Went back to work this morning teaching English to my two young new comers. Amazingly they were both on time for our two hour vocabulary and reading session. I told them I was shocked to see them on time. I really can’t handle this type of change. I am used to them wandering in around 9.10 or 9.15 with some lame story about traffic and trains and broken bikes. As usual we started with laughs and chatted briefly (since we had extra time) about what they did over the week-long break. Evidently they all moved into one house here in Menlo and are living together even though they aren’t related. Both of them remind me of the universality of teenager-ship. It doesn’t make any difference that English is not their first language, they act like teens. Sounds like I like my job which I do. Language Pacifica is a good place to work.
I was musing today about the difference between working in a language school and working at the Prep. I guess it comes down to motivation and a deep desire to learn any and everything American as compared to entitlement and the “have to be here” syndrome I encountered from nearly 40 years in the classroom. They both have advantages, but the work now has a strong purpose and a foreseeable/practical end game. There are definite pluses in both venues. Right now, I like what I am doing and as long as I can still think, I’ll probably do it.
I always had a difficulty with grammar. I told myself that it was too hard to learn. After the CELTA course I took in September/October, all that has changed. I really enjoy the grammar side of writing and enjoy trying to figure out the best and clearest way to teach it to my students. I especially love it when they point out my mistakes. They’re listening and understanding and when I talk too fast, they slow me down. I remember teaching English at a Jesuit secondary school in Dublin, Ireland. I was chattering away about something when a student put up his hand and said “Sir, could you slow down. We don’t understand your accent.” In my head I was saying “accent?? I don’t have an accent you do.” It is true that we were both speaking a type of English that the other had a hard time understanding. I guess things don’t change when one is speaking English to non-native speakers. It’s good to be called on it.
Oh yeah, so my resolutions for 2012? I don’t have many. Continue enjoying teaching English as a second language. Continue to tell people to stop watching FOX News 24/7 so they don’t become stupid. And to continue to tell folks to vote democratic and save the world. Oh yeah, one more, explain to people that Social Justice are not dirty words.
and so it goes…