Friday, 31 January 2014

Rise and shine!

I've actually used a desk like this!
It’s been a very busy few weeks what with moving house, leaving my job and selling all my possessions to move abroad.

I’d be forgiven from letting a few things slip down my priorities list.

One such thing is the fact that I’m about to start a new career as a teacher.

But, on Tuesday morning Mark and I were lucky enough to be welcomed to the Bournemouth School of English for a morning of observations.

Late last year I decided that observations would be a great way of seeing a real class in action with teachers who didn’t speak the native language of their students. I emailed about 20 different schools in the area (Bournemouth is a popular place for language students) and of the replies, the Bournemouth School of English best suited our needs.

The timing couldn’t have been better. We’d just watched a documentary on the coffee industry in Vietnam that didn’t paint the best picture of the country, so we needed a little boost to get us back on track.

So, suited and booted we made our way to the school. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but we were greeted warmly, given the options of which classes we would each watch and introduced to the staff.

My first observation was a group of intermediates learning about colloquial idioms. These students already had a good knowledge of the language, but it was funny to hear what they thought “When the penny dropped, I went bananas” meant during the warm-up exercise. It reminded me that I really do love our language, and the nuances we hardly ever notice ourselves as native speakers.

My second class was a group of advanced students. Binomials (a new word even for me) was the subject matter; two words that are often found together e.g. fish and chips, death and taxes. It was a much smaller class, but the teacher more than made up for it in personality and reminded me of some of my favourite teachers from school. He had built a great relationship with his students, much like I’d hope to do in Vietnam.

At the end of the morning I left feeling excited again about my new career, which is one half of a massive change we are going through, but has slipped from my mind now the initial training is over.

4 weeks to go!!