Some random thoughts on the coming academic year

This is just a quick (and carelessly edited) post to get me into the practice of blogging regularly and also because I’m old school and I like old-school journal-style blog posts.

So what awaits me in the new school year? Just yesterday I received the schedule from the two universities that give me work. From Sept 23 till mid-January I will be teaching my Czech class again – young students mostly from the former USSR. It’s a job I love. They study Czech for two semesters so that they can study at universities here. There are several groups of about 17 students who start from scratch and move on to B2 in April, so it is very rewarding work. This year, I should be teaching in two groups, which is 15x60mins weekly. The syllabus is the same for all groups so luckily, I will be able to recycle some of my lesson plans – which otherwise happens very rarely.

Next, there will be three English groups, each at a different level, and the students are employees of the university I work for. I taught them two years ago; then they had a break from December to June and will begin again, probably till May/June. Each of the groups follows a different syllabus, which I am free to design, so this is how I’ve been spending my evenings now – trying to plan everything and fit in a nice mix of skills, plus some TBLT. I am hoping that with the syllabus planned ahead, and most of the class materials sent to the students at the start of the year, I will be a lot more comfortable teaching and lesson planning. Basically, I’m trying to avoid the good old anxiety of “what the hell am I going to teach tomorrow?”.

Next there are the classes for one of the companies where I’ve been teaching for several years – lovely people working in online marketing, and the focus is mostly Business English. If everything goes right, there will be three classes in one block. If not, I will have to travel there twice a week.

Then, there are a few individual classes. I am only keeping my old students and not taking on any new ones. For one thing, I will be very busy with my uni classes, and secondly, as much as I love my indi students, there is always so much cancelling and “Kamila, I won’t be here for a month” and “Kamila, can we cancel tomorrow – there’s an important meeting coming up”. I have a strict cancellation policy, but still, at this point in my life, I feel comfortable with only a few individual students.

And finally, there are the Saturday courses for the other university. This year, the large groups will be split into two smaller ones, so I will have more groups at more even levels, and – yippee –  more cash. The downside is the six Saturdays this will take in the term – but again, I am really fond of this department, the students have always been lovely and it’s very rewarding to work there.

How many lessons will all that amount to, you ask? At the moment, it comes down to 28 x 60 minutes at seven different places, plus the six Satudays, teaching both Czech and English. It seems a lot, but I’ve had a long break so am actually looking forward to it.

Other than that, I am planning to keep on blogging about all these coming lessons, and also publish some guest posts by my fellow teachers – there is one coming up on Friday, so do stay tuned!

After some thinking, I have also decided to keep on posting on my Facebook page for learners of Czech, Čteme česky. It does get a bit tiresome at times and since I don’t try to sell anything, it really is just a project that takes my free time, but I have a feeling the readers are grateful for the posts and I enjoy the hubbub some of the posts create.

I am also going to stay in touch with my two important communities, the ELT friends on Twitter, and the crowd on our Facebook group Czechlist – the most helpful group of people you can imagine.

Then there is my family and hopefully I will pencil in some time for my daily meditation (Headspace if you’re looking for something) and some physical exercise to keep (become again) fit.

As always, will love to hear from you about all things life/work.

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8 thoughts on “Some random thoughts on the coming academic year

  1. Great stuff! Lovely mix of teaching experience by the sounds of it, but a lot of hours. Have a great year and look forward to chatting on twitter every now and then. Oh, and if you get time to squeeze in an e-book… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Peter, thanks! Yes, it’s a great variety and I’m never bored:-) And owe you an apology – been meaning to write but summer went by before I realised it even started. Definitely in for an e-book with you! Cheers. K.

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  2. I’m used to thinking of teaching hours in terms of 45-minute periods, so your 28 x 60 would be around 37 x 45, right? Sounds like you’ll be really busy! I’m glad you included staying in touch with the ELT community on Twitter because we’ll be there for you if at any time you should ask yourself if you did the right thing, taking on all these classes. 😉 Looking forward to the guest posts too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Vedrana, I do a mix of 45 and 60 min lessons so this one will be 30 x 45 and 6x 60 or something like that. It IS pretty busy and I am pretty worried but well, we’ll see. All the Czech lessons are in one place using a textbook we used previously. This helps, even though I am not the type to use old lesson plans:-) Thank you for your interest in the guest post – there are some amazing educators in Czechia that I think the world should know about. And yes to the Twitter support – you are the best! xxx Kamila

      Liked by 1 person

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