Phew! Man, am I glad this week is over and I’ve had time to relax over the weekend . I can literally liken my week to The Sound of Music song ‘ I have confidence’. You know the one? Maria sings it as she’s leaving the convent to start her new life with the Von Trapp family as their Fraulein. Don’t act like you’ve not seen it! And if you haven’t, seriously why are you even here? Just kidding….
“What will this day be like? I wonder. What will my future be? I wonder.”
I went into EFL teaching initially to just travel the world. But then something I never expected happened. I actually begun to like it! I can’t say it’ll be my full-time career for the entirety of the rest of my life, but for now I love it and I can enjoy wondering, what’s next?
“It could be so exciting, To be out in the world, To be free!”
That’s exactly why I start the whole foreign language teaching in the first place right? All I truly wanted to do was travel, earn enough money to explore whilst living some place new and give something back whilst I did it.
“My heart should be wildly rejoicing. Oh, what’s the matter with me? I’ve always longed for adventure, To do the things I’ve never dared. Now here I’m facing adventure. Then why am I so scared?”
I am fully aware that I am blessed by God to be able to have the life opportunities that I’ve had. I am grateful for the chance to travel around Europe. If you’d told me 4 years ago that in the space of one year, I’d of lived in 2 separate countries, begun learning new languages, met a wealth of new and amazing people and be teaching another culture the English language, I would’ve scoffed in your face. Me? Teach? Travel? and alone at that?! Never!
A part of me does get scared from time to time. That I’ll wake up it’ll be some sort of weird, crazy dream or that it’ll be ripped from under me.
I was never one for taking big leaps of faith and when I originally moved in January 2018 to Italy I spent many a week wondering, wtf am I doing here? But eventually, I learnt to settle and embrace this amazing change and challenge God had set me up for. Trying to remember he doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle was hard and sometimes I still have to remind myself of this.
” God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle.”
“Oh, I must stop these doubts, All these worries. If I don’t I just know I’ll turn back!
I must dream of the things I am seeking. I am seeking the courage I lack.”
I seriously had doubts about my ability as a teacher and how to be a good teacher when I moved to Poland in September. The experience so far, has been completely different to the one I had in Italy. The organisation of this company and the structure is so much better for me, but I spent 6 months trying to ‘figure things out on my own’, that I forgot how to work with people and use other peoples knowledge to my advantage.
My lesson review was mostly positive, with a handful of note-worthy things to work on. That is why I am here. I wanted to gain more teaching experience and get feedback on my lessons to help me improve, but this week I forgot that. I put too much pressure on myself to be this amazingly put together teacher whom my students would feed off the knowledge of, forgetting that I was still a “student” myself and I wasn’t about to have all the answers or a perfect teaching formula that’d make them just “get it”. I seriously needed to chill out, I could feel myself over-thinking and stressing my body and mind out to unhealthy levels.
“The courage to serve them with reliance,Face my mistakes without defiance. Show them I’m worthy, And while I show them I’ll show me!”
There are always high expectations from students, parents and in turn yourself when you go into a profession like teaching. The students expect you to be some sort of oracle, the parents expect to see good results and sometimes unrealistically instantly and you in turn put higher expectations on yourself to please them. Well, I’ll admit I do. But you can only be better than your yesterdays self. Don’t try to over achieve in the beginning. Don’t burn yourself out. I was seriously not reminding myself of these things this week and I was seriously in danger of burning myself out by trying to show them and prove to myself I could be amazing. But surely I should already know and be daily affirming to myself that ‘I am amazing’.
“With each step I am more certain, Everything will turn out fine. I have confidence, The world can all be mine! They’ll have to agree. I have confidence in me.”
I always loved this verse. The world can all be mine. It’s big and vast and I wanted to explore it. I just have to take baby steps and the same applies to my work. Take baby steps, learn from my peers and from the students I teach too and then grow in confidence that I can do this an improve as the year goes on and not try to do it all at once. Life doesn’t work like that.
“Strength doesn’t lie in numbers. Strength doesn’t lie in wealth, Strength lies in nights of peaceful slumbers, When you wake up, wake up! It’s healthy!”
I seriously lost sleep this week.I guess I was so focused on teaching to “perfection” that I forgot everything comes in ripples. They start of small at first but then look how they grow. I need to be comfortable and confident in my little rippling stage and watch in awe as I grow in size and ability as I learn.
“All I trust I leave my heart to, All I trust becomes my own! I have confidence in confidence alone. I have confidence in confidence alone! Besides, which you see, I have confidence in me!”
I haven’t exactly shown exuberant confidence in myself this week. I’ve had some really low points and whilst I could smile and say “I’m fine.” lying to myself and others isn’t going to help in the long run. We live in a society where we are increasingly hiding behind our social media accounts and “selfies”. We put on a facade that we are okay when we’re not. In fact talking about what’s going on with us our thoughts, emotional states is something we should actively strive to do more of. With a growing increase or maybe not even an increase, but a wider knowledge in mental health issues in the population today and myself suffering from anxiety ( albeit not as severely as people I know and people who openly discuss their daily battles in the media), we need to stop being shamed to say “not all is okay with me right now”.
So there you have it. My week as depicted by Maria Von Trapp herself. God bless you Julie Andrews for summing up my whole week in a few verses. I just need to walk with my head held high and trust in my abilities and have more belief in myself. Look in the mirror and say “Aisha Rebecca. You’ve got this!” You didn’t come this far and work this hard to just go ahead and quit.
“You’ve got this.”
As for you? I’m talking to you too! If you read this far, then something in what I’ve written has resonated with you somewhere deep deep down within the pit of your stomach or in the depths of you increasingly fast-paced beating heart.
See each day as new. Forget the crap from the day before and start again. I seriously
But tomorrow is a new working week and all I can do is pray, have courage and confidence that I’ll have confidence in me and you should do the same.