nNEST: bush-league teachers? I don’t think so…

“…you don’t need to be a NEST to be successful. Your success as an English teacher depends on your willingness to succeed! Despite the discrimination, never give up!”

TEFL Equity Advocates

This is the second post in our Teacher success stories series. The first one was about Irma Horvath, who despite being a NNEST, landed a great job with the BC in Malaysia, and is now training other teachers. You can read it here.

This time we move to Italy, where Larissa set up her own flourishing teaching business.She’s a passionate blogger and you can find her blog here. So without much further ado, let’s hear how Larissa’s managed to succeed despite the odds.

Larissa: “When I was asked to write this post I felt immediately so excited at the prospect of telling my experience in the teaching language business which wasnt easy at all. Firstly, let me introduce myself.

Name: Larissa Albano.

Even though my name sounds Russian (my mother loved Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak), Im an Italian born and bred. Well, I…

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What Makes a Great (Native or Non-Native Speaking) English Teacher?

“But I know one thing: if I were Sakiko, I’d be pretty angry.”

EnglishCentral: The Official Blog


Chad is an American in his early twenties. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, but didn’t know what to do with his life after graduation. He got average grades in college, is reasonably smart, but lacks marketable skills. His choices after graduation are entry-level positions at a few local companies, but he doesn’t want to sit at a desk all day. Eventually, Chad hears about a friend who’s working as an English teacher in Japan. According to this friend, the salary is good, the women are beautiful, and the job is easy.

“Do you need teaching experience to get a job like that?” Chad asks his friend.

“No,” his friend replies. “You just need to be a native speaker of English.”

Chad is eventually hired in a similar school in Japan. He begins teaching classes. He is called “teacher.” He comes up with creative ideas for how to teach his…

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Moonlit Beach 2

Bob Cadman's Art

A large, original acrylic painting depicting a floating full moon over a beach as the tide comes in. Impressionistic in style this is the third ‘moonscape’ I have completed. The scene is depicted using strong colours: it is lightly textured.
Original artwork with signed Certificate of Authenticity
W 23.00″ x H 23.00″ D 1.00″
Media: acrylic
Surface: Deep edged box canvas
For more details and how to buy please visit http://www.artgallery.co.uk and search Robert Cadman.

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Follow the path of most resistance

21st Century Adventurer

Most people do not want too much adventure in their lives. Adventure means stepping out into the unknown and into the wild places of this world. It means abandoning the well-trodden, familiar, safe and conventional path in life. It means breaking out of your comfort zone and confronting your own fears, your own demons.

This article is for those people who do not conform to the herd mentality. The adventurers, the entrepreneurs, the mavericks, the wanderers, the vagabonds, the rebels and the dreamers. We are faced with the problem that going your own way in life is often a solitary road. Separating yourself from the majority of people who are sleepwalking their way through life is not easy. The path of least resistance is always there, and everyone will be constantly encouraging you to take it.


It is one thing to write about adventure when you are already on the…

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In the Matter of Death


Growing up, I have never really felt Death within the proximity of my family or close friends. My paternal grandmother died when I was nine, but I never got to know her intimately so the funeral was a mere chance for me to play with my cousins from distant lands. No one I loved so dearly and known for a long time had ever died, so the only grief I knew came from heartache, betrayal and failure.

I would often study with a clinical detachment the bereavement of my acquaintances. One who lost her grandfather mourned for weeks by posting his picture and anecdotes about him on Facebook. Others would appear pale and shaken, the gaping emotional wounds all too visible on their faces. It is not to say that I am belittling their sorrow. Rather, I simply cannot comprehend it because it has not yet happened to me.


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A few days ago, I had just finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

It was a good read and very inspiring. But it made me feel a tad (okay, a lot) guilty on how I’m living my life, on how I’m not fulfilling my Personal Legend.

I’m not even sure what my Personal Legend is, but it sure is not what I’m doing now. And frankly, I’m not happy. I’m not miserable either, but overall, I know I can do better.

About two months ago, my friends Darlyn & Donna finally quit their jobs. I was quite proud because in this day & age (and economy), it’s not that easy to let go of a source of income, especially in the Philippines.

Darlyn is now pursuing her dream of being a writer (you can read her current blog here) and Donna, while also teaching a couple of subjects, is studying to be a lawyer. Both have taken their first steps towards their Personal Legends.

While I am proud, I am also envious. Envious that I lack the courage to take the leap. I already know that what I do does not make me want to get up in the morning and wash my hair.

“Why don’t you just quit?” you may ask. And I can give you a list of excuses that will just make me sound like a whining little bitch brat. And I probably am.

The pay’s good. The job is secure. I’m good at it. It’s not torture. Etc…

Lame excuses aside, I’m merely afraid.

I’m afraid that what I want to do will not be enough to provide for my family and that I might fail. I found this inspiring post on 9gag with a quote from Terence McKenna and, like reading The Alchemist, it made me take another long hard look at my life.

Nature Loves Courage

I’ve always thought of myself as mature and responsible. My fear of failure contradicts that. If I do quit, where do I start? How do I start? How do I know how to get to my Personal Legend? I don’t even know what it is.

I need to find my Sweet Spot.



For now, I’m just going with the flow. Like I said, I’m not miserable. I’m… okay. I take pleasure in the fact that at least my two friends are doing what the love. My happiness for them overpowers my envy (Alhamdulilah). And if what I do provides for my family’s needs and keeps us together, then I guess it’s not that bad.

But I do know I can do better. I just need to dig a little deeper for that spark I once had. It’s still in me… I can feel it.


Letters to Donna: Tinay’s June 2014 Playlist

As promised, and a feeble attempt to revive my wordpress account, I present to you… my June playlist:


1. Skin – Boy

I remember you and Darlyn liked this when I played it during our outing in Nagarao.


2. Riverside – Agnes Obel

I heard this one from an episode in “Revenge.” Try to watch it, their clothes are sooooo pretty. Story’s good, too.


3. Every Night – Imagine Dragons

You know you’re up for a good song when you see IMAGINE DRAGONS as the artist.


4. My Fault – Imagine Dragons


5. Sun – Sleeping At Last

Just recently discovered this one searching for TFIOS soundtrack. I have not watched the movie yet and have no access to a cinema here in Jeddah, so SHUSH about the movie.


6. Stay With Me – Sam Smith

I have my friend Farhana to thank for this one. I just love this song so much.


7. Budapest – George Ezra


8. 500 Miles – The Proclaimers

What’s not to love?


9. Pulses – Karmin

They got George Takei to do the intro for their video, that’s how awesome Karmin are (Oh myyyyy). Nick Noonan is a treat for both the ears and the eyes. Too bad he’s already engaged to Amy, the other half of Karmin. Then again Amy is uber awesome, so I guess I’ll try to be happy for Nicky. I’m in love with them both T.T .


10. Try Me On – Karmin

Catchy. Very Catchy.


11. Tidal Wave –  Karmin

What? Another Karmin song?! Yes, I’m obsessed with their Pulses album.


12. Gasoline – Karmin

I know. Just listen.


13. Lucky – Kat Edmonson

Darlyn really liked this one. I hope you like it too.


14. I Feel Better – Gotye

Jeff’s entrance number at the Iloilo Dance Off 2014, I forgot the exact phrase you used.


15. Can’t Stop – OneRepublic


16. Come Home –  OneRepublic


17. Feel Again – OneRepublic



18. Wolves & Moons – Holly Arrowsmith

My lullaby.


19. Machild – Eels

Yours was “Your Ex-Lover is Dead.” This was mine.

Please watch Futurama episode “Game of Tones.” Manly tears will be shed. It’s where Khea and I discovered the song.


20. Little Bird, Little Bird – Elizabeth Mitchell

From another heart-wrenching episode of Futurama. WTF FUTURAMA, YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE A COMEDY! *ugly cry*


21. Up With The Birds – Colplay

This is the song I told you that makes me think of those tribute videos they play at funerals. Okay, I made myself sad.


22. Wicked Way – Ben Taylor

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for introducing me to this song. I wish they made a better music video though.


20. Sail – Awolnation

This ain’t their official music video, but I like this better.


21. Vox Populi – 30 Seconds To Mars


22. Hurricane – 30 Seconds To Mars


23. Kiss You – Ed Sheeran


24. All of the Stars –  Ed Sheeran

From TFIOS soundtrack. The feels.


25. Clarity – Zedd ft. Foxes


26. Once Upon A Dream – Lana Del Ray

Listen to it in the dark… with the windows open… and the wind a-blowin…


So far, those are the songs I’ll be listening to on repeat for this month of June. Maybe I’ll add new ones, hopefully from your soundtrack. Lookin forward to your post!