Well, I know that I haven´t really blogged over the past week.
Last week was a big blur for me. I think having to work everyday at 9am put me out of sorts for a while. I´m used to having one or two mornings free to do whatever I want and I would only work in the late afternoon or evening. Last week, I started working at new company and was a little apprehensive. I replaced a teacher when she was on holiday and it turned out that the company wanted me to teach them instead, since I place more emphasis on speaking.
I was worried that the company had a skewed expectation about English class and set off to clarify goals and expectations on the first class. At their level, I still had to do grammar with them and follow the book, while tailoring it to suit their needs. A lot of times, I feel like I´m balancing on a tight rope, esp. when the company seems to be asking for smth that I can´t deliver. Our company produces books and cds which are used in classes to facilitate learning. Somehow, sometimes, customers get the impression that they would receive a fully-customized course and are somewhat disappointed when we use a "generic" book to teach them English.
A lot of the "customization" would then have to come from the customers to tell us what they want and even to provide information on their own accord. Eg. If they want to do telephoning, the materials we have in the school are very generic....falling under the "hello, how may I help you" type of category. Hence for a telephoning course to be customized, the students would then have to adapt the generic telephone conversation to include specific topics that they talk on the phone in their job.
Anyways, my point was I didn´t want to replace another teacher and realize that the customer is still not getting what he or she wants. It turned out way better than I thought though. The people liked me and were really happy with the structure and outline I gave them. I managed to have my first grammar and conversation class with them with no problems at all. For that, I´m really thankful. :)
I do hope though that at some point in time, the school would compensate teachers who actually spend time preparing for their classes. Its an oxymoron if you ask me.
You´re not paid to prepare your teaching -> teachers teach without preparation, but just "anyhow whack" (in Singlish), in proper English, teachers teach on-the-spot with no prior preparation -> client is dissatisfied -> client wants another teacher. "Bad"teacher is not "penalised" but continues to teach in school and still gets his or her 20hrs a week.
"Good" teacher takes over company, spends time preparing classes -> client is satisfied, client renews contract -> school earns commission (only the marketing people do) and teacher is not compensated for being a good teacher, cos either way he or she continues to teach 20 hrs a week. I mean, where´s the work-> reward connection here? hello?
I know I´ll get my reward in heaven and God sees my effort, its the intrinsic reward not the extrinsic reward that counts...but boy! Don´t they get it? The teachers are the asset! If a company renews a contract (which could be thousands of Euros), the teacher should be the ones who get the commission not the marketing people (who were only responsible for getting the clients in the first place, but didn´t do anything else after that.) The teachers are the ones who slog to prepare and moderate classes, ensuring that the clients are contented.....
At times I this, I need to keep reminding myself that I´m not just working for the school but also for my heavenly father. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23 Really need to let the truth of this matter sink into my heart and not just my brains.