Bitter-Sweet Goodbye

One of the perks of my job is that, every 9 weeks, I get a week off. Seriously loving life. You know you’re jealous really.

Each English language course at CEFALT lasts just 9 weeks.  Following this, there’s an admin week where all the exam results are collated and certificates awarded. Luckily, this has absolutely nothing to do with me so I get to run away. Yay! Usually, my week off is spent eating way too much, drinking way too much and sunbathing way too much – I expect this next week to be no different, especially as I have a friend visiting from the UK. Beyond excited!

My final class was on Saturday morning and saying goodbye to my students is always a bitter-sweet moment, especially with my 5-11 year olds. I usually grow strong attachments with all my kids quite quickly (the motherly instinct in me), so I can get a little emotional saying goodbye. Above all else though, it has usually taken me around 9 weeks just to get the little tyke’s cooperation and respect. I finally gain their trust just to shatter it all by saying goodbye. By this 9th week, the kids have also started to grow a little antsy; fed up of my games, my way of teaching and my form of punishments. I’ve gathered quite the reputation as a bit of a crazy teacher through my disciplinary methods, namely ‘The Naughty Corner’. This is when the accused is placed in the corner of the classroom, with their back to the class and their arms outstretched. Should they misbehave whilst in this position, they are then told to move their arms in continuous small circular motions. The rest of the class find it hilarious, that is, until they’ve been victim to it themselves, then you’ve never seen such empathy!


Speaks for itself doesn't it really?



một, hai, ba, cheese?

Một, Hai, Ba … Cheese?

Saying goodbye to my teenagers is usually a less dramatic affair – their last lesson comes after their final exam, so no one usually shows up anyway. I’m also quite strict with my teenagers, so I actually think they’re a little relieved when it’s all over (*sad face*). Last week caught me completely off guard though when two teenage students actually presented me with goodbye gifts.

Beautiful scarf

Beautiful scarf

Handmade bracelet (spelt correctly no less!)

Handmade bracelet (spelt correctly no less!)

It’s times like this that remind me why I’m out here; so far from home yet so at home. Bitter-sweet moments.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Celeste Kellie
    Aug 06, 2013 @ 17:44:11

    what a great story! I hope you enjoy the time with your mate visiting and good luck for the next 9 week course.


  2. Jean Huang Photography - Los Angeles Custom Portrait and Fine Art Photographer
    Aug 16, 2013 @ 14:23:16

    Teaching itself is a bitter-sweet experience, wouldn’t you agree? You get rewarded by seeing that you’ve made positive contribution to your students’ lives. At the same time, there are always some that don’t appreciate the effort that you put in.

    I like “The Naughty Corner” game, BTW. 🙂


    • kerril29
      Aug 17, 2013 @ 16:21:30

      It absolutely is, you’re right! Haha, the Naughty corner does tend to work a treat, not that I need to use it that often – my kids are little darlings! Thanks for commenting 🙂


  3. Trackback: Party Time | Cô Kerri

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