News about work…

…a bit of boasting, and news of a Giveaway!

First, the News About Work

As I reported last time, I’ve been taken on by a company to give English lessons by telephone – they’re not too bad, although, TBH, I’m not a great fan of the telephone and avoid it where possible, as I sometimes find it a little difficult to hear. I have one student who mumbles – or, at least, doesn’t enunciate clearly – so it’s quite tricky correcting his pronunciation, or even his grammar, as I don’t always hear him properly! Still, it pays the (metaphorical) rent.

I have an interview on Monday with another English Language Teaching Company, over in Lyon. I contacted them back in November, and they said that when/if they had any work in Clermont they’d contact me. I thought it was a polite brush-off, but no. They have some work, and want to interview me on Monday. I have to “teach” a lesson to the interviewers (aargh) and explain my reasons for teaching what I taught. I’ve done my lesson plan – which isn’t the most inspiring thing I’ve ever done, but I’m reasonably pleased with it – all I need do now is ask MrD to help me download the podcast that I want to use onto my tablet. I’m not very tech-minded so need all the help I can get.

I also have a Skype interview on Monday for the same Summer School that I worked for last year. I’ve already sent them my lesson plan, so I guess we’ll have to discuss that (at least I won’t have to teach it to the interviewer.) and so on. Of course I’ll be nervous, but with both of these, I think that they need me almost as much as I need them. Obviously the Lyon Company don’t already have a teacher in the Clermont area, and are looking for one; the Summer School needs lots of teachers – and one as experienced as me, who’s done it before and is willing to return, must be fairly high on the list. And if I don’t get either job…well. Never mind!

Last weekend,  MrD installed Windows8 on my computer. The poor dear was pulling his hair out because my files were in such a mess. The problem was that, as previously mentioned, I’m not techie, and don’t really know what I’m doing, so I’d saved everything in very random ways. There were so many various levels that required clicking on before you reached anything: name (click) name.name (click) name (click) dormouse (click) oh, look! A document! So, thanks to Mr D it’s now a lot easier. However, I do seem to have lost all my bookmarked blogs/ websites (which includes the new ones I’d bookmarked from the Grow Your Blog Party. A bit of a pain, but never mind. I can start creating a shiny, new list of bookmarked sites.

While he was doing this, I was emptying a badly utilised bookcase in his study and moving it down to mine, to hold my craft stash, so I could use my craft-stash bookcase to hold my teaching/everyday stuff. It’s meant my desk is clearer (I do like to have my “bits” (Mr D would say “crap”!) around me!) but everything is still to hand.

IMG_1398

(Oh, dear. Sorry. You’ll have to put your head on one side until I’ve re-worked out what to do) This is my “craft stash” bookcase. And yes, I do call this organised!

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Moving round the room, I put the old craft bookcase on top of a chest of drawers, to make a kind of “dresser” affair. This is my keeping-everyday-stuff-to-hand bookcase.

IMG_1400Moving round, we come to  my fairly clear desk. As you can see by the wall in front, my “bits” include various photos of my family, plus other pictures that mean something to me.

IMG_1401Then finally we reach my TEFL bookcase with various folders etc and the escape hatch!

I’m quite happy with the state of the place at the moment.

Second, the Boasting

When I was sorting through stuff, I came across my folder of things-I-want-to-keep: mostly cards from special occasions. There were cards from my adult baptism (which was something which I now acknowledge wasn’t done at the right time or for the right reasons. But that’s another story), from my confirmation (oh, yes! I’ve been through several rites-of-passage in the church!), my Licensing as an LLM, from after my dad’s death, and from my last day of teaching.

I don’t know if this is boasting (I think it might be!) but I want to share something one of the parents wrote to me. The background is that her son, Ben, was a child with special needs. He couldn’t concentrate, he didn’t work well, he was a pain to the other children, he had a low level of ability. He drove all the staff mad. I had him in my last year, and the deal I made with him (and his mum) was that if he didn’t finish his work, I would give it to his mum at the end of the day and he’d have to do it at home. If he did well, I would go and tell his mum at the end of the day. …

Last year I’d just heard of your name and the fact that you’re really quite tough/ But little did I know of the person who, as yet, hasn’t said “That’sit! I give up”/ You took my son in your classroom, and within a week, he’d admitted you shout/ And he even admitted its causing, of which that was never in doubt.

Your visits to the playground I’ll miss; when other Mothers said “What, not again?”/Well, I hadn’t been sumoned since Friday,would  this time be pleasure or pain?/ He might have been caught misbehaving, or just sitting, staring into space/ You can always tell when he’s guilty, by the puppy dog look on his face.

He’s always been classed a challenge, but to me this year he’s done well/ So much so he has proof – certificates two, not just green, but a blue one as well*/Until this year he’s had none, just tales, one after another/ The sort that cause me to shout “Son, there’s a limit to what I can do as your mother!”

To the teacher who can still shout just as loud as his mum: Well Done!/ Dear Mrs Mouse who still has hair, not pulled out one by one: Well Done!!/ Best wishes and thanks, for not giving up on my son/ You’ve managed to teach a delightful young man, so..I’m biased. I’m Mum!

*The certificate reference was that at the school the children received points towards certificates for extra good work, or for extra good behaviour. First a green, then a blue and then possibly a gold certificate. While I didn’t give points willy-nilly, I tried to recognise “extra-good” work/behaviour for the child, recognising the efforts that the individual put in.

I’d forgotten Ben, and his mum (who as a single mum, tried so hard to get it right – but sometimes got things so terribly wrong) until I came across this, and the poem that Ben wrote for me:

Mrs Mouse likes pomes poems and cats / She also likes to shout a lot./ Mrs Mouse lets me go out to play/ at the right time/ Mrs Mouse makes me want to be nice to you  her/ and is okay when I forget/ Mrs Mouse is a nice person/ She lets me go to the toilet a lot/ Mrs Mouse your kind to me/ I will miss you when your gone to work with the council.

I hated teaching by the end of my time, but looking back at things like this, I can be proud of what I managed to do for some quite challenging children. A round of applause and a virtual chocolate cake for those of you who are still working with challenging, difficult or downright naughty children every day of your working life. I admire you for sticking it out!

And now, the Giveaway!

I had 35 comments left on my GYB post, so, in an effort to be fair, but not to resort to writing names on bits of paper or having to use a random number generator (more techie stuff!), I yelled up the stairs to Mr D “Give me a number between 1 and 35!” He yelled back, “26!”

Comment Number 26 was from Susan, at Fruitful Words So Susan has won the Giveaway of 3 handmade cards & a bookmark. I hope you like them, Susan!

Thank you to everyone who commented and read my blog and who have maybe returned for second helpings!

6 thoughts on “News about work…

  1. Michelle

    I guess you could say I work with a challenging child every day, as I homeschool my son! I hope I have as positive an impact as you did on Ben. :-)

  2. Amanda

    Hi there
    It makes it all worth while when you get returns on a pupil like Ben…you obviously left your mark….congratulations.
    TEFL post:
    If France is anything like here the official places are where you get paid the most. I suggest you hand your CV into the local Chamber of Commerce,the Provincial Commerce and Enterprises Assoc (the equivalent of),Taxi Association,Red Cross etc.
    Have you tried http://www.esflow.com? Its packed full with Lesson Plans, resource material and ideas for ESL teaching and its free. Like yourself I’m not keen on English over the phone however you can get online classes on Skype using videoconferencing. Personally I like the face-to-face classes more than anything.
    When you go for your interview keep in mind you are an attractive asset for any school in the fact that you are native English and already have teaching experience. Good luck with your interview! :-)

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

  3. Dormouse Post author

    Thanks Amanda for the advice. I have tried the CCI and GRETA but I’d not thought of the other places. I’ll bear that in mind if this falls through. I may also ask my phone students if they have access to Skype…that might work!

  4. Jackie

    Glad the work is (hopefully) picking up again! I did TEFL many years ago for a bit, and know how hard it is (I was rubbish!). And having learnt another language, I also know the importance of a good teacher. Your lot are lucky to have you.

  5. susan

    Wow – I am blessed to be the card winner. Thank you so much.

    Also good luck on the interviews. You have such an interesting way of writing; I so enjoy reading your posts.

  6. susan

    Wow. Just wow! I received your cards and book marker and they are all lovely. I feel very blessed. I know that the recipients of the cards will feel blessed too.

    My daughter thinks she is going to “borrow” the bookmarker and make a choker out of it. Thanks for making me feel so special.

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