Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I blinked and I missed it.

Autumn that is. According to todays news, today is the first official day of winter. This leaves me a bit confused as I'm not sure I've experienced autumn this year. We've had hot days and cold days and hotter days and colder days... but nothing that resembles the autumns I remember from the UK. Sad really.

Even more bewildering is the lack of autumn coloured leaves on trees. I don't even recall any of my students having gone running off to look at the autumn leaves. (Yes, spring everyone goes and stares at the cherry blossom; autumn they all go and stare at the, er, autumn leaves).

And I miss having piles of leaves to kick my way through. I think I may have said this last year as well. Here, if there's as much as two leaves on the ground for more than a day, you tend to see someone panicking and picking them up.

So, I guess this is it now: wintumn is here. I may have to hang up my flipflops for a bit.


This morning I woke up to the sound of my apartment being battered by the wind. Ten minutes later, when my balcony doors were open for me to hang out washing, and my front door was open for me to talk to my neighbour, there was a sudden gush that rushed through talking half the posters off my wall, pictures off my fridge and scattering sheets of paper everywhere. Luckily the house didn't take off though.


On another note: I'm SO bored. I'm really disliking teaching private students these days. Whilst I do have some very nice students and whilst I acknowledge my students are not here to entertain ME: I'm so bored by so many of them. This is, by the way, a popular complaint amongst teachers here.

For example, imagine having this conversation or a slight variation of it 30+ times a week:

Me: How are you?
Them: Fine, thank you.

Me: How was your week?
Them: The same as always.

Me: What did you do before the lesson?
Them: I cleaned my room.

Me: What are you doing this weekend?
Them: Nothing special.


Today, my first two lessons were okay: one student having a make-up lesson (boring), a low-level granny, who I love teaching as I see her improving and she's as nutty as a fruitcake. Next one cancelled, next one was two kids who both turned up late (sweet kids though), next one cancelled, next one didn't bother to turn up, next one came late and I'm starting to have real issues teaching him as he scares me: he's in his mid-20s and autistic. He normally shares lessons with his sister (and when she's there it's not so bad) but she is normally late or absent and I don't like having a student being snappy with me. I've told the school how he scares me, but I doubt anything will be done about it. Finally I had another private student who also came late.

Boring. Boring. Boring.


One of the tutors on my course, on Sunday, suggested my teaching style would be much better tuned to Europe and said I'd enjoy teaching in Spain or Italy. So the next blog would be:


What do you think?

On the subject of the course, it's now drawing to an end, thankfully. It's been stressful but I've got a lot from it, I've loved the teaching practice (big groups, no text books) and I did really well in the grammar and phonology test last week. I was a little stunned actually at how well I did and at some of the favourable comments I got from the tutor.


Blogger Timorous Beastie said...

Good job on the course - you are clearly a natural teacher. As for the blog name, I'd go for Jo-in-anywhere-nice-Timorous-Beastie-can-come-and-visit.

And let's go for beer again sometime, with Showme. Maybe Sigsy would like to come too?

10:11 am

Anonymous Shiralee said...

Hello there. I also teach English and I really know what you mean by being bored by your students. They may be delightful people but they tend to forget that a conversation is a two-way process.

I've taught in several countries (Poland, Egypt, Italy and, now, Argentina). I would recommend any of those but bear in mind that Spain/Italy have a surfeit of teachers - the money and working hours can be horrendous. Somewhere a little less obvious might be better, especially for a newly qualified (although obviously experienced) teacher.

There are message boards (try Dave's EFL Cafe) on the net where teachers recount their experiences of different schools. It's always good to check!

Good luck.

11:30 am

Blogger Jo said...

Thank you!

I think your suggestion for a blog name is a bit long though!!!

And yes. Let's. Soon! I'll email you. As ever, Sundays are good!

11:31 am

Blogger Jo said...

Shiralee - 'they tend to forget that a conversation is a two-way process.' - Nail. Head.

And I know the money is better in Asia: bit of a dilemma really!

How's Argentina?

11:33 am


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