Back at work this week! I would have had a second week’s holiday, but chose to start teaching a new class so that in a few weeks down the line I will have a period where I don’t have to plan as many lessons which will be a nice introduction to the summer break!
As part of my contract I have to help set up a programme for the English teachers here – which is sort of terrifying! I’m really thankful it’s a joint project with D, but I’m not academic at all and kind of freaking myself out a bit :-S I really want to do a good job but am nervous about being exposed as a big fat fraud. I know I’ve got my TESOL, and I know I’m not the worst teacher out there, but I only went to uni for 2 years myself and most of that was spent nursing on the wards. At times, I feel I have blagged my way here. Only recently I remembered that teaching wasn’t even in my line of sight 7 months ago – and now I teach at a university. Gaaaah!
Well. If the last 6 weeks here have taught me anything – it’s that I need to just bite the bullet and get on with it.
I will keep repeating my motto to myself:
‘If no-one is going to die or go to prison because of this – you’re probably worrying too much’
For some reason it calms me 🙂
I decided that while I’m at work I will bunch my Monday-Friday posts into one, otherwise I’ll be left with a blog of teeny-tiny paragraphs.
Back to school. I was a little nervous about returning (just a throwback from my personal anxiety) which quickly evaporated as soon as I facilitated the Basic English group for the staff. I was always so terrified of this class – but now I really enjoy it and finding new ways to make it fun.
Waiting for the staff to arrive
The university really does have some great facilities here – I just wish I could nab the student self study rooms though as I prefer to teach without tables! In the eve I stayed in for sleep after ordering a big fat unhealthy Indian takeaway which George came over and helped me eat. Winner!
Today I taught my new English major class. For the first time I’m teaching general English which I LOVE. It was such a fun lesson and I’m going to enjoy teaching these classes, however I have an average class size of 38 students, so it’s going to be tricky to incorporate some activities. I’ll find a way, though!! They’re cool kids, too.
When teaching I love finding ways to include little things that remind me of home. At the start of the semester I give the students a list of English names for them to pick for themselves (which include the names of my friends and family). Today the lesson was based around personality traits and I couldn’t resist dropping a mate in…..
Today I decided I would try to eat a little more healthily, so after uni drove to the Big C supermarket and stocked up on fruit, veg, glass noodles and prawns. Need to get rid of this damn VN belly!
During uni I also nipped to the English Dept. staff room and actually met everyone for the first time! They’re all really sweet. Someone went on holiday and brought back lots of gifts for everyone (they kindly insisted I take some stuff which was really nice considering I’m not sure who actually went on holiday…..)
Taught the other English major classes and and spent the day planning lessons. Nipped to the loo and met another English teacher who was washing these things in the sink and offered me some. D says they’re VN cherries – which I guess they are but they taste like…I think they’re called green gages back home? Nice though!
As you know, in my first week I was terrified and nervous and didn’t know many people, and I LITERALLY googled ‘English speaking friends in Hanoi’. I just needed to communicate with someone! So I found a group called ‘Meetup’ which was established by this guy Andy, which allows VN and foreign people to get together and have fun in English. Anyway, Andy and his wife are leaving for Thailand, and this evening was his leaving do. We made it a surprise by blowing up balloons, getting photos printed, party poppers, cake etc. I took my good camera to take a bunch of good photographs which I’m still in the process of uploading – but here’s a couple I took on my phone.
It was fun! It was lovely to witness the appreciation of the group and Andy’s efforts!
At work all day, had a meeting with the teachers to see what they want from these workshops D and I will run – which was good and gave me a few ideas – so I’m feeling a little less nervous. Only a little, mind! 😀
In the evening I met Georgia at a group VN lesson run by an American guy, Mike, and his VN girlfriend, Chi.
Now – this is my type of VN lesson. He has a little room in his house with a white board and those chairs with the little lap-tables. The lesson was really good – lots of activities and basically the kind of lesson I would love to deliver to my English students. Mike’s a good teacher. There was food laid on in the break (all plates labelled with the VN names) and we even incorporated drinking games into the lesson. This is probably why it’s my kind of lesson! Afterwards we all sat around and chilled out chatting. It was great! So now I’ve got my one-to-one lesson and this group lesson as well. Score! I’m looking forward to next week!
Friiiiiidaaaaay! Wooo! Managed to knock out 3 lesson plans so for the first time since I’ve been here I can spend my weekend not planning!! However, I will be planning for next week but out of choice (to get on top of things) rather than a desperate necessity – but there is something so much more satisfying planning a lesson because I WANT to, rather than because I HAVE to.
In the evening I came home and I was SHATTERED. I sat in and slobbed out and it was GLORIOUS. Then had a Chinese and screwed over my healthy eating. Meh. I deserved it. You’re great, Katy. I also ate this – so it cancels out the bad food – that’s how it works, right?
Let the weekend begin!