Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Being a new teacher and trying to do the RIGHT thing.

So....I've started teaching again which is absolutely wonderful. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and I'm much better at it than I was at fruit picking AND as I love people I am so happy to have that regular interaction and also the ability to share something that I know about - the English language. I've had a few days at the school covering and they were great - one day was less great but the rest of my cover days were superb - left me feeling amazing and for that I felt they were successful days. Yesterday was test day and again - successful day! The students did their preparation before the test and then did the test, marked the test and mission success! TODAY was for me an unsuccessful day as a teacher in my books and I came home feeling pretty bummed. SO many things that could go wrong in a classroom did and my reactions were not always as good as I would have liked them to be because I was trying soooooooooo hard to do a good job and follow the rules and I started teaching the lesson and not the learners. I failed today and I don't really like failing or feeling like I've failed. I don't think anyone does so it's not as if I have discovered a new emotion - but the overwhelmingness of the emotion caught me by surprise.

The day started alright - some error correction - some eliciting of vocabulary related to where people live - some ranking and then please open your books - and BAM everything went downhill from there. The moment you open the books some people really exploit the speaking exercises and enjoy the process - and then others say two words to one another and then complete all the rest of the exercises in the book because the quest to finish everything is more important that speaking and using the language and then my detailed plan on how I was going to transition on the next exercise is lost because 1/3 of the class have already done the exercise and are sitting there wanting to use their phone and all that I have to say is useless because alas the task is completed and thus why would they need to listen! ( I sound jaded but I'm purely speaking from my emotional point of view so excuse the slight irrationality of my thoughts). So then I was juggling some people who were firing though the exercises as exercises cause they've done it before...others learning it for the first time....others focusing on the talking and following instructions to a T. Then some expressed how BORING the subject was - others expressed how HARD the subject was and others just had their phone. THEN....one of my most diligent students started crying and then my most arrogant student became more arrogant and then I spent time trying to convince him that if he doesn't know something rather than saying yes I know it he should ask and I would do my best to assist him. Then I blew my fuze cause people were using their phones then I set a speaking task and they wanted to go outside and the half of the class that couldn't be bothered BEGGED me to let them go and do the speaking task outside. And I acquiesced and then they stayed out for 30 minutes (which was a relief cause I could pay attention to the other half that were in the class) and then they returned and it was obvious that they had done nothing out there but relax in the sun - which wasn't so bad but they LIED and told me they had been doing something but they hadn't been. Oh.....and then the class ended and I felt like a failure got home and CRIED like a baby!

Tomorrow is a new day and I'm sure it'll be better but for now wah wah wee wah is my feeling. I have over the period of writing this drank a glass of wine and have to admit I'm feeling better. I think when I taught at EF I was so used to the system of trying to move away from the book and teach the point then come back to the book and solidify what you have taught whereas now I'm trying to accomplish all the tasks in the book and also add extra stuff to jazz up the lesson. I'm also doing my best to teach all the points in the one session because I'm not the sole teacher of the group and don't yet feel the freedom to organise my week according to the whole picture but am focusing on the small blocks that need to be achieved in a day.

I still love teaching and I'm looking forward to going in tomorrow and consolidating what I feel was a mess.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Cleansing Rain

It's raining outside and has been intermittently doing so for the last 24 hours. The clouds dominate the sky, the shades of green on the trees are dampened, the floors are soggy and the air is fresh. I really like the atmosphere that rain brings with it and am particularly enjoying this release of water because we emptied the water tank and I was feeling awfully guilty about the long hot showers I've been enjoying this past month. I like knowing that the tank water is being replenished, the plants are being given some liquid loving and I feel a great sense of calm and relief.

I worked this morning in the pouring rain - I didn't want to use the raincoats provided because they make me hot and sweaty and less flexible when bending so I got REALLY wet. I started the day feeling a bit down - I thought it was just one of those days that one ought to just stay in bed and not offend the world with one's presence. It was a carry over from yesterday because I had my first day of relief teaching. I was SOOOO excited about getting to teach - I had spent two weeks looking forward to the day, I spent almost two hours putting together a riveting lesson, was super anxious the night before - woke up a few times thinking my alarm wouldn't go off at the right time, got to the school super early and had the classroom all set up and pumped with good vibrations. I was oozing positivity and begging for the acceptance of the group with my public charm turned onto a thousand. I had a good lesson (nothing spectacular but also I hope not boring) with some lovely students (6 different nationalities - Japan, Korea, France, Spain, Swiss, Saudi Arabia rep-representing) and then ...then... it ... was ... over! All the anticipation and built up feelings about FINALLY doing a day in the classroom and being a teacher and sharing time and space with students and then it ended and I felt like a deflated hot air balloon. I knew that the one day with the students was the end - I'd have to wait until the beginning of July to get the chance again.

I experienced an anti climax times one million and so I got home and like an empty zombie-ex-teacher just went with the empty flow of life that was presented. I ate, slept, woke, went to the farm, started picking and then...RAIN! Beautiful cleansing delicious rain came down and wet my clothes and wet my hat and wet my gloves and wet my hair and wet my skin and this amazing rain wet my already dampened mood and all of sudden I felt magnificent. I felt like the the rain had filled me up again, gave me a boost of energy and instead of a hot air balloon I became a well - full of glorious wet rain water. But it didn't stop there oh no! The clouds had a beautiful surprise in store for me.

I was bone chilled upon returning home and knowing that the tank was filling up I savoured my HOT warming shower, had a replenishing nap and woke up on the right side of the bed feeling like a million hot air balloons ready for action - a fleet ready for the journey to a new land filled with all the artisans, artists, farmers, nurses, doctor and teachers! And the rain continued to pitter patter outside and I got an email asking me to teach two days next week again!

A good day it has been thanks to the rain! The cleansing and generous rain.