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It has been quite a long process settling in, as I have mentioned. This week was, after another 5am start for a second ‘training’ day in Poitiers, a week of being thrown fully into the deep end with lessons – some consisting of me standing in front of a class of 35 agitated 15 year-olds at 5pm and taking the whole lesson, some taking small groups of 6-9 older students and encouraging discussion in English. I don’t think I’m a great teacher, yet, but I have survived to the end of the week and frankly don’t think I have done too bad a job so far.

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(this may be what my cousin Lydia was referring to when she mentioned the “tea and cake propaganda” on here, hehe! I do love my giant pink cup…)
My time-table at first seemed a little spread out (12 hours isn’t a great deal, but when they are spread across the week the days soon get filled up) but my blessing is that, after an 8am start and four straight hours of teaching on a Friday, I’m free for the weekend with basically Mondays off as well.

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So with all these new skills to learn, and lessons to plan, and papers to sign (still!), and to my great alarm no longer access to the internet, I have not had much time left for creativity, cooking and blogging. However, a week simply cannot go by without me picking up a pen at least, and in fact the only redeeming factor of a lack of internet is that I do have to be a little more creative. It’s easy to forget sometimes that creativity isn’t about waiting for inspiration, but rather sitting down and actually doing something.

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Therefore I hope you will enjoy a few snippets from my personal journal/scrapbook. Most of these I made shortly after I arrived, but after this hectic week I’m reminding myself the importance in investing in encouraging words in a safe place. Also, the students liked it in my “presentation” of myself & the Cotswolds, and a slightly sullen-looking girl in one class brightened up when I showed her a few pages and showed me the most incredible portraits she had drawn in pencil. I have honestly never seen such skill in a 16 year old before. It’s amazing the talents and enthusiasm you can find hidden behind a sullen curtain.

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Finally, what has really helped me is the organisation of my itunes library. And the shuffle started giving me pangs of longing to be back doing salsa, which stole my heart at the beginning of last year. So I started a little research too.
Amazing the things you get around to doing when you don’t have internet, isn’t it?

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