Monday, November 19, 2007


Some doofus on the hate site dares to doubt English Teacher X's integrity. A bit of news from the DOS front:

The Director of Studies scores his second positive victory in reforming the shitty end of language school work this week. (The first was getting washing machines for the senior teachers.)

So being very short of teachers, we were offered an application from a guy who had been working for a branch of the school in St. Petersberg. Included with this was a letter from the DOS in St. Petersberg warning us that the applicant in question was a terrible teacher, boring and monotonous and unskilled.

Now this applicant in question has signed up for the apprenticeship-type training program in Moscow, where he was given some modicum of instruction and then tossed into a few classes (at a frankly pathetic rate of salary.) The evaluations of these observed lessons were sent down with his application -- such highly professional and helpful comments as "this lesson was absolute shit" and "you better sort yourself out" were typical.

So apparently, they tried to get rid of him by sending him to our branch, thinking that he'd probably quit rather than move out to the sticks.

But this guy was one of the unfortunate cases -- he didn't have enough money to leave , and had nowhere else to go, so he decided to come down.

I was given the dubious task of training him.

It was much like I expected -- he was a shy and quiet and mild-mannered guy, and the incredibly inexperienced and over-worked teacher trainers in Moscow had no time or desire to try to actually teach him much.

It took a couple of weeks, but I taught him some activities and ways to set up the class that would suit a quieter and shyer personality -- you do NOT have to be a performing monkey to be a popular teacher, and in fact Russian students are increasingly impatient with teachers who just come in and spend the whole class talking about themselves. And I think this guy will be okay, actually, with a bit of guidance from yours truly.

Now of course, I can begin to see things from the admin point of view -- I mean, it's certainly not my fault his life is such a mess that he's got no money or place to go, nor that he's got an unengaging personality.
But having been on the short end of the stick before myself
, I'm glad he didn't get ground up and fucked over by the English Teacher Mill at the other branches.

Still can't seem to get them to eliminate split shifts, however, though I wrote up a three page document explaining how we could do so -- they promise they'll try next year.

And they kiss my ass, not vice versa. They know that this new bunch of untrained teachers they've hired would be an impossible situation without my academic support.

So yeah, I'm still the baddest motherfucker in town, in case you were wondering. Even though I take Sialis occasionally.


WayneRoberts said...

Whats your thoughts on the new visa laws X? Do you think its going to make it more difficult for teachers to get work there?

What is your school doing about it?

English Teacher X said...

Yeah, apparently a lot of schools in Moscow and Peter have already closed because of new visa and tax laws.

Now is no time to be planning a long term life in Russia if you're a foreigner, in my opinion. Though it's probably a bit early to be talking concentration camps.