Monday, 30 November 2015

Thailand to Tokyo!

So about two years ago, my best friend who worked as an English Teacher in the south of Japan randomly said,  "Hey, why don't you come to Japan next month, I get a week off and I'm going to Tokyo! Join me!' During that time, it was also going to be the holidays in Thailand. This is possible I thought! I checked flights with Air Asia, £250 return! Wow! The only other time I'd looked at going to Japan was when I was in England and instead I would have been looking at a steep £1000 return. At least. 

It didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to go since I love travelling and seeing new places! Also,  Japan is somewhere me and my best friend had been talking about going since the high school days of playing SSX tricky at the Tokyo Megaplex! (such a cool game). I didn't think we'd actually go together one day! How truly amazing. The only thing that was putting me off is that I would be travelling alone and I'd have to spend my first night in Tokyo alone ( because I'd be arriving late at night). 

 I think I just thought to myself, you can't just live your life in fear and it will be a great learning experience travelling alone, if you do this trip, you can do any trip! You need to do it. And I just reminded myself about how amazing it would be to go to Japan, and with my best friend!

 ....And you know what? It's the best thing I ever did.

Travelling alone was so great for me, it showed me that that I can do things by myself,  and I won't mess it up. It has given me so much confidence to do other things by myself and being alone allowed me the chance to fully experience where I was. I still remember that first night in Tokyo, feeling the cold weather, and believing I was in Studio Ghibli cartoon, it was immense.

Say Yes To New Adventures

That's the great think about living and teaching abroad, there are holidays, and you suddenly realise how close you are to all of these amazing places, places you've never been before, places that are so far from your hometown, but so close to your new home.  Also, there is a fair chance one of your friends you've met teaching abroad now lives there, you might even be able to stay with them and they can show you around, show you the real country and now just the 'touristy' side.

Here are some photographs of my trip!
Let me know in the comments where you have been whilst teaching abroad! :)

Palette town! Geek moment. 
Did anyone else play all of the Pokemon games?

The cute little bus stop outside the Studio Ghibli Museum!

Whilst in Tokyo, play SAGA.

Why don't all beds play music?!

My little travel cat on Tokyo Tower (JiJi).

Tokyo Tower!


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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Tips for a Novice English Language Teacher



I personally think teaching is really easy if you plan. I can definitely see the difference in a lesson that I have planned out well and one that I haven't. In a well planned out lesson both me, and the students come out smiling at the end of it, in contrast, if I've not given enough time to planning a lesson, I find it doesn't run as smoothly and it general it is just not as enjoyable! So try and plan something fun and engaging! I've found that breaking up the lesson into small parts keeps students the most interested. 


Communicate clearly!

I think it is important to remember that when you’re teaching a language you must speak slowly and clearly so that you are more easily understood by your students. As well as this, try and use actions and visual aids to further clarification. I’ve found when I speak slower or use actions to describe things, my students will definitely click more with what saying and amazingly they will also respond with questions using actions or visual aids too!


Get to know your students!

I think it is really important to get to know a little bit about your students. In my experience if you know students names and can remember them and what they're interested in, then they're a lot more attentive in class because they feel valued. I believe that if you as the teacher are putting in the effort of getting to know your students, then they're going to put a lot more effort into your class! Knowing the names of students is also really helpful when it comes to selecting students in the class and marking work or giving grades!


Allow your students to speak!

Even though you're the teacher, make sure you are not doing all of the talking, allow your students to speak too! After all, it is a language lesson! With this, try not to be too critical when your students are speaking. From my experience, I have found that it’s important to let students speak from understanding first and then evaluate their speech afterwards. Try not to correct students whilst they’re speaking, doing so may hinder their confidence with speaking, exactly the opposite of what you’re trying to gain!


Reflect on your teaching!

I think when you're a beginner teacher it's really important to reflect on each lesson you teach so you can see what worked and what didn't and most importantly and how you think you would change it next time. If you have an assistant in the room you can ask for their feedback too! When I first started teaching I remember asking my assistant for some feedback and she said that maybe I spoke too quietly, something I had never even considered, but I took her advice and in the next class I spoke a lot louder and it was amazing how much more focussed the students were.
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Friday, 13 November 2015

5 Things I Would Tell My Pregnant Self

Hello, everyone! I currently have a 1-year-old little boy, named 'Asher' and he brings me so much joy that myself and my partner have been discussing having another baby, it won't be right away, but hopefully in the not too distance future :) Anyway, it got me thinking, if I was pregnant again, what advice would I give myself? So here it is!


Don't over think things! 

I know it's a mother's instinct to worry and I definitely think it's a good thing to be worried about certain things, it shows you care and helps you behave responsibly during pregnancy too. Having said that, I think worrying or over thinking too extremely taints the whole experience of being pregnant. It is hard, obviously because you can't see your little one (unless you go for a scan - which could be a pricey process if you do it often enough!). But I kinda wish I hadn't worried as much and tried to enjoy it more, after all, being pregnant is such an amazing feeling!


Don't eat too much!

But what are you talking about? You can eat for two!! Right? Wrong.
Myself and probably most others have heard this old tale. And that's exactly what is, a tale.
Whilst you definitely feel hungrier when pregnant, you shouldn't overdo it.  Like me. Until I realised you're actually only supposed to have about 300-500 calories extra per day... which is about half a sandwich, not an extra pizza. I think this is an important one because eating too much can be bad for your baby and it makes it harder for you to return back to your original size post pregnancy!


Read up on how to breastfeed!

I definitely wish I'd researched more about breastfeeding!
I didn't research much about it because I think I just thought it would be a walk in the park.
It looked so simple, just this beautiful, natural connection between mother and baby... which it is, but not at first. It's actually really hard until you and your gorgeous little newborn get the hang of it. When I was pregnant I wish I'd researched more about it;  if I'd read more I think I'd of definitely been more ready for the challenges I faced within the first few months of breastfeeding!


Make a detailed birth plan!

Now I'm giving myself some points here because I actually did make a birth plan for my first pregnancy. But I would definitely do it again! Probably in even more detail.
 Having this wonderful piece of paper made my delivery so comfortable and exactly how I wanted it. It was amazing how much the midwives took note on what I had written, I was seriously impressed. I think I even got given the private room for our family after birth because of the fact I'd written that I would like one if possible. Amazing.


Don't wait, do it now!

Whatever you want to do, do it now! It is true that once your little one comes along, things are going to get hectic! I think it's hard to comprehend how much when someone tells you, but you really will not have much time for yourself or anyone really (except your baby). So use this time to do things you want to do, read a book, go out, get a pedicure, reply to those emails....

Do it, do it now!



Lots of love 'n' stuff


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

My Favourite Things About Living in Thailand

Hey everyone so today I thought I'd give you five reasons why I love living in Thailand. Don't get me wrong, it's not all positive here, but everywhere has pros and cons and these are the pros I've found in my last four years living here.  It's always nice to have a reminder of why I do love living here on those days when I feel a little homesick too! So let's get started.

Reason one
The sunshine. Now don't get this confused with the heat because sometimes the blazing hot sun (I'm not rubbing it in) gets a little too hot (believe it or not). What I'm talking about is waking up most days to the sun shining, it makes me feel happy and more ready for the day I guess. I definitely do not miss having to get up for work on those cold winter mornings in England (you know the ones when you wake up to it still being dark outside and climbing out of the bed covers is so cold that you rush to put on the warmest clothes you can find). Yeah, I don't miss that.

Reason Two
I feel like I'm much healthier in Thailand. You can buy fruit and vegetables everywhere here, there are hundreds of stalls and it's so inexpensive. I think the temperature forces you to make healthy choices like drinking a lot of water for example. When it's super hot outside what would you reach for a chocolate bar or a slice of melon? Exactly.

Reason Three
Thai people are so friendly, kind and helpful. They really are.
I've lost count of how many times a Thai has helped me out or just given me something for free just because. It's definitely a pro being surrounded by such lovely people.

Reason Four
Being able to go out often. Yep going to a restaurant for dinner or making your way to a nice coffee shop is something you can do here, on a daily basis, because it's not expensive. At all. Instagram lovers eat your heart out! I definitely socialise and get out of the house a lot more. I don't just sit in front of the T.V watching soap after soap (after soap after soap).

Reason Five
Being able to go to places like this for a long weekend and not breaking the bank.
It would only cost me £50 to spend the weekend here on 'Koh Lipe'

Need I say more?

If you have some reasons why YOU love living in Thailand, please leave a comment below :)
Let's keep the positivity about Thailand going :)

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Lots of love 'n' stuff