• czech culture,  Summer,  Teaching

    Summer Camp, Pt II

    week two out of three of summer camps is complete! boy these days do fly! we have so much fun even though we’re so busy, and the kids have so much fun too. we’re having them recite “double double toil and trouble, witches brew and cauldron bubble” on the thursday field trip the castle to make the princess leontynka (me) appear from the window. and one of us pointed out that that phrase is actually from shakespeare’s macbeth! WE ARE TEACHING CZECH KIDS SHAKESPEARE. best english summer camp ever, ya heard? enjoying it here in SoBo (south bohemia— i’m coining it now!) and learning so much czech language and about…

  • Life Abroad,  Summer,  Teaching

    Summer Camp, Week 1

    as you may know, in february i signed on as a teacher (with alex) to teach three weeks of childrens’ english summer camps. this means just under ten hours (7:15am to 4:30 or 5pm) of hanging out with kids per day. and good news: i have survived week one! i’ve never taught groups of kids before, and it was a pretty amazing, fun, sometimes extremely tiring, and really rewarding experience. in this camp, the kids are surrounded by two native speaker teachers and one bilingual czech teacher in hopes they will pick up on the english phrases we tell them: stand up! sit down! line up! come on! let’s go!…

  • Spring,  Teaching

    A Whole Lotta Rain

    it started raining saturday morning and it has not once stopped as i write this late monday afternoon. nuts! people are like, “oh but you’re from seattle so you’re used to this”. errrrg……. not really, right guys? in case you haven’t read about it, the central europe floods are making international news. i think today will be the worst of it and the rain is supposed to let up. in prague, the city is paralyzed. schools are shuttered, transportation is at a halt. the animals from the low-lying zoo near the river are being rescued. the metro station near our old ‘hood (malostranska) is closed. here in budejovice, we are…

  • Life Abroad,  Teaching,  Winter

    english teaching success story

    i think the months of december and january and all the uncertainty and stress about finances, jobs, and visas has all culminated to make up this week: the most successful week we’ve had since arriving in the czech republic. i received notification that my trade license (visa) is ready to pick up– legal to live and work in europe! obtained two new lessons: convinced one student to sign on for eight more weeks of lessons with me after a trial lesson! made verbal plans with landlords to remain living here in this beautiful flat for at least SIX MORE MONTHS for an amazing price. (something i’d been worried about since we moved…

  • Expat Life,  Teaching

    teaching english

    i am now a long-term residence permit holder here in the czech republic! this means i’m legal to stay here for at least the next six months and am also legal to earn wages!  this is extremely exciting, as it was definitely a huge concern even before leaving for europe.  people often asked “howwww the heck are you going to stay past ninety days?” i had done some preliminary research and i felt pretty hopeful about it.  plus, there was always my back-up plan of fleeing back to britain for a spell, or perhaps croatia. but britain in the wintertime wasn’t exactly what i was imagining, so i am dang…

  • Czech Republic,  Teaching,  Winter

    cesky krumlov-ing it

    we took a day trip seeing as we both have the week off from lessons– half hour bus ride away to beautiful quaint little cesky krumlov.  it is basically what would happen if prague was tiny and only old town with winding streets and plenty of cobblestones.  alex is lucky enough to have the opportunity to work here, teaching the local primary school kids english once a week! the people are friendly and being there in february on a wednesday morning, it was practically deserted. (off-peak travel really ain’t that bad!)  i had visited here six and a half years ago during my first “eastern/central europe” trip– it was the…

  • Budějovice,  Life Abroad,  Teaching,  Winter

    employment

    yesterday was a monumental day in the life of “cynthia abroad”, for i have been hired by a language school as an english teacher.  as clients come up, they will assign me classes and slowly my open schedule will fill.  i have already been assigned a course with an employee at a local firm here that will start the week after next, as this next week is the czech “spring break” holiday.  the czechs LOVE skiing and usually plan ski trips for their families to nearby ski resorts in the south of the country or in the austrian alps. i also had my first paying gig last night– first lesson…

  • Daily Life,  Prague,  Teaching,  Winter

    funemployment

    i have been unemployed (not by choice) for over three weeks, which is normal from what i hear talking to other past TEFLers. the first two weeks were a blast–  it was christmas time!  lots of dinners, events, fun things to check out. then week three happened– the week that is bringing plenty of wondering: “where are all the jobs?” “should i stay in prague?”  “should i start looking elsewhere?“  the amount of jobs and job related activity in the past five days or so has been close to nil.  i have heard the january was the second biggest hiring time of year in prague but you wouldn’t know it.…

  • Prague,  Teaching,  Winter

    tefl certified

    it’s been an intense four weeks but both alex and myself, and our sixteen other peers are TEFL certified now, meaning we are qualified to teach english as a foreign language anywhere in the world.  we’ve planned nine class lessons, planned two individual lessons, given two grammar presentations to the class, and the other day, took a grueling grammar examination.  we have words like concept checking questions, focus question, lexis, warmer, scene setting, and many more teachery expressions drilled into us every day.  the course was rigorous but manageable  and i have learned SO much, especially about teaching adults since i have done it so frequently lately. now, we have this…

  • Christmas,  Life Abroad,  Prague,  Teaching,  Winter

    merry december!

    the first day of december, traditionally a very important day for me.  the day i’ve been known to take off of work JUST so i could decorate and put up the tree.  the first of december has been no different, even though i am in the land of the czech.  alex and i went down the street to check out a fleamarket rumored to be quite awesome.  i’ve never actually been to a fleamarket you had to PAY to get into, what the what is with that?  i tracked down a small to medium sized fake tree and colorful globe lights as we navigated between the muddy icy puddles in…