Same Adventure, Different Day
I love working as an auxiliar! AND I am really excited to continue my journey abroad... BUT I also want to be honest and, honestly, sometimes I get sucked into a routine and end up feeling stuck.
Maybe you know the feeling?
When you first arrive in a new country or a new place (whether it is a physical place or a mental place - a new city, a new relationship, a new job...) it usually feels exciting and exhilarating. There is so much to learn and things seem great! Slowly, you start to settle into a routine. You get comfortable and you start to feel less overwhelmed as you begin to look around and realize that time is passing by!
As an auxiliar it is easy to jump in with a feeling of adventure - you may start out thinking that you are going to be the person that makes the difference in teaching the students to love English and they are going to all be fluent by the time you finish the year. Then, one morning, you might wake up and see that, you´re tired and you aren't really feeling as enthusiastic as you started out. The students are still antsy during morning routines and some of them still can't seem to get the difference between "yes, they are" and "no, they aren't"... You get up to the board and begin going through the activities in the book and maybe you feel a little "deja vu" of having done the same thing yesterday. You´ve fallen into a monotonous routine and you know you can't keep living that way!
So what do you do? When life has become monotonous, how do you break that feeling that you’re living in your own personal version of "Groundhog Day"?
- Switch it up!
Talk to your teacher(s) and see if they would be willing to let you change the routine - try a different activity - play a new game. Sometimes you need a change as much as your students do. I think this can be said for any monotonous situation... sometimes changing the routine can bring back some of the excitement that you started with.
- Plan ahead...
You know that the feeling of monotony is going to happen at some point. The year may start out easily enough - your presence alone in the classroom is exciting, but eventually that’s not going to be enough. The students will become accustomed to seeing you and you will lose some of the mystery that you walked in the door with. So, plan for that. Keep things exciting by finding or creating vocabulary games that can be adapted to the various units.
- Talk through it.
Sometimes you just need someone to commiserate with - to share your frustrations and doubts after a long, repetitive, week. But don’t get too comfortable in the complaining stage or you’ll never get to the most important step...
- Be inspired :)
Whether it’s that vent-session that leads to some new thoughts of things you can change or add in the classroom, or taking some time to intentionally evaluate how students are improving (and recogninzing that you’re playing a role in that!), or even just reflecting on what your goal(s) for your time as an auxiliar where/are; let yourself be inspired to be the best language assistant that you can be and to do the best good that you can.
(1 Cor. 15:58)