Teaching: A Whole New (And Unexpected) Adventure

The title really says all you need to know but there’s been a little update (though I wouldn’t call it “an upgrade” just yet) in my life. After I had to move back to Europe and ended up back in the same little village where I grew up, I, through a series of (un)fortunate events, became an English teacher at the small countryside school that I, as a wee girl, attended for nine years. That’s right. I am now officially working two jobs. Damn.

“Countryside school” surely sounds very romantic, however, I’d hold my horses on that front, even though the morning drives and bike rides there sure are beautiful.

Fog rolls lazily around valleys and streams and forested knolls peak up above it like islands from an ocean. (It reminds me of the days I could see the Farallones from Point Reyes or Mount Tamalpais, which sometimes turns the mornings a little bittersweet.)

The golden sun paints long streaks of light on the ground as it rises up through the milky clouds.

The cows graze peacefully in the pastures and look at me as I whizz by, sometimes mooing a good morning at me.

The thing is, I can appreciate this beauty now; I’ve only been working the job for a week and haven’t gotten to actual teaching yet. I am fully aware that once the kids come to school on September 1, everything might and most certainly will change quite drastically. Am I afraid of the kids themselves? No. Am I afraid of their parents…?

YES.

In fact, I was so anxious about it that I had to come up with a strategy to silence this worry (or is it downright fear?) and besides listening to all the sage advice my more experienced colleagues give me, I’ve also taken to comparing this to climbing a difficult route up a mountain.

For now, the going is okay. The approach was more or less smoothly and the first few pitches won’t be too difficult. I know that there’s a challenging pitch or two coming up where I’ll have some struggles but I’ve decided to trust my not-very-well-trained body to conquer it. How will I conquer it? I don’t know, but I will. I might take a few falls but there’s my rope, and there’s my climbing partner, to make sure I don’t get hurt too badly.

Is it silly? Yes.

Will it work? … Hopefully also yes.

Is it a whole new, unplanned, and unexpected adventure? Since that’s what I decided to call it, yes.

I won’t write about my teaching experiences. Firstly, I don’t think that’s something interesting, and secondly, I signed an NDA. But it’s a new chapter so perhaps it belongs here, even if it’s just in the form of a little announcement like this. (And to keep things real, I also decided to write about it because I spent way too much time at work today, didn’t have any blog posts prepared, and have run out of creativity about two hours into my workday. I’ll get better at this tho, I promise!)

For now, it’s a bye-bye from me, my friends. Next week, I’ll tell you about my first race on European trails—and in Triglav at that!

—P

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