Recognizing Growth

Lucky number 7? I’ve now lived in Quito for 7 months, and I went through a bit of rough patch with recovering from being sick/losing my voice. I started my third cycle the end of March with barely being able to whisper! Fortunately, we had Thursday and Friday off from classes, so I spent that time resting at home. On Sunday, I celebrated Easter with my friend Adriene, and I enjoyed the traditional meal of fanesca. Fanesca is made with 12 grains!

Fanesca – photo from Karina Gordillo

My friend from Ecuador graciously cooked Fanesca and brought me a dish, and it was delicious! Her birthday was also during the first week of April, so we celebrated it at a restaurant eating pizza.

Karina’s birthday photo

¿Qué más? I have been continuing studying and practicing Spanish. I have started writing about 100 words of Spanish every morning and used the 365 days of prompts to help me. I feel lucky that I have friends here who can help me improve my Spanish! I also continue to attend language exchange clubs.

Quito Sunday Language Exchange

During the second week of April, I recorded a video of me giving a tour of my host family’s house, and I also took several photos of food that I eat and other activities I do during a normal week. You can see them on Instagram at @storiesbysydney. Unfortunately, in the middle of the week, my smartphone was stuck in a restarting loop, so I had to buy a new smartphone. I continued taking photos during the week.

Friday, April 13th was teachers’ day here in Ecuador, and my students surprised me with a cake! I loved that the cake had a picture of my face on it. 🙂

Teachers’ Day cake

My class 🙂

I endured a couple rough patches, but despite these, I started to recognize the topic of growth. I had a conversation about personal and professional growth with two different people without me bringing up the topic. I then realized – wow – when I arrived here, I could barely speak Spanish, I wasn’t confident with teaching, and I struggled with going out of my comfort zone.

Little by little, day by day, month by month — the progress is real. My Spanish level has increased from upper beginner to upper intermediate (according to a few online tests). I can basically watch shows in Spanish and read in Spanish without too many problems (provided the vocabulary isn’t too technical). The fact that students evaluated me well the end of last cycle and surprised me with a cake this cycle also shows my growth in teaching.

I’ll continue to make mistakes and deal with hiccups, which are facts of life, but it’s important to continue putting your best foot forward, recognize the progress you’ve made, and balance your hard work with enjoyable activities.

P.S. I think my package is coming next month. *crosses fingers*

Thank you for reading!

Disclaimer: The ideas and thoughts expressed within this blog are my own and are not the views or opinions of WorldTeach.

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