The First Month in Bielsko-Biala, Poland

So I found a job and stopped blogging for over a month. Almost as soon as the plane from Rome landed in Krakow, I was whisked away to Bielsko-Biala. It is a city in the south of Poland and not far from the border of the Czech Republic.

Upon arrival, I was shown my apartment that was included in my salary. I didn’t have time to unpack because the director of the English program and his wife took me out to dinner at a Polish restaurant. Immediately after that, they took me to their receptionist’s birthday party for cake and goulash. I tried to pass on the goulash, but Martyna (the receptionist) made me take a bowl and try it. I didn’t like it. Thankfully I didn’t have to eat the rest since I used the excuse that I already ate, which was true.

After that, my life became filled with learning the school, getting my class schedule, getting my schedule changed three times since, lesson planning for classes, and then actually teaching the classes. In the mornings and early afternoons, I teach at the primary school, Oxford Centre. It is a school for grades one through six. I teach all levels except for the 6th graders. Overall they are good kids, but there are some moments where I have a hard time getting them to listen.

This school is a private school that parents where parents spend good money so that their children can get more exposure to English and native English speakers like myself. Not only do I teach lessons in English, but I also teach first grade science and third grade social studies. They are not hard classes to teach. The idea is that the students are learning more English at a younger age.

I also teach various classes in the evening. The ages range from four year olds to teenagers. For my younger students, I teach them the basics such as numbers, colors, letters, body parts, shapes, and so on. As for the preteens and teenagers, I help them with conversational skills, grammar and higher level vocabulary words. Each age group comes with their challenges and virtues. I work over 30 hours in the school, which is full time since my salary includes 10 hours a week of lesson planning. I can guarantee that I am putting in well over ten hours! Teaching is a lot of work, but reflecting on what I have accomplished right now and the smiles and hugs the students give me when they seem me let me know that what I am doing right now is worth it.

Now that I have made it through the first month, I will try to write in my blog more often and recount what it is like to live in Bielsko and the other cities I hope to travel to. There is much more that I need write about and I promise I will do my best to keep my dear readers posted!

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