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.

Stockholm Sparkles and Fall Fairy Dust

Here’s what happened in Stockholm, Sweden. I happily rode the sphinx in front of the Nobel Museum. It was a sparkling summer morning. We had just docked the cruise ship and walked over to the old city. The breakfast coffee was delicious and the cinnamon rolls melted in our mouths.

Here’s a Swedish troubadour statue with the Stockholm city hall in the background. The view was peace-inducing. We then walked over a few bridges to the city hall.

These summer memories warm up my heart. They continue to pump energy into my being. I’m grateful I can hop back for a moment. A quick splurge – and then I’m back in here and now.

This fall has been pretty amazing. My work schedule has filled up. I’m now a fully-booked entrepreneur. I take every student with utmost gratitude. I’m honored that they choose to share a moment of their journey with me. I generously share my knowledge of English, and encourage them to be the best version of themselves.

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!

Business Girl

My first week as a full-time entrepreneur is behind me, and I’ve loved every moment of it. As much as I do miss my group lesson students, I’m savoring the opened up schedule. I can start my mornings by focusing on what I really want and need to do – planning and developing new ideas for my business, putting together fun lessons, drafting individualized learning plans, meditate, even get in some sports. There’s a renewed feeling of enthusiasm. I’ve always loved teaching English, but now I’m flying even higher.

I plan to reach out to companies around me to see if there would be opportunities to teach English as a second language there. We do live in the heart of the tourist attractions, high quality hotels and the administrative center buildings of the province of Quebec. I’ve also been doing some French to English translations. I love that. I love languages, and the challenge to convey a specific message from one medium to another.

I’m ready to open up the page to a new week. I’m eager to see where life will take me. I’m open to opportunities and humble to learning. I keep doing my yoga work. The mat is where I train my body and mind.

Yoga for 2018

I love new beginnings. Of course they can happen at any time but the dawn of a new year feels sweet, every time. Maybe also because here in the Northern hemisphere that is when we all need a boost. Parties have been partied, and winter is now really kicking in. Luckily we have the chance to focus on new goals. Focus is what keeps us going. I’ve seen that so many times in my job as an English as a second language teacher. Clients that have a clear goal, and who regularly re-evaluate it, reach the best results, and also stay the longest.

My goals for 2018 are divided into three categories: work, sports and internal growth. This January is a landmark for me as for the first time in my career, I am going full time entrepreneur. My English teaching business Susa English has been growing steadily since I launched it in 2012. I’ve developed my own method. I have a 10-level study program. My clients learn in environments that suit them the best – be it the classroom but also the cafe, park, taking a walk or visiting the nearby stores. We learn hands-on and everyday vocabulary. My future goals for Susa English are to find a couple more clients and also some more translaing jobs. I greatly enjoy translating (from French to English), or revising (English) text. That gives me a sweet change from teaching.

My second goal is around sports and body image. I’ve had my share of weight shifts within my 43 years. I’ve been too high as well as too low. It’s been a process to find the real, good-for-me weight after all that. I feel that I’m there now. I’ve maintained my current weight without too much effort for a long period. I have energy to do all that I want. I still feel slim and light.

My sports goals are: enjoying the Canadian winter by cross-country skiing and skating. Both of these can be done within a 5-10 minute walk from my place. I have also planned snowshoeing with a friend. I want to continue using my stepper. It’s a great back up when the temperature drops too low outside. Sometimes I get up and head straight to the stepper to get my workout in before breakfast. I plan to continue with my zumba and yoga teaching. I lead a Quebec City fitness community online and the class is connected to that.

I keep enjoying my regalar yoga lessons with Boho Beautiful. I just adore her style. I will also get something new and exciting this year – a ballet barre and a mirror. I can’t wait to reignite the ballerina spark in me. Pointe shoes here I come! I danced ballet from the age of nine thru 22. I got a ballet teacher’s training. It has always remained my love.

My third goal is finding growth and peace within. I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic attacks recently. I’m not enchanted to tell you about them here, yet I’ve never believed in hiding things. Mental challenges aren’t people’s choice, nor do they mean that someone is weird or antisocial. I’m a very bubbly, life-loving person when you meet me. I have a big heart and I feel life strongly. I care. I really want to listen to others. I want to be that one person who brings you a ray of sunshine when you most need it. I’m in the process of learning to deal with anxiety when it takes over me. I need to gather positive evidence on the moments when I acted calmly and enjoyed life without fear. I’m rebuilding my internal me. I’m using two books to accompany me on this journey. I plan to share them later with you.

What about your goals? I’d love to hear from you. Or any other subjects that you’d enjoy reading?

Dallas Big

Luckily we were able to visit Dallas yesterday because today both Sebastien and I are sick and confined into staying in bed at our Airbnb. Obviously, this is a tough moment on this trip.

Dallas is quite visitor friendly. A lot of the sites turn around the shooting of President Kennedy.

Here you see the landmark, the Dallas Tower.

Cute Christmas decorations were visible all thru the city. We strolled in the freezing city, after which we warmed up at a Starbucks at one of the classy tower buildings.

The Dealey Plaza close to where John F. Kennedy was shot at the end of his presidential parade. The spot is still marked with an X on the ground.

I found lots of books on Jackie Kennedy and other first ladies’ style in the Kennedy shooting The Sixth Floor Museum bookstore.  My cropped, fur lined gloves weren’t a bad idea in the freezing cold Dallas December weather.

The Giant Eyeball is an interesting sculpture in the heart of Dallas.

Now we are at our Airbnb hoping to get better really soon. It has been a fun trip yet shadowed by me being sick almost all the way. I have tried to be courageous about it. I have tried to accept things as they come. I have tried to learn a useful lesson on patience and trust. Now I can only trust the medicine to clear up my ears and sinuses enough to be allowed to fly back home on Saturday.