of what I'm up to in Moscow and probably to ramble about teaching stuff from time to time, but I promise not all my posts will be this long. So watch this space for news.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, sounds really exciting! Make sure you keep this blog updated.

    Congrats on getting the job, it will certainly be very, very interesting and I'd imagine an experience you will never forget.