Am not the kind of teacher who throws a grammar book in the face of a student and then goes over grammar exercises for a year or so. Like a drill sergeant. Teaching a student like a chef stuffs a turkey. No warmth, no getting to know the student, no attention for the personal interests and hobbies of the student, his or her background, etc.

An approach like that bores me, is ineffective – students don’t learn to talk like that -, is usually boring for the students as well, and in the best case one learns the language without having a real appreciation of the flair of the language. It’s a dry kind of knowledge, not a living knowledge.

So in one week’s time I have had to give attention to tough stories involving the consequences of a rape, marital problems, the challenge of coming out of the closet as a gay in Slovakia, intercultural relationships, financial problems, career challenges, work trouble, the backstabbing and phoniness that are central to the corporate world, adultery, family relationships gone sour, etc.

Do I mind? Hell no. I feel privileged that so many people wish to share their personal stories with me, almost always in a language that is not their mother tongue. I feel blessed that I can give them some solace just by listening to them.

I think my childhood dream was something like becoming a history professor at university or doctor or maybe a psychiatrist or something like that.

I will never become a doctor, but I do try to mix a lot of history into my languages lessons.

My dream is to have the perfect classroom at home. I have a room at home where I teach, but it’s still missing some helpful tools to make the learning experience more memorable.

It’s true that teaching found me and not the other way around.

It’s a calling.

It’s the closest thing to my ikigai so far.

In the picture you see my favorite part of Bratislava.

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If you’ve had some fun on our site, you could spread some joy of your own and support us. We are hell bent on improving the quality of this site. If you treat us to just one cup of coffee (3€) we will feel energized to raise the bar. Every donation will strictly be used to improve this website. So no, we won’t actually buy coffee. Thank you very much! PS Yes, this is a picture of Zuzi.

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