Karlovy Vary and the surrounding area was not nearly as exciting as Georgia, but it was still an adventure in itself. I had to learn to drive a stick shift practically over night, needed to get used to being filmed by my boss while giving a lesson, adapt to an incredibly chaotic schedule and live in a foreign culture-again.
During the year there were many times when I would come home swearing like a sailor about the lesson and the students behavior (what teacher doesn’t?). I would feel sorry for my coworkers if they hadn’t complained just as much (and in some cases more). It is tough to teach young children a foreign language, especially when the teacher can’t speak their native language. There is a lot of smiling and nodding and making amazed sounds, or even just saying in English “really?!” “oh, wow!”- they never caught on that I didn’t understand. One class of kindergarteners especially would mob me with hugs and before the lesson vie for my attention about their story. Super cute.
Despite all the curses and foul-mouthing, I do miss the majority of my students. Due to a personal matter, I needed to return to the U.S. before the school year ended. This meant that I was unable to say a proper goodbye to my students. My boss and coworkers were fantastic and covered on super short notice and also said goodbyes and explained the situation for me. Despite my not being there, the last week of school students still brought my boss flowers and chocolates with special instructions to give them to me. A part of me still is a little sad at not being able to tell my students “ahoy”.
All in all, it was a year of change, adjustment and that learning about yourself stuff that happens while abroad. There are many things that I would change and many that I wouldn’t, but I just have to reflect on the year and learn from my experiences.