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The Ghost of Jemma Past

December 10, 2011

“During cold-weather months, underneath the bustle of the holidays, the Earth is preparing in the northern hemisphere for a long period of inner stillness before the rebirth of spring. The closing of the year elicits contemplation: What has transpired? Where are we headed? What is left undone?”

This quote was the introduction to an email I just received from This wasn’t a bit of spam, I’m actually signed up to receive newsletters from them everyday. This means that, alongside my (fairly newly found) TEFL blog reading addiction, I also do my best to read about all-things-yoga. Anyway… enough about my struggles with internet-time-management.

The last sentence of this quote has really got me thinking: What has transpired? Where am I headed? What is left undone?

Three incredibly useful, soul-searching questions. I feel that these questions could be used to help someone analyse almost anything. From a lesson, to an argument, to cleaning your kitchen. I’ve decided to take these questions one-by-one to help map out my professional (and perhaps personal) development past, present and future, meaning this and my following two blog posts are/will be pretty self-obsessed. Sorry.

So, to begin – What has transpired? 

I began the year pretty exhausted after completing my Delta at the end of 2010.

I joined a new yoga studio. This gave me back some much needed power and reignited my love for yoga.

I fretted about getting my Delta results.

I got my Delta results. I cried with absolute joy when I saw them. For the first time in my life, I had worked really bloody hard for something and it had paid off in droves. I was truly proud of myself. I honestly never thought I would do as well as I did.

I went on my first holiday in three years to Venice and South Tirol (the picture on my blog is me on said holiday just before I was almost killed by a snow plough).

Spring is a bit of a blur. I was waiting to start my training to become a Celta trainer. I spent a lot of time outside.

June arrived. I started my training. I was officially branded a TiT (Trainer in Training – Thanks for that Cambridge ESOL!)

The Summer was busy. Very, very busy. Teaching three lessons per day, plus observing either the input or the teaching practice on the Celta. I realised how much I loved this new world of teacher training. Yes, it’s really hard work, but it’s so incredibly rewarding. I was really happy to be taking this next step along my life’s pathway.

September arrived. I was qualified as a Celta tutor. No longer a TiT. Hooray!

I started this blog. I discovered the world of Twitter. I started to learn so much more about teaching, learning, training. I’ve met some wonderfully inspiring people online. I’ve read some incredibly enlightening blog posts. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog and I’ve been surprised that so many people seem to enjoy reading it. (Thank you!)

The final three months of the year have seen me getting to grips with the realities of being a Celta tutor. Phew – it’s tough. Long hours, stressful situations to deal with, working so closely with people during a very intense period of time. But, you know what? I LOVE it. Even when it all feels a bit too much and I just want to go to sleep, I still love it. I’m blessed to be able to work with two brilliant colleagues in the teacher training department who have both supported me, helped mould me into a better teacher, a better trainer and have definitely given me some good laughs along the way. You know who you are, and I truly thank you.

And so here I sit, watching the first proper snow of the year settle on the cars outside my kitchen window, content with what I have achieved, ready to look ahead to the new year and feeling excited about what adventures and challenges it will bring.


  Thank you to all of you who have been and are yet to be part of my journey.





17 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2011 10:24 am

    I honestly don’t envy you the life of a professional teacher trainer, but it’s great to read that you’ve gotten into something you really enjoy doing. I feel a reflective post of my own coming on. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • December 10, 2011 2:08 pm

      Thanks for the comment Adam! Yes, it’s hard work, but it’s the most rewarding job I’ve had. That’s what keeps me going on the tough days.

      Will look forward to your reflections too!


  2. December 10, 2011 10:38 am

    Awesome journeé 😉 Glad to have jumped onboard towards the end. Thanks for keeping us thinking and inspiring even a few of us to get back into yoga ! (btw did you know that yoga, yoke, join and union actually have the same Indo-European roots… lol )

    May 2012 be a prosperous one as well, Jemma !

    • December 10, 2011 2:11 pm

      Hi Brad!

      Thanks for reading! And am glad to be spreading the word of yoga alongside the whole teaching thing. Would love to become a yoga teacher one day too.

      I did know that about the word “yoga”. I think it suits the activity well. I certainly feel more at one (more unionised?!) with yoga in my life.

      Here’s to 2012!

  3. December 10, 2011 10:45 am

    So no longer a TiT then? I hope they don’t make them wear T-shirts or hats with that on.

    You’ve had a busy year, all the best for 2012. DELTA tutor????


    • December 10, 2011 2:18 pm

      Hi Phil,

      Thanks for the comment. I may not have the official title, but certainly feel like it sometimes… but that’s another story!

      I have been busy, and still have some way to go. That’ll be in the next post…coming soon to a computer screen near you. Delta tutor is definitely in there somewhere.

      But now is a time for relaxing and enjoying all this snow outside!

  4. December 10, 2011 10:50 am

    I love the end of year reflection period, with plans for the next one. Hope it’s a great one for you!

  5. December 10, 2011 11:54 am

    It’s always great to hear someone say they really enjoy what they’re doing! Tremendously pleased to have met you on this journey 🙂

  6. December 10, 2011 12:25 pm

    Your post reminded me of the beautiful theme song from Mahogany and the lines:

    Do you get what you’re hoping for?
    When you look behind you
    there’s no open door

    It sounds like you are looking back with pride and satisfaction! No open doors that you didn’t dare enter!

    Have a great new year!

    • December 10, 2011 2:24 pm

      Hi Naomi,

      Thanks for the comment! I certainly tried not to leave any open doors behind me. Time for a little breather now for the next few weeks. Holidays begin here!

      Have a great end of 2011!


  7. December 11, 2011 1:08 pm

    Sounds like a fruitful and busy year…What a wonderful year you’ve had! Let’s definitely exchange more stories regarding our journeys as CELTA teacher trainers. You are inspiring me to write a reflective post of 2011 too…but I’m always afraid of sounding kind self-centred when I’m doing reflection in public…Do you think I should just stop worrying and do it? Any tips?

  8. December 11, 2011 1:21 pm

    Hi Chia!

    As you can see, I’ve somehow managed to overcome my fear of being totally self-centred, yet quite how this happened I am not so sure! Perhaps just the fact that I have a blog means that I can write something like this and assume that people will read it? But then that would be mean that you can too. Hmm… useless advice there then. Perhaps the thing is to remember that you probably, like me, started a blog in order to collect your own thoughts, rather than promote yourself? Or perhaps not, but either way – write it (for yourself) and they will read (anyway).

    Right, that’s enough egocentricity for one Sunday. Your turn now…!


    (By the by – I NEVER in a million years thought I would EVER have a blog or use Twitter… but here I am, blogging and tweeting away like there’s no tomorrow…!)

  9. December 11, 2011 3:06 pm

    Hi Jem,

    I think it’s something I continue to struggle with living in Britain.
    You know the stereotype – In America, it’d be confidence, but in Britain, it’d be arrogance.

    In Singapore, I don’t think I’d ever have this fear, but I’ve put my foot in it more than a couple of times in interactions in the UK (and bloggged about it too) and still find it hard after 12 years to get that balance between being confident and frank without coming across self-centred or egotistical.
    You write beautifully and seem to manage this balance with such ease…
    Perhaps it’s cultural, and no matter how one tries to learn it, it never comes as easy as second nature… I do admire it though…


  10. December 11, 2011 8:51 pm

    Worth the wait!!! I think ‘reflection’ is the key word of 2011. What will 2012 bring?


  1. Ghost of Jemma Present & Future « Unplugged Reflections

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