One month back in this city I love so much, and I’m finally getting around to writing again. It would be an understatement to say that this has been a crazy four weeks. In just one month I have moved back to Madrid, found a new flat, and completed my TEFL certification course. I can now say that I’m officially certified to teach English all over the world and I couldn’t be happier! It was the longest and shortest four weeks of my life, but also one of the most rewarding and worthwhile experiences I have ever been lucky enough to have.
I don’t think I had any idea what I was getting myself into when I arrived at school the first day. Honestly, I thought a TEFL course would be kind of a joke… I mean, I’ve been teaching English here in Madrid for a year now. How hard could it be? But I learned quickly that when they say “intensive course,” they really mean intensive. I spent every day in classes or teaching practices, sometimes staying twelve hours a day at the TtMadrid school. I took classes in everything from how to lesson plan and manage a classroom, to English grammar and phonetics. I planned and taught six classes over the course of the month as the trainers observed and evaluated each one. The workload never eased up and it often felt like I didn’t have a single second of free time for the entire month of September. Yes, it was a lot of hard work, but the course was an incredibly positive experience.
In the end though, it isn’t the extremely stressful days or insane workload I will remember, but the people I met during the course. The days may have been long and hard, but I feel like we spent the majority of them laughing together and having as much fun as possible. It’s really amazing how close you can get to people in just four weeks, and I know that I’ve made some lifelong friends in this short time. Thanks to the TEFL course, I have a new Madrid family. I’ve spent weekends with them, booked travel plans with them, and sort of feel like I’ve known them forever. We’re all the same in a way- we left home because we wanted something different. We moved to another country without knowing anyone and somehow started building a new life there. I’ve only been back a month and already I can’t imagine not knowing these people.
So after four extremely long weeks that somehow disappeared into October, I am a certified English teacher and it’s time to celebrate a month of hard work with another amazing year in this city. It’s safe to say that this year will be very different from last. I jumped right back into my life in Madrid where I left off. I’ve already booked several trips and begun planning my Christmas adventures. Spain has never felt as much like home as it does to me now, and it’s a little scary to say that I honestly can’t imagine living anywhere else any time soon.