so i completely tanked my english class today. or maybe it tanked me. the jury is still out on that one.
i spent three hours planning my four-hour lesson yesterday and all the bad memories of forced enrollment into a TEFL course come flooding back.
lesson #471: don’t let other people bully you into doing something while telling you it is for your own good when your first instinct is telling you that you hate it and it is simply not for you.
so i plan the lesson and get in the class at 930 this morning, i begin…they are very curious about my turkish name, yada yada yada. we start on the actual lesson and i notice the 14 students in the class are looking at me with these big eyes and a ‘what the hell is going on?’ expression. turns out the psycho alcoholic lady who taught the class before me had been lying in all of the class rosters since the very beginning: while it said that the class was on level 4A, they were in fact somewhere around 2A but none of the grammar had been presented to them AT ALL. take that, sezin, on your first day of teaching!
lesson #472: if you really don’t like doing something which you have tried to do before and still find yourself not liking it, DO NOT put yourself in front of 14 students and trust in the ramblings of a crazy drunk TEFL teacher.
so not only does the intermediate class not speak much english at all for being intermediate, i am then asked to make an off-the-cuff lesson plan for completely different lessons in all of five minutes. GO! superBruja i may be, but superTEFLteacher i am NOT. panic attack, panic attack. steve ends up taking over the class to do conversation for the remaining three hours and i go home to cry and actually have the panic attack.
i realised i liked the idea of teaching english as an idea. because it is here and available. but it is not easy for me and the whole presentation of a grammar point does not make sense to me in the least. i would be a great literature teacher. i could teach about the UN and human rights. i could teach creative writing. give me a poem and five minutes later i can have a class discussing it. ditto with a news article. hell, i could get a class to write a news article based on a prompt. but not if i have to teach them grammar first. no sir, this was not in my personality blueprint. now that i definitively know this beyond a shadow of a doubt, i can leave behind this notion of teaching english and focus on other things.
after the panic attack i wrote to all of my translation contacts and will bug them once a week until they give me more work. i began to send me CV out to online magazines that need editors and writers. i have signed up with some online news networks and figured out what my slant on the news will be. i feel much better. if anyone has any ideas in this regards, i.e. translation from spanish to english, editing of any and all types of documents, and ideas for places to publish different writings, please let me know! the freelancers life is so unstable but i know it is doable and now is the time to open my address book and call in the help of my friends. here i am at the computer, waiting to hear back from you!
as stressful as it was, it was a good day.
lesson #473: what are your personal limitations? figure them out through trial and error, then move on. this is the only way to get closer to your life’s calling and your dreams. it is the only way to move forward and claim your life as your very own. flaws, beauty, and all in its uniqueness.