Teaching English at a Capuchin Monastery

Before I decided to move to Prague I was working as an accountant at a real estate investment management company in Chicago. It’s safe to say my decision was quite spontaneous and caught my friends and family a bit off guard. It had only been a few years since graduation but I was already tired of the office lifestyle and spending forty hours a week in front of a computer screen. I had been to Prague once before and loved the city, so I figured it was good a place as any to start this next chapter.  

Overall, teaching English has been a great experience, and the perfect stepping stone to move abroad. Even if it has been a bit more challenging than I initially anticipated. Although I have only been here a few months, one specific experience really stands out: 

As a part of my TEFL course I was required to teach one-on-one lessons with a student. My student was Andrej, a Capuchin Brother at a Franciscan Monastery in Prague. The individual lessons themselves were a unique experience. It was my first time teaching on my own, and it was also my first one-on-one lesson.  

But Andrej was a great student and I think we made some real progress. The monastery was absolutely beautiful with multiple chapels, a lovely garden, and a ping pong table for entertainment. Andrej beat me quite handily on the ping pong table, so maybe the English lesson was a bit tougher than I thought.  

Afterwards we went out to the garden, which has an amazing view of the city. The monks have their own apple orchard which they use to make a few hundred liters of cider each year. After finishing our lesson, as we walked through the trees, Andrej filled my back pack with about two dozens fresh apples and insisted I come back for more in a few days.  

Half of a year ago I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go, and maybe I still don’t. But nevertheless, teaching in Prague has turned out to be even more of an amazing adventure than I anticipated. My adventure is still in its infancy, and I’m not sure who or where I’ll be teaching next, but I can promise I won’t be sitting in front of a computer screen working in an office for a very long time. 

 

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