Monday, March 24, 2008

Setting up to Fail and other First-Day Impressions

Well, I finally started my new job today. I have to admit, I was really looking forward to it, having been out of full-time work for 4 months.
I wasn't really sure what to expect on the first day, but

1) there being no books was not surprising, but a bit disappointing (What was I supposed to do for the hours I was there?)

2) giving placement tests to sort kids into levels and classes was NOT something I had expected, and then having to give the test (an oral interview) to 35 kids per hour was not something that was in anyone's best interests. Not mine - I didn't know the kids and didn't know the foggiest about where they were at (I started off asking a kid what he did on the weekend when it turned out he couldn't answer "what is your name?"); and Not the kids - not much time + the excitement of having a new teacher + I'm-sure-there-are-other-factors = not gonna do their best.

3) sitting around staring at the wall for 1 1/2 hours before the first round of tests started and then another hour between two of the three rounds of tests was not what I would call well-used time. But since there were no books, no classes, and no prep of any kind whatsoever that I could possibly conjure up even if I was Hermione, which I'm not, I sat in my char at my empty desk and clicked a pen while I let my mind wander aimlessly (it didn't really have all that much to wader around in, and there were large periods of simple blackness). I did, however, enjoy the kids' oohs, ahhs, gasps, "It's pretty", and other exclamations as they stepped off the elevator and saw me. One kid almost caused a pile-up when he a took a step of shock backwards into the mob of his peers trying to get out of the elevator.

4) after the tests ended at 8:00, being expected to wait till 9:30 for a teacher's meeting= again, time spent staring at the wall rocking in my chair and clicking my pen..... I think not. There is only so much my mind can do to occupy itself after more than 2 hours of already having done so. So, in response to the head teacher's direction "you stay here wait yes", I said "fair dinkum mate; tell 'im he's dreaming. That's a bloody useless waste of my time. I'm gonna go have a tinnie" (ok, for you literalists, I didn't really. That's what my brain was saying, but I think what came out was along the lines of a polite "I go eat.. come back nine thirty, ok?"

So I grabbed a pizza on my way home and here I am. No longer being the grumpy bugger I am on an empty stomach, I'm not gonna go into the hassles I've had with Kangsan Travel trying to organise my trip to Japan for a tourist visa. Suffice it to say that I'm just gonna give up trying to reason with them that I actually DID make the booking in time for the deal and fork it out for a two-night stay. Money Issues aside, two nights in Japan (Wed and Thurs) will be nice, I'm sure.

Ok, so I just returned from the "meeting" which consisted of being introduced to the other teachers (14 Korean women who may or may not speak varying degrees of English) a "hello", a "goodbye" and I'm walking back out the door 30 seconds later.

So there ya go... a small insight into my first day back in the workforce.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've been having less fun than you could have... hope things improve for you. Hey, at least no-one there is an axe murderer as far as you know.

Ang said...

meh. I kind of expected to be a little more productive. Oh well.