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25 September 2008

Third time the charm: three weeks into possibly my best job ever? [More:]

Since moving to Poland for my third English-teaching job in three years at the beginning of the month:

I have moved into an amazing flat that is so close to the best supermarket in town that I can glance up from a bowl of cereal and out the window to confirm that it has opened its doors each morning. I share this flat with an amazingly cool colleague who is on her first teaching post ever and is way fun to hang out with. (Oh, and a culinary aside: we made penne bolognese tonight with ground turkey and it turned out amazingly fabulous!)

My schedule is the envy of the English-teaching world: no classes before 3:45 M-Th, plus one class Friday that ends before 5:30. No weekends, no late nights, no mornings. NO MORNINGS, PEOPLE! Fridays also have weekly development sessions, which are practical seminars to improve our teaching techniques and make us a better staff. 20-odd free development sessions will be an incredible boon to my professional life, and all of us have the opportunity to present seminars ourselves.

The two weeks I spent in Bydgoszcz were spent doing a young-learner's course to help me teach kiddies, and I freaking rocked it - to the extent that the director of the school in Bydgoszcz called my director in Torun just to share his admiration and threaten to poach me for his school, heh. Now I have four or five kids classes, including 7- to 9-year old absolute beginners (their book series is called Excellent!), and I'm so excited to test out my new skills.

My colleagues are all, pretty uniformly, wonderful, social, and caring individuals. The school's secretaries are unbelievably helpful. The director of the school is boisterous and loquacious in mostly positive ways and responded really well to a first-day sort-of-unspoken flare-up we had in front of everyone after I knocked on his door to talk to him about it. Everything is in the open.

I can tell that the school's management really cares about my personal welfare. I'm able to get into my building now after a few days of sticky keys and difficult locks because the owner of the school called the manager of my block of flats and got him to repair the lock tumbler that was keeping me out today, even though we always were, in the end, getting in. After waiting 82 days for a new window in the freaking dead of winter after being burgled in Riga last year while the school dithered about, this is pretty much a parallel universe. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and I see that we're all already in warm socks sipping hot cocoa and the shoes are arranged neatly on a shoe rack by the door.

The TVN-Meteo weather channel is amazing! And one of the weather anchors is an uber-babe! Whoo uber-babes!

Term time at the university here starts up on Monday and there are a zillion cultural events happening soon and clubs forming. My flatmate and I are probably going to try to find a salsa group to join to improve both our dance moves and our Polish!

It all really boils down to one thing: I feel valued here.

The contrast with last year's job is so gigantic that I cannot believe that I actually tolerated it for as long as I did.

I know that I must be feeling some kind of newbie fandom or something, but what if I'm not? What if this really is a great job? What if I don't feel guilty about having to do a half-ass job because I have no time to plan lessons, or because I'm exhausted, or because the bus took an hour today? What if my colleagues and boss actually do what is expected of them?

What if I truly, really, actually have found it?

Pinch me, bunnies: I'm dreaming.
Awww. That's totally excellent (hee).
posted by occhiblu 25 September | 18:48
That made me so happy to read! What a wonderful moment you're in.
posted by Stewriffic 25 September | 20:00
Oh! Wonderful! Rock it to its fullest mdonley. Fuckin' A!!!
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen 25 September | 20:08
Isn't it amazing what an environment where people "actually care" can be like.. just the little things.
posted by Firas 25 September | 20:45
YAYYYY contentment!
posted by nickyskye 25 September | 21:21
Sweet coolness. Er, toasty-warm closable-window coolness!
posted by stilicho 25 September | 23:19
Yay :)
posted by sperose 26 September | 01:11
Wonderful. I'm so glad. Riga was horrible for you, I remember feeling very sad for you when you were burgled and so far away from home and help.
posted by essexjan 26 September | 02:22
This is so good to hear! What a wonderful opportunity - you've paid your dues, now is your time for good things. Enjoy it! Don't question, just simply enjoy.
posted by mightshould 26 September | 07:04
Chicago Meetup in 35 minutes. || I haz [another] bicycle!