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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!

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