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.

2 comments:

Queen of the Squirrels 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.