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Back! #staysafe

Photo by Eugenia Maximova on Unsplash

Hi all:

I hope you’re all OK, keeping safe and sane (that these days is a bit of a challenge). My mother and I are fine, I am happy to report, although things here are still quite bad (but they seem to be improving slowly).

I wanted to quickly touch base, as I disappeared (more or less) in March, intent on completing an intensive course to become a certified language teacher (CELTA from the University of Cambridge). Of course, best-laid plans and all that. Along came COVID-19, here in Spain (I was studying at Oxford House, here in Barcelona) schools were ordered to close on the 13th-14th.  We had only completed half of the course, and that meant only completed half of our teaching practice with real students (they are very patient with us, I can tell you that!). The decision was to carry on with the lessons and with the sessions with our tutors to plan the next few lessons we had to teach, online, but Cambridge insisted that we had to complete our teaching practice in person. So, we kept working, met through Skype or Zoom, and by the second week, when it became clear that this was going to last and it was happening everywhere, Cambridge agreed that we could do the teaching practice online.

Well, that was a steep learning curve, or perhaps more accurately a roller coaster. Half of the time we didn’t know which side was up, as it meant adapting the lessons to the online platform, learning to use the technology, and worrying about what might happen if suddenly everything went wrong. But, we did it! Last Thursday we officially finished the course, and although we have to wait on paperwork, etc., it all looks good (fingers crossed)!

Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash

Although it didn’t work as expected, it was a great experience. We were a group of ten teacher trainees, from all over the world, and I’ve met many interesting people, the teachers are all amazing (also from all over the place, German, Brazilian, English…), and I hope I’ve made a few friends for life. And I also hope I’ll be able to teach not only English but also Spanish in the future.

So, all this just to tell you I’m back, at least sort of. We’ll see how things develop, but I wanted to check on all of you as well. And leave you a couple of videos, one in Spanish, and one in English, which shine a bit of light on the situation.

Keep safe and keep smiling and reading!

By OlgaNunez

I was born in Barcelona and after living in the UK for many years have now returned home. I teach English, volunteer at Sants 3 Ràdio, a local radio station, I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often.
I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links.
My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

28 replies on “Back! #staysafe”

Thanks so much, David. It’s good to hear from you. Stay safe. Big hugs!

Thanks, Priscilla. Yes, we sure got more than we bargained for! Keep well and stay safe!

Quite a roller-coaster of a course, Olga. Fingers crossed you’ve passed. I’m so glad to hear you and your mum are both okay. Stay safe, keep well.

Thanks, Mary! Yes, we’ve been very lucky so far. Let’s hope things keep improving and we all can see the end of this soon. Keep well and take care!

It is lovely to hear how you are getting on, Olga, and well done on finishing your course. My boys continued with home schooling and virtual classrooms after the school shutdown in mid-March. They even wrote tests and have both done well for the term. I hope you had a lovely Easter.

Thanks, Robbie. It’s good to know everything going well there, although I saw your comment on Colleen’s post. I hope things look up soon everywhere. Take care and regards to all your family.

Wow, you had a lot of turmoil to manage. Teachers from a certain grade on (commercial school, university) are truly challenged in finding ways to keep up their plans.
Stay safe, Olga

Thanks, Erika. Yes, here they haven’t decided what will happen to the course, although they’ve been sharing content online for a couple of weeks, but not all kids can access it, so it’s all ab it up in the air. It’s a challenging time everywhere. Stay safe!

This does sound chaotic indeed. No country really seemed to be prepare and some less than others. I hope that some clarity is coming up soon. I will and you too!

This was so uplifting Olga – even though I may have needed a tissue for the video. I’m so happy to hear both you and your mom are well. I’m proud of your accomplishment through this new time of the world. Congratulations for completing the course. And as the video states, there’s always something to be grateful for. <3

Thanks, Debby. The support from all of you has helped me along, and the positive vibes you all share. Keep safe and keep the spirits up!

Woo-hoo! Congratulations Olga! It had to be extra stressful, after so much work, to wonder if “the system” would even allow you to finish. I’m delighted it all worked out. I’m even happier to know you and your mom are well. Hugs on the wing!

Thanks, Teagan. Yes, I had my doubts about proceeding with the course once it had to migrate to online, but then I thought it might be an opportunity in disguise, and at least now it’s done. It’s been an interesting experience all around.
It’s great to see you are keeping well and busy as well. I saw your post today and it’s a fabulous idea. I haven’t managed to change the chip yet and get back to writing (I am researching and gathering material for future courses, so one never knows. I might come across something inspiring). Keep safe and take lots of care!

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