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  • Writer's pictureTony Frobisher


TEFL Teaching English as a Forgotten Language

(I was a teacher once...and I miss it)

I miss the sounds of walking to work

and talking to colleagues and

laughter in the staff room

smiles in the class room

greetings in English and 20 other languages too

meetings and training cycling home when it's raining

hi how are you did you have a good day

cup of tea and a biscuit on a plate

early to bed and do it all again tomorrow

But the sorrow is a reality

there's no more teaching

no more cups of tea at break

no more classes to take

no more pronunciation vocabulary and grammar

no more laughing together as we hammer

the rules home of each and every tense

trying to make sense of the

present perfect continuous

the gerund and infinitive

A definitive moment

a finish an end and no one pretends

it doesn't feel odd not to hear

that bell ring as the classes begin

and the students gulp

their final dregs of coffee

not Italian or Turkish Brazilian Colombian

unlike the students

willing to learn a yearning

to speak to communicate yet

An English language fate

the demise under Covid skies

where no one wants to self isolate

for 14 days on arrival to ensure the survival

of an industry in decline no

just find some time virus free

country-distanced to Skype and Zoom

for a lesser fee no need for a class room

or a school when the virtual rules

and there's no need to ring the bell anymore

when the class rooms are empty

behind every door


Forgive my lack of punctuation, but with Covid19, my life is sadly now unpunctuated by the routine and rhythm of work, of teaching English to amazing, funny, engaging students from around the world. From meeting and chatting and drinking tea with my friends and fellow teachers, admin staff, the school owners. The familiarity of arriving in the same building for 18 years. And enjoying your job. Taking pride in being part of something worthwhile, seeing the smiles of satisfaction as the students leave the classroom having learnt, improved, communicated, gained in confidence...made English.

A great place to have worked. Yes, the present perfect tense. Have worked. Started in the past (July 2002) and continued up to now (well, March 2020)...and may or may not continue in the future. But sad it won't.

So thank you all at Kingsway Worcester for all the good times. To every student I have met and taught. To fellow teachers, friends and colleagues, and there were and are many.

Thank you.

Sue Johns Rick Johns Zoe Anne Richard Ostick Heidi Shipton Ostick Catherine Short Caterina Magdelina Tim Silk Marc Bull Daniel Coll Bob South Emma Bennett Kathy Austin Sally Kendrick Annette Small Bob Whitelaw Ian Finney Debbie Taylor Fred Chevalier (for Margaret) Dani Amirah Mundy William Walker Jane Carley Mark Everitt Kris Chadwick Joo Lee Chantalle Louisa Lester

Apologies if I have forgotten anyone

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