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Light at the End of the English Teaching Tunnel

One more month left teaching English.  The company sent me a new lesson plan for one of their schools.  Even though the plan was for 6th graders, it seems to cover an awful lot of ground.  Unless the students have had some English before, I expect a lot of blank stares and not much retention.  I will try to follow it as much as possible, but if things start to go downhill and the Japanese teacher starts to panic, I will slip into my standard 6th grade routine.

The boss of the English company observed me teaching a couple of weeks ago which I worry was a bit of a bore.  I really do very little in the middle school classes.  If she wanted to see me doing anything more that playing parrot; I would have recommend coming to an elementary school where I actually have fun interacting with kids and making English learning fun.

I’ve told the company about a discipline problem with a couple of third-grade classes who are giving trouble to their teachers.  The lesson plans that the Japanese teachers have prepared for me are really light (if they’ve been prepared at all), but with a little quick thinking, they can be fleshed out into complete lessons.

That school has two teachers.  One, with whom I have only worked one day, had no lesson plan whatsoever. The other teacher will usually prepare something abstract, like presenting me with alphabet flashcards, and I have been building the day’s lessons and games off of that.  Basically, I have to put myself in the Elementary School mindset, and everything works well.  It just falls apart when dealing with the troublesome 3rd graders.

The problem is aggravated by the fact that the school was unable to hold on to the foreign English teachers like me because they would call in sick when assigned to that school.  This might explain why the teachers there are not accustomed to preparing lesson plans.  I think that by working together with these teachers over the next month (4 days, total), they will have a better idea of how to prepare for my replacement.

Speaking of which, the English company asked me for my final dates teaching with them.  I’ll know better after I talk with The Rocker in Korea, but my goal is to continue all the way to the last day of June as we initially agreed.  Strange, I started teaching English to keep paying the rent, but it’s really not as bad as I thought it might be.  But of course it helps that I see my real job as being what is printed on my business cards – the work that I’m doing for Taiwan

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