Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teaching English...or something like it?

This post was written on October 4th.

Amidst the slew of random/reflective blog posts, you might be wondering: What are you doing over there?!?

In the spirit of a more nuts-and-bolts update, here's the scoop: I've been teaching miscellaneous English classes for the past couple of weeks, usually no more than two periods a day, just to get a feel for the students and the classrooms. It's gone well. We've covered introducing one's self, played a few language games, and delved into some grammar basics. The girls have been respectful, attentive, and excited to have a new face at the front of the classroom. I also started teaching Zumba classes last week to the girls at my hostel, a total of four days per week. It has been VERY well-received--they love it! And, true to Zumba form, I always leave in better spirits than when I came.

Suffice it to say that the past couple of weeks have been easygoing, flexible, and fairly unstructured. Until today, that is. Finally, I got my weekly schedule. I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.

I am teaching...
Mondays- 8C, 7C, 8E, 7B (at Buchanan High School)
Tuesdays- 7A, 5D, 8B, 8D, 8A (at Buchanan High School)
Wednesdays- mornings at Pakkil Lower Primary, afternoons at Buchanan Lower Primary
Thursdays- 6 (Spanish), 5C, 5B, 5A (at Buchanan High School)
Fridays- mornings spent at CMS High School, afternoons at CMS Lower Primary

The numbers refer to grade level, and the letters denote separate classes, or sections, of that grade level. Each class averages around 35 students. The subject matter of all classes is English, with the exception of a 6th grade elective Spanish class.

That's a whole lots of classes and a whole lot of students at five different schools, up to five periods a day, out of seven periods. That's five different headmasters/headmistresses I have to get to know, not to mention the names of the members of five faculties.

You don't have to be a math whiz to know that's a lot of people. And a lot of teaching. Especially for someone with zero teaching experience.

How will I handle this, you ask? Prepare (lesson-plan wise) as much as possible. Maintain a positive attitude. Channel 'the little engine that could'..."I think I can, I think I can!"

Sink or swim. Hopefully swim.

Update: I'm swimming! It's going to be tough, but more manageable than I originally thought. So far so good :)


  1. Wow, who knew we would both be teaching English without experience. lol. My advice is to remember if i can do it, so can you!!! You at least majored in English, you have the upper hand.

  2. Oh,erik, how I love you and your comments! Roomie, you will be perfectly FINE! It may seem overwhelming, but just look at it as teaching everyday, which is, after all, what teachers do. I'm sure you'll fall into some rhymthm and that the girls you're teaching will all just be so excited to have you as a teacher. I know I'd be excited! :-) Everyone loves you, anyway. :-)

    And just think they wouldn't give this to you if they didn't think you were capable, and therefore, YOU ARE CAPABLE!!! Can't wait to read more on your teaching adventures!!! RERRR!!!

    (do you think you could slip in the word 'miau' for spanish class?) :-D ;-) lollll

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  4. Ooooh! You are teaching Spanish too?? I'm glad they are realizing your many talents! [Even though, speaking Spanish is more of a skill...or something like that...] All the Zumba sounds exciting! Plus, I know you and your super awesome people skills, and I bet everyone at all the schools already love and appreciate you [like all of us back in los estados uniodos do!] Can't wait to hear more about your adventures!

    <3 Erin

    ps. that's me in that previous comment, posted from the wrong profile :/