Kristen McGuire spends a day teaching English in Moscow, Russia

2020-02-21 08:24:21Cherry

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- Hello, everyone, good morning.My name is Kristen, andI am teaching Englishin one of the greatest citiesin the world, Moscow, Russia.I am originally from Biloxi, Mississippiin the United States.This is my first year traveling abroad.Hopefully, it won't be my last,but I have been here sinceAugust and I absolutely love it.So, today's one of my work days.I do have a very busy day at work,but I will have some time this morning,since I don't have togo into work until noon,to tell you a little bit aboutmy flat and my life here.

I'll plug in some videos whileI'm at work here and there,and then, this evening, I'mgonna show you a little bit moreof the city around where I live,as well as the MoscowMetro, which is amazing.So, this morning it is, rightnow, it's about 10:30 a.m.It's about 34 degrees outside,34 degrees Fahrenheit,about one degree Celsius.It's been an unusuallywarm fall here in Russia,in Moscow anyways.It's only dropped below 30 a few times,but it will get very,very cold pretty soon,but for right now, it's not too bad.As for why I'm here in Russiaand why I decided to getmy TEFL certification,while I was on my last semesterof my undergraduate degreeand I was studying history,obviously I focused a loton Russian history, but I wanted to decidewhat I wanted to do next.I really wanted to go intograduate school for history,but I also really neededand wanted to learn the Russian language,and so I enrolled with theInternational TEFL Academy,got my certification,and before I graduatedwith my bachelor's degreeand my certification,I already had job offers here in Russia,I had several job offers here in Russia.So, if you would've told me a year agothat I would be here inRussia teaching English,I would've thought you were crazy.So, I decided to take a leap of faith.I talked to a lot ofpeople at the academy,and let me tell you, it is the best thing,best decision I have ever made.So, sometimes, it justtakes that leap of faithto do something that you think thatyou would never be brave enough to do.So, before I show you around the flat,I wanted to go ahead andinclude the questions option.

So please feel free to shootin any questions that you have.I will definitely answerthem throughout the daywhenever I have a few moments.Also, if you wanted to seesome more around Moscow,you can follow my normal Instagram.Okay, so I'm gonna show you around my flatwhile my lunch is cooking, butthis is the entrance to our,it's a really smaller flat,it's a much older one,but I kinda like it.It has that old Sovietapartment feel to it.This is our little hallway.This is my roommate's room,and then this is my bedroom.So, all the furniture washere when we got here.I have lots and lots of closet space.I have lots of places to store clothes.I have a really nice view.When I first got here, it was really warm,it was like surprisingly warm.So I actually slept withthe window open a lot.It's really cold, so I'm not gonna openthe window right now, butthis is the view from my flat.So I live more in a residential areamore than like in the citycenter, which is nice.There's more stores, morefamily-friendly kinda stuff.This is bathroom.So you have where the toiletis and where the shower is.The weird, I guess, no,no, not the weird thing,just something I'm notused to, is that the showerdoes not hang and that you haveto hold it whenever you're in the shower,and that it's the same faucetfor both the shower and the sink.Just something different.I don't know if other peoplehave had that in other places.This is my kitchen, mynice little kitchen.We have a washer, no dryer.We do have to hang up our clothes.Excuse all the dishes in the sink.I just got finished cookingsomething last night.We do have a stove and an oven.It is gas, so I had tolearn how to use a gas oven,which was interesting.It came with a microwave.My teapot, which is likemy most favorite thing,'cause tea has become soimportant to me here in Russia.But, yeah.Here's a better look at everything.So I'm on my way to work now.This is kinda the area I live in.It's one of the state schools.But, yeah, it's a nice residential area.There's lots of parks,schools, lots of stores.It's really peaceful.I never really have any problems.I never feel scared going home.I never feel like my life isin danger, stuff like that.So, nice little area.So this is kind of main area by my house.I walk down this road to go to work.Really good clothing store.Over there is where I go grocery shopping.There's lots of grocerystores, lots of super markets,and if you don't know Russian, it's okay.Supermarket is supermarketin Russian, so that's easy.Lots of pharmacies. (speaks Russian)So you should have noproblem finding what you needif you do live here in Moscow.

Okay, so just had to withdrawsome money from the bank,'cause I do have to pay rent today.Yay, that's always a fun day.But I am on my way to work.So just to tell you a littlebit about my job and what I do,I work at a company called English First,it's one of the biggestEnglish schools in Moscow.It is a private school.So students will go to their state schooland then come to kinda, it's kinda likean afterschool program where they will bein a complete immersiveenvironment of English.So I teach students of different agesranging from like five and six year oldall the way up to 17 and 18 year old.So it's different levels,different skills, different ages.I work five days a week full-time.I usually teach three, six, nine,10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 classes a week.Today, I have three classes.I usually teach betweenabout 2:40 until about 8:30on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,and then on Saturday I teach fromabout 9:40 until about 5:00 to 10:00.So, about to show you this park.It's my favorite pat of my walk to work.It takes about 20 minutesto walk to my school, so.Just a little bit more of the area,and this park is one of my favorites.It's such a beautifulpark, especially when itwas in the fall and allthe leaves were falling.Obviously, it's time for the end of falland the beginning of winter,so all the leaves are gone,but it's still really beautiful,and it's not too bad today.It's very foggy, but definitelycould be a lot worse.So my contract with EF is for one year,so I will be here until August of 2020.I got here in August, I think August 15th.16th is when I landed here in Moscow.So it's, it's been a crazy ride here,but I have loved everysingle minute of it.I definitely have gottento do a lot of sightseeingand exploring on my days off,which is always really fun.I've made some friends here in Russiathat I really enjoy being around.So that'll be like the best thingis if you can make somefriends with some Russians.They will show you all the cool thingsand they will show you themost unique places in Moscow.Last weekend, I went to areally unique movie theaterthat is about to gettorn down, unfortunately,but it was really coolto be able to see thatand see that little piece oflike local cultural history,things that you wouldn't reallylearn about like in atextbook, you know? (laughs)So this is the mall that I work at.My school is on thefourth floor of this mall.So let's go inside.So this is inside the mall.I'm actually gonna go andgrab something to eat later.I don't usually have a lot oftime in between my lessons,so I try to grab somethingbefore I go into work,that way I can eat it really quickly,something that I can microwave.So I always get it from thislittle booth right here.It's called Mealty.I go here so much that she actuallywill always know exactly what I want, so.All right, and right in hereis the school that I work at.Okay, so while I havea little bit of time,I just wanted to share with youhow I keep organized in my EFL class.So the way things work hereat EF is, as a native teacher,I have about 23 groups ofstudents that I meet over a month.Some I will see once a week,some I will see about onceevery two weeks, some Iwill see once a month.So each class is co-taughtby a Russian local teacher,so a Russian who has learnedEnglish and is teaching it,and an English native speaker,so someone whose Englishis their primary language.So students get exposureto both, which is great.My classes vary in skill,and level, and age.So obviously, it can geta little bit difficultto keep up with all of these classes.So I have three differentjournals that kinda help me out.So one is very specifically,it's my Van Gogh,one is very specificallyfor my lesson planswhere I actually writeout what I'm going to do,how I'm going to say it,what we're going to say,what we're going to use.One is very specificallythe time of the classes,what class it is, wherethe class is going to be,and what lesson we are going to be doing,and then the last one, kind of likea most important one, is one where I make,it's almost like a journal of each classwhere I write down how the class went,were there any behavior problems,what do I need to look out for,what do they do really well,what do they need alittle more attention on,what they thought was really fun,and what they thought was really boring,because each student is very different.What works for one class,even if it's the same ageand the same skill level,is not gonna work for eachof the classes at that same skill level.So this has helped me out a lot,and I highly recommend keeping a journalafter each of your classesto kind of help you keep upwith the little detailsthat you won't rememberwhen you're doing anotherlesson a week ahead of time.So, really sorry forthe lack of posts today,or this afternoon.It's been a really, reallybusy day here at work.We've had a lot of open lessonswhere parents have beeninvited into the lessons,but everything went really well.So now, I'm about tohead to a friend's houseto pick up some books,and I'm going to getto show you guys the Moscow Metro.

One thing that kindasurprises people about Russia,especially, I mean, Moscow, in general,it's very westernized, there'sa lot of American stores,there's a lot of places toshop, there's lots of malls,so you definitely willnot be missing anything.So I just left my friend's house.So now I am going into the metro.So I'm on the metro in themetro station right now.I am about to get onto the metroand take a trip downto Ploschad Revolutsii,which is one of the coolestmetro stations in Moscow,so that you will get a chance to see it.(intercom speaking Russian)So this is Ploschad Revolutsii.It is one of the more famousmetro stations in Moscow.This is just one exampleof how incredibly beautifulthe metro stations are in Moscow.So we are going to go hereand give the dog nose agood rub for good luck.So every time you pass this dog,you should give it a rub for good luck.So again, just one of the morebeautiful stations in Moscow.Always give the dog nose a good rub.It means good luck, and you will seeall Russians do this, see? (laughs)It's really amazing.I love the metros.They're always so cool to go into,and a lot of them are really beautiful,especially on the brown lines.Okay, so I just made it back home.Usually, at the end of theday whenever I come home,I just kinda chill out, make my dinner,sit down with some nice, hottea, play some video games,or talk to some of myfamily and friends back homein the United States since itis a nine hour time differencefrom where I am originallyfrom, but now that I am home,I can finally answer some questions.So I'm going to answersome of the questionsthat have been sent to me so far.So first question, whomeets me upon arrival?All of this was arranged bythe company that hired me.They had somebody there waitingfor me with the little sign.They took me to my flat, theyhelped me set up my cellphone,they took care of everythingfor me, so the company did.So even before I finishedmy TEFL certification,I was already onlineapplying to a bunch of jobs.Russia's pretty desperatefor English teachers,so it was pretty easy for me to finda lot of places that were hiring.I had five job interviews, three offers.I decided on EF becauseit had the best package,it paid the most, and it was in Moscow,which was specificallywhere I wanted to go.So just do a lot of researchon what package they offer.The visa process wasn'treally that difficult.It mostly, to get into Russiaas an American citizen,you have to have an invitation letter.So that has to be supportedby a company in Russia.So obviously, the company that hired metook care of that part.Once I got the invitation letter,the only thing I really had to do wasjust do some background checksand do an HIV test showingthat I did not have HIV,and then I got all of that stuff togetherand submitted it to the Russian Consulatefor my visa approval,which was done through this application.So it wasn't that the application processwas necessarily difficult,it just took a lot of timeand there was just a lot of waiting,but I didn't have to do any kind oflike interviews or anything like that.So everything went really well,and I didn't have anyproblems getting a work visa.I will say one more thingabout the visa process though.So going into Russia, I had asingle entry three month visa,because my contract wasactually on kind of likea trial period for three months,but once I got the approvalto continue my contractfor the entire year, I had to go throughanother visa applicationprocess here in Russiain order to get amulti-entry extended visa,but my company took care of all that.Like all I did was justgive them my passportand they took care of that.

My landlord, which wasarranged by my company,also had to register me herein Russia as a foreigner,but all of that was kindataken care of for me.So I didn't really have tobe too hands-on with that process.So, it worked out really well,and I haven't had any problems with it.Okay, so I do have student loans.I have really, really low paymentssince my loans don't have any interest,but even if I did haveto make higher payments,it is still doable with my salary.You just have to kind of budget that inand maybe not spend somuch on just other stuff.Okay, so I'm going to eat dinner,and then I actually have aRussian lesson tonight at 11:30,kind of the only time I have availableto do Russian lessons.So real quick about the language,coming into Russia, I didn'treally know a lot of Russian.I knew really basic stuff.So you can make your way around Moscowwithout really knowing Russian,but don't expect people to know English.The only places where you're reallygonna find people whospeak English are gonna belike in the city center, likewhere the touristy areas are,like around the Red Square and the Kremlinand maybe some teenagerswill know some English,but for the most part, there isn't reallya lot of English here, atleast English speakers.So you can kind of relyon like Google Translateor Yandex.Translate wouldbe the better option,and the Russian languageisn't super necessarybut it definitely makesyour life a lot easierif you at least know like foodand some basic conversationalpieces in Russian.So I can answer this one really quick.So I finished my TEFL in May.I had job interviews in May.I was hired in May,and by the end of July,I had my visa andeverything taken care of,and then August 15th, Iwas in Russia, so. (laughs)(speaking Russian)So, I am learning Russian, but right now,I only speak a little bitreally, but it is coming along.It's definitely improved alot in the last couple months,but it's a very difficult language.I live close to Sevastopolskaya,which is a metro station on the gray line.As for my friends, I made friends at work,and then through those friendsI have made new friends.So really, it's who you work with.All right, guys, it is the end of my day,and I am about to go tosleep so that I can get upand do it all over again tomorrow.Thank you so much forjoining in on my takeover.Hopefully you enjoyed this little glimpse,very, very small glimpse,into my life here in Russia.If you wanted to see more,if you have any questions,feel free to follow me on Instagramand shoot me a direct message,and I will be more than happyto answer any questions that you have.(speaking Russian)Everyone, have a wonderfulnight, and thank you.Much love from Russia.(upbeat music)

Sources of article:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI0ZPBBaA7I

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