Tag Archives: Teaching English

Learning and Teaching Year 4

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The next year I was again approached by several schools, one owner even finding her way out to La Yacata to plead that I work with her school. I finally agreed to work with the sister-in-law of the parents who originally convinced me to start teaching private classes. I was to be the English coordinator and teacher, although I didn’t want to assume the title officially, so didn’t tell the other 2 English teachers that was my job description.

I probably should have, it might have made them work a little to help out, but hindsight is 20/20. So it was me teaching the students their songs for the Christmas program, me designing the end of year presentations, me scheduling the exam dates and making the study guides and gathering the random activities and putting them into books. But I learned quite a bit from these processes. My activities became better the more I did them. I was always assured criticism from the other 2 teachers that I took to be constructive and used to change anything that might need to be improved upon. Necessity forced me to be creative and my abilities expanded to meet demands.

So ended the first year. I told the owner that the second year I wanted  my title to be known, so I started the next school year as the official English coordinator with 3 teachers under me. Things were a bit smoother, however, the owners of the school were having problems with each other, which changed the atmosphere of the school itself. As I was the clear favorite of one of the owners, the other owner and those that supported her, were against pretty much anything I did. But I made it through the year, learning as I went, and that was that.

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See Also: Learning and Teaching Year 1, Learning and Teaching Year 2, Learning and Teaching Year 3, Learning and Teaching Year 4, Learning and Teaching Year 5, and Authentic Teaching and Learning and me

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Learning and Teaching Year 3

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But, we needed more income than my classes provided because my husband had difficulty finding work. So the next year, I agreed to be the English teacher in a different school, teaching first graders. Three weeks into the year, the teacher for the 2-3-year-olds in the adjoining kindergarten quit, so I assumed that position as well. This was the beginning of my crazy teaching year.

I didn’t want to stop with my private students and was getting more and more requests all the time for me to teach others, yet it wasn’t regular enough to do full-time. So my schedule became, kindergarten in the mornings, first grade in the afternoons, an hour break, then private classes from 4-7 each night. My husband stepped in to do what I wasn’t able to do in the household department. He washed the clothes, cooked the food, cleaned the house, took care of our growing mini-ranch, took our son to school at 2, picked him up at 6, brought dinner to me on my break between classes, and waited at the door when I got home with a hot chamomile tea.

I was able to maintain this schedule for 5 months with my husband’s support. However, things in the elementary school were getting more and more difficult. Again, not the teaching, but the adults. The English coordinator for the school was a woman from Morelia. Soon I started thinking of her as my evil nemesis. M hated everything I did. I couldn’t understand this as I tried to exactly what she wanted, well, as long as it didn’t conflict with what I needed to do to teach effectively. So she set out to put up obstacles to my teaching. She vetoed copies that I requested, she wouldn’t inform me of school events I needed to prepare the students for in the hopes that my students would not perform well, she lied about me to the owners saying I was not turning in lesson plans and was just plain nasty to me. She said, in front of another teacher even, that I was just ‘cualquier gringa que no contribuya nada a esta escuela‘ and that was it. (That I was just a derogatory word for foreigner or white person, that made no contribution to the school.)

I told the owners what she said, told them that she had been lying about me not doing lesson plans, and told them they needed to find another first-grade teacher. I felt terrible leaving my kids and cried while packing my materials up, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. The kindergarten owner asked me to stay on at her school and since M was not in any way involved there, I agreed.

Well, my free afternoons were soon filled with more private classes and I finished out the school year in good shape financially. We used the money to close in the back porch of the house and add steps to the second-floor laundry room.

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See Also: Learning and Teaching Year 1, Learning and Teaching Year 2, Learning and Teaching Year 3, Learning and Teaching Year 4, Learning and Teaching Year 5, and Authentic Teaching and Learning and me

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Filed under Employment, Teaching