First day on the job

Just had my first official day at Vaughan. In other news, Limerick Blow Moulding said they had decided not to take me on; looks like I’ll be in Spain for the foreseeable future.

I’m in a group of 22 people from all walks of life who have converged on this thing for their own reasons. I’m rather glad nobody knows anyone else; it means my social issues haven’t been getting in the way of talking to people. There are two other Irish people in the group; of the rest, about half are English, with the remainder made of Americans and a surprising number of Scots. Despite all the Scottish people, there is only one Angus here, and he’s from London – in fact, he’s the only Londoner in the group. There’s also another Chris(topher) in the group (one of the Scots) who I happened to sit next to today. The intro went like this:

Him: Hi, I’m Chris.

Me: So am I.

Then we had general introductions, including telling each other about our favourite teachers to illustrate that there is no specific formula for what makes a good teacher. We had our first basic introduction to the Vaughan method, which is based on rapid-fire question and answer barrages in which we have to correct our students as soon as they make an error. To this end. we have to avoid detailed conversation so that we can identify a mistake as soon as they make it, rather than only realising they used a present tense after they say “yesterday”.

For lunch, I happened to be part of the group that also included all but one or two of the Scottish people. As we looked around, we came across a place called St. Andrew’s Cross, which aims to emulate a traditional Scottish pub, but with Spanish food on offer. Naturally, we all had to go in. The food turned out to be pretty average, so we won’t be going back there (oh, and the paella I had on Saturday was yummy 🙂 ).

After lunch was an introduction to lesson planning, with various exercises we can do in our classes. We do four 1-hour lessons per day during the training session, which can be of any number and ability of students, some of whom may or may not reappear on the same day. These people are all volunteers who provide us with feedback at the end of the week. I have to do six lesson plans for tomorrow (two each for beginner, intermediate, and advanced), though a lot of stuff can be copied and pasted, and I’ll be able to reuse the plans I make later on. I also have homework to do, but today’s homework ends up being part of the lesson plan, so it all works out.

In other news, I’ve been trying to speak as much Spanish as I can, and am making a royal donkey of myself. To a Spanish person, I sound like that green dude in the movie made by a company that Disney recently acquired who doesn’t speak properly. You know, the Incredible Hulk.

I should get started on that now. Report on first teaching practice will appear tomorrow.

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One thought on “First day on the job

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