I officially quit my job as an English teacher this week.
It was more emotional than I thought it would be – kind of like breaking off a dating relationship. In general the whole thing was much less gracefully done than I would have liked and there were a few nasty surprises involved. My boss actually used the word “apoplectic” to describe one of the manager’s reactions to my last-minute resignation.
Today, though, with a low sky, quiet mist and puddles of orange leaf-boats, I’m a bit calmer, reflective,and philosophical about the whole situation. I did what I thought was best with the information I had, and, characteristically, Russia had a few ugly bureaucratic jolts up its’ sleeve. Thankfully, nothing life-ending, and it’s all really par-for-the-course, if we’re going to be honest.
Immigration, employment, visas, and paperwork can be scary and frustrating in Russia (and anywhere, I guess). I’ve been at this company for 3 years – since I moved to Moscow, in fact. They’re something of a security blanket, and I’m a bit freaked out to leave them and their visa support behind.
Now, though, that I’ve actually signed my resignation, put the paperwork in order, and crossed the proverbial threshold, I’m starting to get excited! My days as an English teacher are numbered!
There are definitely a few things that make me really excited to quit and say hello to a new job. Here is what I WON’T miss about being an English teacher:
- Having to wake up at 6 AM for early morning classes
- Managers pressuring me to take terrible classes that interrupt my schedule and send me off to remote ends of Moscow
- The terrorist six-year-old I teach for 60 minutes twice a week
- Terrible (or non-existent) health insurance
- Putting hours and effort into a dead-end job that’s no longer helping me learn and has almost no room for growth
Not to jump ahead to hello, though, here is my goodbye. If I’m honest, teaching English really has been a cushy job. A top ten of what I’m going to miss about being an English teacher:
- An easy, virtually stress-free job
- Free office cappuccino’s
- The exercise – running all over Russia’s capital makes it easy to stay in shape!
- Teaching really smart, really motivated executives and professionals – I learn from them just as much if not more than they learn from me
- Late Cancellations – when students cancel their lessons at the last minute, I get to stay home and still get paid!
- Virtually unlimited (if unpaid) vacation
- Lunch times off to meet economist husband (or others) at cafes, etc. in the middle of the day
- Being comfortable and confident – as the teacher I get to decide and direct. Also, I’m the native speaker, and almost always feel more at ease than anyone else in the room.
- Having to work only 4.5 hours a day (commute not included), leaving time for pursuing other stuff that I love
- Free tickets to the Bol’shoi theater, company parties, and fashion shows from students
Goodbye, TEFL, hello journalism!!