Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rave reviews

The tough thing about teaching English in Taiwan is that the market is saturated with teachers. There are lots of shitty teachers here. The reason for this is that, as bad as it sounds, if you're a native speaker, particularly a white male between the ages of 24 and 30, it doesn't matter how qualified or how much experience you have. Someone will hire you. As an example I recently went on a job interview, well what I thought was a job intreview, but turned out the boss wanted me to sub a class. SO without even a hello I was thrown into a classroom of 9 year olds, given a book, told what pages to teach and left to my own devices. I was able to handle it, but the point is it really doesn't matter how qualified, or how good of a teacher I am.....I'm a native speaker and that's all that (at most schools) seems to matter.

It's in this context that it's often hard to figure out where I stand, what kind of a teacher I am, if I'm actually helping anyone...As stupid as it sounds I do want to enjoy being recognized for my abilities. Not just fr being a native speaker. At my new adult school...they have a system where students can write comments about the teachers, how they are doing, what the teachers need to improve, what are their strong points etc....
One of my adult students wrote this:
ta? wobu ? ? shang ? kuoshou zhende hen ? delaoshi
He? menot? ? ? ? speaking very very ? of teacher

Google translator told that said something about giving confidence, and understanding.

The last bit I can translate though, without the aid of Google:
我很高興今天上到他的課!!awesome!!!!!" MEANS:
wo hen gou xing jin tian shang dao ta de ke
Today I am very happy attending his class. Awesome!

I do like the awesome part at the end though. So although I still have a lot of ways I can improve my teaching and am still learning more about it everyday; it's reassuring to know that I'm not just another native English speaker, not just another white face.... and actually a teacher who occasional has an impact on my students.

PS: One year in Taiwan and I can translate a short sentence....awesome!


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