I’m in the process of sorting through old photos on my computer ready to move over to a new laptop. This photo is from 4th August 2006, and I took it before my first lesson at the Anglo, a private language school in Asunción, Paraguay. Although I’d already volunteered as a teacher in Borneo, I considered this my first day of real teaching, hence the photo.
I thought I was quite well prepared – the lesson started at 7a.m., and I had everything ready 10 minutes before. What I didn’t have was a plan – I didn’t know you needed one at that point in time. On the board, there’s a selection of statements for a classic ‘true or false’ getting to know you activity (no idea what I did for the rest of the lesson!), on the desk is a very retro cassette tape player, and on the wall is the phonemic chart. A couple of months later, a student asked me what it was, and my reply was ‘I don’t know, I think it’s just a picture.’ I was mortified when I found out the real answer!
It was my year abroad from university (the third year of my languages degree) and I used it as a test to see if I really did want to do this teaching abroad thing. The answer was a most definite yes, I did my CELTA part-time in my final year of uni, and I started my first summer school two days after graduation. I’ve never regretted that decision, and I’m glad I took this photo right at the start 🙂 Here’s to many more years!