My poems 'Hare Moon' and 'The Postscript' have been published in issue 89 of Obsessed with Pipework. Thanks so much to the Charles and Katerina for making such a lovely issue and for taking the time to ship it to my far corner of Europe. My kids were excited to see my name in the issue and hear me read one of the poems out, they don't usually get to see my writing. Though my son said it didn't rhyme, so I'll need to spend some time working on his poetry knowledge.
I've had a couple of chances to teach creative writing to kids here in Finland as part of my substituting. I recently had to whip up a quick lesson when a teacher accidentally made a mistake in her lesson plans and asked me to teach the same lesson I had taught her class the week before. I gave them three vague prompts about aliens, sports, holidays and asked them to focus on 'to be verbs' which our lesson was covering. Some students wrote their one page dutifully, but showed very little excitement because it was just another assignment, but the wee group of boys who had been keeping me on my toes all week took a while getting into it. I forgot how much I enjoy watching kids enjoy writing.
I could see it, the fire behind their eyes as ideas began to grow, as words filled page after page. They didn't want to go out to break, they wanted to continue writing after they finished their required work in the next lesson. One asked if I could publish their work. If only. That's why I used to teach creative writing, to see that excitement. Even my teaching assistant was surprised that these particular kids, who struggled with school, who didn't read according to her, were able to find the imagination to come up with stories that they wanted to write and share. It can be a challenge to find a way to kick start their interest, but there's usually a way if you can take the time to work with them. I hope it get to use my skills more during the rest of this year.
I found out I can't do the course that would allow me to get a teaching certificate here. I don't have enough credits in Linguistics. So that has whittled my course choices down to the SEN course and the Vocational Teachers certificate which is only good for high school and above. I've applied for both, though the SEN course is being held up as we wait for an approval letter from my main school. I don't know if I can do both time-wise and continue subbing, but I can try. I'll look into a linguistic course too, maybe.
This sort of teaching wasn't my goal years ago, I loved being a Creative Writing teacher and editor, but that's just not possible here. I'm having to adapt to the country and language I live in and to my current abilities and training. Maybe if I can get this Vocational Teacher degree, I can teach some adult classes in Creative Writing. But in the end, with four kids and the need to get myself independent, I need to look at more stable careers. With more and more graduates in Creative Writing, getting permanent teaching positions without a degree in Creative Writing is becoming harder and harder. (Something to consider if you're looking at taking a course.) So becoming a primary school teacher or something similar has to be seriously considered.
I'm sitting here on another wild, rainy weekend, contemplating what to do next. I've been editing all week, first for paid work and also my own poems. I'm waiting on decisions on the two courses I've applied to and booking classes as a sub. I'm looking at jobs here in Finland and in the UK, though recent immigration laws will make it pretty impossible for me to move back there. I want to write new poems, but my brain has seized up. I'm trying not to worry about the uncertainty of my life because next week will be all new. I want to embrace that potential.