They gave me the job as an English teacher quite quickly. My place of employment feels that this is an easily learned skill… yet not for me. Little did they know how horrible I would be.
My day kicks off around five in the morning. I have a class at 6:30 a couple times a week. Do you understand how early 6:30 really is? If not, let me describe. That early in the morning, I can’t find my juice lady on the street. I have to wait almost a full hour to get a cup of coffee, something that should be considered sacrilegious. I regularly have to wake up the rooster, and the rooster is cranky because it’s so early. Out of the entire population of Bogotá, only four people are up. One is the bus driver. The others are equally pissed off people because they are up so damn early. And then you have me.
So, if you don’t understand, it’s early. By the time I get to where I teach, luckily, coffee becomes available. Instead of drinking it, I have started to inject it straight into my blood stream. Doing so allows the caffeine to get to me more quickly. Trust me, it’s completely necessary. I always arrive early, thus, once I check in, I seek out more coffee. What? Me addicted to coffee? Nooo…..
I’m teaching business English, thus, I work mostly with advanced speakers. I regularly plan lessons, but usually never use them. Instead of focusing on grammar and textbook based exercises, we end up talking about how messed up the United States government is. I teach them slang and inappropriate words, and things to yell when someone cuts you off while driving. I do my best to impart some educational aspect to my students every day. Thus, I concentrate on pronunciation. Since my students have had teachers from all over the world, I usually correct the British pronunciation and remind them that the English don’t know how to speak English. Yes… it’s true.
The best part of my class is when my students correct my grammar. No joke… this happens quite frequently. I’m asked grammatical questions occasionally, and my reply is always the same; “I have no idea.” But, I do promise them to look it up and provide them with an answer the following day. Truthfully, I think I learn more from my students that my students learn from me.
But you know what’s crazy? For some reason, my students actually enjoy the class. Maybe it’s because all of their teachers have used textbooks in the past, or maybe for some reason they think my jokes are funny. Whatever the case is, I keep our dialogue focused on current events, usually blossoming into debates/discussions.
I may not know a thing about the English language, but I do know how to keep people entertained.