A Typical Weekend In TEFL


downhill.jpg A frequent Saturday morning trip for me is actually to the British Council. You can join for a fee which is usually very reasonable — about $20 a year here plus $5 for DVD rental — and check out books, magazines, and DVD’s with a British connection. This could also be a good place to meet other English-speaking foreigners.

I’ll admit that I currently spend a portion of each weekend hard at work on the TEFL Logue…but I make room for non-Internet pursuits too.

This Saturday morning, I managed to attend a wedding. Buying flowers the day before was a bit of an adventure — despite the fact that both the bride and groom were American, I felt like I should try to follow some Slovak wedding traditions as well.

Before this, I had never really thought about the intricacies of “bring an odd number of flowers”…does one stem with two flower heads count as one flower or two? Should I pluck off one of the flower heads to avoid bad luck? Luckily, the wedding was beautiful and very tastefully done and no one freaked out over my flowers.

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I also fit in a short hike, which had been on my agenda since arriving a month ago. I went with an American and a Slovak, and we discussed a whole host of topics from Slovakian independence to Bald Eagles in Minnesota to rock climbing and skiing plans for the near future.

My first few months of weekends in TEFL – over three years ago now – were spent recovering from the week, i.e. sleeping, lounging around, and cleaning one day, and getting ready for the upcoming week the next. While you can hardly fault a new teacher for wanting to catch up and do the job well, I have come to believe firmly that taking time to enjoy yourself and be present in the country you’re in is important for your general well-being… which most certainly comes out in your teaching. So in that sense, having fun on the weekend is part of your job description. Get to work!