Mainly I’ve been busy with other things, which for the past month has been my fourth volume of Montana history.
I’d urge you to find something to do with your free time when you’re in China…or wherever it is that you’re teaching ESL.
If you’re anything like I was when I first started teaching ESL in 2008, you’re probably drinking a lot of cheap beer each night and watching internet movies or some such. Teaching is a real headache – even when you’re not hung over!
Computer games are a great way to kill time without spending a lot or messing up your body or mind. Books in foreign countries are expensive, and if you’re anything like I was my first year, you might spend a lot buying English versions wherever you are. Be careful – it might be better to do an eReader (a novelty when I started) or get used copies sent to you. $50 for a box of books from your mom is a good investment, in my opinion.
- Use Google Books to find all kinds of great reference material.
- Key into your local state’s historical society website and see what you can find.
- Begin poking around your state government website and learn about policy and politics.
- Go in-depth into an education or university website and figure out how they tick.
Overall, use your time constructively so that when you do transition out of ESL teaching you’ll have some skills or knowledge of what you want to do next.
I mean, who are we kidding, you probably started teaching ESL because you didn’t know what else to do. Now would be a good time to step out of the world, if you will, and figure out some niche or area of interest that works for you.
But you do – you know what it is each day. You’re in the trenches, pal, and it’s tough. But you’ve got some time yet – it’s only the third week of September and that means you have 38 weeks until June 15…or when many of your CTLC contracts end.
If it makes you feel any better, most people in the U.S. only get 2 weeks of holiday or vacation time a year, although if you’re in Congress you get 8.5 months of holiday time.
But overall, you’re doing the ‘9 to 5’ gig – or pretty close to it – until mid-January when Spring Festival rolls around.
That sucks. But what can you do? Drink beer each night and watch internet movies or some such? You can do better than that.