The reason I don’t update often is because my life is currently as follows: ‘teach, prepare to teach, get some sleep, teach…’ then at the weekend ‘get up and distribute breakfasts, prepare to teach, get some sleep.’
At the risk of sounding whiny, should this not be enough? It takes up the whole day, I need a short nap when I get home so I can continue without falling asleep later, and I’ve had little downtime since I started a month ago.
Turns out, it isn’t.
Inside the school
Admittedly, between students keep complaining and having their groups changed – especially this past week – there are lessons that I know weren’t that great. Unfortunately, the lesson the academic director chose to sit in on was one of the worse ones – while constructive criticism is ‘good’, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to hear.
As if his criticism wasn’t bad enough (at least he offered suggestions on how to improve), today I find out that students have been leaving and giving “very negative feedback” to the woman in charge of organizing their holiday. Bad enough to hear in itself, but coming after they seemed fine in the lessons, gave mostly good feedback at the end, and only being told ‘very negative’ doesn’t exactly help me do much about it. I’m new to this! Details would help!
Faults on all sides with this one. Mine for noticing a problem – they hadn’t been given the activities programme we created for them – and not doing anything about it.
The woman in charge’s for not being able to make up her mind, and for being unrealistic. First they’re young enough they need babysitting, then they’ve got permission to be on their own, then they need babysitting… she seems to have decided what she wants is a babysitter from the minute classes finish to their 11pm curfew.
Which is supposedly me. I don’t mind teaching and then escorting them on any afternoon activities, but all day? When exactly am I supposed to try and improve my teaching?
All of us are to blame for being a little unorganised. A new teacher had to be brought in for this bigger group – after they quite rightly complained about adults being mixed with kids (same level, but I can see why too much age difference is weird).
The activities programme was never given to them, for reasons unknown.
Their welcome party didn’t happen, and was planned for their second night rather than their first to start with.
I admittedly agreed to being a babysitter, thinking it was a couple of evening activities; if that wasn’t the case, then someone should have been found to be with them 24/7. The woman said I don’t have the experience or desire to the be the babysitter… she might not be entirely wrong, but even if I had the desire I could never do both.
One week to try and pull it together, or at least improve. One week with some new students, as per usual.
We need to start taking a register, which apparently should have been happening (never heard anything about it), we need to give them the programme and find out who wants to do what and when (and figure out who goes with who and how exactly one minder splits themselves between all the different groups).
I need to take advantage of now knowing my group, number-wise and schedule-wise. Learn how to fill in all the time I have now (110 minutes, then 55 minutes, then 60 minutes all with one group instead of the 120 and 120 it was with two), how to keep everyone busy and interested when I have a group of teenagers and a group of kids in the same room, and how to improve so I keep the director happy when he chooses to come back. Oh, and figure out how to keep little kids under control and stop letting the mother take over (hello new complaint.)
It’s been a month. I’m not sure if I’ve improved at all in that month, but apparently (as I’ve just found out on Thursday and today) I’m not doing it right and students aren’t happy.
Fair enough. I’m new to this. I’m under no delusions that I’m brilliant at it. But perhaps if I’d known – and been watched – earlier, then it wouldn’t have stayed bad for this long.
An email from the woman in charge claims that it isn’t the first time she’s called for my removal, and that she’s found another teacher she wants to send here. I need to get it together before I find myself out of a job; the boss might continue to refuse to accept this new teacher, but that doesn’t mean I’m safe. And I shouldn’t rely on luck to be safe.
And here I thought the endless cycle of teaching and planning was stressful. Now I need to do it better.