I thought I would visit my story in ELT when I read Vicky Loras's challenge to her PLN.
I have always wanted to be a teacher :from a very young age I would sit my toys down and teach them! I loved school and couldn't imagine finding a better job than teaching children (Oh, how wrong I was :-)).
When I left school I applied for the local Teacher Training College and was accepted. I was half way through the programme when my beloved father was diagnosed with cancer and given six weeks to live.
I fell to pieces, dropped out of college, and took a job in the local bank in order to spend quality time with my dad. The six weeks turned into a nightmarish 10 months and then, mercifully for him, he died.
I needed to get away, so I decided to take a job in Champagne as a 'Jeune Fille Au Pair' , for a family of well-connected doctors. It was at this point that I met Eliza. She worked for a local school, training air hostesses, as they then were. She thought that it would be a great idea for me to help them with their English. First of all I needed a certificate. I duly did my CELTA equivalent at the University of Reims, where I made friends with a group of British students on an Erasmus exchange. The next few years were great fun, as I worked with a local Maternelle ( kindergarten-type school), the air hostess school and some private adult students.
Within a few weeks of my arrival I joined the local folk club and quickly became part of the island scene.
This was instrumental(terrible pun) in me meeting the man who became my husband and the father of my daughter.
After a few years I discovered the local language school and offered our services as a Host Family. This led to a discussion about my qualifications and the offer of a job. This time I did my DipTESOL and after a few years worked as a tutor on the certTESOL. A good few years passed and I eventually became the course director. I have since done a CertIBET, making it possible to start offering Business English classes, and which introduced me to technology.
My love of learning has continued and I have invested a lot of my time in CPD of one kind and another. I love the members of my PLN, who are always ready to share, commiserate or congratulate where appropriate. Meeting them face-to-face is a delight.
At this stage of my life I feel contented. Looking back it's been an interesting journey, and it looks as if it isn't going to finish any time soon.