Preparing for Work

Within eight days of being in Bogotá, I had landed a job. But see, once I heard the phrase “you’re hired,” I knew it was only the beginning.

After the job was obtained, the wheels began spinning. I met with my boss a few days later in order to discuss my future role in the institute. Our meeting that was supposed to teach me how to do this job only lasted two hours, if that. He was kind enough to give me a book entitled “Teaching for Dummies.” I was then informed that I would have a test later on, in which I was expected to recite the entire book from memory. Lucky me.

I’ll be teaching business English, thus, I will be working solely with adults. You have no idea how excited I am that I don’t have to deal with punk ass little rich brats. If I had been expected to teach those “things,” an addiction to Tylenol would have been sure to follow.

In addition to receiving some practical advice, I also received the workbooks that I will be using in class. I was encouraged to properly plan all my lessons (duh) as well as get creative through the use of songs and games. The thing is that I hate games. The only one I can somewhat stand is 4-square, but last time I checked, it doesn’t enforce the English language. My boss was probably thinking more along the lines of language games, but see… that just sounds to boring. I promise you one thing. As a teacher, I will be anything… but… boring.

Considering I don’t handle “authority” very well, I was excited to learn that I will not be micro-managed. I was handed the textbooks, told to find some source of empowerment, and then go at it. I can give my boss a call if I have questions, but otherwise, they’ll follow up with my students here and there to make sure I was doing somewhat of a “decent” job. I’m sure I will end up bribing my students to sing praise on my behalf… but hey, that’s the cost of doing business.

Once I received the material, it was time to get my “teacher gear” together. I went out to buy extra spirals, red pens (I’ll be that jerk of a teacher who grades in red), some dry erase markers, a pocket protector, and a nice little pouch to hold all my utensils. I was looking for a coffee mug that says “World’s Greatest Teacher,” but I have yet to find one down here. If anyone is willing, I’d be happy to accept a care package with the desired mug enclosed. Think about it!

I’ve spent my entire afternoon on trying to learn “how to teach.” I still have not figured it out, but I have drawn up some lesson plans for next week. The question is, how will they be executed?


Filed under Bogota, Colombia

3 responses to “Preparing for Work

  1. Craig

    Somewhere out there someone sells these little bowls, with tops, with the words “Ashes of former students” painted on the side. I’ve seen them on teachers’ desks, but I’ve never seen one in a store.

    Games — my kids like bingo. Make up some bingo cards, have them fill them out with English vocab, you call out the words in Spanish. Some also really love “flyswatters.” Scatter key English vocab around a transparency and project it onto a screen. Give a flyswatter to two players. Call out the word in Spanish, best 2 out of 3 to find and swat the words you call out wins.

    Have some candy on hand for winners.

  2. Kirk

    I’m afraid for your students. Will they know any English at all? This could test your patience! Can’t wait to hear more!

  3. Corri

    I keep thinking about the scene in Stripes where the guy taught the unsuspecting students curse words and old songs. Well, have fun with it!

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