There is a well-known English expression that says ‘Time flies when you’re having fun’ and it’s certainly true that the past six months which I have spent here in Gaia and Teixeira Lopes School have flown by at phenomenal speed. I arrived in Gaia at the end of August, nervous about living in a different country, anxious about my relative lack of Portuguese, worried about teaching, apprehensive about the school to which I had been sent. I leave Gaia at the end of February with a wealth of experience and wonderful memories of Teixeira Lopes, the teachers and pupils. The welcome which I received amongst you was incredible – and every single person which I have come into contact with has shown the common perception of a warm-hearted and generous Portuguese people to be spot on.
It has been a real pleasure to work alongside both teachers and pupils alike, and I would like to particularly thank the head teacher, Filinto Lima, and my supervisor Adelaide Alves for their unswerving support, constant attention and willingness to host, support and see through various events as part of the Comenius Programme. However, it is not only the work of these two for which I am grateful, but of each and every teacher who has welcomed me into their home, who has welcomed me in the staff room, and who has allowed me the privilege of working alongside them, in their lessons and with their pupils. I have been touched by the welcome and acceptance that I have received – by the willingness of every single member of staff (including of course, non-teaching staff), to meet my needs, to find, fetch, contact, carry, bring, print, provide, send, ring, and arrange on my behalf (and always with a smile) and I am very grateful.
I leave Teixeira Lopes School with so many fond memories – of great people, of events which we had here in the school, of a wonderful trip to London and Oxford, of school visits, of fun lessons – but it would be remiss of me not to mention the pupils, with whom I have spent the majority of my time. It has, quite simply, been an absolute pleasure to work alongside pupils in their lessons, in support and conversation classes and in extra-curricular activities and I have loved every minute in the classroom. Teaching you all has been the thing which has made this experience for me, and it has been a privilege to be able to help you in your English studies and see you improve and progress, even in the short time that I’ve been here.
So, it is with great sadness that I leave you all at the end of this month to move to Spain. I will certainly miss many aspects of living and working here in Portugal and will always treasure those great memories which you have so generously given me. I hope you will all keep in touch with me, and I look forward to visiting you all in the future.
Take care & lots of love!