I teach English at a language school in downtown Stuttgart. It's one of my jobs and I'll share more about the other one soon. This week, I turned in my notice at the language school. I'll continue on as a freelancer, but I'll be giving up the contract as of January 10, 2020. I'm staying on contract till I get my 20-year bonus in January!
I've worked almost three years past my official retirement age, first because I need the money and also because, as I said, I love my job. Giving up the contract was something that loomed on the horizon for a long time, and there was a weight off - if not literally - when the letter was signed, sealed and delivered. I got the confirmation from headquarters yesterday.
Of course, there are days when I don't love my job, and I have to pray that the Lord give me more love (shed abroad in my heart!) - especially for some of my difficult students. They are mostly unemployed German or European business people who are working on their English skills to make themselves more marketable in a difficult job market. So many of them find themselves in a very hard place in their lives.
My current group, however, has not been difficult. Four lovely folks from four different countries who get along with each other and work really hard. They finish their 6-week intensive course on Wednesday, but I had my last day with them on Friday because I'm off to Switzerland for an annual retreat. They surprised me with this goodbye gift yesterday:
I've never had an orchid of my own before. They've always made me a little nervous. Back in Florida, Mom hung hers in the trees in the backyard and then pretty much ignored them - and they flourished. I guess they do survive in heated German apartments, but it may need some coddling!
But the best part of the surprise was the little pink stress ball. You see, I have this thing where, if a student speaks German in class, I throw my board marker at them. It's done in fun, understand. No one is offended and no one is injured in the battle. This group had a particularly rough time remembering NOT to translate into German for each other (the 100% goal language is part of our school's teaching method), so the marker flew pretty often, if not daily. This pink smiley face guy is to take the place of the markers in my future groups. Sweet!
I love my job but sometimes need reminders of why. I'm thankful for this one. The timing was particularly on spot. Grateful.
The Fall 5% challenge starts today. I'm down a pound from last week and have 6 pounds to lose in 8 weeks. I'm grateful for the extra layer of accountability my team, the Firecrackers, provide. Let's do this!