While it may pale in comparison to others, I have now just wrapped up my third month of teaching/living in Moscow. I previously chronicled my changes and thoughts after completing last month, but I feel that I’ve progressed further. So, what happened between October and November? For starters, I feel more responsible and even further in the proverbial zone. I accomplished this by just making small changes to my delivery and routines-pacing was arguably my biggest issue, but I’ve overcome it. It’s amazing seeing how these changes can make you feel more confident; I think it’s a psychological thing, to be honest. At any rate, I’ve been walking away at the conclusion of each class feeling like I did the best and that my students got their money’s worth. Before, I had some moments where I would’ve given myself a C in terms of content and delivery. Now, on my worst day, I feel that I deliver B-grade lessons. It took some time to reach that threshold, but I’ve kept the advice of my favorite professor: maximize your potential. That goes for both myself and my students, as they push me each and every day. If you could see me, I’m sure he’d be proud of my growth. What excites me is that I’m still constantly improving, so the best is yet to come!
I’ve also noticed how, due to events both within and outside of my control, I’ve become more relaxed. Not complacent, but relaxed. I’ve had some changes to my schedule over the last four weeks that frankly have increased my time spent at work, and some of these changes have come rather abruptly. My old schedule was great, as I had only one class on Wednesdays and Fridays, so having to do more means that I now have to plan ahead more wisely. It stinks at times, but it has given me the push I needed to work smarter and harder, and I’m gracious for that. These new classes are for teaching English to my fellow (Russian native) teachers, a small class of mid-level teenagers, and an extra class on Saturdays for teenagers with lower skills, so it’s relatively diverse. Again, I’m thankful for the fact that I get to practice and enhance my skills, which in turn has given me the confidence to power through during rough days.
When all is said and done, I’ve been undergoing a metamorphosis that has been maturing me for life in a year or ten down the road. My confidence from living as an independent expatriate grows by the day, and I feel that no matter what, I can overcome any obstacle thrown in my direction. Apologies for beating a dead horse (based on earlier posts since I arrived), but teaching ESL in Russia has easily been one of my best moves to date!