My Best Teaching Is One-on-One


Of course, I team teach and do special lessons, etc.


But my best work in the classroom is after the lesson is over --
going one-on-one,
helping individual students with their assignments.


It's kind of like with computer programs, walking the client through hands-on.
The job isn't really done until the customer is using the program.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

silence is not golden

Time to break the silence. Break ranks, really.


(By my contract, I'm not supposed to talk about this stuff in public, but, when conditions become as they are, those terms becomes unconscionable.)


Hmm. I'd like to break the silence, but I'm not sure where to start.


When I started working as an assistant English/language teacher (ALT/AET) here four years ago, I had intended to run a regular blog talking about the experience. But I realized that, contract aside, there were moral issues about the information, too much personal information to wash out, and figuring out how to make an interesting blog that doesn't breach someone's right to their own information took more time than I could put in on it.


Working in IT, I understand that sort of thing all-too-well.


Anyway, I find myself, after four years in a job that I knew was a dead-end, facing a two-month contract and then a three-month chasm, with unknowns beyond that. If I were single, no big deal. If my wife and I had no children, well, it would not be easy on my pride, but it would not be an impossible situation.


But we have two children, and if I don't get work in June, we all don't eat, and they don't go to school.


The last several summers, I've made ends meet by working summer or part-time jobs, graveyard shift sorting packages for the parcel post or sorting and checking orders for a cake manufacturer, eight-plus hour shifts as a guardsman waving the red wand around at fireworks displays and roadwork sites, concerts, etc. That way I was able to stretch the already tight budget across an always unpaid August.


(See, I'm not really a teacher employed by the shool board. I'm an uncertified assistant, a temporary worker, no less, employed by a staffing agency. A scab by some interpretations.)


But three months is too long a stretch, and we don't know whether our company will be able to get the contract again in September.


There are laws, you see, to protect somebody or other from the evil that would occur if we were allowed to work too long for the same school district.


Well, this is going to be a long rant, and I want to translate it, so I'm going to stretch it across several posts.