Interview with Mambiatka. Part II

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Ewa: In the previous part of the interview we learned about the reason for starting the blog, some more about the name and what inspires you. Today, another interesting question. Can you tell our readers some interesting story, an anecdote related to your work? 

Monika: So far, one of the funniest situation took place during the teaching practice in junior high school. I do not remember exactly what was the subject of a lesson, but suddenly one student asked me how it is in English 'brzeg' (edge) and 'koło' (circle). To be honest I was a little surprised because  we didn't need these words then. It turned out that the student wanted to translate the name of the town Kołobrzeg. I think I will never forget this situation.
The biggest surprise for me was a girl from the first class, who attended the optional classes. Before each lesson she complained, sometimes cried, saying she did not like English and did not want to attend the classes. I always managed to convince her somehow. During the last lesson, the girl started to cry and said she did not want the English to be finished and asked for my phone number. After that the whole group tried to convince me to tell them my phone number. They wanted to call me during the holidays so they wouldn't  miss me :)

Ewa: What do you think can be improved in the traditional model of school? What would it be and why? What do you think about the role of student's books in school?

Monika: I think that student's books are essential, for me a student's book is a base and support. I worked with groups that did not have a student's book, and I have to admit that even though I prepared a lot of resources myself, it was hard sometimes. Of course we shouldn't only use a student's book and our students shouldn't only sit the whole lesson and do exercises in their books. I think a teacher should diversify lesson as often as possible,  allow students to move, prepare an interesting project, just do everything to make the material understood and remembered for a long time. I'm perfectly aware that not every teacher has time to create their own additional resources for each lesson but we have access to so many different ideas online that it shouldn't be a problem. The core curriculum is not an obstacle - I work according to it, use the student's book and yet there is some variety on each lesson. In my opinion if a teacher is willing to do something more, students approach will change. Both me and you Ewa, or any other person knows very well that a lot depends on the attitude of the teacher. If there is a subject you do not like but the teacher works with passion and organizes activities in an interesting way, we can learn a lot and eventually even start to like the subject.

Ewa: Let's talk about future. How do you see your work in a few years? What would you like to do? Where to be? How to teach? What current Mambiatka would differ from that of the future?

Monika: My biggest dream is my own lingual kindergarten or kind of lingual children's club, where parents bring children so that they can spend a great time and at the same time learn English. It would be a place where I would talk to children only in English all the time. I do not plan to go abroad, although I considered it. Studying far from home I realized that my family is too important to leave them. I hope that in a few years the blog will still be there and I will be able to encourage more parents to work with children at home, to learn through games.

Ewa: Can you tell a little bit what is Mambiatka like outside of school? What is your passion (besides English, of course)? What you're interested in? What do you do during your free time? Is there a hobby you would like to try?

Monika: Although preparations for the lessons take a lot of time I always find some time for my passions. I love reading books, especially detective stories. I love music and I've been playing violin since junior high school. Playing violin is my biggest passion. I had the privilege to learn from Mr. Wojciech Czemplik, who for many years was a violinist in the well-know Polish band Stare Dobre Małżeństwo and now he is a member of the U Studni band. I go to concerts too and so far I have two favorites: Rammstein concert in Lodz, which made a huge impression on me and Iron Maiden, since I was there with my dad. I also like movies, especially niche. If possible I like spending my free time in  unconventional way, for example motor-glider and paraglider flight. Paragliding is an amazing experience - I recommend  it to everyone! In the near future I would like to jump with a parachute from a plane and learn to dive.

Ewa: The last important important issue. What advice can you give to someone who wants to teach English? 

Monika: First of all, do not give up. Working with children is demanding but also very grateful. There were many situations when I was really tired and I wanted to give up and stop preparing all the resources. However, I clenched my teeth and did my job, even though it was hard to reconcile the full-time studies and writing a thesis with working at school. The reaction of the children is priceless and worth all the sacrifices. I can not imagine my life without my work :)

Ewa: Thank you very much for the conversation! I am sure that you inspired other teachers who sought such an inspiration to work. I hope that with the beginning of the new school year, we will continue to observe your ideas and draw inspiration!

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