Monday, 9 February 2015

Working as a teacher

Next year, I will celebrate 10 years away the UK and the year after 10 years of teaching. But for now I will settle for 8 years.

I have worked for EF since coming to Indonesia and overall it has been simply a magical experience and I am not even being paid to write this. My role has always been teaching and whilst I have become a Director Studies/Principal/Academic Controller whatever, my role is one to teach and to improve teaching and therefore to improve the levels of English of those that come to my center which is in Puri Indah, West Jakarta..

Thinking back over the years I have done some pretty random things which seem to continue, therefore it is coming the normal.

Here are some of things I have found myself doing (in no more particular order)

1. Judging Fancy dress
2. Judging a Rap contest
3. Making Hamburgers in McDonalds
4. Teaching in a school where the students would play football at the back of the class and ignore me completely
5. Teach in Head offices of Banks through the City
6. Present my School in some of the number 1 companies in Indonesia
7. Tell and make a room full of adults sing the alphabet when challenged to how I would make their children learn English.
8. Hold a puppet show for 6 year olds who actually yawned and cheered when the puppets were thrown in the bin
9. Watching highly paid banking professionals pay tag around their office as they were bored.
10. Judge 5 year olds reading poetry
11. Teach in the number 1 Catholic school in the country
12. Teach in the best Islamic school in the country
13. Break up parents fighting
14. Stop the kids from fighting
15. Play a dead body in a murder mystery
16. Tell really scary stories to the students every halloween
17. Teach in another business where every morning I arrived I was given coffee and croissants to help me wake up
18. When I was teaching in the city, both the staff in the cafe in the basement and Wendys fast food staff learned what I like to order and would ask if I wanted my normal.
19. Presented teaching skills to University lectures
20. Sat and ate Crocodile Satay and snake soup with a class of business students
21. Had to deal with first aid emergencies resulting in taking various staff to hospital
22. Standing in Shopping malls handing out leaflets
23. Spending countless hours in the airport waiting for new teachers
24. Killing mice in the teachers house
25. Giving presentation lessons to children and as a result losing part of my hearing
26. Administering trial testing and lessons to help provide data for new courses
27. Provide Interviews for EF websites
28. Teaching high school teachers grammar and structure even though they have been teaching far longer than me
29. Read to children in a book store
30. Giving guided city tours and finding more random places to go

and so on,

Of course I also do my day job of teaching different classes and age groups and talking about Grammar and structures and singing and dancing and helping students to develop their skills as well I hope, the teachers that I work with improve theirs. And the teachers here are the best I have had the pleasure to work with and with they have all been here at least a year for the western ones and my Indonesian teachers range from 4 years to a week. Hats off to the those who have put up with me for that long, it shows how cultures are different. Mind they don't have to deal with me first thing so I guess that helps.

As for EF, it has changed so much since I have started working here. Gone have the crappy old Apple Macs (which are lying in a garage somewhere would be worth selling on Ebay!!) and the bad EF books and CD players. In have come, up to the date media loaded programs for students from 3 to what ever. Clearly I cant load the videos from one of courses which were made by Cartoon Network however if you click this link, it takes you to a place where you can watch one.

http://www.bascon-art.com/162484/4651783/gallery/high-flyers-animation-background-artist

We have interactive whiteboards, Apple Apps and all our books have been written in collaboration with Cambridge University. EF works with Harvard, Peking and Moscow University as well and I am sure many others. In Indonesia there are over 65 centers and it is growing. Does that make the teaching any easier? Well, not really but it makes it more fun and interactive and at the end of the day, the kids like it.

All the teachers still need to plan lessons and ensure that they use the materials provided and that the students are given the best chance learn English and practice it. All with a sense of fun and that is another reason I enjoy working here, the fun and energy that the place has. The amount of work and effort everyone is under pinned by the amount of noise the teachers make and laughter the teachers room generates makes for a perfect day.

A snippet of life at where I work. Always a challenge but a worthwhile and for any of my teachers reading this, yes that is called praise.

The teachers, oh and me, Christmas 2014 (courtesy of Liana)

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