Teaching English with My Heart

I’ve taught English since 2005. I’ve done it in Paris and Quebec City. I’ve taught big groups, small groups, privates, adults, teens and kids. I’ve loved every kind of format. They all have something different to them. Something sweet and uplifting. Something to make it new every single time.

I teach with my heart. I am who I am, in class and outside. I am known to dress up in a certain, somewhat fashion-forward yet funky way, to tell funny, at times surprising jokes or to get up and demonstrate a move. I can be very deep or relaxedly humoristic in my conversation classes. With kids, I love to break out a dance or just get off of our seats and get moving. I can often sense the specific need that there is for that particular lesson. Call it intuition if you will!

My teaching is about focusing on you, my student, but nevertheless, I bring my whole being into it. I take inspiration and wisdom from my rational and tangible university education as well as my emotional life experience. These all weave into a package that often touches deeper than just a mere grammar or vocabulary lesson. We spend moments together that leave us upliftef even after the lesson is long gone and done.

I’m glad I chose this job. I feel like when I’m teaching, I am doing what I know the best. It feels good and right. It feels fulfilling. I have a passion for English and connecting with others, and I get to spread that sweet scent day after day.

Cruising the Baltic Sea

This summer I took a cruise from Finland to Sweden with the two favorite boys in my life, my dad and husband. It was a memorable moment. We went onto the deck to admire the Finnish archipelago. The midnight sun was there. The air was warm but brought some much appreciated coolness after the scorching hot, endless summer days. After that we descended down to the restaurant and enjoyed a yummy dinner overlooking the sea.

Taking the cruise was a dream I had had. It was one of my summer vacation goals. I planned it, reserved it and lived every moment of it. This is comparable to many situations in life. First you need to define what you want. This can be amazingly tricky since there are many things that can be worthy of your time, yet you cannot do them all. Focusing carefully is the key. Once your goal is set, you have to find out how to get there. You make a plan. Break it into precise steps. Don’t underestimate the importance of detail. And then you go for it. It may take time and effort but in the end you will be contented.

What is the one goal you want to achieve this fall? What is “your cruise”?

Birthday Girl

August 9th has always been a special date for me – it’s the day when I was born. Summer heat baby! A zealous lion with a passionate, big heart. A personality that can be hard-working and ambitious at its best, and addicted and easily convinced (maybe even taken advantage of) at its worst. Today I celebrate my 44th birthday. I feel much younger though. I feel energetic and excited for life. I have lots of good things as it is, and an excitng new work perspective coming up.

In my forty some years, I have lived in four different countries. That is something I am proud of. Finland, USA, France and Canada have all left their mark on me. I feel connected to all of them on some level. Yet in each, there are also things that I do not adhere so much to. But that is wisdom that my 44 years have taught me: nothing is perfect, yet there’s beauty and enjoyment in imperfection and giving grace, to ourselves and others. I am the unique mosaik of my experiences. So are you. We each have value and a story to tell. We just have to pause and listen. Listening is so important. That is where we learn and are changed, from the inside out.

Below are some pictures of my past year. I wanted to share these highlight with you.

Camping on Cape Cod.

Camping trip continued to Connecticut.

Summertime glamour where we live, in the old town of Quebec City.

Yoga in the fall.

Taking a walk and enjoying the cooling temps and the beautiful Quebec foliage.

Exploring Austin, Texas, at Christmas.

Striking a dancer’s yoga pose in front of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

Celebrating the arrival of spring at the Ottawa Tulip Festival.

That’s been my year. Thank you for having been a part of it, in person or thru here! I value each person who pops in to read my posts. This blog is my creative outlet and it’s been my faithful companion since the start of it in Paris in 2007.

Cheers to the new year and our continuing adventures together!

Ready for New Season

My Scandinavian vacation was wonderful. I got to go to the beach and do yoga to my heart’s content. The balmy summer temperatures bordered that of Florida. At times the heat even got to us, in a country where air-conditioning is rarely needed, there really isn’t much of it. But that taught me useful lessons about my strength. I’m resistant and stronger than I sometimes believe to be. This realization will carry its beneficial aftermath long into the new season.

Now I’m back home in Canada and trying to beat the beast that is jetlag. I’ll soon head out to teach my this season’s first power yoga class. Hopefully that’ll boost my body and mind.

I’m excited to jump back into work on Monday. My head is rested and my heart is full. Let’s start the new chapter together.

Smell the Summer Roses

Summer vacation has started, and oh boy does it feel good! Lazy mornings when you can get up at your own pace and decide whether it’ll be a run, yoga or just chilling with a cup of Joe. I’m taking the time to plan some new things professionally for the next season. There’ll be some exciting news to announce soon. I’m continuing with my English teaching business,¬†yet adding¬†something new into the mix.

Summertime is the perfect opportunity to tune in with your core. Find out what it is that you need at this time of your life. I realize that I crave yoga’s toning yet lengthening power. I long for walks in the forest and time to sit in the sun and read or write down my thoughts.

I also stop to smell the flowers. I appreciate their beauty, here and now. They remind me of the fleetingness of life. This realization should not make us sad but to encourage us to live fully in the moment. It should also boost us in loving the people who love us back. Knowing that they’re there now – and that’s a gift.

Blowing rosy kisses your way!

Be a Sun Chaser

Summer is an excellent time for dreaming. We have space for taking it easy, wandering in parks, forests and waterfronts. What if you consciously focused on dreaming dreams that will give you the boost and motivation for the winter to come? You know, like stocking up on nuts and other goodies for the needy day, just like squirrels do.

What if you looked at your life and did a status report, an audit of where you are now and most importantly, where you still wish to go. Great heroes of history didn’t wait for things to fall upon them, they made things move with their own actions. You can be blessed and guided by God, I choose to believe you are, but you still need to do your part. You need to ensure that you are the best version of yourself.

So, let’s take some time to set our goals for the upcoming year. How do I wish my work-life to be? What about my English studying goals? How about my other goals such as fitness and mental wellbeing? Write a list down in a cute notebook, on your phone or anywhere that works for you. Make it simple. Make it clear. Then take a deep breath – and feel the motivation take you over, little by little, day by day. Practice, and you’ll shine.