Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Demo Lesson and extra part-time jobs
NOTE TO SELF: GET PICS FROM APRIL
Yesterday I gave my demo lesson. On that:
It was very nerveracking, and it struck me as being a rather poor way to evaluate my teaching style because I wasn't nearly as in-the-zone teaching only my boss as I would have been teaching kids. However, a few minutes into my demo lesson I realized that this wasn't about me, it was about the kids, and that restored my faith in this system. The boss offered me great criticism and never took a harsh tone. My biggest problem was that I did what Hess corporate wanted me to do, but not Hess Donghu.
Hess Donghu (my branch) is a semi-independent franchise. We use the same materials and methods (for the most part) but we have a lot more freedom in how we teach. I didn't realize I had so much freedom, but even if I did it probably would've confused me more. Most of the corrections she made to my teaching style were reminding me to do big pantomimes whenever possible (I tried to do this anyway, but it was a bit stiff since I was new and too often holding my teacher's book) and changing the order of things in the book, for example in the book it says workbook and homework come last. My boss said Storybook Time comes last because it is the least important and most customizable with time since you have a whole week to read the book multiple times if you choose.
I have to admit, although my boss seemed totally accepting of my unwillingness to work before my work license came, lest I be deported, I still suspected this Demo Lesson as a way to sabotage me and threaten me with being fired because they have one month to fire me during my trial period (which hasn't technically started yet). I'm just paranoid, it seems, becauase after the lesson I was given only polite, friendly criticism and a short, funny conversation about how ridiculous the students can be. Then she proceeded to place on my shoulders the responsibility of preparing for next week's demo lesson. The topic? Science. Of course, not really difficult science. More like "This is a flower. It has petals, leaves, a stem, etc." and I was asked to prepare some fun ideas for experiments to do.
Overall, I really like my boss so far (although she was significantly late for our demo lesson yesterday, but I do know that she is under a ridiculous amount of pressure now because she is temporarily the boss for two branches while they work to replace the last boss near Taipei Main Station). So things are well.
Part time work:
I've been looking into finding some jobs for money on the side, or work to do before I start teaching and a friend got me an interview with a corporation called Duban, a Corporate Communications firm. I think my job would be writing documents, memos, etc., as well as training people from big business how to speak English and write English documents, like resumes and cover letters, etc. http://www.duban-taiwan.com/
I've also been looking into tutoring gigs but I'm nervous because so far many of the gigs are trying to meet me on Sunday (my ONLY day off!!!!!).
I've accepted a tutoring job though. I'm teaching April's little sister "Mandy" or Lin Ping-Yu (whereas April is Lin Ping-Ting. Apparently her parents have a naming theme.) free of charge. My only requirement is that April cook for me, which she loves to do, but the beauty of this system is not only does she cook for me multiple times a week, but I can request one or two (depending on the hours I teach Mandy) special meals per week. This week I'm asking for Crab Rangoon, which is IMPOSSIBLE to find here.
My friend KJ bought me for my birthday a monopoly game. I know what you're thinking. "What? Why Monopoly?" The reasons are twofold; KJ loves monopoly, and it is a special Taiwan Edition. All the names of places have been replaced with Taiwanese places. On top of that, it comes with monopoly credit cards and an electronic card swiper thingy. So you don't have to count out money, you can just use the swiper and it keeps track for you. It is in English and Chinese. I'll be sure to take pictures of it when he comes over and post them here later.
So today is another busy day. Take out trash, meet KJ at 12, chill for a while, meet April briefly, then head to Duban's office at 7 pm. Get the tour, do the brief interview, come back around 9 or 10 pm. It's nice to be busy, though. It can also be nice not to be busy, and that may be the case tomorrow, so expect me to edit this post with more pictures then.
To my family:
I'm still waiting on that video from the wedding!