Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Life after Redundancy

Well it is one full term after I have been made redundant and my life has done a complete 3600 turn around.  I am not doing what I have been doing for the last 20-odd years but teaching English to Air traffic controllers and many more people needing to learn English either for their jobs, for fun or simply interest, at Language Lab in Second Life, and enjoying every minute! It is interesting to change jobs, I could not imagine enjoying anything as much or more than my ICT consultant role, and it is not quite the same, but there are advantages! On mornings like some we have had already, with thick black ice for miles around and snow in various parts of the area that make grateful to be working at home and not driving miles every day. I do not spend a  fortune of fuel, food away from home or  “working” clothes – jeans are my working clothes. 

On the downside though it is not and 8 – 6 type of job! The worst session timewise I had to do was between 2 and 4 am. I don’t usually get those, 1 – 2am was another cover I did, but on the odd occasion, as I do not have to get up early, it does not really matter! Then again I could always say no!

When I see newspaper and TV reports about people who were made redundant the same time as me and I realise how far removed from work many of those people are, when I hear about people sending off hundreds of job applications and not even getting answers,  and similar stories, I am very grateful to have the opportunity to use existing skills, and learn new ones to provide myself a part time job!

In January I think I have 12.5 hours a week scheduled, so far I have also done lots of cover work for things like Thanksgiving, when many teachers are at home with their families for the festival or covering other people’s power failures (we are totally dependent on both power and the internet, there is no plan B!) and as the teaching is so new to me it is still taking me more than an hour to plan and make resources for every hour delivered  (I am sure I will get better) so it is currently about a half time job. J

I spend far more time now as my teacher avatar than my normal avatar, that is strange, even old friends have got used to her now and see more of me as her than as me J I have not quite grown into my role yet though, experiential learning – doing, being part of, experiencing, living it, all quite different to experiential learning in the classroom and I need to get better at providing and living it!!

I am just so grateful to the many English teachers out there who share their resources and ideas, without them I think I would be really struggling to get through each week.  I have a batch of EFL teaching/ learning books and between those and the websites they inspire me to keep learning and have provided so many ideas that I can use in the classes their work is absolutely invaluable to me! Thank you one and all!