A week in the life of an English teacher


Morning: Wake up at 5:30 AM while husband sleeps in. Have a fail turned win in the 7 AM class.

Afternoon: Spend several hours doing the class planning that didn’t get done over the weekend.

Evening: Edit audio for the online pronunciation course I plan to launch in January.

Night: Dream about phonemes.


Morning: It rains. I attempt to wait it out… unsuccessfully. I walk 20 minutes in the monsoon to my lunch-hour class, wading through ankle-deep water on the way.

Noon: Suppress irritation at the fact that my student who has studied for nearly 2 years keeps using Portuguese to ask basic questions.

Afternoon: Give marathon 2.5-hour class to Fulano. Thank the Lord that he remembered his glasses.

Evening: Run end-of-semester review class covering four chapters. Attempt to clarify the differences in usage between breakdown, failure, damage, and defect.

Night: Student cancels with less than 24 hours’ notice, meaning I get paid for the non-class. HALLELUJAH!


Morning: Another crack-of-dawn wakeup. 7 AM class goes smoothly, but a later attempt to take a mid-morning nap fails because neighbor is blasting evangelical praise music.

Evening: Curse the idiocy of having to commute 2 hours round-trip to give a 90-minute class. Arrive at student’s house just as he is arriving from work. Observe that he appears sleep-deprived too.

Night: Crash in bed immediately upon return.


Morning: Wonder why on earth I ever agreed to give these #($*&@$ early-morning classes. Student, who had requested the class be moved from Friday to Thursday, arrives an hour late because he forgot.

Noon: Class erupts in laughter when student says “I drank a refrigerator” instead of “I drank a soda.” (Soda in Portuguese is refrigerante)

Afternoon: Return from class to find that husband has made lunch AND cleaned the house! YAY!!!  🙂

Evening: Give final exam. We teachers LOVE test days, because we get paid to sit here and write blog posts while answering the very occasional student question.

BONUS: Say goodbye to students, wishing them happy holidays and a good vacation. Be told by several that they definitely want me as their teacher next semester. This makes my week! 🙂


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