What’s It Like To Be an Introverted Teacher

After our professional development training last Wednesday, one local teacher (Indonesian) asked me why I don’t hang out with my Filipino colleagues. Told her the truth: “I don’t want to, it’s draining sometimes.” It’s not exclusive to Filipinos by the way. I regularly turned down party invites back in Thailand, because, well. I like spending time with my boy and clean the house (I kid you not).

It’s not their fault, nor mine. It’s just I do get drained when I hang out with people, especially those who don’t get it. Sometimes it can even be like “go away”. I’m an introvert and possibly the most boring woman you’ll ever know.

Don’t get me wrong, I love people. I am not shy too. I can razzle dazzle people in presentations. I can host a party. I can party! I hold an interesting, long conversation. My colleagues think I’m funny and bubbly. Hell, I am a teacher, which gives me an opportunity to be in front of the crowd for seven solid hours everyday. However, I have to say, it can tiring. I don’t hang around after school most of the time, by home time, I pack my bag and leave the room to head home because nothing beats the freedom of being able to lounge around in your undies while lying on the couch, eating chocolate coated digestives. Do yoga. Meditate. Work out.

What’s the difference between introversion and shyness? According to Susan Cain, “Introversion is really about having a preference for lower stimulation environments. So it’s just a preference for quiet, for less noise, for less action. Whereas extroverts really crave more stimulation in order to feel at their best. Many people believe that introversion is about being antisocial, and that’s really a misperception. Because actually it’s just that introverts are differently social. So they would prefer to have a glass of wine with a close friend as opposed to going to a loud party full of strangers. Now, shyness, on the other hand, is about a fear of negative social judgment. So you can be introverted without having that particular fear at all, and you can be shy but also be an extrovert”

My brother and I talked recently and he was moaning about how people get to waste his time by “doing them a favor by saying yes when they ask you to hang out with them and end up sacrificing some beliefs or protocol when it comes to social situations” or basically saying “I don’t like what you’re doing, I’ll just go home now to surf the net”. He claims people think that going out with friends and family is a great fun thing but no, not for him (for us). We’d rather be at home with our books, internet and laptop.

I am grateful that my boyfriend is the same. We get each other (I think we are meant to be together because of this!) and we have the same needs. I don’t mind when the house gets quiet too as we need the peace, some alone time, but because a strange twist of fate called love, my alone time has to be punctuated with his presence, or at least, his voice filling up the room when we call each other. He is the extension of myself, my thoughts – he is the icing on the cake of my alone time.

BONUS!

Quiet Quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert?
Excerpted from: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

To find out where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, answer each question True or False, choosing the one that applies to you more often than not.

1. ______ I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities.

2. ______ I often prefer to express myself in writing.

3. ______ I enjoy solitude.

4. ______ I seem to care about wealth, fame, and status less than my peers.

5. ______ I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me.

6. ______ People tell me that I’m a good listener.

7. ______ I’m not a big risk-taker.

8. ______ I enjoy work that allows me to “dive in” with few interruptions.

9. ______ I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members.

10. ______ People describe me as “soft-spoken” or “mellow.”

11. ______ I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it’s finished.

12. ______ I dislike conflict.

13. ______ I do my best work on my own.

14. ______I tend to think before I speak.

15.______ I feel drained after being out and about, even if I’ve enjoyed myself.

16. ______I often let calls go through to voice mail.

17. ______If you had to choose, I’d prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do to one with too many things scheduled.

18. ______ I don’t enjoy multitasking.

19. ______ I can concentrate easily

20. ______ In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars.

The more often you answered True, the more introverted you are. This is an informal quiz, not a scientifically validated personality test. The questions were formulated based on characteristics of introversion often accepted by contemporary researchers.

From Quiet by Susan Cain. Copyright 2012 by Susan Cain.

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Temp Work: Pros and Cons

Article originally appeared in: Cassidy Education by Ashley Andrews

This article nails it. I started off as a temp worker for Brent International School in Subic when I was a fresh grad (or shall we say, fresh out of med school), and that’s the time I decided when I can actually work as a teacher. That environment was enabling and nice that I actually fell in love with teaching. However, getting a job in that workplace is tough because it takes care of its employees very well that the teachers don’t want to leave. I knew I wanted to be in, and so I worked as a temp as it provided me one step inside the house! Obviously that door led me to other places but I know for sure that if it had not be for temping, I know I won’t be in this place now!

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So, you have just finished your university degree!  You have celebrated with friends and family, it is only now you are realising you’ve spent the last seventeen years or more in a formal educational setting.  Now, you are given the most daunting task in your young life – getting your first job!

Many feel the pressure within a few hours of graduating. I know I did, so I went ahead and interviewed for a few companies, made use of the career centre on campus, but all my efforts were essentially fruitless in my search for the ‘dream job’ — one that would satisfy my passions and set me on the right path.

After several applications and interviews I finally found a job as a temporary employee. One year later, it turned out to be a great way to gain an insight on work environments and it allowed me the time needed to reevaluate career goals. I look back on those times with fondness and no regrets.

In case you find yourself in a similar situation, we at Cassidy Education have put together a list of some of the advantages and disadvantages in taking temporary work.

Advantages

Gain Experience

Temping is a great opportunity to see experience different company cultures and discover what you prefer as an employee. It may be that you work best in a fast-paced environment, hate sitting at a desk or like working with children.Temping is a fantastic way to discover the things you are good at and what you really enjoy doing. You are often exposed to career fields you might otherwise never have known, allowing you to make more informed career choices going forward.

Exposure

Temping can help you gain visibility in a crowded and uncertain job market. Plus, if you are just entering the job market, a temporary job could be one of the best ways to get your foot in the door to a permanent position.

As a temp worker, you’ll be represented and will benefit from our vast contact list and our inside knowledge on who’s hiring and what they’re really looking for.

Permanent Employment Potential

If a permanent role is what you ultimately want, the best thing you can do is be a pleasure to work with.  Once you’re on the job as a temp, the employer gets a chance to see you shine. Don’t be surprised if what started out as a week’s assignment turns into a permanent job offer. When that time comes, you’ll know if this is a company that you want to stay with long-term. You don’t have to accept the offer but if you do, be sure to let your recruitment consultant/agency know.

Take Advantage of the Flexibility

Many temp jobs will be 40 hours a week until your assignment is over, when the assignment ends you have the flexibility and can take some time-off if you want. You can also use this flexibility to continue searching for jobs that fall more in line with your career desires, while building on your experiences, skill sets and of course your all important CV.

Make sure to maintain some contact with your consultant and take the occasional placement to ensure they will want to continue working with and representing you.

Be Qualified

Make sure your job knowledge and technical skills are current and up to date. Now that you are entering the job market, agencies and employers are looking for people with first-rate skills.  You must stay sharp to find employment, including temping, make your best efforts at all times.

Seek ways to increase your knowledge and become a ‘mini-expert’ in your field you’ll want to present yourself as uniquely well-informed. Obtain certifications when available.

A combination of classwork and on-the-job experience is the ideal way to prepare yourself for a new line of work. If you can prove that you have some basic skills, it may be that we place you in jobs where you can work under supervision and further enhance your skill set.

Disadvantages

There’s always a downside:

  • You may feel isolated
  • There is a lack of certainty about income
  • You may not have health insurance, a pension plan, or paid vacations
  • There aren’t many disadvantages to temping – but if you like the security of a regular job and being around a consistent circle of peers, you may find temping unfulfilling.
  • Although temping can be great for building skills and knowledge, there is a  high turnover rate.
  • Full-time employment is NOT a guarantee.

In the end, being a temp worker has both advantages and disadvantages. Soak it all up and we hope this helps you make a decision when you are faced with the opportunity to apply for, accept, or deny a temporary position. Good luck and make the most out of temping and all the advantages it offers!

PGCE Do’s and Don’ts

This article originally appeared on Cassidy Education Blog

Hey guys, I am back. Sorry I missed out on you, but I have gone to the Philippines to fix some banking papers I need for summer as I cannot open a bank account here. It was a strange sensation going back home but I’ll explain it in another post. It got too busy and my mother got attacked by a dog :-/

As i am back and it’s school day tomorrow, let’s go back to the academe. Cassidy Education did another fantastic post and I bookmarked it for future speeches and as a daily pick-me-up when work gets too boring or difficult. PGCE is your ticket to becoming a teacher under UK law. It’s not easy but many people do it! Here are some pointers for you to consider when undertaking such a role.

PGCE: Cassidy Education Do’s and Don’ts!

So, you have decided to complete your PGCE, first thing you need to consider – it won’t be easy.  In fact it is a hard and intensive course, especially when you consider the academic requirements alongside working on the job, it can be quite a daunting prospect. Of course, it is likely to be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. You will experience newfound skills firsthand, whilst making life-long friends as well as finding out your new passion for work – in a job you actually love doing.

How you tackle the PGCE year is ultimately your choice but we’ve laid down some of our recommendations – here are our do’s and don’ts:

Teaching Practice:

As the heading suggests, the PGCE placement is for you to ‘practice’ your ability as a teacher.  You are not expected to be the ‘finished article’ and perfect at everything, no one expects that. What they will expect is for you to be:

  • responsive to constructive criticism
  • well prepared
  • a hard worker
  • improving
  • a team member
  • able to learn from mistakes

Understand that you will improve and gain confidence quickly, make sure you give yourself the time you need to learn and practice your craft. Remember, this is your chance to guage yourself as a teacher and how you want to progress.

Top tips: Observe your peers, inside and beyond your subject. Get involved in the after school activities, leave your comfort zone from time to time – you’ll be surprised what you may learn.

Academics:

Even if you found your university degree a breeze, be assured you will find your PGCE assignments demanding. This will be more so for graduates from an engineering / technical background, as they may be less used to writing reports or long, drawn-out essays.  If this is you do not worry, help is at hand!  Universities usually have great support for helping with reading and writing skills – make sure you use it!

The Standards:

These are the Teachers’ Standards for use in schools in England since September 2012. The standards define the minimum level of practice expected of trainees and teachers from the point of being awarded qualified teacher status (QTS).

The Teachers’ Standards are used to assess all trainees working towards QTS, and all those completing their statutory induction period.

We are confident the last thing you want to do is spend your weekends digging through your work trying to catalogue everything for a check on Monday morning. You will be well advised to collate your work for each of the sections as you progress through the year. Your mentor will check on your work from time to time, and you will want to demonstrate a well-organised and presentable system. We recommend that you file your work weekly; this will surely save you many lost weekends.

Professionalism:

It can take time to adjust to an expectation of ‘professionalism’ especially if you are fresh out of university. You will have to quickly become accustomed to it however, as students, teachers and parents will all expect you to be professional in everything you do, and it’s essential for a successful and rewarding PGCE year.

You will demonstrate your professionalism through your knowledge and understanding of your subject(s), the learning process, your values and the development of you and your students.

Top tip: If in doubt, ask your peers, tutors and mentors for guidance, they will only be too happy to help.

Life Study Balance:

Make sure you find a balance between your PGCE and other things you enjoy doing, don’t give up your life; you’ll gain a lot more from the course that way!

Remember to:

  • find time for family and friends.
  • invest in lots of stationery (especially lever-arch files)
  • manage your time and stay organised
  • be creative, patient and flexible

YouTube Kids App

I use technology in the classroom a lot. It makes my work easier and makes my class engaging, especially to little children who are generally visual in nature. May it be a projector or whiteboard, I need a screen and internet to make sure I deliver my learning objectives well. Also, it’s fun.

There is nothing worse than using YouTube in class only to be cut by an advert from L’Oreal or Krung Sri Bank. Like most teachers, I use YouTube a lot to teach, especially with my 2-3 year olds before when we used to sing a lot! Having adverts, trolls (on the comments – but I’m lucky my kids can’t read yet) and suggestions are some pitfalls that you can have as a teacher when using YouTube.

There’s great news though! YouTube has a new app called YouTubeKids. This is useful for parents and teachers alike as it will sift through inappropriate comments, and will only show posts that are child-friendly. This is a big step for YouTube, and I hope Google will develop a YouTube app that is geared toward teaching. The app with its kid-friendly design will work on tablets and smartphones and it’s free. It also has a built-in parent timer so that you can control how much your child gets to watch online.

Why Teach Abroad?

Teaching, they say, is a noble profession.

I say teaching is like any other profession: it requires focus, professionalism, sacrifice and sense of humor. Where the noble part came from, I don’t know but for me that’s making the teaching profession look better than it should.

But I know I can say this of teaching though, that it’s not stagnant. Every day is a different day, it’s very social as you get to talk to people (little people), it’s creative because you can twist a lesson to suit your teaching style (not fully creative though as you have parameters to work on, thanks to the curriculum), and you get to be loved by children – priceless! Then of course, travel.

Before I started teaching, I thought the biggest perk was the holidays. I was wrong. Teaching proved to be quite stressful that you actually need to have holidays – like the children need holidays. It’s not a perk – it’s a must. But the other reasons are totally valid, it feels like you’re in the service sector but it’s more personal as you get to develop minds and people.

I grew up in an international setting and I knew I wanted to travel the world. I just didn’t know how. I tried to be a doctor because my psychiatrist-uncle travels around the world working for the United Nations, and it’s always an all expenses paid trip. I loved looking at this display cupboard full of turtle sculptures from Indonesia, glasses from Czech Republic, paintings from Japan – I want that.

So I went to medical school armed with a very different motivation compared to my classmates’ and of course, I flunked. Then I tried teaching in an international school. From medical school and the government office full of locals and the usual Filipino bureacracy, international school teaching for me was back to feeling at home. I can be weird and not judged because, hey, it’s cultural (I’m such a prick). I met various people there that honed my worldliness (hahaha). I get to learn about their culture and learned to be open and tolerant, and not to mention admire the diversity of it all!

My headteacher was from Honduras, the deputy principal was American, the English teacher was British, my Filipino friend there was an ASEAN tae kwon do athlete, the other one was brilliant SEN teacher/cougar and my best friend there was filthy rich and teaching was her hobby! It was colorful and fun. We were housed in a middle of a jungle and all we did after school was cook, go to the beach and play Nintendo wii.

In the next international I worked in, I met Ash. I grew from hanging out with friends to hanging out with my man, who happens to be of a different nationality from me! It is all about growth, and I’m lucky that I have someone I can share intimate details with and learn a different perspective while talking about it.

International schools put a premium on the diversity of cultures that there are always festivals to make the foreigners feel at home. You have to consider that these people left their comfort zone and that is one heck of a difficult thing to do, so you give them stuff to do and things to enjoy, and of course, more money.

I learned that everything changes when your title is an “expat”.

So that’s what I did. I moved countries.

It’s not the easiest thing to do because you just left your whole world but it’s a goddamn great experience to be treated really well (read: spoiled): We are always asked what we need, the owner of the schools treated us to different places (in Hatyai), we never got no for an answer whenever we make a request, may it be school supplies or travel itineraries. It’s so easy to get what you want because the company doesn’t want you unhappy because if you are, you might go home – and they spent a fortune on you! So they have to have a return of investment from you (which means the goodness you experience is fake lol).

However, to sum it all up, teaching internationally is a dream because I can develop my profession in strange and exciting places I wouldn’t thought I’d be in. In international schools, I work with excellent resources and having highly motivated kids make it easier to work. I also work with very compentent teachers because international schools have excellent standards. My adaptation and EQ skills are constantly tested. I know I am a more patient person now. And I can save more now, plus I have enjoy a different kind of respect from the locals, so that’s good. And of course I enjoy a lifestyle that enables me to dream and travel!

At the end of the day it is still a job, and because of the perks, you have to work hard to get to that level. But if you love what you’re doing, or at least you’re doing it for a purpose, you know you will do whatever it takes to be happy, and this is what it is.

Teachers and Teaching: Common Misconceptions

Oh to be a teacher. It’s both a bane and boon. There are people who tell me that they can’t teach because they can’t bear to be with children all the time and it’s too difficult to teach, yet there are also those who say teaching is the easiest job there is and is for backpackers who just want to finance their travels.

As a teacher, I can say that both are truths about the teaching profession and for teachers. But you can also say that for any job: it’s difficult, it’s for lazy people, that they’re only doing it for money, etc. I believe that teaching has more unfair misconceptions though.

Cassidy Education (aka my new favourite education website – useful for those of you looking for teaching jobs too) has enlisted the most common misconceptions about teachers, and I’m sharing it to all of you because it’s a great read, meaning it hits the right spots! Before I became I teacher, I have to admit I judged teachers too, but now that I’m doing it, I know teachers should be respected (like any profession) and this article sums it up pretty well. I swear I muttered “YEAH!”, “so true” while reading, because personally, I hate the “Teaching is easy” misconception. Try keeping your cool while you have 30 odd children either bored or asking for your attention to listen to a grammar lesson! Anyway, you will know what I’m talking about while reading this. Enjoy!

Teachers and Teaching: Common Misconceptions

by Ashley Andrews, originally appeared in the Cassidy Education Blog

Everyone seems to have an opinion on teachers and teaching, from what makes a good/bad teacher, how to teach, what to teach, why teach – the list is endless. Below we explore some of the most common misconceptions and why we believe they’re misconceptions.

Teachers can’t do, that’s why they teach

We hear the statement, “those who can’t do, teach?” all the time. Teachers do so much that it’s hard to believe this statement ever became common place.

Teachers need an in-depth knowledge of their subject and in order to engage their students daily, need to develop many skills, such as;

• adaptive classroom management methods
• have an approach that fosters students’ growth and progress
• provide personalised learning processes

As with all careers a certain set of competencies need to be developed and implemented daily to succeed.

It’s easy being a teacher

It’s easy to see why this is a common misconception. People often think teachers turn up for class at registration, then leave at 3pm and have the summer all to themselves. This is far from the truth.

In actuality, teachers have one of the most emotionally demanding jobs available, they are involved in the lives of their students every day. Teachers care and worry about their students well-being, academic attainment, family and home life, their friends and social lives, and their self confidence.

They invest in their students, dedicating a lot of their personal time honing their skills. The 8am- 3pm workday is fiction, and teachers regularly participate in whole-school activities like curriculum development, prepping lesson plans, marking, parent-teacher consultation and interaction, and after school activities.

Great teachers get great results

Parents and carers often believe teachers to be the only ones responsible for a students’ learning. Teachers are of course an integral part of this, but are definitely not the beginning and end.

Parents play a big role in the learning process, they need to be encouraging at home and show an interest. The biggest factor are the students themselves, if they are not prepared to engage in the subject matter, even if the teacher has delivered on their promise, the student still remains out of the learning process.

Teachers usually have a trick or two they’ll use to engage a disinterested student. A good teacher will attempt to make their lesson plans reflect the students’ interests, in an effort to connect them with the subject material. To further break down any barriers and to peak interest, a teacher should listen and allow students the time to share what is important to them. This element of classroom management becomes more important as an international school teacher, your students will often have very different backgrounds, cultures and experiences and will benefit greatly from a personalised approach to their learning process.

We hope the above helps to debunk a few of the myths and misconceptions about teachers and teaching and you enjoyed reading my blog.

ESL and Kindergarten: Do’s and Don’ts

When I started helping Teacher Bel in Raya School back in the Philippines, I was thrilled because I get to be a real teacher for 2-3 year olds even if it’s not a full time job. I was excited because it was new and challenging. Plus the children were cute and they give cuddles all the time!

Little did I know that kindergarten teaching would pave the way for my international career. In Thailand, my job was to teach 2-3 year olds the usual stuff: phonics, number recognition, letter recognition, etc. They did not have English as second language, in fact, they didn’t talk! This was a good-bad thing but I choose to consider the positive. I was teaching them English with the hope that they can use it practically in their toddler years. True enough, one of my kids with zero language when we started, got around to telling me, “Can I please have food?” and “Thank you” when the school ended for the year. I was so proud of him.

This article helped me in handling that class. I am now sharing it with you.

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Do’s & Don’ts For Teaching English-Language Learners

by Larry Ferlazzo, originally published in Edutopia

The number of English-Language Learners in the United States is growing rapidly, including many states that have not previously had large immigrant populations. As teachers try to respond to the needs of these students, here are a few basic best practices that might help. We have found that consistently using these practices makes our lessons more efficient and effective. We also feel it is important to include a few “worst” practices in the hope that they will not be repeated!

Modeling

Do model for students what they are expected to do or produce, especially for new skills or activities, by explaining and demonstrating the learning actions, sharing your thinking processes aloud, and showing good teacher and student work samples. Modeling promotes learning and motivation, as well as increasing student self-confidence — they will have a stronger belief that they can accomplish the learning task if they follow steps that were demonstrated.

Don’t just tell students what to do and expect them to do it.

Rate of Speech and Wait Time

Do speak slowly and clearly, and provide students with enough time to formulate their responses, whether in speaking or in writing. Remember, they are thinking and producing in two or more languages! After asking a question, wait for a few seconds before calling on someone to respond. This “wait time” provides all students with an opportunity to think and process, and especially gives ELLs a needed period to formulate a response.

Don’t speak too fast, and if a student tells you they didn’t understand what you said, never, ever repeat the same thing in a louder voice!

Use of Non-Linguistic Cues

Do use visuals, sketches, gestures, intonation, and other non-verbal cues to make both language and content more accessible to students. Teaching with visual representations of concepts can be hugely helpful to ELLs.

Don’t stand in front of the class and lecture, or rely on a textbook as your only “visual aid.”

Giving Instructions

Do give verbal and written instructions — this practice can help all learners, especially ELLs. In addition, it is far easier for a teacher to point to the board in response to the inevitable repeated question, “What are we supposed to do?”

Don’t act surprised if students are lost when you haven’t clearly written and explained step-by-step directions.

Check for Understanding

Do regularly check that students are understanding the lesson. After an explanation or lesson, a teacher could say, “Please put thumbs up, thumbs down, or sideways to let me know if this is clear, and it’s perfectly fine if you don’t understand or are unsure — I just need to know.” This last phrase is essential if you want students to respond honestly. Teachers can also have students quickly answer on a Post-It note that they place on their desks. The teacher can then quickly circulate to check responses.

When teachers regularly check for understanding in the classroom, students become increasingly aware of monitoring their own understanding, which serves as a model of good study skills. It also helps ensure that students are learning, thinking, understanding, comprehending, and processing at high levels.

Don’t simply ask, “Are there any questions?” This is not an effective way to gauge what all your students are thinking. Waiting until the end of class to see what people write in their learning log is not going to provide timely feedback. Also, don’t assume that students are understanding because they are smiling and nodding their heads — sometimes they are just being polite!

Encourage Development of Home Language

Do encourage students to continue building their literacy skills in their home language, also known as “L1.” Research has found that learning to read in the home language promotes reading achievement in the second language as “transfer” occurs. These “transfers” may include phonological awareness, comprehension skills, and background knowledge.

While the research on transfer of L1 skills to L2 cannot be denied, it doesn’t mean that we should not encourage the use of English in class and outside of the classroom.

Don’t “ban” students from using their native language in the classroom. Forbidding students from using their primary languages does not promote a positive learning environment where students feel safe to take risks and make mistakes. This practice can be harmful to the relationships between teachers and students, especially if teachers act more like language “police” than language “coaches.”

This is certainly not a complete guide — they are just a few of the most basic practices to keep in mind when teaching English-Language Learners (or, for that matter, probably any second language learner). What are more “do’s and don’ts” that you would add to the list?

Teacher Files: Morning Hacks

Monday tomorrow. The day I dread. I get to have an observation with the principal too. Get ready? I always feel ready! Ha! Ready like a student waiting for her defense panel.

I sometimes feel like I’m still a student. My morning routine hasn’t changed ever since I started school. Screw morning routine – my life has had a more or less similar routine ever since I since I was five! I think of it this way: Instead of getting grades as compensation for my hard work, I get wages now. Same same, but different.

Even the pattern of the routine is similar. My school when I was in Kindergarten/Elementary days is just 300 meters away. Guess who’s always late? My school now is a 15 minute brisk walk away or 20 minute lazy walk. It is a pleasant walk: tree-lined path, bike lanes, grass – I can’t complain. Naturally, because it’s beautifully close to my house, I wake up at 6:30 am to get to school by 7:15 am. Now I set my target to arrive in school 7:10 the latest so I must leave the house by 6:55. 25 minutes to prepare every morning. If you know me, you’d know how much of a slow poke I am. I remember my boyfriend being amazed at how fast I can prepare every morning when we were back in Thailand. To be honest, I don’t know how I do it.

I never skip breakfast, I prepare my lunch (until I realised this was expensive – time, attention, effort and money-wise – it just had to be stopped to manage my life better), I shower, I iron my uniform, I wash the dishes and prepare my school stuff. One time I had managed to squeeze in quality time with my boyfriend too (he’s in Europe now and quality time with each other is top priority), and I didn’t get late! Milagro, dios mio! How can I be like this all the time?

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Hassle free, healthy school lunch from my kitchen!

I employ hacks though: my breakfast is routine (which means I don’t have to waste time deciding on it) and can be done in 3 minutes which happens to be cereal + milk (like my kindergarten self). I have my coffee in school so I don’t have to wait for it to cool down to be “sippable” if I had it here at home. So that brings 1 minute dish washing as I only get to wash three dishes. The lunch I used to prepare were usually sandwiches, so that would take maximum 5 minutes to prepare. Sometimes, I just cook my lunch the night before. There’s a microwave oven in the staff room so I take advantage of that. Cold lunch? Into the bag you go. I shower for five minutes, but it’s not the relaxing kind, more of like the Haz Mat kind. I iron clothes really quickly too, 1:30 minutes – I actually researched Google on how to iron clothes most effectively for this, so that’s cool. I got to the GQ site which I should really link here. I kinda owe them my wages for not being late! Then I just grab my laptop and chargers, stuff it into my bag and go! Easy. Peasy.

What about you? What are your morning routine hacks before you go to work or school?