Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ode to Teaching English in Hungary

School starts tomorrow in Szeged, only this time, I'm not there.

Looking back on my time as an ESL Teacher in Hungary, I don't know how I survived.

198 students.  4 schools.  Language barrier.  Lack of formal ESL experience.

But then, I remember these faces, and I know how I made it through.  Fueled on the smiles of these kids, lit by their light, their spirit.


There were days I sat on the desk, legs swinging as I sighed and bit the inside of my mouth, just waiting for the yelling to stop.

There were moments of quiet work, or confident conversation.

My students wore blindfolds, created mazes from desks, and gave directions.

We sang karaoke (popular songs: It's My Life by Bon Jovi and Rolling in the Deep by Adele) and played games.  I have never played so much Pictionary.  I have never had so many conversations about 'free time activities.'  And don't get me started on hangman.

I have mixed feelings about teaching, as you may have deduced if you've been reading for awhile.  The "agenda" makes me uncomfortable and frankly, teaching is hard.

But one thing I have no mixed feelings about?  The kids.

So this year I am gone from their lives, but I will always remember the year we spent together, chair-hurling and all.

Because how can you do anything but love faces like this?

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