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View Full Version : Oh, Crap. Now I'm a Teacher?



melaniehoo
10-27-2007, 07:40 PM
A week or so ago my husband came home and announced I'd be giving private English lessons. Panic ensued, I posted here for advice, and by Monday morning I was ready.

No one showed up.

Last night my husband came home from class and informed me the director of his school handed him a lesson book and said I start teaching class on Monday. Come again? A few weeks ago he told me they were looking for an English teacher but I said I'm not ready to teach a roomful of students, so tell the director thanks anyway. Well, they never had that conversation.

Now I'm a teacher. *bangs head on desk*

At least they gave me a book and I have the weeked to prepare, but it seems strange that I didn't have an interview, I don't know what I'll be paid, I don't know what to wear, oh, and I don't have a work permit. Hahahahahahahaha. What can go wrong?

Side note - I'll be teaching the first-year class in a two-year school. My husband is in the second level, so I can already imagine them asking me to teach his class next. Payback is hell!!

WittyandorIronic
10-27-2007, 07:50 PM
Well, errrr...Congratulations? I think. lol.

Maryn
10-27-2007, 11:47 PM
I'm rarely at a loss for words.

This is not one of those times. They can't make you teach if you choose not to, of course, but it sounds like you're allowing yourself to be roped into it.

Okay, so you've got this book, and not one damned thing beyond it, including a contractual obligation. Use the book as a Bible, or a guideline, or a doorstop. It's entirely your call.

What to wear? Teacher clothes. Comfortable, mom-inspired professional will do until you see what others are wearing. No need to look especially attractive or like an executive professional. (Leave the high heels at home.)

I recommend you speak Spanish very little and speak in English in simple present tense whenever possible. Use props. Write on the board. Teach idiom and useful phrases. Play out scenes for making a purchase, ordering a meal, asking directions, finding a restroom, applying for a job, taking your child to a doctor, etc. You can also loosen up the class with creating dialogues for improbable scenes, like a clown showing up at church, or a famous musician coming to your door, then letting the students improvise.

C'mon, this could be lots of fun!'

Maryn, somewhat envious

jannawrites
10-27-2007, 11:54 PM
Ay carumba!

:scared:

melaniehoo
10-28-2007, 06:57 PM
I could tell them no, but since my husband is going to the same school I don't want to cause problems for him. And, I would like to teach English and what better way than to jump right in? He's taught me how to kick them out of the classroom if they say mean things in Spanish, ie- things I don't understand but can just tell are disrespectful. ;) We could also use the money and this could lead to more private lessons. I figure the worst that can happen is they fire me; best case a few kids learn something.

I went through the book yesterday and it's awful! Bad grammar, unrealistic excercises, etc, so I plan to use it only as a jumping off point. Here's an example of Possessive Pronouns:

this is my parrot and that cage is its.

Oy.

Susie
10-28-2007, 07:48 PM
You go, girl! You'll do g-r-e-a-t!

Maryn
10-28-2007, 08:26 PM
I went through the book yesterday and it's awful! Bad grammar, unrealistic excercises, etc, so I plan to use it only as a jumping off point. Here's an example of Possessive Pronouns:

this is my parrot and that cage is its.

Oy.Wow, a gender-free parrot! There's something you don't see every day.

Maryn, not gender-biased where birds are concerned

kikazaru
10-29-2007, 01:43 AM
I assume you are teaching adults? If so, not to worry, adults are there because they want to learn - unlike teaching kids who are there because their moms make them go. In that instance being provided with a book seems awfully inadequate when what you really need is a whip and a chair.

Kikazaru (to borrow from Maryn for a moment) happy, happy, happy that it's a weekend (and tomorrow is a PD day) and the only kids she has to deal with are her own.

kdnxdr
10-29-2007, 02:07 AM
How fun! Just be yourself and enjoy.

kid

melaniehoo
10-29-2007, 02:16 AM
Ugh. I'm feeling more ill as the day goes on. As timing is everything, I also just signed on for a freelancing project this week. I've spent the past four hours working on that and haven't even thought about the class. Other than to whine and moan, of course.

Voyager
10-29-2007, 02:24 AM
What my cousin learned in English classes in Mexico:

Grabadora=Graberator :Wha:
dedos de pie = foot fingers

If they piss you off, give them 5 pages of verbs to conjugate. They'll never try you again.

shakeysix
10-29-2007, 02:32 AM
you must have pissed someone off karmically speaking. the worst pupils make the best teachers you know. so first of all remember anything a teacher ever did that put you off. oh--and when you write on the board don't speak until you are facing the class. when i taught english to recent arrivals this was my most most common crit. -- s6 ps--this was my favorite all time job. had to quit to teach in public school full time after my husband died. you are going to hear some great stories too.

kalel32
10-29-2007, 03:14 AM
No work permit huh? Jail in Mexico is not a good thing.

Christine N.
10-29-2007, 03:24 AM
Good luck! :)
Just go watch "Stripes" and that'll tell you everything you need to know about teaching ESL. (a doo run run run , a doo run run)

Or "Good Morning Vietnam". :D

KTC
10-29-2007, 03:27 AM
Just teach them this phrase.

Bring me a coffee.

(And make sure they know what it means...because when I ask for a coffee I expect it to arrive post haste.)


Oh, and you're welcome.

melaniehoo
10-29-2007, 03:38 AM
You guys are making me feel a little better. My husband's going to help my figure out the first lesson plan while we watch the baseball game. In a bar. Maybe we can host an impromptu lesson there!

*bangs head on desk*

kalel32
10-29-2007, 04:01 AM
mucha cervesas por favor

Christine N.
10-29-2007, 04:09 AM
Mas tequila!

sassandgroove
10-29-2007, 04:22 AM
Good luck. :)

Maryn
10-29-2007, 04:30 AM
Lesson One.

"Two teams play in the baseball World Series. (Show logos of Sox and Rockies.) The Boston Red Sox have won many games. The Colorado Rockies are also a good team.

"David Ortiz plays baseball for the Red Sox. He was born in the Dominican Republic. Ortiz is a big man and a powerful batter. Also a powerful batter for the Red Sox is Manny Ramirez. He was born in the Dominican Republic, too.

"Two young players born in the United States are also very good. Dustin Pedroia is from California and played baseball at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Jacoby Ellersby is also good. He is part Navajo and is a very fast base runner."

You can go on and on, and because a lot of this is proper names, cities, teams, people will comprehend a bunch of it.

Maryn, who just missed the first pitch

Voyager
10-29-2007, 04:33 AM
Lesson One.

"Two teams play in the baseball World Series. (Show logos of Sox and Rockies.) The Boston Red Sox have won many games. The Colorado Rockies are also a good team.

"David Ortiz plays baseball for the Red Sox. He was born in the Dominican Republic. Ortiz is a big man and a powerful batter. Also a powerful batter for the Red Sox is Manny Ramirez. He was born in the Dominican Republic, too.

"Two young players born in the United States are also very good. Dustin Pedroia is from California and played baseball at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Jacoby Ellersby is also good. He is part Navajo and is a very fast base runner."

You can go on and on, and because a lot of this is proper names, cities, teams, people will comprehend a bunch of it.

Maryn, who just missed the first pitch

Moral of the story. 1. Defect to the Dominican Republic and become a famous and very well paid baseball pro. 2. Pay someone else to speak English for you.

kalel32
10-29-2007, 04:38 AM
Show the movie "Delta Farce" and tell them this is what happens in small villages when americans show up.

kalel32
10-29-2007, 04:45 AM
Or let them watch "Porkys" and tell them this is how school works in America.

shakeysix
10-29-2007, 04:54 AM
my brother-in-law was in a mexican jail one summer. he said one day they feed you and the next you get to take a dump. but do not sweat it m-hoo. i am sure that slipping someone a bill will get you your work papers.--s6

KTC
10-29-2007, 04:58 AM
Teach them French. I dare you. Or do something like hold up a book and say, "Toast. Toast." Hold up a chair and say, "Grass. Grass." Hold up a pencil and say, "Television."

Well, you get the idea.

Voyager
10-29-2007, 05:00 AM
Someone did that to a cousin of mine. Made him a tape of English phrases. Unfortunately he never got much use out of, "Bacon makes a wonderful marital aide."

kalel32
10-29-2007, 05:04 AM
Make them signs like voyagers. That will motivated them to learn english.

jannawrites
10-29-2007, 06:25 AM
Who knew, melanie, that you'd get soo many fantabulous suggestions? ;) The folks of AW won't let a girl down.

melaniehoo
10-29-2007, 07:43 PM
A big thank you to everyone for all the wonderful, and funny, suggestions. Guess what? Last night we tried a different bar to watch Game 4 and were chatting with the owner when his Canadien, English-teaching wife walked in. She's going to teach the class! Yay!

Whoever commented about my karma was right - I try to play fair so I only have good karma coming back and this was it! I am SO relieved!

KTC
10-29-2007, 07:55 PM
THis is not FAIR!

PS..It's Canadian, dingdong.

melaniehoo
10-29-2007, 07:59 PM
THis is not FAIR!

PS..It's Canadian, dingdong.

LOL. I spelled it correctly in a PM earlier. I think I was over-thinking it and possibly baiting you a bit. ;)

It's like someone flipped a switch in me, I'm in SUCH a good mood!

kalel32
10-29-2007, 08:00 PM
Good Karma.

KTC
10-29-2007, 09:14 PM
I pushed your button. I flicked no switch.

melaniehoo
10-29-2007, 09:18 PM
I pushed your button. I flicked no switch.

You don't know that. I've been hyper all morning so maybe you unintentionally hit the hyper button. But thanks, because I've been very productive.

kalel32
10-29-2007, 09:25 PM
Productive is good.